Pub. Date: August 2, 2016
Paraffin, Vermont, is known the world over as home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. But behind the sunny retail space bursting with overwhelming scents and homemade fudge, seventeen-year-old Poppy Palladino discovers something dark and unsettling: a back room filled with dozens of startlingly life-like wax sculptures, crafted by one very strange old lady. Poppy hightails it home, only to be shocked when one of the figures—a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to know what he is—jumps naked and screaming out of the trunk of her car. She tries to return him to the candle factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop—and the old woman is nowhere to be seen.
With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy resolves to find out who was behind the fire. But in the course of her investigation, she discovers that things in Paraffin aren’t always as they seem, that the Grosholtz Candle Factory isn’t as pure as its reputation—and that some of the townspeople she’s known her entire life may not be as human as they once were. In fact, they’re starting to look a little . . . waxy. Can Poppy and Dud extinguish the evil that’s taking hold of their town before it’s too late?
- Describe Wax in the length of a tweet.
Girl sneaks into creepy candle factory, girl meets creepy old lady who sculpts wax figures, girl accidentally adopts wax boy who comes to life, chaos ensues.
- What inspired you to write Wax?
I’d been itching to write a book with a character like Dud, someone who has suddenly been thrust into being without any past or childhood or context with which to view the world. Someone who’s just been dropped off on earth without any explanation and needs to figure out how to be human. Also, I really wanted to write about a crazy candle factory. I live near a rather popular flagship candle store and the insanity therein was something I couldn’t not write about.
- Poppy is quite the sleuth, who are some of your favorite pop culture investigators?
Veronica Mars has them all beat. Snark is the most powerful tool to have in one’s arsenal.
- How would you classify Wax? Is it more horror than mystery or is there a little romance on the horizon?
I’d argue it’s more humor than anything, but there’s certainly enough horror and mystery to keep it humming.
- Why should we root for Poppy?
When we first meet Poppy, she’s still raw from the most mortifying event in her life – appearing on a reality show talent competition where she slipped and fell and bled all over the stage, and all of it captured on national television. Her humiliation has gone viral, she’s a national joke, and her dignity is all but gone. But Poppy doesn’t want the rest of her life to be dictated by those few precious seconds, and so she’s striving to push past all that, to restore some of her reputation, and to do something that actually matters.
- Wax sounds a little like a fairy tale, would you say you draw inspiration from that?
A twisted fairy tale, absolutely. There’s a reason so many fairy tales are set in and around forests –they’re scary, dark, inscrutable places where magic lays in wait and almost anything can happen. Like rumors of living wax creatures skulking through the trees…
- Describe Dud in five words.
Puppy dog in “human” form.
- Do you have any favorite lines from Wax?
When Poppy and her friend Jill visit the Grosholtz Candle Factory:
Poppy tried to ignore the costumed musical atrocity that was befalling the food court, but it was not designed to be ignored. A dancing pig dressed in overalls swung his bucket oh so merrily across a raised stage while a trio of cows sang and wiggled their udders. There was also a terrifying anthropomorphic representation of the state of Vermont ambling and cavorting about, his ceaseless, dead stare no doubt sucking the souls from the slack-jawed children who had the misfortune to fall under his tyranny.
“I will miss my eyes,” said Jill, “when I gouge them out. But I see no other course of action.”
- What do you want the reader to take away from Wax?
As always, I just want the reader to have fun. If I’ve made you laugh, I’ve done my job. Though an increased awareness of sentient wax beings possibly STANDING RIGHT BEHIND YOU would be beneficial to readers as well.
- Is Poppy a heroine? If so, what makes her so?
Yes, but for more subtle reasons than plucky-heroine-saves-the-world. She soldiers on even though literally everyone in the country thinks that she’s a failure and a laughingstock. She knows what people think of her, and still she looks them in the eye and defiantly holds their gaze. She knows she’s better than the horrible thing that happened to her, and she is determined to prove it. And then she goes and does just that.
Gina Damico is the author of Croak, Scorch, and Rogue, the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy. She has also dabbled as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. A native of Syracuse, New York, she now lives outside Boston with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and while she has never visited hell in person, she has spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close. Visit her website at www.ginadami.co.
3 winners will receive a hardcover of WAX! US Only.
CHECK OUT THE OTHER STOPS ON THE TOUR
8/1/2016- Here’s to Happy Endings- Review
8/2/2016- Ohana Reads- Guest Post
8/3/2016- A Dream Within A Dream- Review
8/4/2016- YA Book Madness- Interview
8/5/2016- A Gingerly Review- Review