Meet My Book: The Disappearance of Ember Crow, by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Delighted today to welcome Ambelin Kwaymullina to the blog to chat about her latest book, the second in the Tribe series. Over to you, Ambelin.

1.         Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.

The Disappearance of Ember Crow, Walker Books, released 1 November 2013.

2.         Why did you write the book?

The same reason I write any of my books. Because I have to. In the times when I do not write the stories build up and up beneath my skin; they begin to whisper in my ear and demand to be told. If I do not write I fear I will explode. Or possibly go crazy.

3.         How long from idea to publication?

About a year, all in.

4.         What was the hardest thing about writing it?

I feel what my characters feel when I am writing; that makes the tough moments for them even tougher to write for me.

There’s this very quiet moment for Ember, when she’s on the road heading into Fern City. It’s the scene that ends ‘There was no one to witness my foolishness now, except perhaps for the crows, and crows kept each other’s secrets…I let myself smile.’

That’s not a particularly dramatic moment, but it was difficult to write because I was conscious when I was doing so of how very vulnerable Ember is. She’s hiding what she feels from Jules at this point; she doesn’t believe it’s possible for him – or for anyone – to truly care about her. I felt so sad for her, my Em; I could feel her isolation, there on the road in the dark.

5.       Coolest thing about your book?

The big revelation moments – and I can’t say anything about them without giving something away! But there’s lots of ‘wow I didn’t see that coming!’ or ‘I can’t believe it!’ moments in Ember Crow.

6.         Something you learnt through writing the book?

Second books are not easier to write than first books. I retain the hope that the third book will be easier than the first two. Not happening so far…

7.       What did you do celebrate the release?

Scrabble tournament with my family. It was a draw between me and my brother Blaze.

8.       And how will you promote the book?

Well – this blog tour, for a start! And I’m in the process of putting my own author website together which is very exciting. If there’s any fans out there who are reading this, once my website is done you’ll be able to go onto it and work out what animal you’d be bonded with in the Firstwood. Pretty cool, huh? (I think it is anyway).

9.       What are you working on next?

Third book in the Tribe series – The Foretelling of Georgie Spider.

10.   Where we can find out more about you and your book?

Thanks for visiting Ambelin. You can visit the next stop on Ambelin’s blog tour tomorrow at



The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, by Ambelin Kwaymullina

There will come a day when a thousand illegals descend on your detention centres. Boomers will breach the walls. Skychangers will send lightning to strike you all down from above, and Rumblers will open the earth to swallow you up from below…And when that day comes, Justin Connor, think of me.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (Tribe)

Ashala Wolf is in trouble. She has been captured by the Chief Administrator, Neville Rose, who has a frightening machine designed to interrogate illegals like Ashala. And, in spite of her special skills, Ashala doesn’t know if she’ll be able to withstand the interrogation, designed to unlock the secrets of her mind. Guarding her every move is Justin Connor, an enforcer who isn’t just her guard, but also the very person who betrayed her, by infiltrating the Tribe and learning her secrets. Ashala isn’t sure the Tribe can survive this betrayal.

But all is not as it seems, and as her interrogation goes on, and Ashala’s life hangs in the balance more than once, she starts to question just who her enemies – and her friends – really are.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is the first is a stunning new series, The Tribe, from first time novelist Ambelin Kwaymullina. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where man’s actions have lead to a total restructuring of the world and an awareness of the damage man’s actions does to the Balance of nature, the story sets those who are different because of special powers which connect them to the earth’s forces against the bulk of people who do not. Those who have such powers, Illegals, are not considered Citizens and so must live in captivity, or live outside society. Ashala, whose ability is Sleepwalking – an ability to live and manipulate her dreams – has gathered together other young people with abilities into the Tribe, whose goal is to survive, but also to bring about change.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a strong start to the series. Kwaymullina has written and illustrated picture books and shorter books for younger readers, and her first foray into a longer form is outstanding.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Walker Books, 2012
ISBN 9781921720086

Available from good bookstores or online.