Bookish Glimpses of Wonder

Dust Blog Tour Stop #20 Interview with Kara Swanson

Welcome to the Dust Blog Tour Stop #20! If you’re just joining us from my Instagram, this is the LAST DAY you can collect clues! Head back to Coralie’s Dust Blog Tour Kickoff to get started and collect all the clues. Kara is MAILING amazing treasure to everyone who completes the hunt, and the first person to complete it gets an ARC of Dust! So you definitely don’t want to miss out.


I didn’t want to grow up. As a kid, I saw all the boring, petty affairs adults were consumed by, and I didn’t want that. I think all of us have deep inside a little girl or boy who longs to hold the world in our hands and restore it back to the way it was before.

Even the word “neverland” reminds me we can never go back to the way it was. But we can each do our part to heal our world.

And this is why I’m so thrilled to have you dear people join me on the Dust Blog Tour!

How are you doing?

Today, after all your near-death experiences on this treasure hunt, I want to invite you to rest for a moment. Before I share my interview with Kara and your next keyword, take a deep breath.

We live in a beautiful world, and the stars rise above us all. Here at Wild Rose Journal, we are all about moments of light and beauty along our healing journeys. So stop a moment and remember: just like Claire, you are more than your shadows.


Neverland awakes that feeling of sehnsucht, that German word that meaning yearning and wistful longing in me. But Neverland isn’t such a safe place… is it? Keep on your guard! Not everything in the sea is both beautiful and good. Watch out for that mermaid over there, my dear!

Have you preordered Dust yet?

I have! You can preorder it through these links:

Preorder Dust from Amazon or Barnes & Noble! Add Dust to your Goodreads list. You can also follow Kara on Amazon to stay tuned for all her new releases.

If you haven’t starting bouncing as you wait for that package of glorious pixie dust to arrive on your porch, just listen to the synopsis:

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real–since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan–and herself.”

Who Is Kara Swanson?

So beautiful! I absolutely loved Dust, and if that synopsis didn’t awaken just a bit of sehnsucht in you, well, you should read it again!

Before we get into our interview questions, let me share a bit about Kara:

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. 

Swanson is the award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See and Peter Pan retelling/sequel Dust (Enclave Publishing, July 2020).

Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order.

Stars and Shadows and Burning Questions Quenched

Now, on to the interview! I was so excited to ask Kara these questions. I love how much beauty and light she’s woven into Dust.

Bethany Rose: There’s a theme in Dust of our stars and our shadows. It may have made me cry a bit when reading, especially a scene with Tiger Lily toward the end. What does this theme mean to you?

Kara: That’s so sweet! <3 Awww. It definitely means a lot to me because I think we all have aspects of life where we can see our own shortcomings so clearly, or when we are struggling with depression and the world feels gray…but the reminder that there is always light, always hope, and that our value is not found in the shadows that may haunt us, but in the Maker of the Stars who calls us loved. <3

Is there a part of Dust that you’re both excited and nervous to share?

…all of it? XD Probably Peter. I really hope I did the character justice!

In Dust, Claire Kenton feels out of place and often different from others, seeing herself negatively. She tries to live in a way that erases herself, sometimes making drastic choices that change her life to help others. Peter does the opposite-he often avoids thinking about any of his flaws and begins the story unconcerned about how his actions might affect others.

Both their character arcs begin with poor relationships with their inner selves. How do you think doubting your worth because of perceived flaws damages you? On the other hand, what about ignoring your wrongdoing and resisting personal development?

Such good questions! I think that doubting our worth can make us spiral and desperately try to fill that hole with anything we can find–but until our identity is found in Christ, everything else will just fall through and eat away at you. But if we don’t acknowledge our own mistakes, we can’t grow from them and will continue to hurt others, and ourselves.

Oh my goodness, yes, this is so very true. Whenever I look to myself for my worth, I come up empty.

And also, *blushes* thank you-I loved coming up with the questions! And thank you for the deep answers, too. We as readers so appreciate authors who care about inspiring our souls!

I also wondered if there was a scene you wrote that made you cry or laugh or want to throw the computer across the room?

I got teary several times, usually when characters opened up about their own broken pasts. Especially Tiger Lily and Claire. Peter made me want to throw my laptop a few times. 😛

Oooh, Tiger Lily was one of my favorite characters, besides Claire and Peter, of course! Was she an easy character to develop? Were there any characters who gave you a lot of trouble?

Lily was one of the easiest characters to write! She was instantly this very strong, kind leader. Peter was by far the hardest. He wanted to do his own thing and capturing his voice took a while to get just right.

My goodness, thank you so very much for all of your lovely answers, Kara! It’s been such an honor to have you here.

Now, I’m so excited, I can’t wait any longer for my copy of Dust to arrive! (Say, there was your keyword! It just slipped in without me noticing. *glances around suspiciously*)

Don’t forget to keep collecting clues so you’ll receive the glittering rewards in your mailbox!

Here is the last stop:

And here is your next stop:

You can connect with Kara on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for awesome bookish boards, photos, chats, and more! 
Follow Kara on Facebook or join her Starchasers group where we have loads of fun getting to know one another and nerding out on all things bookish! I’ve been part of the Starchasers group and especially love the Stars and Shadows day, when we share one star and one shadow from our life. It really does feel like a community.
And, lastly, you can find all things Kara on her website and even sign up on her newsletter to receive a free short story! 

If you’re new to Wild Rose Journal, I’d love to see you around again. I share about healing and glimpses of heavenly things. On a less sparkly note, this poem, “A Moment In May,” was written after attending a socially distanced funeral in my car for a church member who died of COVID-19. Or this post, “Violets For The One Who Needs God Now,” was written to encourage anyone waiting for God to answer prayer, and includes a little bit of the old-fashioned Language of Flowers.

Until I see you again, here is another lovely quote from Dust.

11 thoughts on “Dust Blog Tour Stop #20 Interview with Kara Swanson

  1. Oh my goodness! I love your post so much!! It’s so peaceful and inviting <3 Great job!!

    If you would, go ahead and post the blog link to the next stop so people know where to go 🙂 Then you can go back and update the specific post link later. Thank you so much!!

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