Interviews and Giveaway!
Hello everyone! Today I’m very excited to get to tell you all about my interviews with Leigh Bardugo (RUIN AND RISING), Ava Dellaira (LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD), Jennifer Mathieu (THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE) and Emmy Laybourne (MONUMENT 14) and then give you the chance to win SIGNED copies of their latest books!
For the Fierce Reads event in Michigan this summer, I got to sit with these four awesome ladies and chat with them before the official event. I asked some of the questions that you all suggested, but we didn’t have the chance to get to all of them since we tended to go off on tangents here and there with much laughing ;-). Here are the interesting things I found out.
First I asked for a short description of each of their books since it is kind of required ;-).
Monument 14: 14 kids from Monument, Colorado are trapped in a superstore while civilization collapses around them.
The Grisha Trilogy: A fantasy series set in world inspired by Czarist Russia, in a country that has been cut in two by a swath of nearly impenetrable darkness.
The Truth About Alice: Small-town gossip starts about a girl who becomes a pariah when she is linked to the death of the most popular football player and labeled a slut for some of her behavior.
Love Letters to the Dead: Laurel is starting high school after the death of her older sister. She gets an assignment in English class to write a letter to a dead person and starts with Kurt Cobain because her sister loved him. She continues writing to others like Amelia Earhart and Janice Joplin as she struggles with high school and dealing with the death of her sister.
Q: Any geeky influences or hobbies?
Emmy plays euro-games like Settlers of Catan and Dominion (we then discussed Settlers for a while >.>) and I then told her about GenCon…
Leigh is huge Game of Thrones fan. She is in Brotherhood without Banners was knighted by George R. R. Martin, her first name is “ghost” in Dothraki and her last name is “to write” in High Valerian thanks to the linguist for HBO’s Game of Thrones, David Peterson.
Jennifer loves mid-century modern furniture, pulp novels, typography, and of course Mad Men.
Ava loves Joseph Cornell’s art boxes and even wrote poetry about them and also loved the Choose Your Own Adventure Boxes as a kid.
Q: What was the first spark of inspiration for your books?
Monument 14 was inspired by Emmy’s two great loves: survivalist thinking and superstores (Target is her favorite).
The Truth About Alice came from Jennifer’s love of small towns (though she isn’t from a small town), alternating narrators, and a 17 article about a high school girl who was horribly bullied by gossip written in a bathroom stall and the school refused to clean it (she sued and won).
Love Letters to the Dead started with its title and Ava has always been inspired by music and how it can be sustaining for people in hard moments, especially that feeling that a song was written just for you but also connects you to the larger world.
The Grisha trilogy was inspired by the question “what if darkness was a real place?” In fantasy darkness tends to be metaphorical, so Leigh asked what if it was an actual place and the monsters there were real?
Q: What is your favorite music genre or band? (This was proposed by a commenter who asks bands what their favorite book genre is and Leigh would love to see the band’s answers to what their favorite books are btw)
Emmy listened to Radiohead when writing Monument 14.
Jennifer liked The Runaways in high school and feminist punk in general.
Ava has a very broad musical taste including Beach House, Vampire Weekend, Broken Social Scene along with hip-hop. She listened to Nirvana, of course, while writing.
Leigh likes Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac and Florence and the Machine was a big influence on the series. She loves to listen to playlists that fans make for the series and has discovered a lot of her new favorites that way.
Q: What was your favorite childhood book?
Leigh: Many Moons and Catwitch
Emmy: The Trumpet of the Swan
Jennifer: Charlotte’s Web and later, The Outsiders
Ava: the Oz books and Tuck Everlasting
Q: What is a recent YA book you’ve loved?
Leigh – The Winner’s Curse
Emmy – Beauty Queens
Jennifer – Side Effects May Vary
Ava – The Impossible Knife of Memory
There were also some really amusing moments during this interview since these ladies are simply awesome. My favorites were:
- when straws were brought for our drinks and Leigh decided she was a Straw Summoner
- Leigh also stumbled over saying The Grisha Trilogy and instead said The Gorilla Trishagy and went on to explain how it was a book about three gorillas all named Trish.
- Finally, after I helpfully commented on how often Fire’s menstral cycle is brought up in Fire by Kristin Cashore, Leigh proposed a sci-fi where people pee from their fingers and Jennifer demanded that that go in the blog post, so there ya go ;-).
The Signed Giveaway!
Macmillan wonderfully provided giveaway copies that I was able to get signed, so I will be giving away all four of the authors’ books signed by each of them!
This giveaway will be US only since I’m shipping them myself, the winner has 48 hours to respond to my email and I will of course be checking entries so please don’t cheat.
I also grabbed some swag that I will include in the package :D. In case you can’t tell, that’s a Fierce Reads tote bag, poster, and two buttons.
-Anya (& Krys!)
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.