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Fierce Reads Recap and giveaway

Fierce Reads Author Tour

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.

Fierce Reads 2014 Fierce Reads 2014

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?

Fierce Reads 2014 Fierce Reads 2014

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

Many Moons Catwitch

Emmy: The Trumpet of the Swan

The Trumpet of the Swan

Jennifer: Charlotte’s Web and later, The Outsiders

Charlotte's Web The Outsiders

Ava: the Oz books and Tuck Everlasting

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Tuck Everlasting

Q: What is a recent YA book you’ve loved?

Leigh – The Winner’s Curse

The Winner's Curse

Emmy – Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens

Jennifer – Side Effects May Vary

Side Effects May Vary

Ava – The Impossible Knife of Memory

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.

Fierce Reads 2014 Giveaway

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.

Fierce Reads 2014 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Anya and Krys -Anya (& Krys!)

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Lenore Mullican says:

    Messed up on my share link, but I promise I shared via @nocturnereads Thank you for the great giveaways!
    Lenore Mullican recently posted…White Collared Parts 3 & 4 @ShellyBell987My Profile

  2. I was at that same signing!! You went to the Okemos one right? I wish I could have said hi! I was there with my sister who looks just like me haha. I have a post going up about this signing too in a couple days =)
    Stephanie@ThesePaperHearts recently posted…DIY: Transitioning Link ColorsMy Profile

    • OMG! Yup Okemos indeed :D Are you often at Schuler signings? We can make sure to meet up at the next :)

      • No the Schuler closest to me is actually the 28th street in Grand Rapids. I just drove out there because I really wanted to meet Leigh Bardugo and get my books signed =) I don’t usually check the event page very often and there don’t seem to be many YA author events coming up. If there is a signing with fairly well known YA author that you plan on going to, lmk! I might want to come along too =)
        Stephanie@ThesePaperHearts recently posted…Our 1st Year Blogoversary!My Profile

        • Oooooh, cool! I actually drive past GR alllllll the time since I live in Lansing and my boyfriend lives in Muskegon :D We could meet up for coffee at your Schuler if you want ;-)

          • Wow all the way up to Muskegon! That’s a long drive even for me D: But hey if you want to take a break in driving and meet at Schulers I think that’d be awesome! As long as I don’t have work or soccer going on I’ll be there =)
            Stephanie@ThesePaperHearts recently posted…Fierce Reads SigningMy Profile

  3. I am so happy to have a US mailing address right not you are SO SWEET for doing this and I am so glad I came upon your blog <3 Leigh Bardugo is wonderful, I was lucky enough to get to meet her last year <3
    Tiffany M. recently posted…Toxic Heart by Theo Lawrence (Review)My Profile

    • Hehe, me too! It was so much fun meeting them all so I couldn’t resist getting extra copies to giveaway ;-)

  4. Cali W. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. How long did it take to get your books published would be my question. <3

  5. That was soo freaking generous of them!! I love the questions and yes ….what if darkness were a real place – I totally think it IS real.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Gail Z. Martin discusses Why we collect things & What we collect & GiveawayMy Profile

  6. Suz Reads says:

    I am always curious what makes authors want to write…Thanks for this amazing giveaway – I would love to win!

  7. Haha, you used the geeky influences question! I think that one always gives the most amusing answers. Great interview! :)
    Kel recently posted…Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1 star)My Profile

  8. Okay, totally random, but these pictures of you, particularity the one on the bottom reminds me so much of jewel staite from Firefly. :)

  9. I m feeling a bit blind. I can’t find the follow buttons.

  10. Hell yeah you used my question! It actually worked really well! You did a great job with your interviews. :)

    I’ve actually never heard of Monument 14, so I’m really glad it was a part of the tour! It kinda reminds me of that Stephen King movie, The Mist I think?
    Kate @ The Book Bee recently posted…WISHING FOR WEDNESDAY: June 25th, 2014My Profile

  11. Haha, generally when I go to Q&As it’s Japanese bands so they list off manga usually – but the band D had the most interesting answers, at least genre-wise. One of them was a big historical fiction nut, and the vocalist wanted to write his own fiction. :D

    The only Western books I’ve heard in a Q&A was back when I saw Versailles in ’08 – their vocalist Kamijo is obsessed with the Vampire Chronicles. Not surprising considering the vocalist styles himself off Lestat. It’s great! :D
    Shannon @ The Book in Question recently posted…No, Authors, Psychology is More Than Hypnotism and Dream Analysis!My Profile


  1. […] Starships and Dragonwings — Signed copies of Ruin and Rising, Love Letters to the Dead, The Truth About Alice, and Savage Drift (US only) (ends July […]

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