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YALL Fest Author Interview: Jocelyn Davies

Hi!

I hope everyone had a fab weekend!

GUYS! This year’s YALL Fest is only two weeks away! Two weeks!

I’m getting really pumped to join up with all my fellow book nerds to celebrate reading and the awesomeness that is YA fiction!

Today’s author interview is with one of the 50 great authors who will be at YALL Fest, Jocelyn Davies author Jocelyn Daviesof the A Beautiful Dark trilogy. I haven’t read any of these books yet, but I have to admit the covers of her books intrigue me!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

COFFEE! And a cocoon of silence.

Describe your book in 5 words

Girl has angel blood, torn.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

It differs from book to book–really, it’s anyone’s guess! Sometimes, the first line is hardest, because I’m just getting started and I’m not warmed up yet, and by the time I get to the end, I’ve got the momentum of an entire book to propel me into that last line. Then again, sometimes a first line just pops into my head, and the whole idea unfolds from there. Theres usually no way to know what is going to happen until it’s happening, which is often the approach I take to writing.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Create interesting characters, give them an excuse to meet, and the story will write itself.”

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

I’m a dog person–cats kind of freak me out.

I was a theater kid in high school. I used to dream of being an Oscar-winning actress.

I love everything about autumn.

I live a few blocks away from my best friend from high school.

In my day job, I’m also a children’s book editor.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

I love magical realism—a novel that’s set in the real world, but ever-so-slightly different.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

I usually have a pretty strong sense right from the moment the idea comes to me. I start writing knowing I’m embarking on a novel.

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies A Fractured Ligth by Jocelyn Davies

Like I said I’m intrigued by the covers to Jocelyn Davies books, you know because they feature girls in pretty dresses which is of course a thing of mine! Haha

Well, if you’re a fan of Jocelyn Davies’ books and you’re in the southeast, you should join us at YALL Fest in Charleston on Saturday, November 9th!

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YALL Fest Interview: Lisa McMann

Hello!

Welcome back BookTasty friends!

Have you heard of YALL Fest yet? Well, it’s going to be an exciting YA Book Festival in Charleston, SC on November 9! Also, (and this is the kicker) 50 crazy awesome YA authors will be there! People like Maire Lu, Allie Condie, Libba Bray, Heather Brewer, Rae Carson, Veronica Roth and today’s interviewee Lisa McMann!

Lisa McMannLisa McMann is the author of the Wake trilogy, the Vision series, Dead to You and the Unwanteds series.

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Silence.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Think of the one thing your main character would never, ever do. Now make her do it.”

What are you working on now?

We’ll be ramping up the releases of books 5, 6, and 7 in the Unwanteds series, so I’m working on Unwanteds book 5 right now.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

I really enjoy writing in a variety of genres, from realistic to paranormal to dystopian fantasy. At the moment, fantasy is winning, but that could change at any moment. My favorite genre to read is memoir.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

As soon as I have a one line concept that gives me a little shiver.

Wake by Lisa McMann Crash by Lisa McMann

Well, I’m excited to have the opportunity to meet Lisa McMann, along with my favorite YA authors at this year’s YALL Fest! Who are you most excited to see?

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Michelle Hodkin

Hi there book loving friends!

Does anyone else feel like October has flown by? I swear I blinked and all of a sudden its a week away from Halloween. Weird.

Part of my amazement also relates to the fact that YALL Fest is getting so freaking close! I’ll be there on November 9th and you should be too! But with that said let’s hear from one of the 50 (yes 50!) awesome authors who will be at this year’s YALL Fest: Michelle Hodkin, author of the Mara Dyer books.

Describe your book in 5 wordsMichelle Hodkin
Romeo and Juliet meets Hitchcock

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
I spend a lot of time thinking about my first lines. A lot of time. Too much time. Luckily the last lines usually come to me as I write. 

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
What I love about YA is that I don’t have to choose a genre. I can blend elements and mess with conventions from all of them—horror, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, whatever. I’m not sure I could choose a favorite, if I were ever told that I had to. And my reading is all over the place, but right now I’m reading a lot of old school sci-fi and fantasy, with some literary fiction thrown in. 

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It’s not YA, but it is about a teenager who reminds me of my teen self. And maybe also my adult self. Anyway. I basically push the book into the hands of everyone I meet. It’s just that good.

What are you working on now?
A secret project that is secret. But I’m wildly excited about it, and I think my readers will be too.The Mara Dyer Trilogy

Okay, so I have to admit that I haven’t read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, or any of the books in the series, but I’m super intrigued by Michelle’s description “Romeo and Juliet meets Hitchcock”! What?! I had no idea that I needed to read this, but apparently I totally do!

So, if you’re a fan of Michelle Hodkin’s books or just a YA book lover like me, you should come to YALL Fest in Charleston on November 9!

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Shannon Hale

SQUUUUUEEEEEE!

I’m so fangirling right now!

Why?! Because today’s YALL Fest interview is with Shannon Hale! YES! Shannon Hale!

ShannonHaleThe very Shannon Hale whose book Princess Academy was one of the books I credit with turning me on to Young Adult and Middle Grades fiction! The Shannon Hale who does my favorite genre (fairy tales retold) so perfectly! The Shannon Hale who wrote a novel about a Jane Austen vacation resort (Austenland)!

Seriously, Shannon Hale is seriously my favorite YA author. I even got to meet her once in Orlando at the FAME (Florida Association of Media in Education) conference!

Now do you see why I’m as excited as I am?!

Well, now that you know she’s pretty much my favorite YA author let’s take a look at her interview.

————-

Describe your book in 5 words
Boarding school for children of famous fairytales.

Best writing tip you ever received?
People remember a story for its characters.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
“The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” by E. Lockhart. It’s smart, engaging, and
discusses so many things I was struggling with.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I have 4 kids (including identical girl toddler twins). My husband likes to wear masks and hide
around the house to scare me. I like to read while lying on my belly. I love the sky. I’m not a very good
speller.

What are you working on now?
The third Princess Academy book.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale Austenland by Shannon Hale

A third Princess Academy book?! YAY!! I adore Miri and all her friends so I can’t wait for this! Also, I think it’s pretty cool that she mentions The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart because I’m currently listening to the audiobook! How cool is that?

I think that Shannon Hale would really fun to hang out with and discuss Mr. Darcy while relaxing in Austenland, but since no real Austenland actually exists (that I’m aware of) I’ll settle for seeing her at this year’s YALL Fest in Charleston, SC on November 9.

If you’re not already planning on going to YALL Fest, you totally should. And if you haven’t already read any of Shannon Hale’s books you absolutely totally should!

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Fantasy Love: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Well hello there friends!

Are you ready for some fantasy love?! I hope so because I seriously have some major fantasy love going on and the audiobook of The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson just rocked my world!

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae CarsonBut she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

You guys! This book! I honestly have been reluctant to write this review because I just didn’t know how to explain how fabulous it is. It really, really is fabulous. And to think, it had been sitting on my self so long without me realizing how much I’d love it!

To be honest though, I did feel a little out of the loop at first. It seemed like we just got thrown into Elisa’s story with little to no context and we had to learn the context as we were going. I felt lost like I knew nothing about her culture or kingdom to ground myself in the story. It soon became clear that this would all come along as the story progresses. Once Elisa travels to Brisadulce this context starts to come into focus a little more and the plot really picks up.

At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about Elisa either. However I quickly grew to love her, which is almost what I think was supposed to happen. I think the way I felt about Elisa mirrored how she felt about herself. She wasn’t sure if she liked herself or not. She was kind of just going through life doing the motions and as Elisa starts to figure out how she feels about herself, we as readers do too. She may just be one of my favorite heroines in YA now! Carson’s supporting characters were bright and vivid too, especially Humberto, Cosme and Lord Hector (le sigh…).

One of my favorite things about The Girl of Fire and Thorns was the religion aspect of things. Elisa’s faith and religion was such a huge part of who she was and there was just so much detail in Elisa’s religion that it’s just integral to the story as a whole. Total world building.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns was a great start to a fantasy series that I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the books (I first wrote this review in August I have since read all three books!!!!) If you’re a fan of fantasy and romance you absolutely must read this series!

To make things even more awesome I’ll be seeing Rae Carson in November at YA’LL Fest in Charleston on November 9th! I can’t wait to meet her!

Author: Rae Carson

Publisher: Greenwillow, Recorded Books (September 20, 2011)

Format: audiobook

Length: 12 hours and 9 minutes

Narrator(s): Jennifer Ikeda

Series: Fire and Thorns series, book 1

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:  The Girl of Fire and Thorns

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Melissa de la Cruz

Hi there!

Want to know where you can see 50 totally awesome YA authors in one place?

At YALL Fest in Charleston, SC on Saturday November 9th! I’ll be there to see authors like Shannon Hale, Rae Carson, Kami Garcia, Heather Brewer and a bunch more including the star of today’s author interview, Melissa de la Cruz!

Melissa de la CruzMelissa de la Cruz is the author of the Blue Bloods series, The Witches of East End and a ton of other books that I didn’t know were written by her (seriously check out her goodreads page!) Additionally, a TV adaptation of her book The Witches of East End debuts Sunday on Lifetime…pretty stinkin’ cool!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Fear. Sometimes rage. I find that to truly focus I need to feel panic, and then suddenly everything in my manuscript becomes clear. I work best under duress, which is something my editors have learned and they’re quite good at instilling fear in me. J I appreciate that! I also work well with many distractions, I think it’s because I had a day job for nine years and had to write my books in the middle of doing my real work.

Describe your book in 5 words

Post-apocalyptic. Zombie. Dragon. Pirate. Fantasy.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

The first, definitely.

Best writing tip you ever received?

To introduce the love interest in the first 30 pages, not that specifically but learning that there was CRAFTING involved in writing a novel, not just voice.

What one young adult novel you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Harry Potter. Because! I don’t think I have to explain.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I was a child model.

2. My favorite One Direction guy was Harry, but now it is Louis.

3. I have a Maltese named Mimi. She is not named for Mimi Force, our kid named her.

4. I learned to drive at 34.

5. I like savory treats better than sweet.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

In a cubicle, surrounded by softly ringing phones and people murmuring. Sadly this is no longer possible for me.

What are you working on now?

My new series THE RING AND THE CROWN coming next spring from Disney-Hyperion.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

YA Fantasy and Paranormal. My favorite genre to read is “literary” fiction, but I would have to say I really enjoy bestsellers just as much, I like popular fiction, no matter what genre, I like to read what a lot of people are reading and take the pulse of the culture. But for my own taste, I love smart angry women writers like Lionel Shriver and Kate Christensen.  Also cookbook memoirs.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

When we’ve sold it!

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz The Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Yay! Melissa de la Cruz is a One Direction fan! I just went on an overnight field trip with 47 6th grade girls and we spent a surprising (or maybe not so surprising) about of cabin time paging through teen magazines and discussing the attractive merits of each member of the group. I think my favorite is Liam. I am also 30.

Well, if you’re a fan of Melissa de la Cruz you should come to YALL Fest and see her! I’ll be there with my copy of Blue Bloods ready to be signed!

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Kami Garcia

Well hello again!

Welcome back and happy Monday!

It’s time to spotlight another awesome YA author who will be making an appearance at YALL Fest in November!

Today’s interview is with Kami Garcia, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series and Unbreakable which will release on October 1 and is part of her first solo series. I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures and the Kami Garciamovie was really fun (My Husband even liked it!) so I’m definitely looking forward to having a chance to meet Kami Garcia in November! So, let’s learn a little more about her!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

I need three things: my laptop, my headphones, and Diet Coke.

Describe your book in 5 words

Paranormal. Ghost-hunting. Intense. Romance. Secret Societies.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I don’t know how to ride a bike. 2. I used to be an artist (a painter). 3. I won’t fly without my huge charm necklace that I believe will keep the plane from crashing. 4. I believe in ghosts. 5. Every time I write a book, I worry that everyone will hate it.

What are you working on now?

I am working on the second book in the Legion Series, the sequel to Unbreakable. Like Unbreakable, the sequel is very intense and has plenty of paranormal elements. But I think it’s even more romantic and surprising than the first book.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

My favorite genre to write is definitely urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I love to read paranormal, but I am also a huge fan of horror, crime fiction, high fantasy, and science fiction.

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I think it’s pretty refreshing to hear someone admit that they’re nervous about putting their work out there for the public to see. It makes sense that authors would worry about everyone hating that piece of art that they poured their time and heart into. It seems like a very vulnerable thing to do and I like that she shared that.

If you’re a YA book lover like me and are in the area, you should come to this year’s YALL Fest in Charleston, SC on Saturday November 9th. I’ll be there and we can fangirl over the authors, like Kami Garcia together!

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Veronica Rossi

Welcome back BookTasty peeps!

I’m back with another author interview to promote and celebrate this year’s YALL Fest! If you haven’t already heard YALL Fest is an exciting Young Adult book festival, complete with over 50 of YA’s top authors, which will be taking place in Charleston, SC on November 9.  This will be my first time in Veronica RossiCharleston AND at YALL Fest!

So, let’s celebrate by showcasing one of those authors, Veronica Rossi, who wrote Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night! I have to say, I’m not only enjoying the hosting aspect of these interviews, but also reading the different responses each author has to the same questions.  Let’s check out what Veronica Rossi has to say!

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

Yeah, those. And all the ones in between!

Best writing tip you ever received?

$5. Just kidding. Um… tip… I think it’s probably to allow yourself to suck when writing early drafts. It takes away a lot of the fear of generating good material. It’s not easy to be creative when you’re judging your work.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1.       In the past year, I discovered a deep love of Brussel sprouts

2.       I talk to myself. Heck. Sometimes I argue with myself.

3.       I’m arguing with myself about including that last point at this very moment.

4.       My favorite animals are elephants.

5.       Dresses with pockets make me happy.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

I usually work in my home office, but I love working in hotel rooms. No distractions!

What are you working on now?

Something I’m very excited about! Can’t divulge any details yet, but it’s an idea I’ve been mulling over for years.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

I think Veronica Rossi and I need to have a Brussel sprout party! I recently developed a love for them too, as long as they’re roasted with olive oil and sea salt….YUM! So, Veronica I’m up for a Best Brussel sprouts in Charleston hunt while we’re both there for YALL Fest!  Are you in?!

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Ransom Riggs

Hi there!

Want to hear something awesome and scary all at once? Sure you do!

Tomorrow I’m going on an overnight school field trip with about 50 6th graders! AHHHH!

I know…things will most likely be interesting but in my entire 7 years of education I’ve never Ransom Riggschaperoned an overnight field trip so I’m super excited to see what it’s like!

Today we’re celebrating the upcoming YALL Fest in Charleston on November 9th! Around here we celebrate YALL Fest with an author interview! YAY!  Today’s author is Ransom Riggs (I just love his name), author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children! So let’s learn some things about “Mr. Awesome Name Ransom Riggs“!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Silence. My noise-cancelling headphones have become almost essential.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

The first. I rewrite and rewrite it a million times. The last comes easy.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

I’m six foot four. I lived on a working farm until I was five. I used to know how to cook Indian food but now I’ve forgotten. I love documentaries. One day I will conquer the moon.

Miss PEregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs What are you working on now?

A novel for Little, Brown the plot of which is SECRET! (Sort of, for now. But I’m really excited about it.)

 What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

Oh, definitely YA to write in. I read everything, lots of YA, lots of adult, nonfiction of all sorts. I even read poetry when I’m feeling ambitious. I think it’s crucial to have lots of different influences. If you only read in the genre you write in, your writing will sound like everything else that’s already out there.

If you don’t have plans to go to this year’s YALL Fest to see Ransom Riggs and 50 other amazing Young Adult authors than you should. It sounds like its going to be very cool!

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Rainbow Rowell

Happy Monday everyone!

I had a fun weekend at my church’s Women’s Retreat in Asheville!  The mountains were gorgeous even though it did rain all day Saturday. It’s just nice being so close to the mountains.

Rainbow RowellWe’re getting closer and closer to YALL Fest on November 9th! I haven’t been to Charleston yet either, so this will be a weekend of firsts for me!

Today’s we interview Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl! I haven’t read either books yet, but I do actually own both and am planning to get them in before YALL Fest. I continue to hear nothing but positive reviews for both books so I’m definitely looking forward to reading them.

So, let’s learn a little more about Rainbow Rowell!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Lip balm.

Describe your book in 5 words.
FANGIRL
Earnest, snowy, swoony, minty, bookish.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
THE FIRST! The whole first page is a nightmare. I want people to just skip it. And I always end up rewriting it.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Just finish your book.”

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. I think it would have made me feel less alone.

Where’s your favorite place to write?
At coffee shops. In giant overstuffed chairs.

What are you working on now?

I’m revising my adult novel, Landline, which comes out in spring 2014, and playing with a romantic/political/tragicomic fantasy.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

I write mostly contemporary. I read mostly fantasy.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

All of my ideas are full-length novels. I have a hard time narrowing my scope.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell   Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Aren’t the covers to her books so pretty and fun? What you should now do is read Fangirl and Eleanor & Park.  I’m going to do the exact thing just in time for YALL Fest!