This month the author of the popular Strangely Beautiful fantasy series, Leanna Renee Hieber, moves to the YA genre with Darker Still. When Hieber sits down with her good friend, RT's Morgan, the author shares why the Magic Most Foul series has what she calls "a more intimate scope" than her adult series. And then discover what inspires Leanna's intricately detailed gothic settings and why she is dedicated to writing stories that empower the voiceless.
You know, you know, YA fiction is super popular right now. But surely it's not for you ... I mean, why would you want to remember high school? And I hear you, I do. I don't particularly revel in recalling my wallflower years either. But the great thing about YA is that you can delve into that high school world again, and experience all those dramatic feelings: the crushes, the heartbreak, the drama (oh, the drama!) and then close the book and poof! You're an adult again! No homework for you! So to help orient you into this most angsty of genres, I've detailed three outstanding selections that I think will help you understand what the YA craze is all about. You can even read past your bedtime. I won't tell, promise.
1. Impossible by Nancy Werlin. Oh my is this a gorgeous story. Just divine. Werlin weaves a modern-day fable around the song "Scarborough Fair," to wondrous results. You'll get lost in her rich world as you root for Lucy and her adopted family to solve the riddle and beat the bad guy before it's too late, and the same terrible fate befalls Lucy as did her mother, 17 years before.
Author Brenna Yovanoff's sophomore novel, The Space Between, follows Daphne, a half demon half angel, who must decide if she wants to commit her life to good or evil, all while struggling with her developing feelings for a human. Today, the author shares with us how she developed the mythology behind the story to create this beautiful, intricate world.
First, just so we’re clear—I am absolutely crazy about folklore. I think it’s pretty much the best thing ever, and I would cuddle it and wear it and swim around in it if I could. I love remakes, modernizations, retellings, and most of all, reimaginings.
The idea behind The Space Between is one that took several years to really evolve.
I was an English major in college and my school had a basic requirements class called Mythical and Biblical Backgrounds. All the reading was divided up by theme, rather than culture or time period, and one of the units was called “Journeys to the Underworld.”
Inspirational author Lisa Tawn Bergren has had great success with her current YA series, River of Time. Following the adventures of two time traveling teens that end up in medieval Italy, the River of Time books offer readers plenty of suspense and romance along with a message of faith. Today the author talks with RT about her inspiration, writing faith-based fiction for all ages and her experiences researching different time periods.
This year readers have gotten three books in your Young Adult inspirational series River of Time. Can you give us a bit of background on what inspired your time traveling sisters?
It was really a confluence of several factors: two teen daughters who only like rockin', page-turning stories with a good dose of romance; a fascination with history that always makes me wish I could travel through time; and the desire to try something different with my writing.
Much of the series takes place during medieval times and you have been able to wow readers with the sword fights as well as other fun details from this time period. What type of research went into creating your realistic world?
We were intrigued by the haunting story of author Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood, RT reviewer Senator's first-ever Top Pick! For her sophomore novel, Kendare created a horror story that will leave you sleeping with the lights on. So to find out a little bit more about this dark tale, RT's Senator sat down with Kendare for a mini-interview — a quick chat between classes, if you will — to bring you guys a special behind the scenes look at this new series starter!
Some say it's the ambiance that makes something scary; others, the killer. What do you think is the most important factor that makes a story scary?
For me, fear is always enhanced by what you're not shown. By what you don't know. The leftover questions, the why's. Not so much the how's. I like to know the how's, sometimes. But things left off the page or off the screen, for you to imagine, or things that are implied and hinted at, that's scary. And you know, zombies!
Today RT's Morgan takes readers behind the scenes of YA author Julie Kagawa's popular Iron Fey series. Discover how Kagawa's fey are similar (and different) to their human brethren and which famous author influenced their creation. The author also tells readers what they can expect next from the series. (Hint: This is Meghan and Ash's final tale, but you can find out who will take over the leading role in this interview.) The video has all of this and more — just in time to get you up to speed for the new adventure releasing today The Iron Knight!
Wanna-be writers, sharpen your pencils, stretch out your typing fingers and get to work on your short story for Figment's writing contest that will be judged by Nicholas Sparks himself! In honor of the fifteenth aniversary of the author's bestselling romance The Notebook the author has teamed up with Figment to judge a writing contest. And for those of you who prefer to read your romances, today RT reviewer Ellen shares how Nicholas Sparks fans can take part in an online book club at Figment.com!
It’s a big month for Nicholas Sparks. His new book The Best of Me has just premiered and, if the number of tissues we’ve used reading it are any indication, it’ll be another phenomenal hit. And Sparks’ first-ever novel, The Notebook, is having its 15th anniversary.
Zombies, futuristic inventions and kidnappings, oh my! This month's paranormal YA novel Dearly, Departed, by debut author Lia Habel, is full of all this and more. Get a look at Habel's captivating world, and her unsusual heroine, in today's special guest Dish!
Whitney: I’ll be the first to say it, this is a big book. I refused to put this book down as I was reading it — I even walked through the streets of Brooklyn with my nose between its pages! Although the story clocks in at 471 pages, it feels like you are involved in the story for much longer.
Elisa: It’s not a pick-up, put-down type of reading situation, Habel discusses heavy issues like race and segregation, conspiracies, fringe science and what makes someone human.
Whitney: And she skilfully weaves all of it into a really compelling story about zombies and the human race’s fight for survival. Habel just throws you into her world and and says, “Sink or swim!” Luckily, her worldbuilding is so good you’ll be swimming in no time, even if this is your first steampunk-esque story.
Tessa Gratton's Blood Magic had RT's Senator raving about the way that the author wove real-life issues into a captivating paranormal plot. Heroine Silla is still mourning her beloved father when she receives a book written in his handwriting full of a dark and mysterious magic. To get an even better look at this YA author's latest novel, we set up a mini-interview — a quick chat between classes, if you will — with RT's Senator and Tessa Gratton.
Without using the title words, how would you describe Blood Magic in five words or less?
Scary, delicious, gothic, sweet, and sad.
Blood Magic has such a vibrant and exhilarating plot. What was your inspiration for the story?
BLOG UPDATE 10/10/2011: Just a head's up for anyone who doesn't have their own copies of the first three stories in this series, Barnes & Noble is currently having a book-bundle sale on the series. You can purchase all of the Drake Chronicles books as e-books for $7.99 or as print books for $9.49. Check out the deal here!
Author Alyxandra Harvey has made a name for herself with her innovative Young Adult vampire series, The Drake Chronicles. The series began in July and the third novel in the series, Out for Blood, will hit shelves on December 21st. In this video interview, the author goes behind the scenes of The Drake Chronicles with RT's Assistant Web Editor Whitney Sullivan. Learn about Harvey's classic fairytale inspiration, her diverse Drake siblings and more!