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Monday, January 14, 2013

Gothic Revival: Gothic Literature Gets a Young Adult Makeover

2013 is shaping up to be the year of the Gothic Revival. And I, for one, couldn't be happier. I have always been drawn to the Gothic stories of the 19th century: Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, The Fall of the House of Usher, and of course, Jane Eyre. While Gothics are known for their extremes in drama--overwrought heroines, Byronic heroes, turbulent weather, eerie settings--they also have a psychological complexity that makes them more than just high-brow horror. Unlike pure horror stories, the thrills and chills in a Gothic tale usually serve as a vehicle for the protagonist's transformation, which often comes at a cost. Jane Eyre excepted, not one of the above novels ends happily. These stories teach that knowledge comes at a price, and that there's a thin line between passion and madness. Like dystopians (another hot genre right now), Gothic novels reveal our deepest fears. But unlike dystopians which exploit fears very much based in our reality (economic collapse, environmental catastrophe, totalitarian takeover), the Gothic novel taps into more primal fears: ghosts, madmen, hell hounds, things that go bump in the night. *shivers*
Here are a few YA Gothic novels coming down the pipeline in 2013:

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd: inspired by H.G. Wells's The Island of Doctor Moreau with a touch of romance.
The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke: a "dreamy, twisted romance" set on a crumbling seaside estate.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1)
Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey: based on Edgar Allan Poe's haunting poem "Annabel Lee," this is bound to be spooky and romantic!
Ashes on the Waves
Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell: about a haunted lighthouse with a cursed keeper who collects souls.
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson: a retelling of the Bluebeard legend; I've actually read this one already, and it's wonderful!
Strands of Bronze and Gold
Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin: a YA revamp of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. Sign me up!
Thorn Abbey
The Dark Between by Sonia Gensler: murder, spiritualism and seances in Cambridge, England!
The Dark Between 
Don't these look fun?! Did I miss any upcoming Gothics? I'm always looking for great reading recommendations!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

‘The Next Big Thing’ Blog Hop is a chance for authors to tell you what they’re working on. An author answers 10 questions about her next book, then tags five other authors to help spread the word!

A huge thank you to Alyssa Goodnight, who tagged me!

Here’s my Q&A about the sequel to A Breath of Eyre, A Touch of Scarlet, releasing March 26, 2013:

1 What is the working title of your book?
A Touch of Scarlet, as the book is inspired by The Scarlet Letter.

2 Where did the idea come from for the book?
Did you ever have a book you hated in high school, but then you read it again as an adult and were like, “Wow, this book is amazing; I just didn’t appreciate it when I was sixteen.” That’s what happened to me with The Scarlet Letter. After I wrote A Breath of Eyre, in which my character gets lost in the novel Jane Eyre, I was looking for other classic novels to inspire Books 2 and 3. For the sequel, I needed to send Emma into a book that would put her through the wringer, so to speak. The Scarlet Letter deals with identity, power, guilt, hypocrisy, sexuality—many of the issues teens face in high school—so it seemed like the perfect catalyst to force Emma out of her comfort zone.

3 What genre does your book fall under?
Not an easy question, but I guess I’d say contemporary with a touch of paranormal.

4 Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Even though I don’t usually imagine actors while I’m drafting, these casting choices wouldn’t ruin my day:

Lily Collins as Emma

Olivia Thurlby as Michelle

Hayley Williams as Jess

Annasophia Robb as Elise

Colton Haynes as Gray

a young Brandon Flowers as Flynn

Steven R. McQueen as Owen

5 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A girl with the ability to slip into the books she’s reading finds truth and fiction merging through the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter.

6 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am represented by April Eberhardt Literary, and the book is being published by Kensington Books.

7 How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
For some reason, the sequel took much longer to write than Book 1. From start to finish, it probably took me a year and a half to write, although I was teaching full-time as well.

8 What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Maybe other books inspired by classic literature, like Kelly Creagh’s Nevermore, Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange, or Kathryn Burak’s Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things.

9 Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I am always inspired by my students, who manage to navigate some treacherous waters with grace and resilience.

10 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think A Touch of Scarlet might appeal to readers who love gothic novels, New England settings, romance, family dynamics, classic literature, and themes of identity and coming of age.

Now I’m going to tag the following wonderful writers:

A.C. Gaughen
Sarah Perry
Tiffany Schmidt
Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Please visit their blogs on Monday, November 12, when they will publish their answers to the same questions.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and feel free to leave me a comment below!!

Message for the tagged authors and interested others:

Rules of The Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Piece of advice: Line up your five people in advance.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cover Reveal Giveaway Winner

The winner of the signed copy of A BREATH OF EYRE & A TOUCH OF SCARLET swag is


Thanks so much to everyone who entered and for all your fun comments!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A TOUCH OF SCARLET Cover Reveal Giveaway!

I have been absent from this blog for quite some time, consumed with book revisions and personal challenges and going back to school. But A Touch of Scarlet releases six months from now, and I find myself wishing it were out now. If this book had a season, it would be fall. The story begins where A Breath of Eyre left off, with Emma starting her junior year at Lockwood Prep. But everything is changing—the leaves on the trees, her relationships, and most important, Emma herself. Feeling lonely and restless, Emma begins to run in the woods behind her school—sometimes in an attempt to evade her fears, other times in search of something that seems to be calling to her. As the ghosts of the forest draw her in, she comes face to face with the characters from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. And if she’s brave enough to face them, they might just have a lesson or two to teach her. Here’s the gorgeous autumnal cover!

To those who have already read A BREATH OF EYRE, you’ve probably seen the cover in miniature on the back flap of the book, but it looks so much lusher in full size! While ARCs won’t be available for several months, the book is available for pre-order. You can also add it to your Goodreads list. To celebrate the cover reveal, I am giving away a prize package that includes:
  • A signed copy of A BREATH OF EYRE
  • A signed cover flat for A TOUCH OF SCARLET
  • Bookmarks and magnets for both books

Just answer the following question in the comments: What is your favorite thing about fall? You’ll also get:

          +1 entry if you retweet this post (Win a signed copy of @evemariemont's A BREATH OF EYRE plus swag for A TOUCH OF SCARLET: http://tinyurl.com/9yeuluc)
          +1 entry if you post this link on Facebook
          +1 entry if you post the contest on your own blog (please leave a link here)

The giveaway is open internationally and will end at midnight E.S.T. on Tuesday, October 16. Good luck!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Finding the Sweet Spot; or How to Rediscover the Joy in Writing

For most fiction writers, creating stories is a passion, something they would do whether or not they had any hope of being published. In fact, when I reflect on my writing life so far, it’s those years before I was published—when I was striving for truth, daydreaming about characters, building story arcs, experimenting with language—that were the most exciting and rewarding for me. And I think it’s because that time truly belonged to me. It was my choice whether to spend an hour of the day writing or seven. My choice to try my hand at contemporary or magical realism, women’s fiction or young adult. It felt like I was in a giant sandbox of imagination playing with dozens of toys. And best of all, no one was watching.
Now that I’m published and contracted, those toys have become tools, and that sandbox has become a workshop, one with glass windows through which any number of people can peer in and pass judgment. And my time no longer belongs to me. Now I’m in the business of creating a product, and people are waiting on the sidelines to judge what I’ve created. Somewhere along the line, I stopped playing because of those eyes on me, because of the voices seeping through the windows telling me that what I was making looked wonky and strange, that it was neither functional nor beautiful.
And then those voices became so loud that I stopped listening to the most important voice of all—my own—the one that was trying to tell its next story.
So how do I find my voice again when all those other voices are shouting at me? How do I find the joy in writing when it feels like a job? How do I get myself back into the sandbox?
A writer friend of mine gave me a great sports analogy that has helped me immensely. She said that when she's playing tennis, occasionally the ball hits her racket so soundly that she can feel the impact of it in her bones. That satisfying feeling travels all through her body, telling her she's made perfect contact, that she's hit the “sweet spot.”
When I told her how I'd been feeling lately, she reminded me that when you’re writing freely and tapping into that reservoir of imagination and possibility, you can find that “sweet spot”in writing too, that place where you know instinctively that you've hit on a truth, made a connection, done something well. If you can somehow immerse yourself in the game and play like no one's watching, then the words will come pouring forth and it will feel like magic. Like joy.