Book Interviews, Books, podcast

Podcast Episode 11: throwback interview with authors Natalie C. Parker and Tessa Gratton!

In episode 11, I’m throwing it back to an interview from SDCC 2014 with authors Natalie C. Parker and Tessa Gratton!

Both Natalie and Tessa have books coming out within the next month (Natalie’s book SEAFIRE is out August 28, and Tessa book STRANGE GRACE is out September18). We talk about writing cultural traditions, location as character (and the different ways the authors approach bringing it into a story), writing flawed characters, and much much more!

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Listen to the podcast on iTunes, or if you don’t have iTunes, I’ve also posted a link to SoundCloud below.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, facebook, and twitter.

 

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Book Interviews, Books, Interviews

Dual author interview and giveaway! Tessa Gratton and Natalie C. Parker talk books at SDCC 14!

We’re thrilled to bring you a really great dual author interview with Lytherus favorite Tessa Gratton and awesome newbie author Natalie C. Parker (just in time for Natalie’s book release tomorrow)! We had a blast talking at SDCC 14 about all sorts of bookish things, and we’re really excited to share the interview with you. And as a bonus, we’re going to be giving away copies of both books below.  Check it out!

Tessa Gratton is the author we’ve interviewed the most here at Lytherus, and that’s because we love her. Her United States of Asgard series is fun, fresh, and filled with cool Norse myths that she combines with modern times. The second book in the series, The Strange Maid, continues the awesome that was started in book one with some new characters that are unlike any we’ve ever encountered before. Here’s the summary:

strange maidFans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Maggie Stiefvater will embrace the richly drawn, Norse-influenced alternate world of the United States of Asgard, where cell phones, rock bands, and evangelical preachers coexist with dragon slaying, rune casting, and sword training in schools. Where the president runs the country alongside a council of Valkyries, gods walk the red carpet with Hollywood starlets, and the U.S. military has a special battalion dedicated to eradicating Rocky Mountain trolls.

Signy Valborn was seven years old when she climbed the New World Tree and met Odin Alfather, who declared that if she could solve a single riddle, he would make her one of his Valkyrie. For ten years Signy has trained in the arts of war, politics, and leadership, never dreaming that a Greater Mountain Troll might hold the answer to the riddle, but that’s exactly what Ned the Spiritless promises her. A mysterious troll hunter who talks in riddles and ancient poetry, Ned is a hard man to trust. Unfortunately, Signy is running out of time. Accompanied by an outcast berserker named Soren Bearstar, she and Ned take off across the ice sheets of Canadia to hunt the mother of trolls and claim Signy’s destiny

Also, tomorrow marks the release of another book a really enjoyed, Natalie C. Parker’s Beware the Wild. I remember Natalie telling me about this book almost two years ago, when she was hanging out as I got Tessa’s measurements for the Beyond Words author calendar. This book is perfect fall reading, filled with Southern myths, creepy swamps, great characters and an interesting story. Here’s the summary:

beware the wildSouthern Gothic gets a whole new twist in this debut novel, sure to appeal to fans of the New York Timesbestselling Beautiful Creatures series.

The swamp in Sterling’s small Louisiana town proves to have a power over its inhabitants when her brother disappears and no one but Sterling even remembers that he existed. Now Sterling, with the help of brooding loner Heath, who’s had his own creepy experience with the swamp, must fight back and reclaim what—and who—the swamp has taken.

Beware the Wild is a riveting and atmospheric page-turner readers won’t want to miss.

So enjoy the interview as we talk about traditions in stories, locations as characters, writing people who are flawed and more!

Also, since we’re in the fall spirit, we’re giving away a copy of each book to one lucky winner. AND, BONUS, you’ll get some surprise swag from each author! Be sure to enter below. US entries only. Giveaway good until 11:59 pm
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Book Editorial, Book Events, Books, Editorials, Events

SDCC14: What’s Hot in YA? The best of the best YA authors tell us in this amazing book panel

Part of the YA panel L to R: Mafi, Parker, Redwine, Reichs, Stohl, and Westerfeld
Part of the YA panel L to R: Mafi, Parker, Redwine, Reichs, Stohl, and Westerfeld

The final book panel of San Diego Comic Con was What’s Hot in YA. Here at Lytherus we love all sorts of fantasy and scifi, but we do often feature YA, so this was a panel we didn’t want to miss. Rightly so, too, as the lineup of authors was absolutely insane: Kresley Cole (The Arcana Chronicles), Kami Garcia (The Legion Series), Tessa Gratton (United States of Asgard series), Tahereh Mafi (the Shatter Me series), Natalie Parker (Beware the Wild), C. J. Redwine (The Defiance series), Brendan Reichs (the Virals series), Margaret Stohl (the Icons series), and Scott Westerfeld (Afterworlds). Chew on those names for a minute. These are some of the biggest and best names in YA, and all on one panel.  Moderated by Nathan Bransford (the Jacob Wonderbar series), this panel proved to be one of the best that SDCC had to offer.

First off, let me say that the banter between Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl was hilarious. They kept cracking the audience up, and it set an atmosphere of fun and revelry for the whole panel. Also, Margie started out the panel by announcing some big news. All she could say was Marvel YA, which sounds amazing. We can’t wait to see what’s up next with this.

Nathan kicked off the questions by asking the simple one of how did they start? Were they thinking of what’s hot in YA? Brendan, who is also hilarious, writes with his mom Kathy Reichs (of Bones fame), and started off the replies with that simple statement and a shrug, much to the amusement of everyone. Scott regaled everyone with the story that gave him the idea for his series Uglies, saying he was in LA and at the dentist, who took him to the back and wanted to talk about his five-year plan for his teeth (huh?!). He wondered what the world would be like if everything was like this, and the idea was born.

Part of the YA panel L to R: Cole, Bransford, Garcia, and Gratton
Part of the YA panel L to R: Cole, Bransford, Garcia, and Gratton

Nathan led right into the next question, asking how they decide on something, even if it seems not marketable? Tessa replied first, talking about how in her first drafts she puts in everything, all the detail, talks about politics and religion, everything she loves, and then she shapes after. Kresley has been writing adult paranormal for years, and when a YA book came to mind she tried not to write it skewed young, but that was the story so eventually she stopped fighting it and wrote it as YA. Tahereh tried writing for the market, but eventually said f-it and wrote how she wanted. She didn’t think people would get what she was doing, and publishing was a dream, but it did happen. Kami added to this, saying that Beautiful Creatures was published by accident, and then after she had this intense pressure when alone re: the market. Market really messes with the head. Margie made her talk about her passions, pushing past that. Brendan said that writing for the market doesn’t work. You’re chasing something that may not even be there. Your writing should be passionate. C.J. said you spend a lot of time with an idea and world, so you should love it. The market is hard to predict.

This led right into the next question. Authors never want to write to the market, but how do you fight the pressure? Margie said the market never feels good, it’s always crazy. Writing a book feels great. Thinking about the market is crazy and stressful. Scott added that it’s always changing. Right now contemporary is “in” thanks in part to John Green. Kami added that John wasn’t trying to be a “thing”, he’s just writing. Tahereh paraphrased E. Lockhart at this point, saying that most authors re: John’s success are like, that’s great, but I wanna stay in my pajamas. Kami added that the idea of a phenomenon is strange too. People like John Green and Scott have written a while before getting huge, and people forget the years of self-doubt. Natalie said what’s cool about the YA market is it’s a cool canvas, and allows you to play. Scott added to this, saying he gets lots of great feedback from fans, has fan art Friday, and it’s great to see people play in those worlds. It’s fun to see what fans generate, and it’s all about inspiring each other. Margie said that some books are small stories, and some are big, and that’s okay. Not everything is about commercialism; sometimes it’s about the fandom tribe.

Up next Nathan wanted to know if there’s less pressure because of social media. Kami said that twitter is for hanging out. Tahereh observed that confessional blogs don’t seem as common and that micro-blogging is more popular, which makes it easer to stay on top of. Scott also prefers twitter because of the ease. You can just send out an idea. Less pressure, less questions.

The next question was about traditional vs e-books: is there a polarization? Kami said there’s lots of hybrid authors, and that it doesn’t matter. There are self-published authors who kick ass, etc. If you’re out there, you’re an author. Scott added that it’s fun to write in other ways. He loves NaNoWriMo, so fans can appreciate how hard writing is.

For the last question Nathan wanted to know what is voice, and how the authors make it their own. C.J. said it’s okay to copy, that’s how you learn. Voice is what fans can expect, even if the world changes. For her it was deciding to stop being afraid and start writing what she loves to read that helped her. Kresley said it’s her voice when she’s writing and starts giggling at herself. Margie has an exercise she tells teens: look down and write about your shoes, and that’s your voice. Shoes are often the way teens are communicating with the world. Brendan got a laugh, saying he finds this question hard, as he’s writing a fourteen year old girl and he’s a thirty-seven year old man. Natalie said she gave her manuscript to Tessa, and to have her laugh was good feedback.

The mic was opened up for fans, and some book-specific questions were asked. Overall though it was a busy, fun, interesting and entertaining panel filled to the brim with fantastic YA authors and their insights. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Book Interviews, Books, Interviews

Exclusive interview with author Tessa Gratton (THE LOST SUN), and a bonus giveaway!

Lytherus has had the pleasure of featuring awesome author Tessa Gratton in the past (click here and here for the previous ones). Recently she published her new book, The Lost Sun, and Tessa sat down with us to answer some questions about Norse gods, mythology, character voices, and more! Also, we’re doing an exclusive giveaway of all three of Tessa’s hardbacks (Blood Magic, The Blood Keeper, and The Lost Sun). Enter on the widget at the end of the post! 

the lost sunTell us about your new book!

THE LOST SUN takes place in an alternate version of America, founded by Vikings and their gods. Valkyrie council the president, Odin likes to lobby Congress, and trolls attack the Midwest. The story follows a teen berserker and a young prophet as they go on a road trip to find the missing god, Baldur.

What was it like switching worlds from a world of blood magic to a world with Norse gods?

I worked on The Lost Sun while working on the Blood Journals books, so it was important to keep the magic and tones different. I’d say it’s mostly about tone, too – the blood books are darker and skew more toward horror and gothic romance, but the United States of Asgard books are more… epic. They’re adventure novels, with action and romance, and a lot of Americana and philosophy. Less intimate than the blood books. Usually switching was a relief!

How did you decide which Norse influences to incorporate into a more modern-feeling world? Was it hard to blend them at any time?

I wanted to incorporate everything I could, and the world that I know is immensely larger than the world that fit into the book. It was surprisingly easy to meld American culture and Viking Era culture because we share a LOT of values with the Vikings. Democracy, an emphasis on family, glory, loyalty, and law – not to mention conquering other peoples, violence as power, and the desire for expansion of territory!

When setting the main character’s ‘things’, what made you settle on berserker and prophetess? How do these roles play into traditional Norse mythology?

Soren was always a berserker – there’s no good story there, alas! I just knew it when his character spark arrived. It WAS his spark, even. Berserkers are common in many ancient cultures, and there are stories of them in particular in Celtic, Germanic, and Norse mythology. I became interested in them through my interest in Odin, who usually the berserkers were said to belong to – because they’re dangerous and dishonorable, and so couldn’t be Thor’s warriors. They’re loners and die young – a perfect destiny for a YA protagonist to be fighting with! And I wanted to play with how a history like that could exist in a modern American setting. Astrid was more complicated, because I knew I wanted her to be a dreamer, but wasn’t sure how to do it. It took a lot of in-depth reading about old Nordic magic before I landed on the seethkona. Old Nordic magic was calls “seidr” where the d is actually the old letter “eth”, so it’s pronounced like “seether.” I took that magic and built it into the culture of US Asgard, which helped me create Astrid’s mom and Freya both, and those choices are what convinced me Astrid needed to be a seethkona, too. I chose to focus the seethers more on prophecy than on magic because that seems more American to me – we love our prophets here, our preachers and fortune-tellers.

tessaThe main voice in your story is a male. Is it hard to get inside his head, since you’re a girl? What are some of the differences about writing men vs women that you enjoy and/or struggle with?

I don’t find either to be more or less difficult. Being a boy is less strange to my experience than being a berserker, or than being a prophet. I try to write my characters as individuals, and their gender and gender identity matters more or less depending on who they are and what their story is. Sometimes gender matters a LOT, and sometimes it matters less than, say, being a berserker.

What is in store for our characters in book 2?

Ah spoilers! I’ll tell you that Soren is not the narrator, though he’s one of the important characters. There will be MORE trolls and more kissing. A lot more of each, actually!

 What have you read lately that you’d recommend?

I’ve been reading and rereading all my Melina Marchetta books lately, and I especially recommend JELLICOE ROAD and the FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK trilogy. I thought V. E. Schwab’s upcoming novel about super-villains VICIOUS was excellent, as well as historical fantasy DARK TRIUMPH by R. L. LaFevers, amazing distopia THE SUMMER PRINCE by Alaya Dawn Johnson, and two historicals, THE CAGED GRAVES by Diane Salerni and THE WICKED AND THE JUST by J. Anderson Coats.

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Thanks Tessa! Check out Tessa on her website and on twitter. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

Giveaway: Tessa Gratton hardback set (one copy of BLOOD MAGIC, THE BLOOD KEEPER, and THE LOST SUN).

Our giveaway is simple. Unfortunately, it’s open to residents of North America only (sorry, international fans!). If you’re under 18, please make sure to get your parents’ permission to enter the giveaway. You can earn a total of six entries in the giveaway:

  • ONE entry for simply entering the giveaway
  • TWO entries for following us on Twitter
  • TWO entries for “liking” us on Facebook
  • ONE entry for talking about the giveaway on Twitter

The giveaway will stay open until Tuesday, August 20th at 12:01 am. The winner will automatically be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The first name of each winner will be announced on this post and winners will be contacted by a member of our staff to begin the process of shipping out your prize.

Good luck!

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Book Events, Books, Events

Featured author week: Giveaway of ‘The Lost Sun’!

Lost SunAs part of the Tessa Gratton featured author week, we’re giving away three copies of her new book, The Lost Sun. Enter below for your chance to win one.

Our giveaway is simple. Unfortunately, it’s open to residents of North America only (sorry, international fans!). If you’re under 18, please make sure to get your parents’ permission to enter the giveaway. You can earn a total of six entries in the giveaway:

  • ONE entry for simply entering the giveaway
  • TWO entries for following us on Twitter
  • TWO entries for “liking” us on Facebook
  • ONE entry for talking about the giveaway on Twitter

The giveaway will stay open until Monday, July 1st at 12:01 am. Winners will automatically be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The first name of each winner will be announced on this post and winners will be contacted by a member of our staff to begin the process of shipping out your prize.

Good luck!

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Book Editorial, Books, Editorials

Featured author week: Tessa Gratton (The Lost Sun) talks Norse mythology

For this week’s author guest post Tessa Gratton (author of The Lost Sun) delved into what exactly makes Norse mythology interesting to her. For those of you who haven’t read The Lost Sun, it is set in a world where the Norse gods still roam and are worshipped. Tessa lets us into her thought processes and passions regarding this ancient and interesting religion, and we can see how it influences her work. Enjoy!

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There are so many tiny little things that brought me to Norse mythology: my dad reading  me a passage from Beowulf , an early interest in Vikings because of my Nordic grandfather, a love of poetry and humor, the desire to look into gods that I didn’t grow up knowing anything about, and even the simple fact that halfway through my graduate program I realized I didn’t want to keep pursuing it.

thCAMCEPE7But one thing has kept me immersed in Norse mythology: Odin.

Odin is a god of war and trickery, magic, disguise, danger, death, and… poetry.

In 2007 while researching ancient Nordic beliefs (ancient as in Iron Age and Migration Period, long before the actual Viking era) for a historical novel I was writing (that has never been and may never be published), I read H. R. Ellis Davidson’s Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe. It’s a book I highly recommend (along with her Gods and Myths of Northern Europe for a more strictly Norse subject matter) that first introduced me to the idea that Odin, primarily remembered and prayed to as a god of war, also created poetry.

It struck a chord in me, the divine connection between violence and poetry. We often talk about writing (and revising) in destructive, bloody terms: we use a cleaver or a scalpel to edit, we burn scenes down, we drag words from our twisted intestines, we bleed onto the page. It’s nothing strange or new to me, to think of writing and violence in the same breath, but the Norse – they tied them into the definition of the same god.

tessaThat captured my imagination and I read everything I could about Odin. He’s a mysterious god, despite being the “king” of the gods, the “Alfather.” It wasn’t until late in his history that he became so – other gods, Tyr and Freyr and Thor held the same leadership positions, sometimes sharing them, sometimes apparently vying for the supreme position in the eyes of their people. At first, Odin was a mysterious death god, known for magic and playing tricks, for riddling and mayhem. Then he became the dishonorable king, the tricky one, who manipulated people and used magic, which was considered to be a womanly art. Freya taught it to him, and in some stories, she only did so after he lived as a woman. There are some scholars who believe fifteen hundred years ago Odin and Loki were the same god, but when the Christian influence required a stricter division between Good and Evil, they were separated so that Loki could become the counterpart to Satan.

Probably it was more subtle and complicated than that.

To me, Odin is a great antihero, a fascinating, gray character shifting meaning and loyalty – one of the names of him is even “Gray One” or “Wanderer” (a la Gandalf the Gray, who was based on one of Odin’s personalities). So although Norse mythology has everything I love, everything that makes up the human experience – death, sex, magic, love, and humor – it has always been Odin the Poet, the Mad God, the Magician, who drew me in. And I suspect it will take years and a few more books before I’m finished dancing with him.

Uncategorized

Guest Post: Author Tessa Gratton Talks Magic!

Tessa Gratton’s guest post is about none other than magic! Since this is the theme that runs through her books, I wanted her to tell us a little bit about how she got the inspiration for these amazing stories. This post talks about how magic has hit her at different points at her life and what it meant for her, bringing her to the now.

Take it away Tessa!

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“Magic Inspiring Magic”

When I was a kid, I was desperate to learn how to use magic. I wanted to apprentice to a great wizard and spend years studying alchemy and geometry and runes, culminating in a masterwork that allowed me to become a great wizard myself.

In my quest, I read everything I could find about magic all over the world. Fiction, yes, but mostly history and anthropology. I focused on western European medieval magic at first because it was the most easily accessible, but as I got older and more capable of intensive research in the bowels of a university library, I branched out into African tribal magic, Japanese magic, and American Indian magic. I realized that frequently western researchers conflated religious rituals with magic when they were looking at non-western traditions, and that led me to examine Catholicism with an eye for its magical rituals, which in turn led me to modern America.

Not only have I spent time with plenty of pagans – who practice magic as a form of prayer directly, are very ritualistically oriented, and attached to the idea of the natural connectedness of all things – but I’ve read a lot of modern books about the resurgence of western magic since the 1950s in Europe and America.

I believe I was searching for a sort of truth that I’d lost when I stopped going to church with my family as a teenager. I wanted a universal understanding of humankind’s fascination with the idea of magic – of energy and ritualized prayer, of how we can affect the world with our emotions and willpower.

It wasn’t until I “discovered” Pennsylvania Dutch magic that I hit on something I was ready to write about. At the time I thought it was wonderful because it’s a system of magic that harkens back to medieval European practices, but is also still apparent when you drive along I-80 in Pennsylvania today. Hexes painted on the sides of barns, or for sale in road-side shops, point to the rich magical heritage of the area. The magic itself is based on the home and family: painting hexes and runes, tying knots in rope, candles and cooking and other things that make it not only very practical, but hold it in the realm of “women’s magic.” It was passed down through families and tied to the community and women whereas old European high magic like alchemy was considered secretive, quasi-scientific, and dominated by men.

That’s what I chose to embrace the most when I created my magical system for The Blood Journals: the personal nature of American folkloric magic, the family relations and communal nature, the practical side, the connection to the natural world. And the fact that it’s very uniquely American in how it’s a transplanted magic (mostly from Germany) that took pieces from the new land, the new cultures around it. To that I added the blood being the key to power – which in itself comes from so many cultures and magical systems around the world I couldn’t list them all.

One of the reasons I wrote Mab from The Blood Keeper the way I did was because I wanted to revel in the joy, beauty, and natural strength of this magic. Silla and Nick were both traumatized by the magic, desperate for it, and fighting it frequently. To Mab, I wanted it to be a source of love and power.

The two books compliment each other that way: Blood Magic is the nighttime to The Blood Keeper’s daylight.

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Want more Tessa? You can find her on twitter (@tessagratton) and at www.tessagratton.com.

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

‘The Blood Keeper’ By Tessa Gratton Is a Lovely, Complicated Tale That Enchants

When I first encountered Tessa’s writing in Blood Magic I really enjoyed the voice she wrote with. I was drawn into a story that felt fresh and different, and I was expecting nothing less from The Blood Keeper. What I got exceeded my expectations. This book was a lovely, enchanting read that made me happy to get lost in.

Mab is trying to rid her home, which also happens to be on sacred blood lands, of a curse. She’s not sure exactly what the curse entails, only that her beloved mentor Arthur told her to eliminate it. But the creature she puts the curse into overpowers her and makes a break for it, straight into the arms of Will.

Will is a normal boy, unaware of anything magical in the world. That is until Mab turns his life upside down in every way possible. His first experience of her is fighting off a giant mud man she’s created, and as he slowly learns more about her he’s opened up to experiences he’s never even dreamed possible; a world of blood magic, crows with human intelligence, and a girl who is so unabashedly weird, a girl who tugs on his wounded heart strings.

But something strange is happening around and to them, something that neither of them anticipated, and it will stretch the very boundaries of life they each are familiar with.

Before even cracking the cover I was happy that The Blood Keeper was set in the same world as Blood Magic, because I loved what the author did with magic in her world. Immediately though this book had a different vibe. The magic hits you in the face from the very beginning, and we are shown just how confident Mab is with her abilities. She has grown up practicing spells, utilizing her powers, thanks to the adults in her life. What was slow and tentative in the first book is a blazing light in this one, and it was nice to be able to go deeper into the magic.

I love how Tessa writes. She jumps into the heads of both her female and male leads, and the voices feel unique and totally appropriate. I really don’t think I would have gotten the same reading experience if I had been inside only one character’s head. And I thought I would like one voice better than the other, but that really isn’t the case. I could relate to Will more than Mab, but it was awesome to be in Mab’s head with her magical confidence and strange quirks. The author also interjects the main story with journal entries, adding another story to the present-day one. I loved seeing how it tied in with what was happening in the present. I found myself savoring this book, and the various voices was one of the reasons. The author nails it.

I was also blown away by the complicated layers in this story. There was so much going on, such a rich world of magic and history and family, I felt like this could really be a true story, and I’m sure a part of me, the part that wants magic to be real, hoped so!

This book really was a pleasure to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the levels the author wove in the story, the depth of magic, and the wonderful character backgrounds readers were exposed to. I really hope there’s at least one more book coming in The Blood Journals world. I’d highly recommend this book, but I’d say that you should first read Blood Magic. You technically don’t have to, but it will definitely give you a much richer reading experience.

The Blood Keeperhit stores today, August 28.

Book Events, Book News, Books, Events, News

It’s Tessa Gratton Week on Lytherus!

This week here at Lytherus we’re going to be featuring one of our new favorite authors, Tessa Gratton! I had the chance to interview Tessa at San Diego Comic Con this year and I really enjoyed getting to know her. Her books are fantastic, and with the newest, The Blood Keeper, out today, I wanted to make sure she gets some good props here and that we have the chance to introduce her to some potential new fans.

There will be all sorts of fun things happening on the site regarding Tessa this week, including:

  • A review of The Blood Keeper
  • A review of Blood Magic
  • Another exclusive interview, this one regarding The Blood Keeper
  • A guest post from Tessa
  • Giveaways of both The Blood Keeper andBlood Magic

Be sure to stop back throughout the week to see what’s happening, and also make sure you check out Tessa’s books!

Book Interviews, Books, Interviews

SDCC12: Exclusive Interview with Tessa Gratton, Author of Blood Magic

At the recent San Diego Comic Con our staff had the opportunity to interview a bunch of amazing authors. Up next on that list is Tessa Gratton, author of Blood Magic and upcoming The Blood Keeper, which releases on August 28th.

Tessa created a wonderfully dark, gothic world with these books. Haven’t heard of them? Here’s what Blood Magic is about:

This page-turning debut novel will entice fans who like their paranormal romances dark and disturbing. It’s a natural next-read for fans of Stephanie Meyer, Carrie Jones, and Becca Fitzpatrick. But instead of mythical creatures, blood magic has everything to do with primal human desires like power, wealth, and immortality. Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can’t stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood, and Silla is more than willing to cast a few. What’s a little spilled blood if she can uncover the truth? And then there’s Nick—the new guy at school who makes her pulse race. He has a few secrets of his own and is all too familiar with the lure of blood magic. Drawn together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick must find out who else in their small Missouri town knows their secret and will do anything to take the book and magic from Silla.

The lovely Tessa sat down with me for a thirty minute interview where we talked the world of her books, historical magic systems, writing, her interesting life, her future series, and tons of other amazing and wonderful things. Enjoy!

Listen to the entire interview with Tessa here:

https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F53675974

Check back soon for more interviews featuring authors Gail Carriger, Mark Frost, Rachel Hartman, Christopher Paolini, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, comic book artist Nicola Scott, comic book writers Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, and the cast and crew of Silent Hill: Revelations!