Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Authors Are Rock Stars Tour Stop Featuring Tessa Gratton, Guest Post and Giveaway

Let me just say I am sooooo excited that I get to host Tessa Gratton as part of the Authors are Rock Stars 2nd Annual Tour!  I have been lucky enough to meet her three times!  The first time was a total surprise. She just happened to be at a book signing for Maggie Stiefvater, and I was able to purchase her book Blood Magic, and I was immediately sucked in to her books and now love her writing!  I think she is awesome because her writing style is so unique, and her stories are also different from what is out there.  The sequel to Blood Magic was The Blood Keeper, and it too was really good.  Then her latest book, The Lost Sun, was incredible!  And she is sooo nice!  Not only online on Twitter, but also in person.  

Here I am with her the first time I met her!

Enough with my fawning, let's get on with the guest post!

What kind of books did you read growing up? Which ones would you say influence how you write today? Can you name your five favorite books?

Hi, Lisa and readers!
Thanks for having me here to talk about my favorite things in the world: books!

I grew up reading what my mom read: sci fi and romance and science or history magazines. I remember shelves of romance novels, stacks of National Geographic and Smithsonian, and the first time I discovered Anne McCaffery’s Dragonsdawn sitting on the counter in Mom’s bathroom. She handed me Jurassic Park and accidentally got me hooked on Jude Deveraux. And that was all by the time I was eleven. I also voraciously read Nancy Drew and Christopher Pike on my own, and of course when I was 2 years old apparently my favorite book was a retelling of The Three Billy Goats Gruff – telling now that I’m working on a series full of trolls!

When I began seeking out what I loved the most, though, I found myself always returning to fantasy novels and magic. My favorites as a pre-teen were Robin McKinley and Anne Rice. McKinley I discovered on my own, wandering the basement shelves at my neighborhood indie store: Beauty, her retelling of Beauty and the Beast hit me right where it matters and I reread it over and over again, recorded myself reading it in a home-grown audiobook so I could listen when I rode my bike or fell asleep. It was actually my 5th grade teacher who introduced me to Anne Rice, starting with The Witching Hour, but it was The Vampire Lestat who whispered to my budding-writer’s soul. It was Mercedes Lackey and Tamora Pierce who tuned me onto epic fantasy series, who taught me to crave the next book god when does it come out how can I wait a whole year?
Though these days it’s my writer peers who influence my writing the most – Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff who read everything I write and share their work with me, who inspire me with their talent and make me want to be better than I am – I can still look at my writing and see pieces of Robin McKinley and Anne Rice in particular. I’m obsessed with meandering narrative and telling as a device, with Beauty and the Beast and subtle magic like McKinley, and like my favorite Rice novels, I tend to try to create atmosphere with lush prose and weave in layers of history and family into my stories. Someday I’d love to write a novel-length fairy tale, or turn my short story “The Vampire Box” into a Sunshine-like novel, or write a sweeping paranormal family history like The Mayfair Witches. I’m not good enough yet. That’s why we keep writing, AND READING.

I don’t think I could choose only five favorite books. It would be a tragedy worse than the zombie apocalypse if I could only read the same five books forever. But here’s a list of some forever books for me:

Beauty, The Blue Sword, and The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinleyThe Vampire Lestat and The Witching Hour by Anne RiceThe Lumitare Chronicles by Melina MarchettaThe King of Atolia by Megan Whelan TurnerThe Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillipThe Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Space Between by Brenna YovanoffFire by Kristin CashoreHowl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesThe Doctrine of Labyrinths series by Sarah MonetteThe Deverry Series by Katherine Kerr

I don't know about you guys, but I love that some of my favorite books, are hers as well!  I loved The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff.  Here's another shot I got of Ms. Gratton, this one was at BEA 2012.

Now, yet another reason that Tessa Gratton is such a rock star is that she is offering you all an awesome giveaway, and there will be two winners!  So make sure that you fill out the Rafflecopter below!  The author will only ship US domestic, so if you're not in the US, I apologize you'll have to wait for another giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway