February 12, 2016

GUEST POST/INTERVIEW MASH-UP + GIVEAWAY: Get to know the AWESOME Laura Williams McCaffrey AND enter to win a copy of MARKED! #YABooks #BookGiveaway #HMHKids

Author: Laura Williams McCaffrey
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Sixteen-year-old Lyla lives in a bleak, controlling society where only the brightest and most favored students succeed. When she is caught buying cheats in an underground shadow market, she is tattooed—marked—as a criminal. Then she is offered redemption and she jumps at the chance . . . but it comes at a cost. Doing what is right means betraying the boy she has come to love, and, perhaps, losing even more than she thought possible. Graphic novel–style vignettes revealing the history of this world provide Lyla with guidance and clues to a possible way out of the double bind she finds herself in.

 Sneak peek — the first episode of Threatened Alchemyks, the serialized story Lyla reads in Marked.
(Click image above to enlarge the excerpt!)
Technically I was supposed to host a guest post for this tour. I submitted 4 possible guest post topics and Laura sent me a response for ALL OF THEM! I couldn't choose only one...sooo here is my guest post/interview mash-up with the AMAZING Laura Williams McCaffrey!

1.) 10 Random Things About Laura

  1. I have a cat that I'm convinced sees fairies.
  2. I have a dog that can gallop for hours.
  3. I don't like to do laundry or dishes. I really wish I could pay some brownie or sprite to take care of these chores for me.
  4. I am a tea snob.
  5. I have a car without electronic anything. You have to roll down the windows and adjust all the mirrors by hand.
  6. I wish I had more time to read.
  7. I call my office a witch's tower.
  8. Before I had a witch's tower, I used to write in the closet or the bathroom, because these were the only rooms in our apartment that had doors.
  9. For several years, I wanted to be Meg Murry.
  10. I throw out hundreds of pages that never make it into my stories.

2.) Talk about your though process when developing the world of Marked.

Originally, I thought I was going to write an "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" retelling. It took a different turn, though a few things remain the same. Lyla's family still faces dire financial difficulties, and Lyla has trouble following the rules. There are also monstrous characters in the story — but I won't say what roles they play, as that might reveal too many spoilers.

As I was writing Marked, I read Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. This started me thinking about the things Gill and Lyla were interested in. What were their pop culture obsessions? I decided they read serialized comics stories. I actually wrote the "Pirate Jackman" episodes in prose, but after I talked to my editor, we decided these would be illustrated.

3.) Who would be your in your dream cast if Marked were ever made into a movie or tv series?

As I tried to answer this question, I realized that the story has a lot of characters. I'll just offer a few.

Lyla: Amandla Stenberg could make a great Lyla
Gill: Avan Jogia maybe? Or Dylan Minnette?
Hope: The actresses I keep thinking of are a little old to play the part, like Zoe Kravitz or Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Daisy Ridley would also make a great Hope or Lyla.
Riverton: Maybe Logan Lerman? Tyler Posey?
Ma and Da: Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd. This might be because I loved them so much as a couple in Friends with Kids.

4.) What songs would be on the Marked playlist?
  1. Jill Scott — "Shame"
  2. Florence and the Machine — "Long & Lost"
  3. Florence and the Machine — "Shake it Out"
  4. Alabama Shakes — "Gemini"
  5. Alabama Shakes — "Gimme All Your Love"
  6. Squirrel Nut Zippers — "Lover's Lane"
  7. Ella Fitzgerald — "It Don't Mean a Thing"
  8. Amy Winehouse — “Rehab"
  9. Adele — “When We Were Young”

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Follow the Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey Blog Tour and don't miss anything! 
Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I read, I write, I teach. I've published short stories in Cicada, YA Review Network, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Soundings Review. Clarion Books will release Marked, my YA dystopian fantasy, in February 2016. My other fantasy novels are WATER SHAPER and ALIA WAKING (both published by Clarion Books). 

For more information, it's best to visit my website: http://www.laurawilliamsmccaffrey.com

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