Thursday, October 22, 2009

Freebie Friday and A NEW DAWN

Hey, Twilight fans!

Today's Freebie Friday celebrates the release of the updated edition of the completely unauthorized TWILIGHT anthology,

If you, like me, are counting the days until the movie release of NEW MOON, this is the book for you - it's filled with essays by your favorite YA authors on such Twilightish subjects as
  • Pity and fear for Bella Swan
  • Native American werewolf myths & the Quileute boys
  • What Bella and Edward's romance says about free will
  • Vampires and the fear of aging
  • Monster love
  • and much more...

A NEW DAWN was edited by Ellen Hopkins and includes essays from such fab authors as Rachel Caine, Cassandra Clare, Cara Lockwood, Megan McCafferty, James Owen, Janette Rallison, Anne Ursu... and me! (Plus, the amazing authors below:)

Today's mini-interviews come to you from A NEW DAWN contributors Rosemary Clement Moore, Robin Brande, K.A. Nuzum and Ellen Steiber. Here we go!


Can you share with us your favorite passage from the Twilight saga - and translate it into Shakespeare-speak?
Um, this may lose me points, but I gave my books away, so I can't go pull up a favorite passage. (To someone who didn't have her own copies! She gave me puppy dog eyes! What was I going to do?) I say this so you don't write in my margins like my english teacher would. "Substantiate this point with citations! Nothing is true unless you quote from the book!" (It occurs to me my dislike of Romeo and Juliet might not have been due to the text so much as the teacher.)

But as for Shakespeare... Well, I should avoid the obvious Henry V quote, despite it being one of my favorite ever, except that I really do think it when Jacob gets his feral fur on: "Cry havok, and let slip the dogs of war!"

When you're not contemplating the importance of hope and fear and Bella Swan, what are you working on?
I'm working on a gothic mystery romance type story, similar to my current release (The Splendor Falls). It's got ghosts, magic, buried treasure, an anthropologist, a cowboy (I promise these go together) and not much relationship to Sophocles or Shakespeare.

Team Edward or Team Jacob? (Or, Team Robert or Team Taylor?)
I really like Jacob (and I would probably chose werewolf over vampire, generally speaking), but it was always clear to me that Edward and Bella would be together. As inevitable as the reaction when fire meets gunpowder.


What are some of your favorite romantic classics?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, of course—both the novel and whatever movie version anyone wants to make of it. I’m also a HUGE fan of Austenland, by Shannon Hale, because she totally nails what we lovers of P&P adore about the book, and especially about the BBC series based on it (hint: the wet shirt scene with Colin Firth. Say no more). (Bridget Jones’s Diary also speaks to that obsession. Love that, too.)

I also enjoy rereading classics like Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (despite the general psychoness of Heathcliff—still can’t resist!), Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (more psychoness, this time from the secret wife—what is with those Bronte sisters?) and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (love the childhood crush that finally blossoms into an adult love). I’m all for modern romance, like in any Nora Roberts novel ever written, but sometimes the oldies just hit a spot no modern writer can. Siiiiigh.

When you're not contemplating Edward's romantic hero status, what are you working on?
For some reason I’ve decided to devote my adult life to writing romantic comedies that involve science. I did not know this was a career option when I was a little girl. And of course, back then I really hated science. So it’s very confusing for me, and the real answer to your question is that right now I’m heavily into the research for my next novel, which involves quantum physics and string theory. Trust me, it’s very romantic.

Team Edward or Team Jacob? (Or, Team Robert or Team Taylor?)
Dude, Team Edward. Although certainly the trailers for the New Moon movie coming out next month make an excellent case for Team Jacob. Seriously—he built all those muscles in less than a year? Is it special effects? CGI? Whatever the movie magic is, I think we can all agree that that scene with him chopping wood is going to be worth the price of the ticket. But still, Edward has my heart. (Although it wouldn’t hurt him to work out a little, would it?)


You're an old movie monster buff... who is your favorite monster of all time?
Gotta say, Barnabas Collins, the vampire in the old Dark Shadows soap opera from the 70s. Jonathan Frid played him originally; Johnny Depp is supposed to play Barnabas in the upcoming movie. Yay!

When you're not contemplating monsters and the passage of time, what are you working on?
Just finished my third novel The Music Box, which opens on the Day of the Dead in 1918 in way-northern New Mexico; everybody has a skeleton in his closet in this epic fable. Look for it in 2011.

Team Edward or Team Jacob? (Or, Team Robert or Team Taylor?)
Team Jacob, def. He is SO like my high school boyfriend (only taller). I never realized I’d dated a werewolf till I “met” Jacob.


Can you describe your ideal of ageless beauty (or hunkiness?)

That’s a tough question, one that really made me ask: What is ageless beauty—and who has it? And the best definition I could come up with is: Someone who seems completely comfortable in themselves and—this may sound hokey—lets their spirit shine through. Here are some well-known women whom I think have, or have had, this quality: Helen Mirren; Meryl Streep; Jessica Tandy; Katherine Hepburn; Julie Christie; Michelle Yeoh; Frances McDormand; Julia Child; Olympia Dukakis; Susan Sarandon; Michelle Pfeiffer; Eunice Shriver; Lauren Hutton; the amazing yoga teacher, Angela Farmer; and the writer Toni Morrison. Most of these women, you’ll notice, are older because “ageless beauty” seems to hint at beauty that’s there even when you’re no longer young.

But I have a feeling that these women will also prove to be ageless beauties: Michelle Obama; Penelope Cruz; Uma Thurman; Queen Latifah; Drew Barrymore; Gabrielle Anwar; Liya Kebede; Chloe Sevigny; Angela Bassett; Salma Hayek; Norah Jones; and Libba Bray.

As for guys, I’m regularly smitten by Clive Owen; Johnny Depp; Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Billy Crudup; Alexander Skarsgard; George Clooney; Bruce Springsteen (what can I say, I’m a Jersey girl); and at least half of the NBA. .

Okay, seriously, and on a related tangent. . . This summer I saw an exhibit of Richard Avedon photographs. Avedon was a fashion photographer who photographed many of the most beautiful and glamorous people of his time. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Twiggy, and Brigitte Bardot all posed for him. But the most striking and truly gorgeous photos in the exhibit were taken in 1985 when Avedon traveled out west and took pictures of “ordinary” people: miners and rodeo cowboys, truckers and ranchers and migrant workers on the farms. And those photos are amazing. Though the people in them are often poor and rarely well dressed, Avedon seemed to capture the essence of their lives—hardship but also dignity and strength and humor. All of Avedon’s “ordinary” people have ageless beauty. So maybe the truth is, we all have it. We just have to look closely so that like Richard Avedon, we can see it in each other.

When you're not considering the extremely long shelf life of vampire lore, what are you working on?
I’m about two-thirds of the way through a sequel to my fantasy novel, A Rumor of Gems, which is all about gemstone magic. And my friend Deborah and I are plotting a YA together. All I can tell you is that it’s fantasy set here in the Sonoran Desert, and it involves two fifteen-year-old girls, their horses, and a number of shape-shifters, including one very snarky cat.

Team Edward or Team Jacob? (Or, Team Robert or Team Taylor?)
It’s a split-decision: As far as the actors go, Team Taylor. But, as far as the movies and the books go, I’m definitely Team Edward. To me, Edward is a sexier and more interesting character. But Jacob’s pretty sweet….

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You can find out more about A New Dawn and other Smart Pop anthology titles at, your link to teen lit.

Up for grabs this week - BenBella books has generously offered three copies of A NEW DAWN for three lucky winners! To be entered to win, leave a comment below answering the all-important question - Team Edward or Team Jacob (Or, if you prefer, Team Robert or Team Taylor?) This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, October 28th.