I want to thank Marissa Burt for being a part of the March MG Madness and for stopping by to answer a few of my questions. Be sure to check out my review to learn more about Marissa's MG book Storybound.
Q. What three words best describe your MG novel Storybound?
Fantasy. Adventure. Otherworld.
Q. In one sentence, tell readers why they should read your book…c’mon, really sell it!
STORYBOUND is for all the book-lovers who desperately wish they could be sucked into their favorite tales.
Q. Now, using as many sentences as you’d like, could you tell us a bit more about Storybound?
In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Vilain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them.
In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.
But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una's new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself...
With the timeless appeal of books like A Wrinkle in Time and the breathtaking action of Inkheart, Storybound has all the makings of a new classic. Brimming with fantastical creatures, magical adventure, and heart-stopping twists, Storybound will leave readers wishing they too could jump through the pages into this enchanting fairy-tale world.
Q.Why Middle Grade Fiction…why did you choose to write MG fiction and what do you love best about reading and writing MG?
I've always loved to read, but I think MG books helped me discover my own taste in reading. I had an odd school schedule at that time, so I would have my study halls alone in the library, and I would work my way through the shelves: fairy tales, mythology, folk lore. I loved them all. So I think it was a natural fit to write middle-grade, because those were the first stories that taught me how reading could transport you to another world.
Q.Why do you think MG appeals to such a wide audience, from very young readers to adults like you and I?
I think middle-grade books capture that time when kids are immersed in the imagination of childhood but are eager for complex stories that have something to say about the world of grown-ups. I think MG fantasy does this particularly well, because it utilizes familiar themes and transforms them into magical adventures that provide an escape from real life but also help us readers learn how to navigate our own lives.
Q.What’s your current favorite MG book? Your favorite MG book of all time?
What a tough question! My current favorite MG reads (and perhaps my favorites of all time) have to be all of L.M. Montgomery's books. I still reread most of them every year. Other favorites: The Island of the Blue Dolphins, by: Scott O'dell and Solo's Journey, by: Joy Smith Aiken.
Q.If you could magically transport yourself into any made up MG world from any MG book which would it be? What would you do there?
Part of me wants to say that I'd love to live in turn-of-the-century Prince Edward Island and join Anne's world for a little while. I suppose I wouldn't do anything spectacular there, just join in the adventures (or misadventures) of ordinary life, but something about the beauty, quiet, and sense of home I find in the Anne books has always captivated me. But then I also think I'd like to live in the Shire and join some heroic quest in Tolkien's Middle-Earth. Maybe a mashup of the two? ;)
Q.Who’s your favorite MG villain…who do you just love to hate or hate to love?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has always been my favorite of the series. Partly because I love how Rowling lets us see Harry's internal struggle, but I'm mainly drawn to this book because of the creature that is Dolores Umbridge. I cannot think of a more cruel, calculating, and frightening villain! And those cat plates! Utterly creepy.
Q.In the land of Story, children learn to be characters (heroes, villains, etc)...what kind of character would you love to become?
Well, I'm a fantasy-lover at heart, so I'd probably want to become a Lady who was also a brave Warrior. I used to be happiest on the nights when my mother would fix us beef stew and bread for dinner, because I could imagine I was on some sort of adventurous quest in a fantasy-world. And who wouldnt' want to have classes in Weaponry and Heroics? But I have to add that I wonder if Villains have a bit more fun...
Q. If you were to create/bake a Storybound cupcake, what flavor would it be, or what would it taste like, and what would you call your tasty masterpiece?
I love this question! And I can't make up my mind! First I thought of a Red Velvet cupcake, with a nod to Storybound's beautiful cover (didn't the artists do a fabulous job?). Then I settled on Hot Chocolate - gooey chocolate with whipped cream filling - because the characters in Storybound always seem to be making plans over a nice cup of cocoa. But I'll have to go with a Pumpkin cupcake with some decadent filling, because Storybound takes place in the fall, and, when I was writing it, I was thinking of all the crispness of autumn splendor. What to call it? I'd have to taste it, before I could decide on a name. ;)
Be sure to stop by the March MG Madness home post and enter the big month long giveaway to win a box of MG books and swag, including an ARC of Storybound! You can earn extra entries in the big giveaway by answering a question whose answer can be found in the interview above...go HERE to enter
Marissa Burt writes middle grade fantasy and is represented by Laura Langlie of the Laura Langlie Literary Agency. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, and drifted eastward, living in Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, and South Carolina, before coming back home to the Pacific Northwest.Along the way, she studied Sociology, Ancient Languages, and Theology and clocked hours as a social worker, barista, 5th grade teacher, bookseller, faculty assistant, and reference librarian. But not all at the same time.Marissa now lives in the Seattle area with her husband and three sons where she enjoys time spent around family, friends, and good books.
Win some fabulous gourmet hot cocoa!
In Storybound hot cocoa is the drink of choice (cause it's super yummy, right?!), so Marissa Burt is giving away some awesome gourmet hot cocoa to one lucky winner.
Giveaway will run from 3/26 - 3/30
There will be one winner
Fill out Rafflecopter form to enter
- Must be 13+ to enter
- One main entry per person
- Winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
- I am NOT responsible for lost, stolen or damaged prizes in the mail
a Rafflecopter giveaway