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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interview and Giveaway: MG author Ally Malinenko

Ally Malinenko is stopping by today to talk about her middle-grade novel Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb. Plus, there's a giveaway...

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb
a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!)
Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud nearly five hundred years old. Could that be why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s. But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in Shakespeare’s tomb? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?
In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters—in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.

Purchase: Amazon 

WS: What three words best describe your book LIZZY SPEARE AND THE CURSED TOMB?
AM: Discovery. Danger. Truth.
Because those are the three major experiences that Lizzy goes through. First the discovery, then the danger and then the truth about her past.

WS:  In just one sentence tell readers why they must read LIZZY SPEARE AND THE CURSED TOMB.
AM: Because it’s way more than just an adventure story.

WS: Where did the idea for LIZZY SPEARE AND THE CURSED TOMB come from? Why Shakespeare and Marlowe?
AM: I was in a Barnes and Noble in downtown Brooklyn and came across a book by Philip Ardagh called A House called Awful End. There was a character in there by the name of Eddie Dickens and it took place in Victorian England. I thought that was so clever. Thinking about how much I liked Dickens, I started thinking about what writer I like more. Naturally, Shakespeare was my answer. From there I discovered Lizzy, though she had a different name and then Jonathan Muse. Immediately, the story began to grow though it went through numerous incarnations before it became the tale it is today.
As for why Shakespeare and Marlowe – I’ve always been a huge Shakespeare fan. And while Marlowe and Shakespeare were colleagues in their day, I thought it might be interesting if the descendant of Marlowe had a real chip on his shoulder about all the clout that Shakespeare gets.

WS:  Grab a copy of LIZZY SPEARE AND THE CURSED TOMB and answer the following:
Favorite chapter? Chapter 21
Favorite page? 211
Favorite character? Jonathan Muse
Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentence teaser:
"Lizzy nodded, holding the Traversing Quill in one hand and Will’s dagger in the other. She swallowed hard and began to wonder what she had gotten herself into."

WS:  In LIZZY SPEARE AND THE CURSED TOMB you have incorporated mythical and fantastic creatures and beings, so what is your favorite mythical creature and/or person?
AM: Oh, that’s a tough one. I stink at picking just one anything. I guess it’s a three way tie between a Satyr, a unicorn and a gryphon. And hey! Two out of the three show up in Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb. How ‘bout that?

WS:  If you could switch lives with any book character for just one day, who would it be? What would you do as them?
AM: I would be Jonathan and I would bend time (as only a Muse can do) and go back and meet William Shakespeare.

WS: Who is your favorite literary villain of all time...who do you love to hate or hate to love?
AM: Probably the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I love to hate her. She’s cruel and clever and ruthless. As for a villain I hate to love, it would have to be King Haggard in the Last Unicorn. No matter what I can’t help but think he’s just a sad lonely old man.

WS:  What would the title of your autobiography or memoirs be called?
AM: Up Too Damn Early – the Ally Malinenko story. Since I write at 5 am, I feel like that pretty much encompasses my life.

WS:  Fill in the blanks:
I'm really awesome at  doing Robert DeNiro impersonations.
I'm embarrassed to admit that  I’m the only one that finds my Robert DeNiro impersonations spot on.
My first literary crush (character or author) was Peter PanHe could fly AND fight pirates. What more do you need?
The last fantastic book I read was Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorIt’s the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone and it was just as fantastic as the last one.

WS: If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by LIZZY SPEARE AND THE CURSED TOMB what would it look and taste like and what would you call it?
AM: It would look like one of the cakes that Rupert, Lizzy’s father, bakes for her. It would be a seven tier cupcake. And it would taste like memory and starlight. Just kidding. It would taste like chocolate. I’d call it Shakespeare’s Quill.

Ally Malinenko: Site / Facebook / Twitter
Ally Malinenko, a self-proclaimed Bardolator, took her first pilgrimage to Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2009 and hasn’t been the same since. Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is her first children's book. Her poetry book, The Wanting Bone, was published by Six Gallery Press. She blogs at Ally lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

Win an ebook copy of 
Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb!
Ally has generously offered one e-copy of her book for one lucky winner.
-Will run from 12/18 - 12/23
-Must be 13+, One main entry per person
-Winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours


Ally Malinenko said...

Thanks so much for having me over!

deanna_boocock said...

This looks like a great book for my students. If I like it I will definitely be buying some print copies.

Mary Preston said...

This is book my daughter & I could read together. Fabulous.

Ally Malinenko said...

Deanna - I should have print copies available very soon. If you want email me at ally dot malinenko at gmail com and I can drop you a line when they go on sale!

Ally Malinenko said...

Thanks for stopping by Mary. As I told Deanna feel free to email me if you would like a print copy. I'll let you know when they are up.