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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Character Interview and Giveaway: Lizzy Speare from Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb

I'm so excited to share today's middle-grade interview with y'all! I got the cool chance to interview Lizzy Speare, the awesome heroine from Ally Malinenko's Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb. I loved this fabby fab book (check out my review). You can see the full March MG Madness schedule of events and giveaways here.

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb
by Ally Malinenko
Antenna Books
Purchase: Amazon


…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.

Hi, Lizzy! Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me today and answer some of my questions.

Hi! Thanks so much for having me. This is really cool.

Ok, we'll start with an easy question: what three words best describe you, Miss Lizzy Speare?

Um, okay – 1. Honest 2. Loyal and 3. Stubborn. Definitely stubborn.

So, you're a descendant of THE William Shakespeare? That is just so awesome! What was it like to learn that you were related to the famous writer?

It was INSANE. I’ve always been a Shakespeare fan – started reading his work back in grade school and I really connected with the stories and the language. My dad, Rupert, he took me to see his plays and it blew my mind. And then to find out that I was related to him was just unreal. Had Jonathan not proved who or really WHAT he was by taking me back to the Globe when he told me I would have thought it was just a mean joke. But instead it wound up being the best thing that ever happened to me. 

But being the last descendant and sole heir of Shakespeare's fortune comes with it's downsides, right? Like one Dmitri Marlowe. Can you tell us a bit about why Marlowe wants Revenge (with a big R!)?

Yeah. Truthfully I don’t know what Marlowe wants. Jonathan told me that there’s more the story but he won’t tell me why Marlowe hates me so much. I mean, honestly, who carries around a 400 year old grudge? What the heck is that about? 

Since learning the truth about who you are and being whisked away by Jonathan Muse, you've seen some incredible things, including some mythical beings. Can you tell us about some of the beings you've met? Do you have a favorite mythical being?

Okay like finding out I was related to Shakespeare wasn’t HUGE enough, finding out that magic is real – that all those Greek Gods were real was crazy. Being at the Belch Palace that first time and seeing the Symphonias walking around and Jacob the Cyclops – that was the best. I think my favorite mythical being that I’ve seen so far – not counting someone like Cleo the satyr, cause he’s my friend – would be Catriona and her crew of Selkies. They’re women who turn into seals and they have this great big ship that they sail around on. Gosh, when we took that boat to Brooklyn I wanted to sail off with them. It seems like so much fun. Too bad I’m not descended from Blackbeard! I could have been Lizzy the pirate!

There's this thing, this amazing magical quill that allows you to travel anywhere. Where would you love to go using the quill? What would you do there?

The Traversing Quill! Yeah, it’s pretty sweet. If I could go anywhere, I would go to England and see where Shakespeare (my great great great great great great (a ton more greats) grandfather) came from. See where he lived and then go see a play at the newly built Globe. I heard they even found the remains of where the original Globe was built. I would love to see that. 

You've already had some incredible adventures since your last birthday. What's been the most amazing thing you've experienced? The scariest? What exciting thing do you still want to do?

Honestly one of the best experiences was the play. I love acting and I had so much fun. It was the one time Marlowe was, well, normal. And by normal I mean, not trying to kill me and everything. The scariest was definitely the Medusa. If Sammy hadn’t been there, I think we might have all been killed. As for what I want to do – I want to find out all that stuff that Jonathan hasn’t told me. What did the Immortal mean when he said I had a brother? It’s exciting but also scary. It makes my stomach all fluttery.

But, you weren't alone on these adventures; you had your BFF Sammy. What makes Sammy a great BFF?

He’s the best best friend in the world. He has great ideas and he’s always down for an adventure. Plus he puts up with me being bossy. I can’t help it. I like being in charge. Sammy is really the greatest. I felt bad at first that he got sucked into all this craziness with my family but man, I’m glad he was there. Especially at the end. 

Now, how about some Lizzy Favorites?

Favorite color?

Red like my hoodie.
Favorite food? 
Pizza. The pizza in NYC is the best!
Favorite Shakespeare work? 

Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. It’s a tie.
Favorite book? 

The Collected Works of Shakespeare
Favorite word? 
Bardolator. I just learned that one. It’s what they call people who are a bit crazy about Shakespeare, aka, The Bard.

Wow, this has been a lot of fun Lizzy! Thanks again for answering my questions and giving us all a chance to get to know you better.

Thanks so much for having me. This has been a blast. And I can’t wait for you to read the second installment – things are going to get even crazier!

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 a copy of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb!
Ally Malinenko has generously offered 3 copies of her book to give away: 2 ebooks (INT) and 1 print (US)
-Open INT/US
-there will be 3 winners: 2 ebook and 1 print
-will run until 3/31
-must be 13+, one main entry per person
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-I am NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
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Ally Malinenko said...

Thanks so much for having Lizzy over for the interview. She had a blast!

Mary Preston said...

I can see my daughter enjoying this a great deal.

Paige said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Being related to Shakespeare and all! I can't wait to check it out :)

Noor Unnahar said...

Aww it sounds so fun . I am entering :)