Friday, June 5, 2015

Interview with Spelled Author Betsy Schow + Giveaway

Author: Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.
Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.
Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

What is your favorite fairy tale?
It might be slightly cheating, but I am a super fangirl for all things Alice and Wonderland. If you want to go super traditional, then probably the Hans Christian Anderson version of The Little Mermaid. Her having to give up a piece of herself (the water) for what she wanted (love) always resonated with me. Made it more real. I’m a big believer in theory that to gain something of true value there must be a sacrifice of some sort. Otherwise it’s just too easy.

If Spelled had a theme song what it would be?
Dark Horse by Katy Perry. “So, you wanna play with magic… you should know what your falling for.”

What have you found to be the most challenging, and rewarding, part about being a debut YA author?
The most challenging part is putting tears, love, laughter and a pretty big chunk of my soul into something, then releasing it out into the world for comment and critique by anyone and their little dog too. There will always be that little introverted kid in me who worries “What if they don’t like it? What if they don’t like me?” Sigh, even after all these years I really want to popular in middle and high schools.

The most rewarding part is the other half of the coin—sharing my world with others. Like getting a letter from a cancer patient who got a chance to read Spelled early. She loved the book, but more importantly she said it helped take her away from her situation and get lost in another world for just a little while. If something I created was capable of that…just wow. The feeling that letter gave me was beyond measure.

Who was your favorite character to write in Spelled?
Hands down Hydra. She is endlessly entertaining and so easy to switch up. She’s like the character with no rules. I’m taking suggestions for what other types of heads she should swap to for the sequel.

How do you combat writer’s block?
In my non-writing life, I work for an amazing group, Odyssey of the Mind—a children’s program that fosters creative thinking and divergent problem solving. I participated as a kid and use those skills and mental exercises everyday to plot and develop unique characters. So if I get stuck, I just do a quick spontaneous problem to get my brain shifted to a different track.
About the Author
Betsy Schow is the author of the memoir Finished Being Fat, and has been featured on The Today Show and in The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Utah, but travels the country with Color Me Rad 5k, and partners with nonprofits to teach kids creative thinking and how to reach their goals.

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  1. To be honest I wasn't really sure about this book but after seeing some reviews I must say I am a bit curious. :)

  2. This one is on my wish list, but I've been reading a lot of mixed reviews for it. Still, I'd like to see how I like it.

  3. I love the cover for this book and I have been seeing some great reviews :)

  4. I really want to read this - I love the cover :)

  5. I am so excited for this one!

  6. Oh my gosh! I've been eyeing this book for months now and I heard a lot of good thibgs about it which makes me more curious and excited to read this! And oh, did I mention that the cover looks fantastic!