Mundie Moms

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

COVER REVEAL/Author Interview / Giveaway: The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

Hello! Welcome to today's exciting cover reveal for Robin Wasserman's upcoming thriller, THE WAKING DARK! I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Random House to reveal this haunting cover. Check it out!

Wow! I'd say this cover does the book justice. I love the how the light draws your eyes to it, but the darkness gives it that chilling feeling. Based on the synopsis, I'd say it's a perfect match. It's dark, haunting, and has that edginess to it. What do you guys think?

About the Book:
By: Robin Wasserman
Published by: Random House
To Be Released on: September 13th, 2013

They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.

I'm thrilled to have Robin Wasserman on the blog today to talk about her upcoming releases, as well as her writing. 

Hi Robin! Thank you for being on Mundie Moms today. How would you describe The Waking Dark? 
Thanks for having me here! I’m so excited to finally get the chance to talk about this book, which has been sitting on my computer for the last couple years but bouncing around in my head for what feels like pretty much my whole life. 

If I had to describe the basic plot, I’d say it’s the story of a small town quarantined after a tornado and six teens who are trapped there, trying to survive and escape as everyone around them goes slowly but surely nuts. 

But have I mentioned I’m terrible at describing basic plots? The Waking Dark is about all that, but it’s also about the darkness hiding beneath the surface of even the most familiar places and harmless people; it’s about a community ravaged by forces beyond its control; it’s about fate and freedom and whether to give in to your worst self; and it’s about cramming all the things I’ve been obsessed with for years—Stephen King, Twin Peaks, small Midwestern towns, the meth epidemic, religious zealots, mass hysteria, and the nature of evil—into one book.

In case that’s not enough, there’s also an explosion and some making out.

If you found yourself in a similar situation as your characters in The Waking Dark are in, which character would you most likely want to having fighting beside you?
First off, I should make clear that if I found myself in this book—or pretty much any scary book I’ve ever written or read—I would probably scream, lock myself in a closet, and lose my mind. I am not the bravest of people.

But if the universe conspired against me and sucked me into The Waking Dark (I’m shuddering just thinking about it), I’d want to have Jule Prevette by my side. Jule—raised by a single mother and an uncle who spends half his time cooking up meth and the other half in prison—is tough, angry, and a little terrifying.  She’s also fiercely loyal and never backs down from a fight. She pretends she’s only looking out for herself, but she’ll protect anyone who needs it—at least, as long as she thinks they deserve her help. Assuming she’d forgive me for all the trouble I’ve dragged her though in this book, she might even do my fighting for me.  (Though she’d probably spend the whole time making fun of my goosebumps.)

I was flattered to be asked to reveal your cover for The Waking Dark. Can you please give us a little insight to what it's like from an author's stand point when it comes to designing a cover for your book? Do you get much say in what the cover looks like?
As a general rule, authors get no say, though we do occasionally get to offer our opinions, and even more occasionally, people actually listen. This is probably a good thing (the occasional-ness of it, I mean), at least in my case, because I’m the first to admit I have serious deficits when it comes to anything visual. (When people ask me what my characters look like, I usually have to hem and haw until I can quickly make something up, because…I have no idea.) There’s a reason I stick to words.

Despite that, my editor at Random House has been incredibly generous with looping me into the cover process. And in the case of this book, that process was astonishingly fast.  I submitted a bunch of images I’d found over the course of writing the book—photos that captured the mood of what I was writing. (Dark, scary, spooky, you get the idea.) I also gave her a few covers I’d seen and loved (text-heavy, iconic, no giant close-up of a girl’s face, “something cool,” whatever that means—I told you I was terrible at this).

Then I sat back and waited for her to send me what I assumed would be the first of many attempts to narrow in on the perfect cover. (Publishers will often try a few different directions before settling on something.) This is always a nerve-wracking wait, because the cover is going to be the face of your book, maybe forever…and you have absolutely no control over it. What if it’s terrible? What if it’s great, but looks like it belongs on the cover of a book about aliens invading a supermarket? It’s never going to match the picture you have in your head (even when you’re me, and can never quite come up with a picture), but what if it just feels…wrong?  

So I waited, and I worried, and then one day, I got an email from my editor with a preliminary cover attached, and I jumped out of my chair and actually cheered. (Fortunately I was alone in my apartment at the time. Though being in public wouldn’t have stopped me. It was that good.

The cover she sent that day was almost identical to the cover you see here—they got it that right, on their very first try. And I can honestly say I’ve never been so thrilled with a book jacket before.  I don’t know what other people will think of it, but for me, this cover says everything I want The Waking Dark to be.

We often hear from authors that they have a few “writing must haves”. What are some of your writing must haves? (Do you listen to music, have a warm cup of tea etc).
I used to be the kind of person who could write anywhere, in any circumstances—I wrote most of my first novel longhand, perched on a stone ledge between grad school classes.

Alas, that person has vanished. Now I’m the kind of much less productive person who whines and procrastinates unless everything in just right. I do most of my writing in coffee shops these days (none of which are just right, but most of which somehow manage to suffice), with a chai latte by my computer and a brownie jeering at me from the counter. (I’m trying to eat fewer brownies as I write. This is slow-going.) I do my best to tune out the people talking and the music playing, but apparently over the years I’ve gotten so used to the background noise that I now have a little trouble concentrating when it’s totally silent.

This is all part of my daily writing routine, but I find I do my best work (or at least, write the most pages) when I occasionally get the chance to leave the city and go on a writing retreat somewhere beautiful. There’s nothing like sitting at the end of a dock with your laptop, listening to the wind in the trees and staring at the glassy surface of a lake, to jar my brain into action.

(This is why I’m constantly trying to subtly persuade my friend with the dock and the lake to invite me back there for every book I write. Are you listening, cabin-having friend? You know who you are…)

Is there a book you've recently read as an adult that you wish you had, had when you were a teen?
When I was a teen I read pretty much nothing but sci-fi and horror novels (with the occasional smattering of Sweet Valley High), so even if I could travel back in time with a big stack of wisdom for my teen self, she’d probably dump it in the garbage as soon as I left. That said, I wish I could somehow persuade that stubborn younger self to read A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster, both collections of essays by David Foster Wallace. I’m not a huge fan of Wallace’s fiction, but I am passionately, some might even say unhealthily, devoted to his nonfiction. I don’t know that it’s shaped or even changed the way that I see the world, but I know that I’d like it to, which is why I keep re-reading it (and maybe if I’d started younger, I would have had a better shot).

To give you a more general answer, I do wish that I’d grown up in (what I like to call) the golden age of YA, ie right now.  If there had been books like Going Bovine or The Book Thief or Skin Hunger or The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks available to me back then, I think I would have read much more widely outside my comfort zone and would have gotten where I wanted to go (ie to the point of being a person who asked smart questions about the world and thought deeply about who I was and what I was doing) a lot faster. Maybe I’d still have grown up to be the person I am, but I think I might have had a much more interesting journey along the way.

Thank you Robin for stopping by today!

About The Author:

Robin is the author of the Cold Awakening Trilogy (Skinned, Crashed, and Wired), Hacking Harvard, the Seven Deadly Sins series, and the recently Book of Blood and Shadow. You can find her via her: Blog | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Giveaway:
Thank you to Random House, I have an awesome prize pack to giveaway. Both prize packs feature an ARC of The Waking Dark & a copy of Robin's latest release, The Book of Blood & Shadow.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Upcoming Simon Kids / Aladdin Releases

I'm just as big of a fan of Middle Grade books as I am Young Adult. I'm really excited about some of this year's upcoming MG releases. These two books featured today are from series I have completely fallen in love with. Plus, check out their stunning covers. Here are two Aladdin (Simon Kids) books I can not wait to get my hands on. 

By: Shannon Messenger

Published by: Aladdin
To Be Released on: October 1st, 2013
Series: Keeper of the Lost Cities #2
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny--the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities--her life finally seems to be coming together. 

But Sophie's kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger. 

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever. 

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more - quoted from Goodreads

Oh Keeper! This is one of those stellar series for kids that adults can enjoy just as much as younger readers. Shannon's debut, Keeper of the Lost Cities was one of my favorite MG from last year. I'm anxiously awaiting this books release. I need to know what happens next. You can read my review for Keeper here

By: Lisa McMann
Published by: Aladdin
To Be Released on: September 3rd, 2013
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If you've not yet picked up The Unwanteds, I highly recommend that you do! I LOVE this series. You can read my reviews for the 1st and 2nd book in this series. I can't wait to find out all that happens in book #3. 

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #7

Welcome to Penguin Teen's Who is Marcus Finch? two week campgain! Over the next two week's myself and a handful of other fabulous blogs will be treating you to a daily quote/teaser, giving you clues into who Marcus is. Today's clue is:

Dying to get your hands on The Indigo Spell? Be sure here to by and read an excerpt from the book before it's out. Enter to win a copy of the book HERE

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood. -quoted from Goodreads

Be sure to check out the Bloodlines Website, and visit the Bloodlines Facebook page.