Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blogtoberfest kickoff: Rosemary Clement-Moore!

Hey, everyone, welcome to the first day of the Halloween & Homecoming Blog Party! If you missed last night's introductory post because you were maybe watching Glee--like everyone else except those preparing for blog parties--you can catch up now. Go ahead. We'll wait.

Welcome back!

I was very psyched when our first guest, Rosemary Clement-Moore, agreed to kick things off for us. She recently won the Rita Award for Best YA Novel of 2008 (for Hell Week) and is the president of the Young Adult chapter of RWA (pronounced Yarrr-wah, as pirate-y as possible). She's also an all-around spectacular person.

Rosemary is giving away a signed copy of her latest novel, The Splendor Falls. Kirkus Reviews had this to say: "Long, satisfying and just chilling enough, this will please a wide audience and leave readers hoping for more." And believe me, the folks at Kirkus don't say nice things unless they really mean it.

Party on, Rosemary!

* * * *

Everyone knows the best part of Halloween is the costumes.

For me, it was never the sweets. Even as a child, I wasn’t only a picky eater, I was a picky CANDY eater, and I gave ninety percent of my loot away.

No, I loved to dress up. In theory, anyway. My problem was that since my parents had to shell out money for dance recital costumes every May, they were keen to recycle. So until I was old enough to protest that I didn’t want to be a ballerina Every Single Year, I was, in fact, a ballerina Every Single Year.

(My brother was a pirate Every Single Year, but this was by choice. Or maybe not, because his name is Peter, so there’s something of an alliterative imperative.)

So, my first year of Not A Ballerina, Mom asks me what I want to be.

“A princess,” I say. And Mom is cool with this because a princess costume looks amazingly like a ballerina costume, just with different shoes.

Next year, Mom suggests “black cat,” but at least it’s not a ballerina. It is, however, a pair of ears and my ballet leotards with a tail pinned to the seat. Mom is WAY smarter than I am.

The next year I wise up, and the answer is: “Nancy Drew.”

No objections from Mom. I get her sweater set and a tweed skirt and saddleshoes, just like the cover of The Hidden Staircase, flip up the ends of my reddish-brown-but-not-really-“Titian” hair, grab a magnifying glass and flashlight and I’m ready to go.

Only no one knows who I am. I am asked if I’m a “teacher” or a “crossing guard” or, appallingly, “nerd” (but I think that kid was just being mean).

The problem was, I was as picky about my costumes as I was about my candy. I didn’t want to be scary, or ugly, or an inanimate object. And the characters in my head--like the girl detective experiment--didn’t translate into much of a visual picture.

Already I was finding that the cool part of being someone else wasn’t what they looked like, but what they did. The characters in my head were space fighter pilots and monster hunters and, yes, girl detectives. They were princesses who slew dragons.

Which is how I ended up a writer. I could “be” any character I wanted, and I wasn’t limited by what my Mom had time to sew, or the cost of materials. I only had to make the picture with words.

I still love to dress up for Halloween. With the whole month still to plan my costume, I’m thinking of dressing up this year as the character from my latest book, The Splendor Falls. I figure it will be an easy costume for me.

She is, after all, a ballerina.

* * * *

To enter to win The Splendor Falls, leave a comment below. For complete rules, read the introductory post. It's got important stuff.

Deadline for entry: Thursday, October 8, 11:59pm Eastern time. THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED--THANKS!

Thanks again to Rosemary for being first in the pool!

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Count me in!

Posted by: Blogger Scott Romanski at 10/01/2009 6:00 AM

Hi Jeri :)
Thanks for having Rosemary Clement-Moore here today.
Thank you Rosemary for the great post. I could picture you in those costumes out trick or treating. Nancy Drew sounded great!
I love the costumes of Halloween the best too.
Thanks for sharing,
All the best,

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/01/2009 8:37 AM

How fun! And that is a great post! I love the costumes on Halloween! My mom and I dressed up together when I was a kid. Lol, On my senior year of high school I was a "hooker" and she was my "pimp" She had the fur coat and fedora hat and "big bling" on! It was a hoot! thanks for reminding me of that!

Posted by: Blogger Nicole H. at 10/01/2009 8:49 AM

Rosemary and Jeri.... in our house no one really had halloween costumes... my mom would make cool costumes for our fall fair and we would usually wear them for halloween a month later... one year I was the queen of hearts another a fire hydrant... my kids usually wear whatever they can find... but youngest is still a pirate kid too

Posted by: Blogger HockeyVampiress at 10/01/2009 9:11 AM

Ah, I love Halloween...I was a ballerina or something resembling a ballerina many times. My favorite was my witch costume :D

Posted by: Blogger Brooke Reviews at 10/01/2009 9:29 AM

Great post! Brings back lots of Halloween costume memories.

Posted by: Blogger Sara C at 10/01/2009 9:56 AM

Hi Jeri and Rosemary!

Great post! I love Halloween and all the costumes. I really didn't dress up as a kid, no bought costumes but my kids have always had them.
Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Blogger Chris J. at 10/01/2009 10:26 AM

Costuming was THE draw to Halloween for me! I loved being a witch cause I used my broom to protect younger kids who went with me from candy raiders! Yes, we had a mob of bullies in the 'hood.

For anyone yet to read Splendor Falls, Kirkus is right. This book ROCKS! Great one to win! Post, folks!


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/01/2009 10:32 AM

Hi y'all! Thanks for commenting. Of course, now that I'm in the mood for All Things Fall, it's warm and humid this morning in Texas!

Posted by: Blogger Rosemary Clement-Moore at 10/01/2009 10:36 AM

This is awesome! Dressing up really is the best part of Halloween!

Posted by: Blogger RainbowFace at 10/01/2009 10:37 AM

Hi Jeri,

I absolutely LOVE Halloween! I was also a black cat and devil (with a red leotard and horns and tail). LOL. Though I always liked the Hardy Boys better than Nancy Drew. I was also the bride-bride of Dracula, bride of Frankenstein which also was pretty much the same outfit. Parents sure are good at getting us to wear the same things every year. Thanks for the post, it brought up all my favorite fall memories. Also, thanks for the contest!

Rose S.

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/01/2009 10:39 AM

Awesomely cute story about Halloween and writing, Rosemary. Way to go! Love the pic too. You camera hog! :P

Posted by: Anonymous Gloria Oliver at 10/01/2009 10:45 AM

I love this time of year! Great post. Splendor Falls sounds awesome!

Posted by: Blogger Kim Harrington at 10/01/2009 10:46 AM

Great post!

I love Halloween. I always loved dressing up...except for the year I had to be Raggedy Andy because my Aunt was making the costumes and her daughter was being Raggedy Ann so I had to be Andy :( I hated that. I'm not sure how old I was, maybe 6 or 7.

Posted by: Blogger Poppy at 10/01/2009 11:03 AM

My husband's favorite part of Halloween is the candy. He doesn't even have to dress up, just go out with the kids!


Posted by: Anonymous Delilah at 10/01/2009 11:36 AM

I used to hate Halloween because some idiot in our neighborhood decided to dress up like a clown and scare kids. I was really, really little and my oldest sister and her boyfriend took me out. Of course this guy scared me and it was years before I went out again. Then, the year I was 8 my grandmother died on Halloween, so it lost some luster again. However, I rediscovered the love for the holiday in my twenties and I love dressing up. Not sure what I'm going to be this year. BUT I did know it was meant to be with me and the hubby when we found out we both went as Darth Vadar -- the same year! lol.

Posted by: Blogger Kathryn S at 10/01/2009 11:37 AM

A couple days ago, Jen Barnes wrote a great review of THE SPLENDOR FALLS on her blog, and I made a mental note to recommend it to my twin nieces (who are also dancers). Can't wait to read it!


Posted by: Anonymous Erin at 10/01/2009 12:02 PM

Unfortunately, as a fellow Texan, I can tell you that it may STILL be hot and humid on Halloween. Of course, it could be below freezing too. You just never know in this state.

I don't remember dressing up much for Halloween - none of us in the family were creative, so it was bought costumes for us - not much memorable there.

Posted by: Blogger Riva at 10/01/2009 1:11 PM

I never thought about it before, but it didn't take an elaborate costume to make me happy. For three or four years in a row, after I was just out of toddlerhood, a puffy white hat and an apron excited me to no end. Chef! It's been years since I've put on a Halloween costume. I kind of miss the experience. :) And it's somehow comforting to know that, for those of us who don't know a stitch about sewing, even a simple costume can feel like being a "whole 'nother" person!

Posted by: Blogger Ken at 10/01/2009 1:21 PM

Jeri, :-)

What a great post Rosemary did! She's quite a character. :-) A terrific way to kick off Blog-toberfest.

I look forward to seeing what all the other authors have to say, too.

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/01/2009 1:53 PM

Halloween is my favorite time of the year!

Posted by: Blogger tetewa at 10/01/2009 2:07 PM

Oh I love Halloween. I was a Vampire 3 years in a row because I was so I love scary costumes the best.

Posted by: Blogger Jamie at 10/01/2009 3:20 PM

Count me in! This books sounds amazing.

Posted by: Blogger Sara M at 10/01/2009 3:31 PM

Living in the middle of Baltimore we get tons of disadvantaged kids coming by. We encourage the ones who dress as and call themselves a 'thug' or 'gansta' to pick a differant costume the next year, and its gratifying to see them the next year dressed as a star wars figure or fireman.

Posted by: Anonymous Don R. at 10/01/2009 4:07 PM

I'm ineligible for the prize bounty, but I just wanted to drop in and say congrats to Rosemary on the release of The Splendor Falls *and* congrats to you, Jeri, on your blog's birthday!

~ Vanessa, who has never dressed up for Halloween!

Posted by: Blogger Vanessa Barneveld at 10/01/2009 4:50 PM

Thanks for the awesome post! I love Halloween, and though the candy was the big draw for me, the costumes were also a big deal. My mom, who's a terrific seamstress, made most of my costumes---no store-bought costumes for me! When I was five, she made me a Batgirl costume, and made a matching one for my Barbie doll. The only tricky part was wearing the mask and my glasses at the same time.
So looking forward to this month of giveaways!

Posted by: Blogger Kimberly B. at 10/01/2009 5:12 PM

Hello Jeri,
I love Halloween! I just love the mystery of things! My favorite halloween was when I dressed up as a dinosaur and my dad took me around twice because he got lost!

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/01/2009 5:35 PM

Halloween is my favorite holiday because my birthday is the next day. I was never very imaginative, so my costumes usually sucked, but I still got candy anyway :o)
The worst was when I had a birthday party and my mom used my halloween candy at the party, not fair!

Posted by: Blogger Barbara E. at 10/01/2009 8:13 PM

I won a costume contest in the first grade for dressing up as Mickey in Fantasia and dressing my stuffed Minnie up in an identical costume. That's by far my most vivid Halloween costume memory.

Posted by: Blogger Katherine Hazen at 10/01/2009 9:09 PM

Thanks for having Rosemary here. I LOVE her books, and I'm really excited about THE SPLENDOR FALLS!

What's not to love about Halloween?!? Lots of candy can never be bad. ;-)

Posted by: Blogger Karen W. at 10/01/2009 9:15 PM

Hi Rosemary and Jeri~

The Splendor Falls sounds really good and I would love to be entered in the contest.

I love how resourceful your Mom was with the costumes. I have to say that I was pretty much in it for the candy! I know this makes me boring, but I was never much of dress up kind of girl.

I hope that you have a wonderful Halloween!

Posted by: Blogger Lori T at 10/01/2009 11:52 PM

Count me in!!

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/02/2009 10:49 AM

Dressing up is my favorite part, too! I wish I could count the number of costumes we have hoarded in this house!

Posted by: Blogger Rhia Raye at 10/02/2009 4:26 PM

hmmm The Splendor Falls does sound very intriguing!! Loved your costume story (princess & cat too cute!) Nancy Drew sounded great as well!! Those people just didn't have an imagination as wonderful as yours! ;)

looking forward to reading The Splendor Falls! Thanks for sharing with us and for kicking off Jeri's blogfest!

Looking forward to meeting all the wonderful authors you have lined up for us Ms Jeri! Thank YOU!

Posted by: Blogger WriterWannaB_NY at 10/03/2009 12:00 AM

Last year was my first time dressing up for Halloween. It was a blast! I went as a pirate, and had a lot of fun hanging with friends. I definitely agree with Rosemary!

Posted by: Blogger Melanie at 10/03/2009 1:07 PM

Great guest post! And please count me in, too. :)

~ Lauren

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/03/2009 8:13 PM

Dressing up in costume is the best part about Halloween!
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger throuthehaze at 10/04/2009 9:41 AM

I can't imagine being the same thing year after year. When I was a kid and my mom suggested that, I flew off the handle big time. I've never been a ballerina, but I've been a lot of crazy stuff- like a cell phone one year. Anyway, great post! Thanks for sharing. :)

Posted by: Blogger Katie at 10/04/2009 3:49 PM

This was a great interview; the idea of wanting to be someone who's defined by what they do, and not how they look, really resonates with me.

urchiken at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger Wehaf at 10/04/2009 7:37 PM

Hot and humid at Halloween! Scary.

Posted by: Blogger Sheila Deeth at 10/05/2009 3:40 PM

Rosemary, I so agree that the best part of Halloween is the costumes. I have a disorder that makes me sick if I eat anything with high fructose corn syrup, so a lot of candy is off limits. But I love dressing up and trick-or-treating anyway. Although I'm nearly 19 so maybe I'm getting a little old to trick-or-treat. But anyway, I think part of the reason I love costumes so much is that when I was a kid, we always got to go to the fabric store and pick out a pattern and material. Then Mom (who is not real big on sewing) would spend the whole month of October (and sometimes part of September as well) putting the costume together. They were always so awesome.

Posted by: Anonymous Ashleigh C at 10/06/2009 3:49 PM

I love to dress up for Halloween too! I think I do a lot more than when I was a kid. I go all out and I've noticed that my fake eyelashes seem to get the most attention.


Posted by: Blogger Asylumgirl at 10/06/2009 6:03 PM

Coming in way late to say great post, Rosemary! I had similar dance recital costumes -- one year I wore one and my mom stuck a sign on my front saying "tooth fairy." And everyone said "oh, are you a princess?" ;-)

And then when I was older my brother and I dressed up as Star Trek characters, and everyone thought we were just in street clothes. Rats! :-)


Posted by: Blogger Cara King at 10/07/2009 2:24 PM

Great post. Splendor Falls looks like its going to be one of the great books to read this year.

Posted by: Blogger donnas at 10/07/2009 10:17 PM

This book is high on my wish list, can't wait to read it, hope I win it!

Posted by: Blogger Book~Adorer at 10/07/2009 11:00 PM

I love Halloween and dressing up. My mom always made my sister and I the oddest costumes. When I was 5 we were harem belly dancers. We had gold tinsel wigs and belly shirts. Sort of odd since we were just 5 and 7! That's mom for ya though lol.

Posted by: Blogger Casse AKA Catholic Kittie at 10/08/2009 8:03 AM

great interview!! and i love the book cover!!

A Blog with Bite!

Posted by: Blogger Froggy at 10/08/2009 12:04 PM

I love Halloween!! I love the costumes and the parties. Great post and THE SPLENDOR FALLS looks like an amazing book ....

Count me in Please

Thanks Jeri and Rosemary

Posted by: Anonymous Brittany Littlepage at 10/08/2009 4:39 PM

I can't believe no one got Nancy Drew. Or at least guessed Harriette the Spy (not that she'd wear a sweater set, but still). I love dressing up as characters from books or real-life historical figures. My go-to costume is usually Death from The Sandman, which, like your Nancy Drew, hardly anyone gets.

Posted by: Blogger alanajoli at 10/08/2009 6:54 PM

Congrats for our first Blogtoberfest winner, Jamie! Jamie, please send your mailing address to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com, and I'll forward it on to Rosemary.

Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic comments! Come back again for more prizes throughout October.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/09/2009 9:13 AM


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