Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 19 - Maggie Stiefvater

The winner of the ARC of OF ALL THE STUPID THINGS by Alexandra Diaz is...Karen! Karen, I don't have your e-mail, so please send your mailing address to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com. Thanks to everyone who commented, for their enthusiastic support of this debut author!

Today's Blogtoberguest is NY Times-bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (pronounced like "Steve-Otter"), who is not only an amazing and lyrical novelist, but is also a visual artist and a musician (music is always important in her books, which makes me heart them so).

Her latest novel, Ballad, is a stand-alone sequel to her debut Lament (click the links to learn more about them). Within the treasure trove that is her website, I found this amazing animated storybook for Ballad, created by Maggie herself.

Today Maggie's here to give away a copy of Ballad and talk about what Halloween means to her.

* * * *

For me, it’s not Halloween until it’s evening. One of my sisters loves the pageantry—the costumes, the candy, the movies. Halloween for her doesn’t just last all day, it lasts all week. All month. But for me, this is Halloween: darkness. I don’t mind the costumes and revelry. I don’t mind that my son is dressed as a race car driver and my daughter as a monkey—no, princess!—no, baby kitten!

But to me, it’s not really Halloween. I like the old bits about Halloween. The fact that it’s transitional, and it’s about the end of the year, and the end of life, and the end of the day. That’s why Halloween happens in evening for me. It’s when things start to change. To darken. To shift into other things. Everything starts dying in October, so that other things can come to life later.

I set my latest novel, BALLAD, around Halloween, for that reason. Not only is the year changing and transitioning but so are my characters as they come head to head with the faeries. It’s disgustingly exciting to write about as an author; such a dynamic thing to watch. In folklore, it’s always the transitions and edges that are most dangerous. The shift from one season to another. The shift from day to night. The place where water meets the sand. The pause between one frenzied song to another.

So bring it on, Halloween. While the rest of the world curls up with the 16th Saw movie or whatever they’re up to, I’m going to be hunkering down and waiting until the world gets dark, and feeling that chill crawl up my spine as the world changes from minute to minute. I love it.

* * * *

To enter to win a signed copy of Ballad, leave a comment below. And remember, each comment automatically enters you in the drawing for the grand prize package: all 25 books!

For complete rules, read the introductory post.

Deadline for entry: Saturday, October 31 (appropriately enough), 11:59pm Eastern. NOTE: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. The winner is Sylvia!

Melissa Walker and Lovestruck Summer
Sydney Salter and My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters
Christine Marciniak and When Mike Kissed Emma
Tricia Mills and Heartbreak River
Simone Elkeles and Perfect Chemistry

Thanks so much to Maggie for sharing her thoughts on Halloween (with which I completely agree)!

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Ballad sounds so amazing. And I agree that it's not really Halloween until the night set in.

Posted by: Blogger Brittany at 10/24/2009 10:32 AM

I want to read Ballad. Sign me up!

Posted by: Blogger Elisabeth Black at 10/24/2009 11:12 AM

Love your take on Halloween! :D Can't wait to read Ballad!

Posted by: Blogger Brooke Reviews at 10/24/2009 11:29 AM

I really want to read this. Count me in please!

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger throuthehaze at 10/24/2009 11:34 AM

That cover is gorgeous!!

I might pick up these two to read this weekend!


Posted by: Blogger Karen at 10/24/2009 11:35 AM

I haven't read Ballad yet but I can't wait.

Posted by: Blogger cait045 at 10/24/2009 12:14 PM

Halloween in a place like Los Angeles feels kind of empty to me. Sure, there are some leaves on the ground, but our seasons (or lack thereof) have a sameness to them. There isn't that feeling of moving through the year. Combine that with retailers who hype up holidays a month or more in advance, and it's hard to feel the meaning behind something like Halloween. Thanks for the reminder that it's not just an empty commercial "sell more candy" creation!

Posted by: Blogger Ken at 10/24/2009 12:20 PM

Maggie's take on Halloween is very insightful and wonderful. Halloween is my favorite time of year. I like the analogy to things dying in order to come to life later....I can't wait to read this book

Posted by: Blogger Jojo at 10/24/2009 12:25 PM

Ballad sounds like an amazing book. I love your take on halloween. It is darkness. It is when time of the year where creatures of the dark are free to roam.


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/24/2009 12:47 PM

This sounds like a great book. I totally want to read it. Sign me up.

Posted by: Blogger claritysheen at 10/24/2009 1:49 PM

This sounds like an incredible book! I love finding new books to read.


Posted by: Blogger Mistwraith at 10/24/2009 2:35 PM

Halloween is my favorite holiday - partly because I was born the day after - it's just my time of year. I love the cooling weather at this time of year, since being from California and now in Florida it doesn't get that cold, but the oppressive heat usually lets up some. I love the costumes and the decorations, the pumpkin everything, the sense of change in the air. What I don't get into are the horror movies, give me something more like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, that's more like it.
By the way, I loved the Ballad video, that was awesome.

Posted by: Blogger Barbara E. at 10/24/2009 3:41 PM

I've been hearing alot about this one, sounds good!

Posted by: Blogger tetewa at 10/24/2009 3:47 PM

Great post. Ballad sounds like such a great book.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Posted by: Blogger donnas at 10/24/2009 3:57 PM

Lol, SAW does have a lot of movies, doesn't it? It's getting a little ridiculous.

I've been dying to read Ballad (Fingers crossed!)

Posted by: Blogger YA Book Queen at 10/24/2009 4:34 PM

Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger I ♥ Book Gossip at 10/24/2009 5:09 PM

Love Maggie's comments on Halloween and how it's a time when things die off. Would love to win!

Posted by: Blogger holdenj at 10/24/2009 5:30 PM

Oh I really want to read this book!

Posted by: Blogger Poppy at 10/24/2009 8:00 PM

This book sounds great--that trailer is beautiful!

Enter me, please!!

ebcella AT comcast DOT net

Posted by: Blogger Bookworm at 10/24/2009 8:24 PM

I have to say that I, too, love your take on Halloween. I never thought of it like that.

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/24/2009 9:21 PM

What a neat take on Halloween, I love it! Never really thought about it like that but awesome...I cant wait to read sounds amazing! :)

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/24/2009 9:29 PM

Halloween is something that sinks into your soul as the sun goes down on the 31st. I cannot wait to read Ballad.

Posted by: Blogger Heather Palmquist at 10/24/2009 9:31 PM

I've wanted to read Ballad ever since I read Shiver! I love the premise and the cover.


Posted by: Blogger Raven M at 10/24/2009 9:51 PM

I loved Ballad... It was a great sequel to Lament! I'm hoping theres going to be a third one because there's still a lot I still want to know! :) Thanks so much for your talent, Maggie

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/24/2009 10:14 PM

Love the spookiness of Halloween, so understand Maggie loving it after dark.

Please enter me!

Posted by: Blogger Alexia561 at 10/24/2009 10:32 PM

Please enter me! I read Lament over the summer and loved it! I can't wait to read Ballad!! Thanks for the chance.

Posted by: Blogger Christine at 10/24/2009 10:35 PM

I enjoyed LAMENT and would love to read BALLAD!

Thanks for the fun blog and for the contest. :)

karenwitkowski AT aol(dot)com

Posted by: Blogger Karen W. at 10/24/2009 10:56 PM

I've heard great things about this book and would love to read it!


Posted by: Blogger Andrea at 10/24/2009 11:24 PM

Omg I love Ballad!

Posted by: Blogger Michael Getzler at 10/24/2009 11:51 PM

Hi Maggie~ I absolutely loved your description of what Halloween is to you. For me Halloween always equates with cold. It seems that for us Halloween is always frigidly cold and I think of the fun I will have with my sister as we take the kids trick or treating.

Ballad sounds really great!

Posted by: Blogger Lori T at 10/25/2009 12:58 AM

I would love to win a copy of Ballad, I loved Lament and I'm sure I'm going to love this one too! Thanks!

Posted by: Blogger Sylvia at 10/25/2009 3:13 AM

I would love to read this book!

Posted by: Blogger daizee at 10/25/2009 10:54 AM

Halloween is the best. I love the cooler weather and falling leaves. Last year it was weird because I was in Australia and it was spring out there, plus in the town I was in, no one did anything for Halloween. I never saw one kid in costume. It was kind of sad.

writer76 at mac dot com

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/25/2009 10:57 AM

I love Maggie's trailer for this one! All her books have had awesome trailers she's made.

Posted by: Blogger Erica at 10/25/2009 1:58 PM

Great post! Ballad sounds like an amazing book.

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/25/2009 2:26 PM

Ballad sounds like another great book. Thanks for sharing!!

Posted by: Blogger Sara C at 10/25/2009 5:34 PM

Looking forward to reading Ballad!

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/25/2009 7:28 PM

Wow, that animated storyboard is very cool.

Posted by: Blogger Sarah Beth Durst at 10/25/2009 10:40 PM

I've been wanting to read Ballad (and Lament) ever since I finished Shiver. (It was awesome!) Would love the chance to win this so I can. :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger Dawn M. at 10/26/2009 2:17 AM

that sounds amazing. i loved the cover! so pretty (but i'm not judging (; )

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/26/2009 10:17 AM

Hahaha...You hit the stupid Saw movies right on the head.... It's like another and then another and then another... I love Halloween. As you said Bring it On

Posted by: Anonymous Brittany at 10/26/2009 1:53 PM

love your description of Halloween for you.. I think I felt a few shivers myself. In the great words of our Blogtoberfest creator: "Bring On the NIGHT!" lol Jeri ;)
I'm looking forward to checking out Ballad as well as Shiver & Lament.
Thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful Halloween Eve...
Debbie in NY

Posted by: Blogger WriterWannaB_NY at 10/26/2009 2:04 PM

What a great description of Halloween. Took me back to gazing out the window at bedtime, wondering what was riding in on the clouds.

Posted by: Blogger Sheila Deeth at 10/26/2009 2:54 PM

I love her take on Halloween and I've been dying to read Ballad!


Posted by: Blogger Just Your Typical Book Blog at 10/26/2009 6:36 PM

I have heard so many wonderful things at this book. I love this time of year so much, there's just a feeling in the air and it just feels like home to me. If I had my way, it would be like this all year long.


Posted by: Blogger Asylumgirl at 10/26/2009 9:58 PM

I have been seeing Ballad on book blogs everywhere! So much so that I ordered Lament last week. And I can't wait to read them BOTH!


Posted by: Blogger Casse AKA Catholic Kittie at 10/27/2009 5:22 AM

Ooh, what a lovely and original book trailer! So evocative...

I think my favorite part of Halloween is the music... I was nine or ten when I realized I really loved music in a minor key, and Halloween is such a good time for that...


Posted by: Blogger Cara King at 10/27/2009 6:14 PM

I loved Lament, so sign me up!

Posted by: Blogger BrigidsBlest at 10/27/2009 7:35 PM

I've heard only wonderful things about this book!

I agree about Halloween starting at night. It always feels weird to start trick-or-treating while it's still daylight.

Posted by: Blogger Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) at 10/29/2009 7:20 AM

Halloween is my favorite holiday but we don't start celebrating until after dark. I would love to win your book.

seriousreader at live dot com

Posted by: Blogger Linda Henderson at 10/30/2009 12:01 AM

Ballad sounds like a great book! Halloween is my fav holiday and I agree that it isn't Halloween until it is dark outside. :0) I somehow ended up watching the history channel on Sunday and they had a history of Halloween which was real interesting. Happy Halloween.

Rose S.

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/30/2009 5:18 PM

Oooh, this book sounds wooonderful!Mariahpenguinqueen(at)hotmail(dot)com

Posted by: Anonymous Mariah at 10/31/2009 12:04 PM

Thanks for sharing your story!

Posted by: Blogger Samantha Stoner at 10/31/2009 12:08 PM

I've wanted to read this author for awhile!
Liz E
reddjena05 AT yahoo DOT com

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/31/2009 12:09 PM

I loved shiver - I've been meaning to read this series. It sounds really good =)

chel_216 at hotmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger Chelsea at 10/31/2009 12:24 PM

I agree! Well said! I like the Mexican concept of Day of the Dead as well. (And I could do without ever seeing another scare-fest movie).

Ballad looks awesome!

Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Samhain!


Posted by: Blogger Bella at 10/31/2009 12:27 PM

Great post! I love Halloween too- there's always that charge to the air. Magic time when anything is possible :). Would love to read Ballad so sign me up! Jesscapelle (at) aol (dot) com

Posted by: Blogger Jess Capelle at 10/31/2009 12:31 PM

I loved her books Shiver and Lament. I cant wait to read Ballad!

Posted by: Blogger chinesedolphin94 at 10/31/2009 12:32 PM

I would love to read Ballad. :D Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year! I have always loved the costumes and everything else that comes with it. :D

Posted by: Blogger Ivy at 10/31/2009 12:37 PM

Ooou ! Ballead has been on my to-read list for some time now, and winning this book would make my Halloween! :)

Robyn :)

Posted by: Blogger Robyn @ Robolobolyn's Universe at 10/31/2009 12:51 PM

Great prize. Sign me up... thanks stacy

Posted by: Blogger Jamie at 10/31/2009 1:04 PM

Ballad sounds amazing! I would love to read it.

Posted by: Blogger Tabitha Michelle at 10/31/2009 1:20 PM

Please enter me! I would love to read Ballad.


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/31/2009 2:52 PM

Awesome contest! I really want to read Ballad!

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

Posted by: Blogger Paradox at 10/31/2009 3:19 PM

Awesome guest post Maggie!

I can agree. I like it when it's dark. The Jack'o'lanterns specifically don't work unless it's dark. ;)

I loved that Ballad was set around Halloween. :) It put a nice spooky mood to it all.

Posted by: Blogger Jess (The Cozy Reader) at 10/31/2009 9:08 PM

i really want this book--especially a signed one! plz enter me :)

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/31/2009 9:12 PM

I've read her Shiver and wasn't a big fan. However, this one looks like it'll hook me. =]


Posted by: Blogger lovely1117 at 10/31/2009 9:34 PM

I have heard a lot of great things about Ballad... looking forward to this one, whether I win it or just buy it =P

Posted by: Blogger Kari Olson at 10/31/2009 10:05 PM

I loved Shiver and am very interested in reading Lament, and Ballad!

Posted by: Anonymous Nicole W at 10/31/2009 10:56 PM

I'm in!

Posted by: Blogger Lale at 11/01/2009 1:37 AM

The winner of Maggie Stiefvater's BALLAD is Sylvia! Congrats!

Thanks to everyone who commented. October is over, but several contests are still open, so drop on by if you get a chance.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 11/01/2009 9:38 AM


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