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!