Today at The Book Addict’s Guide, I’m very excited to say that I have Meagan Spooner stopping by for an official part of her SKYLARK blog tour! Check back at her website for more details about the blog tour and all the exciting news before the launch of SKYLARK on August 1st!
Before we launch into the interview, here’s a little info on Meagan’s debut novel, SKYLARK:
Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power, life.
For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.
Lark did not expect to become the City’s power supply.
For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she’s ever known…or face a fate more unimaginable than death.
INTERVIEW WITH MEAGAN SPOONER
I was lucky snag an interview with Meagan as well and we learned some new info about SKYLARK and were introduced to some inside facts about the main character, Lark:
WOW, ever since I read the summary of SKYLARK, I have been anxiously awaiting reading it! Can you sum it a little bit for us?
MS: SKYLARK is about a girl who’s forced to flee the only world she’s known, exchanging the safety of life inside the Wall for the uncertainty and darkness of the magical wasteland beyond. There’s a lot of self-discovery in the book, and facing fear and finding strength. It’s a dark and twisty kind of story, but I think there’s hope in it too.
So it sounds like a little bit of dystopia, a little bit of fantasy and magic, and right up my alley! I love the idea of the energy concert behind the novel. Were you always interested in sci-fi aspects of novels?
MS: Definitely. I’ve been reading adult science fiction and fantasy since I was eight or nine, and it’s always been the genre that I wanted to write. There was never any question in my mind! I think you can do so much more with science fiction and fantasy when it comes to exploring human nature, using contexts we’d never see in real life.
I saw from your bio that you’ve been all over the world (including Antarctica!) with your family. Did you use a lot of your experience with different environments in creating a totally new alternate world?
MS: Strangely enough, most of Lark’s world comes from the world around where I grew up (and live now) in northern VA. Her city is an alternate version of Washington, D.C., and the wilderness she flees through is very like the forests I played in as a child. Though many of my story ideas are actually inspired by the places I’ve traveled, this one—for reasons I can’t quite articulate—came from right here at home.
Your main character Lark seems like a real fighter! Did you see a lot of yourself in Lark’s determination and rebellious nature?
MS: Heck no! I’m a wimp compared to Lark—especially Lark by the end of the book. She grows a lot over the course of the story, shaped and honed by events and by her choices. That said, I think I’d have some fight in me if it came down to fighting for the people I care about. At one point in the book, a character tells Lark (who actually makes the same protest I just did, that she’s not a fighter) that she fights for the people she loves. So maybe Lark is sort of the person I wish I was—the person I hope I am, deep down.
As much as I am taken away by the action and adventure of a story, I know one of my favorite aspects is still the love story. Can you tell us a little bit about the relationship between Lark and the “wild boy” Oren?
MS: When Lark and Oren meet, Lark is on the verge of starvation and, for that matter, happens to be drowning at the time. He saves her life, but it’s not a damsel in distress situation. He doesn’t swoop in on a white horse and sweep her off her feet. There’s no love at first sight—and indeed, you’ll have to read and find out if there’s actually any love at all. At first Lark needs him to survive, because she doesn’t know how to do it by herself—she’s lived her whole life in a controlled dome. But gradually that begins to change, as Lark comes into her own and Oren begins to realize he needs her as much as she needs him. And in the end, Oren’s the one who actually needs saving.
Regardless of age, I know there are so many of us who love YA. How did you decide to set your novel in the young adult range?
MS: For me, there was never any question that I’d write YA. For one thing, I find the journey of self-discovery that’s so prevalent in YA fiction to be fascinating. Getting to explore what it means to be human right along the exploration of what it means to be an adult, what it means to be YOU and not THEM… that’s what it’s all about. But it’s not just about the age of the protagonist for me—I love the quick pacing in YA. I love the challenge of keeping young readers engaged. And nobody reads with more intensity and enthusiasm than children and teens—there are no greater fans. Teen readers are truly devoted.
And now a little less serious, and a little more fun – Quick Bookish Q&A
Where is your favorite place to read/write?
MS: Reading: On the couch. I used to read in bed most often, but these days when I go to bed I’m asleep within minutes, making reading kind of hard! For writing, I’m happiest doing it at my own desk, at my computer. I have a very specific chair and keyboard and so forth. I can write from anywhere, but I prefer to write at home!
Are there any authors you’re dying to meet?
MS: Some I’ve met but would love to actually get to hang out with for more than the length of a panel and signing: Kristin Cashore and Peter S. Beagle, for example. Others I wish I’d met when they were still with us, like Diana Wynne Jones and Maurice Sendak. Still others, I hope to meet someday, like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Tamora Pierce, Lois Lowry, and Robin McKinley.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
MS: THE LAST UNICORN by Peter S. Beagle. No, wait. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. No, hang on, I can do this. ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card. Or—you know what, screw it. This question is WAY TOO HARD.
Who’s your biggest literary crush?
MS: Radcliffe Emerson, from CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK (and the other Amelia Peabody mysteries) by Elizabeth Peters. I can’t describe why, I honestly can’t. He’s so not my type—not to mention WAY older than I am. He was older than me when I read the book as a tween, and is STILL way older than me now. I don’t even read mysteries much—and I don’t tend to go for burly, muscly-type guys. But he’s a sexy Victorian archaeologist excavating in Egypt and solving murder mysteries with his ahead-of-her-time feminist wife. WHAT IS NOT TO ADORE?
Who’s your favorite literary villain?
MS: Oh, that’s a tough one. Overall, I’d say I prefer antagonists to villains—which isn’t always a clear distinction, but let me explain a bit what I mean. I like the anti-heroes… characters who aren’t necessarily just evil, and in fact could have been (or would have been) heroes if not for the choices they thought were right at the time. I love Inspector Javert, for example, in Les Miserables. I love how focused he is on apprehending Jean Valjean, on upholding the law. And yet his passion turns to obsession, and ultimately destroys him. I find villains who are bad for the sake of being bad to be a bit… unrealistic? Uninteresting? I like antagonists who believe they are acting in whatever way is best for everyone, that the ends justify the means. I like having to put my protagonists in the position of working out what’s morally correct… what you can sacrifice in the name of what’s “right.” How much can you give up before you yourself become the villain?
MS: Hardcover, if it’s a book I love and want to have permanently on my shelf. Mostly, though, it’s important to me that all books in a series match. If the first one I get is a hardcover, then I need to have them ALL be hardcovers! Otherwise they’ll look strange on my bookshelf.
Don’t judge me. The bookcase organization is the only thing I’m weird about, I promise. (Hint: I am lying. I am utterly weird about many, many things.)
I completely understand! I do the same thing with my books as far as keeping a series all paperback or all hardcover!!
Thanks so much for chatting with me, Meagan! I had an absolute blast!
Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.
She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.
In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.
She is the author of SKYLARK, coming out August 1 from Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Books. She is also the co-author of THESE BROKEN STARS, forthcoming from Disney-Hyperion in Fall 2013.
Another big thanks to Meagan Spooner for the interview and for having me as a part of the SKYLARK blog tour! Here are some more links where you can find Meagan!
Pre-order the book! Coming out on SOON on August 1st, 2012!!!
Meagan’s put together a great swag package for one lucky winner! Click the link below for your chance to win some awesome Skylark swag!
| GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED |
Speaking of contests!: Have you entered yourself in THE SKY’S THE LIMIT contest at Meagan’s website yet? If not, you should go do it right now. The contest is ending TONIGHT 7/27 AT 11:59PM!! And here’s the kicker: Everyone is a winner! Check back at Meagan Spooner’s website for all of the details and enter yourself for even more Skylark goodies! Don’t forget, contest ends tonight so hurry up and enter to win!!
One more big thank you to Meagan for having me participate in the SKYLARK blog tour, as well as effectively wrapping up my Wild Worlds feature week!
Miss anything during Wild Worlds week? Check back here for links to all of the author interviews as well as chances to enter giveaways!