Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Author Interview & Giveaway: Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black

 
Hi guys! I have the lovely Jennifer Mason-Black on the blog today to talk about her upcoming YA debut, Devil and the Bluebird! Find out how she came up with the story and enter to win a copy :D


Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black Devil and the Bluebird
by Jennifer Mason-Black
May 17, 2016
336 pages


Goodreads Summary:
“Devil-at-the-crossroads” folklore finds its way to YA via this moody, magical tale.

Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass.

Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself to finding family in unexpected places.

In Devil and the Bluebird, Jennifer Mason-Black delivers a heart-wrenching depiction of loss and hope.


Interview
 
1. How did you come up with the story in Devil and the Bluebird?

Funny as it sounds, there are quite a few different answers to this question. Some of that has to do with how I write. I rarely never have a story plotted before I start work on it. Everyone’s brain works in its own magical way. Mine struggles when I impose too much structure on a piece of writing.
 
So, Blue Riley’s story comes from a bag full of bits and pieces. The devil at the crossroads is an obvious piece. Beyond that, I was feeling angry over the politics of my country and the narrative of good and bad when it comes to wealth and inequality. I was also thinking a lot about art, about the kinds of journeys we go through to find the things we’re meant to share. I carried those pieces around until I ran into Blue—in my head, of course—and started to understand her particular journey.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about what the cover images symbolize?

Oooh, the cover. Allow me to point out that Monica Ramos did the artwork and Alyssa Nassner handled the gorgeous design. I’m so grateful that these highly talented women were available to create Blue’s cover.
 
As for the specifics, the central image is of Blue’s guitar. It originally belonged to her mother, who died of cancer seven years earlier. Blue brings it to the crossroads to help call the devil there, then carries it with her cross country. Within the guitar are elements of Blue’s journey: a hitchhiker’s thumb, the notebook and pen she uses to communicate, the boots that lead her toward her sister, and other images I’ll leave unexplained for now. And laced through everything are music and footprints.

3. How do you think Blue's journey changes her?

In some ways, Blue froze when her mother died. She spent so much effort trying not to change, not to feel anything new, only that’s hard to do as you grow up. Things change whether you want them to or not. There’s a whole world of grief and anger and fear and love and joy that Blue’s been hiding from, and she’s traveling her own emotional terrain as much as she’s exploring the country’s physical landscape.
 
Bit by bit, as Blue gives in to feeling everything she’s frozen away, she’s finding who she is as well. Someone who can play her guitar in front of strangers, who sees the ghosts traveling alongside her without fearing them, who understands the power of her own voice. It’s a journey that many of us take at some point in our lives. It takes strength to love—friends, family, ourselves, the world—and to trust, and it’s that strength that Blue discovers in herself.

4. Why folklore and YA?

Folklore is life. It is the magic of life, not just the big things but the small magic that exists in all the tiny gaps and corners of our worlds. It’s how we answer the question of why things happen in ways we don’t expect. It’s the stories that help us recognize one another as travelers on these same confusing, terrifying, spectacular roads. If magic is mystery, then life contains more magic than we can possibly quantify.
 
Honestly, I’m not much good at writing straight reality. I think I see the world at angles that obscure the 100% factual view.

5. Anything else you'd like to tell us?

I’m always bad at these questions! Yes, I mean, I’d love to tell you all that kindness is a good thing, that you’re more wonderful than you believe, that lying on the grass and staring up into the sky for a bit is always worth it, but I feel like that’s not usually what people are looking for in an answer.
 
I can tell you that I added my own ghosts to Blue’s story. There are three animals that show up somewhere in the book (can’t say where because SPOILERS) that either lived with my family or were cared for by us toward the ends of their lives. Cinnamon, Diamond, and Chilena—we still love and miss you, and this was my way of holding on to you.

 
Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing all of this with us today. It's so sweet of you to write your three animals into the story. Now I'm even more curious to read Devil and the Bluebird! I also really love the sound of Blue and can't wait to meet her!
 
 
Jennifer Mason-BlackAbout the Author
Jennifer is a lifelong fan of most anything with words. She’s checked for portals in every closet she’s ever encountered, and has never sat beneath the stars without watching for UFOs. Her stories have appeared in The Sun, Strange Horizons, and Daily Science Fiction, among others. DEVIL AND THE BLUEBIRD is her first novel. She lives in Massachusetts.
 

 
Giveaway

Rules:
1. This giveaway is US/Canada and will run until May 20, 2016!
2. The winner will receive a signed finished copy of Devil and the Bluebird!
3. You must be 13+ or have parent's permission to enter this giveaway.
4. BookCatPin, and Jennifer-Mason Black will not be held responsible for lost/damaged mail.
5. The prize will be sent out as soon as it's available (around the book's release date).
6. No giveaway accounts and please don't follow then unfollow.
7. I will check all entries so please be honest or you will be disqualified.
8. The winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or I will have to pick another winner.

 

10 comments:

  1. Oh the crossroads, sounds very Supernatural(ish)!
    Great interview!

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  2. I love the idea for this story and pretty much all stories that are a take on folk lore and legend. Very cool! Also LOVE the cover!! SOOOO Pretty!

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    1. I hope you'll love it Michelle!

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  3. This is awesome! I'm reading this right now. I'm not a huge fan of road trip stories but I love that this combines folklore and a sisterly bond/search. Great interview!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. I can't wait to hear what you think ;)

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  4. What a lovely interview! Her answers really got to me, making me even more eager to grab this book. Also, SO MUCH COVER LOVE. ♥

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  5. Much respect for honoring the fur (or not-so-fur) babies! And what a great way to do it :)
    I'm even more interested now, if that is even possible ;)

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  6. Oooh! I love the cover, the title, what the synopsis promises... everything! This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing the interview and info about this pretty, Eileen! :D

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  7. The book has such a pretty cover, and what a wonderful interview! Thank you for sharing.

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my posts! I read each and every comment I get and will reply as soon as I can :)

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