Release Date: February 4th, 2014
In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.
1. Describe LANDRY PARK in less than 10 words.
Lots of balls, lots of intrigue, lots of swoon.
*perks up* Oooooh I am so up for all of that!
2. Who's your favorite LANDRY PARK character? Who was the hardest character to write?
By and large, my favorite character to write is Cara Westoff. She's selfish and bratty and arrogant, but like an onion or an ogre, she has layers. The hardest character to write is often Madeline. She's very reserved, very thoughtful, very in her own head, and it's difficult not to make her feel too aloof or too judgmental.
Excited to read about them :)
3. How many drafts did you have to write for LANDRY PARK until it was exactly what you wanted?
Essentially three: there was the very first draft that I completed around the end of 2010, the one in 2011 that I sent to my agent, and then that was the one she gave me an R&R on. It was that revised manuscript that she offered to rep and then sold to Penguin.
4. Was the publication process for your book just as you thought it would be or was it easier/harder?
In a way, it was easier. Once I got my agent, she was so proactive and so helpful that a lot of times all I had to do was say, "Wow, you rock. Thanks!" Same thing with my editor. But there were unexpected difficulties too--I never thought ahead to the part where there were negative reviews on Goodreads or the quiet (but gnawing) angst that fills the time when you're waiting to hear back from your editor about your latest draft.
5. Is writing hard or a natural thing for you?
I love this question because even though writing is my passion, even though I feel compelled to do it and couldn't stop myself from dreaming up stories even if I tried, sometimes it feels almost wrenching to do, like I'm literally dripping my heart's blood onto the laptop. That's silly for an author who writes books about dresses and boys and atoms, I think, but I can't help it. And I don't think I would change it, even if I could.
DEEP. I love this answer.
6. Favorite part about being an author?
Beautiful covers for my books. Is that shallow?
Not at all ;P
7. Any writing quirks?
I can't write at home. I live in a post-WWII ranch with two bedrooms, two kids under five and a whole lot of mess. When I try to write at home, this guilt about dishes and laundry and mopping starts creeping up my spine and then I end up cleaning for hours instead of writing. Very similar to the "I have a ten-page lit analysis paper due tomorrow, I should make brownies and scrub my toilet!" compulsion.
8. Any song inspirations that helped you write certain scenes?
SO MANY. I write almost principally with music in the background, since I tend to see scenes as a sort of movie in my brain as I'm writing. I would say, though, that anything from Ludovico Einaudi's Divenire was fairly crucial to helping me access the mood of certain parts, especially the song "Primavera." I still get chills listening to it.
9. Any characters inspired by real people in your life?
There's bits and pieces borrowed from people I've met over the years. The clearest example I can think of at the moment is Jack, the leader of the Rootless, who is tall and wide, but kind of shambling after years of sickness. That was a lot like a man who used to run seminars at my karate school when I was a teen. Something about the weakness of his body as contrasted with how wise and perceptive he was really captured me.
THAT is awesome. It's so cool when authors are able to incorporate people from their own lives even if it's a bit random.
10. Do you think LANDRY PARK would be better suited as a movie or t.v series?
I think as a movie because the story has the kind of arc that would be difficult to sustain over many seasons. But then I see shows like Reign which have such beautiful costume and set design, and then I think I could see it on TV too. But I'm not holding my breath :)
Reign does have awesome dresses but I also understand your point on it being more for the big screen too :D
11. Have you read any good YA books that you would recommend?
Oh noes! I have so many! Too many! Okay, a short list just from what I've read this year would be: Code Name Verity, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series,The Girl of Fire and Thorns series, The Fault in Our Stars, Far, Far Away, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Raven Boys series, Defy, Not a Drop To Drink, Keeping the Castle, Paper Valentine, Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea and The Lost Sun. I have more...
12. Do you have any new books or ideas for the future?
After I finish the second book in the Landry Park series, I have a few ideas I'd like to work on next. Machines that control the weather, ghosts in the Ozarks, competing ex-best-friends at journalism camp...
I will definitely be keeping my eye out for your books that all seem so creative and cool ^.^
13. If someone were to see you in a random public place where would it be and why?
Probably either at the library I work at or at my karate dojo. If not there, then probably at my grocery store at , because I always have elaborate ideas for snacks, and for these ideas, I always have zero of the ingredients at home.
14. What would you most likely fangirl about (t.v series, movie cast, actor, author, etc.)?
Oh, definitely an author. Hell, I have fangirled at authors before. John Green, Jasper Fforde, Kate Morton. I did it to Sylvia Day just a few months ago. I went "Stammerstammermumble I love your books." And then she gave me a pitying nod and handed me a free t-shirt.
YES. I UNDERSTAND. Esp. when I went to my first author event and met Cassandra Clare.
15. Which YA character would you like to hang out with for a day?
Gansey from The Raven Boys. And then I would marry him. Yes, I know he's seventeen. Shhhhh.
1. Any phobias?
I hate being under things. I don't like caves or tunnels or even driving under bridges. Every year when I go to Richmond and then we drive to Virginia Beach, we have to go through the longest tunnel in the world (I swear), and I have my eyes closed and my teeth clenched the entire time as I imagine in graphic detail how the whole thing is going to collapse on top of us.
2. Favorite superhero?
Batman, most definitely. I think he has the most darkness, the most depth--and also he's a martial artist, which I love.
I approve :P
3. Favorite t.v show?
Doctor Who. And yes, I'm having all the feels about losing 11.
4. Unicorn or bunny apocalypse?
Unicorns are notorious for goring non-virgins, so I'll go with bunnies. I have cats and I love fried rabbit. I should be fine.
5. Celebrity crush?
This swings between Tom Hiddleston and Michael Fassbender depending on how recently I've rewatched Jane Eyre.
6. Favorite literary couple?
Edward Rochester and Jane Eyre. Always.
Librarian by day, Bethany Hagen is the author of the forthcoming LANDRY PARK, set to be released from Dial February 4th, 2014. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and two children.
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Hope you enjoyed the interview :)
Hope you enjoyed the interview :)