Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Author Interview: Alisa M. Libby

Author of The Blood Confession and soon to be published, The King's Rose, I present Alisa M. Libby! She is kind to give me a quick author interview! Thank you Ms. Libby! Please check her fabulous stories out!

First, when did you decide that being a writer was the perfect occupation for you?

Since childhood I felt the urge to write; it’s always been a part of who I am. As a kid I dreamed of being a writer, but I didn’t necessarily know what that meant or what a career in writing would be like.

Were there any other careers that you were planning to go into? What were your previous occupations?

Growing up I had other ideas (sometimes brief) for what I wanted to do as an adult: an actress, a professional trumpet player, an archaeologist (I definitely went through an Egyptian phase). While these and other obsessions came and went, writing was always something I did – either writing in a journal or writing poetry, short stories, or attempts at writing novels.

In the two novels that you have written so far, they are both based on historical events. What prompted you to write stories set in the 16th century?

I never imagined that I would write historical fiction, and at first didn’t make a conscious decision to do so. That said, I think all writers are heavily influenced by what we read, and as a pre-teen I read a book about Lady Jane Grey that enthralled me and moved me to tears. I’ve often been drawn to particular characters in history, or curious about what someone’s daily life was like in Medieval England or Renaissance Europe or ancient Greece…what did they do, wear, eat, read, think about?

When I was a teenager I came across the legend of Countess Bathory, a 16th century countess who believed that bathing in the blood of virgins would preserve her youth and beauty for eternity. I was terrified by this story, and even more so by the fact that the Countess actually existed and was imprisoned for her crimes. The Countess became the inspiration for my first novel, The Blood Confession. Though I fictionalized much of her story in order to create an inner “logic” (deranged though it may be) for committing the murders, I decided that the time, place, and circumstances for this character—the daughter of nobility in 16th century Hungary—was vital to the story.

Are you soon to release another novel? If so, can you give us a summary of your upcoming novel?

The King’s Rose is my second book, which will be published by Dutton Books in March 2009. It tells the story of Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII of England. Catherine was a pretty, vivacious teenage girl when she caught the eye of one of the most powerful kings in history. But after just over a year of marriage Catherine was accused of having an affair with one of the king’s grooms—similar accusations had already cost Henry’s previous wife, Anne Boleyn, her life. As with my first book, the question of “what was she thinking?” inspired me; I was compelled to create a way to understand (if not condone or agree with) Catherine’s risky behavior.

If you were to enter the mind of anyone in the world at any time period, who would it be and why so?

I would love to visit the real people that I’ve written about, particularly Catherine Howard: Did she really have an affair while married to the King of England? Did she really think she wouldn’t be caught? As for Countess Bathory, I don’t think I want to enter her thoughts for fear that she really was the mass-murderess many historians claim her to be. She was fascinating to write about, but that’s as close to her as I want to get.

Lastly, give us an interesting fact about yourself! Maybe even a secret! (We won't tell!)

I lived in a castle in Holland for one semester in college—the castle was said to be haunted, but I never saw the resident ghost. I love ice cream (this isn’t really a secret) and consider it a part of my writing process. Also, for a while now I’ve struggled with some form of writer’s block, but I’m trying to claw my way out of it and back to inspiration. For more musings about the writing life, visit my blog:

post signature

No comments: