Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2014 Most Anticipated - Winterspell

The next pick on my 2014 Most Anticipated list is one that immediately grabbed me by it's synopsis. Claire Legrand's Winterspell is going to offer a twisty retelling of The Nutcracker and I can't wait. Helping with the anticipation is that there is no cover yet! Counting down the days until we have one (I expect awesomeness)

Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and tell me you don't want it NOW
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.
AMAZING RIGHT?! I want to read this IMMEDIATELY. If you, like me, can't wait to get your hands on this check out the awesome Q and A with Claire below. She even provided some musical inspiration.

1 Describe Winterspell in three words.

Nutcracker gets twisted.

2 What about the Nutcracker inspired you to write this story?

I've always loved the ballet, ever since I was a little girl -- loved, loved, LOVED to the point of obsession. My favorite production is by the Pacific Northwest Ballet, which was made into a motion picture in the 80s. It's strange and darkly whimsical, much like the original fairy tale, and much more interesting to me than most productions, which are far too sweet and harmless for my liking. But even my favorite production left me with unanswered questions about these characters, the worlds they inhabit, their motivations, their histories. By writing Winterspell I was able to expand upon this world I love so much, as well as bring these characters to life in a way that made sense to me and satisfied my lingering questions.

3 Are you able to share a secret about one of the characters, the world, something that inspired something about the world/characters?

I can do all three! Briefly, though. Don't want to give too much away yet. ;)

A secret about a character: In the ballet, the character of the Sugar Plum Fairy always seemed unnecessary to me, besides giving one of the principal ballerinas something to do. My frustration with her inspired the creation of a particularly dangerous, glamorous character in Winterspell. Rest assured, she has a lot to do in this book, and she does it bloodily -- while looking damn good (and she'll be the first to tell you that).

A secret about the world: There are two worlds in Winterspell -- one is 1899 New York City, and one is the land of Cane. I have written several fairy tales about the origin, history, inhabitants, and creatures of Cane, and I'll be sharing them with you next year, before the book's release!

Something that inspired me while writing: Listening to music helps me create -- characters, worlds, plot. One of my biggest inspirations for the general aesthetic of Cane was Paul Haslinger's score for Underworld, the first movie in the cheesy-but-undeniably-awesome series of vampire-vs-werewolves films. You can listen to one of the tracks below. I used this music a LOT when writing fight scenes, descriptive paragraphs, and big set pieces.

4 For fans of the Nutcracker, can they expect to see some of the iconic elements, or is it more a loosely based interpretation? 

Fans of The Nutcracker will absolutely see nods to the ballet in Winterspell! Sometimes the references are blatant, and sometimes they're more subtle, but all of them should please those familiar with the ballet. As a fan myself, I certainly had a lot of fun writing them! But never fear -- those less familiar with the ballet won't feel left out in the slightest.

5 What 2014 release are you most looking forward to?

Without a doubt, Laini Taylor's Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I'm OBSESSED with that series, and with Taylor's writing in general. This is probably my favorite YA series of all time, and I just know the finale will blow me away . . . and probably also leave my heart in pieces, but that's just how I like it. ;)

A huge thank you to Claire for taking the time to answer these questions. This title is high up on my MUST read list, and the Q and A certainly increased my desire to get my hands on this one! Love the musical inspiration.

If you want to learn more, check out the author's website, or the publisher's website for more information.

Winterspell will be in stores September 2, 2014. Pre-orders for this title are not available yet, but be sure to add it to your Goodreads so that you'll remember to pre-order when it becomes available.

Let me know in the comments what you think of the cover, the synopsis, or what twists you expect this story to take! Are you a fan of the ballet? Also, check back soon for a contest where you could win one of my featured titles (be sure to pay attention to these Question and Answers as they'll help).

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited for this. I have loved all of Claire LeGrand's books so far and the tagling "Nutcracker gets twisted" just seals the deal


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