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August 14, 2014

Blog Tour: The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton – Interview and Giveaway

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Welcome to our Tour Stop for

The Strange Maid (The United States of Asgard #2)
by Tessa Gratton

presented by Random House!

Be sure to the enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

The-Strange-Maid

Fans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Maggie Stiefvater will embrace the richly drawn, Norse-influenced alternate world of the United States of Asgard, where cell phones, rock bands, and evangelical preachers coexist with dragon slaying, rune casting, and sword training in schools. Where the president runs the country alongside a council of Valkyries, gods walk the red carpet with Hollywood starlets, and the U.S. military has a special battalion dedicated to eradicating Rocky Mountain trolls. 

Signy Valborn was seven years old when she climbed the New World Tree and met Odin Alfather, who declared that if she could solve a single riddle, he would make her one of his Valkyrie. For ten years Signy has trained in the arts of war, politics, and leadership, never dreaming that a Greater Mountain Troll might hold the answer to the riddle, but that’s exactly what Ned the Spiritless promises her. A mysterious troll hunter who talks in riddles and ancient poetry, Ned is a hard man to trust. Unfortunately, Signy is running out of time. Accompanied by an outcast berserker named Soren Bearstar, she and Ned take off across the ice sheets of Canadia to hunt the mother of trolls and claim Signy’s destiny.

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The Strange Maid (The United States of Asgard #2)
by Tessa Gratton
Publication Date:  June 10, 2014
Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo|amazon|B&N|kobo|TBD|indiebound

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Interview

Top Favs with Tessa Gratton

You’re home alone, there’s a fire!  Top 3 things you’d grab and save from the fire.

–        My 18 volume set of the Oxford English Dictionary if we’re pretending I’m strong as the Hulk.

–        My phone, ok, yes. We neeeeeeds it, precious.

–        Tiny yellow stuffed animal from Japan I’ve had since I was born

 

Top 3 Favorite authors (dead or alive) and why

–        Anne Rice, because I would not be the sort of writer I am without her lush, historical, sexy, bloody books.

–        Melina Marchetta, because she makes me want to be better and dig deeper and challenge myself

–        Robin McKinley, because her books taught me to love reading, and she is a crazy delightful person.

 

Top 3 Favorite snacks while writing and why

I am an alien, and don’t snack on work days. When I am hungry during the writing day I eat chicken or a spinach salad or maybe slice cheese which is LIKE a snack. If I’m snacking because I’m on vacation or taking a fun day off, here are my top 3:

–        Champagne (what! It counts!)

–        goat cheese and dates

–        Girl Scout Cookies

 

Top 3 Favorite books that inspired you to write and why

–        BEAUTY by Robin McKinley, because I’ve never loved a book as much as I loved that one when I was 10 years old.

–        THE VAMPIRE LESTAT because I was absolutely transported

–        FROI OF THE EXILES by Melina Marchetta because it is so hard, and so unique, perfect, and did I mention hard? I long to write a Tessa version, something that is hard in a Tessa way, unique in a Tessa way, and also beautiful and dangerous.

 

Top 3 favorite songs to listen to while writing and why

This changes with every single book and my mood. I listen to songs that fit the scene I’m writing, either with atmosphere or lyrics. For THE STRANGE MAID three of those were

–        “My Medea” by Vienna Teng

–        “Gasoline” by A Silent Comedy

–        “Girls Like You” by The Naked and Famous

 

Top 3 favorite techniques to overcome writers block and why

–        Delete everything and start over

–        Hang upside down listening to very loud, dark music, preferably NIN

–        Take a day off and read a great book

 

Top 3 musicians/bands/groups and why

–        Ke$ha – She is brilliant and fun and I can always find something to love in her music. I admire her as an artist and a person, too.

–        Mumford and Sons – there is poetry and prayer in their music unlike anything else I have.

–        The Airborne Toxic Event – they are so passionate and interesting. Whether I love a particular song or not, I can always hear their passion.

 

Top 3 favorite movies of all time and why

I would list some animated ones here, so I’m glad I noticed the next quest