June 5, 2014

Blog Tour: Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel – Interview


Welcome to our Tour Stop for

Bad Luck Girl (The American Fairy #3) by Sarah Zettel

presented by Random House Children’s Books!


Fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners will love the blend of fantasy and jazz-hot Chicago in this stylish series.

After rescuing her parents from the Seelie king at Hearst Castle, Callie is caught up in the war between the fairies of the Midnight Throne and the Sunlit Kingdoms. By accident, she discovers that fairies aren’t the only magical creatures in the world. There’s also Halfers, misfits that are half fairy and half other–laced with strange magic and big-city attitude. As the war heats up, Callie’s world falls apart. And even though she’s the child of prophecy, she doubts she can save the Halfers, her people, her family, and Jack, let alone herself. The fairies all say Callie is the Bad Luck Girl, and she’s starting to believe them.

A strong example of diversity in YA, the American Fairy Trilogy introduces Callie LeRoux, a half-black teen who stars in this evocative story full of American history and fairy tales.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Praise for Bad Luck Girl:

“All the powers that be want to use Callie’s magic to win the war for their side, and nobody cares what happens to Callie, Jack or the Halfers, raising the stakes to frighteningly high levels. Callie and Zettel bring this stellar trilogy to a satisfyingly sentimental conclusion.” –Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“[Zettel’s] strong characterizations, historical detail, and carefully constructed fantastic elements create a high-energy literary fusion that fans will devour.” –SLJ

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Top Favs with Sarah Zettel

Top 3 Favorite authors (dead or alive) and why?

My favorites tend to shift.  Ray Bradbury,  because he wrote some of the finest science fiction, fantasy and horror ever. Georgette Heyer, because I could read her romances,and her mysteries forever.  The last one would be a toss up between Daphane Du Maurier and the Brontes, because the way they built suspense and character and feeling in their books is amazing.

Top 3 Favorite snacks while writing and why?

I actually don’t snack a lot while writing.  I used to, but the results were…bad, so I had to break the habit.  But, I’d definitely have to grab the coffee maker and the bag of singe-estate Guatamalan beans from The Ugly Mug (our local roastary), the fresh berries (blueberries or raspberries, for preference), and the peanut butter cookies (hey, I said I didn’t snack a lot, I didn’t say I didn’t snack at all…)

Top 3 Favorite books that inspired you to write and why?

Ursula K. LeGuin’s THE TOMBS OF AUTUAN.  This is the book that flipped the writing switch in my head.   Then, probably, Richard Adam’s WATERSHIP DOWN.  There has always been something so wonderful and magical about that book.  After that, it might be Lord Dunsany, THE KING OF ELFLAND’S DAUGHTER, which has its roots deep in Irish folktale.  Or, even better, my copy of the unexpurgated Brother’s Grimm.

Top 3 favorite songs to listen to while writing and why?

I’m a hopeless music nerd.  So, we’ll have to go with The Beatles, “Paperback Writer, “Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancin’ in the Dark,” and David Bowie, “Heroes”

Top 3 favorite techniques to overcome writers block and why?

Long walks.  The French have a saying “it is solved by walking,” and for me, this is true.  If I can’t figure it out, I walk until I can.  Sometimes this takes a while.  There’s also the grand old technique of working on something else for awhile.  Failing that, I whine at my writers group, who are very patient people and full of ideas, and always willing to deliver the dope slap when needed.

Top 3 musicians/bands/groups and why?

I may plead the Fifth on this one because I am such a music nerd, but…I’m a folkie and was raised by folkies, so Pete Seeger.  I love old blues and torch songs, so Ella Fitzgerald.  I adore musicals and show tunes, so George Gershwin.

Top 3 favorite movies of all time and why?

I love old movies.  The Barretts of Wimpole Street, the 1930s version with Norma Shearer and Fredric March, and most importantly, Charles Laughton as the evil Mr. Barrett.  I love it because it’s so unbelievably romantic, and Laughton is terrifying as her control-freak father.  The Heiress, again the 30s version with Oliva de Havalind.  This is an anti-romance, but the central character is so strong and played so brilliantly.  Finally, The Prestige, with Hugh Jackman and Micheal Caine.  This is possibly the most perfectly constructed movie ever.  If you want to learn how to plot a mystery, this is the movie to watch.  American Hustle is almost as good.

Top 3 favorite animated movies and why?

Mmmm…interesting.  The work of Hayao Miyazaki has to top of that list, but which ones?  Spirited Away, maybe, and of course My Neighbor Totoro. I’m an unreconstructed Disney fan, but at the moment it’s a toss up between Mulan and Frozen.

Top 3 favorite movie moments and why?

There’s a moment in The Barretts of Wimpole street where Elizabeth Barrett, who has been sick on her sofa for 10 years has just met Robert Browning.  After he leaves, she manages to get to her feet and contrives to cross the room, all but falling from one piece of furniture to the next, so she can see him cross the street.  You’ll have to trust me on this one, it’s amazing.  The “You do know how to whistle, don’t you Steve?” scene between Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not.  The Nicholas Brother’s dancing to the music of Cab Calloway in Stormy Weather, which is the single best movie musical number ever filmed.

Top 3 favorite actors/actresses and why

Oh, boy.  Let me see…again, remember I am an old movie geek (setting my book Golden Girl at the old MGM studios was NOT an accident).  Jimmy Stewart.  Everybody knows him as George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, but he had incredible range across his career and reinvented himself several times.  Burt Lancaster, ditto.  After that…I’d say Cary Grant, maybe?  Fred Astaire?  Or do I just throw up my hands and go with Humphery Bogart?  Actresses…Bette Davis, she had guts and it showed and she tackled unusual roles.  Katherine Hepburn.  I had some problems with some of her early, most famous work, but by the time she gets to Lion in Winter, all bets are off.  After that…oy.  The problem is I love movies, all kinds of movies for all kinds of reasons, so narrowing it down is as hard as narrowing down favorite books, and for the same reasons.

Top 3 favorite gadgets and why?

I am not really a gadget person.  Mostly I find they get in the way.  Perhaps that is me beign falling early into crumudgeon-hood.  I love my iPad, because I can carry around my entire research library with me and find the nearest coffee shop to read through it.

Top 3 favorite dream destinations and why

Paris, because PARIS.  Florence, because I was there once for 4 days and fell in love with it.  Saturn’s moon Europa, becaused I am convinced there is life there and I want to see it.




Sarah Zettel is the critically acclaimed author of more than twenty novels, spanning the full range of genre fiction. Her debut novel, Reclamation, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her second release, Fool’s War, was a 1997 New York Times Notable Book, and the American Library Association named Playing God one of the Best Books for Young Adults of 1999. Her novel Bitter Angels won the Philip K. Dick Award for best science fiction paperback in 2009. Her latest novel, Dust Girl, was named as one of the best young adult books of the year by both Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association. Zettel lives in Michigan with her husband, her rapidly growing son, and her cat, Buffy the Vermin Slayer.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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