Introducing Anna-Marie McLemore

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¡Encantada! I’m Anna-Marie McLemore, author of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, a YA magical realism novel coming September 15, 2015 from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. Here’s a little about the story:

TheWeightofFeatherscoverThe Palomas and the Corbeaus have long been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS is a story of the tension between two families, the meeting of two different cultures, and the draw between a boy and a girl who’ve been raised not to go near each other. 

For my Fearless Fifteeners introduction, I wanted a share a few things about FEATHERS, and, since it’s a story about performers in traveling shows, a little about my background in the performing arts:

Five things about THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS:

  1. The initial spark for the novel was a story my father told me about a mermaid show, and a day I spent in a national forest wearing a set of wings. You can find a little more about that here.
  1. One family in the story, the Palomas, are Mexican-American, as am I. The other, the Corbeaus, are French and Romani, neither of which I am. I was originally inspired to write about Romani traditions by talking with someone close to me about his family’s history.
  1. I’ve spent much of my life involved in the performing arts. However, both Lace and Cluck work in aspects of their families’ shows that I haven’t often been part of: Lace does make-up not just on herself, but on the other mermaids, and Cluck makes costumes, specifically his family’s wings.
  1. The color of Lace Paloma’s mermaid tail, and the significance of it, draws on quinceañera traditions.
  1. I knew that Cluck Corbeau’s name was Cluck before I knew anything else about him.

Five things about me and the performing arts:

  1. The first time I ever climbed a lighting scaffold, I got stuck up there. Like a cat. If the audiovisual technician hadn’t climbed up and talked me down, I might still be up there.
  1. As a teen, I competed in Irish dance feisanna. My dress was lipstick red, and weighed about ten pounds.
  1. The most nervous I’ve ever been while running the light board was for a Lorca play, because I was in love with the soundboard operator.
  1. I realized I was in love with him when I accidentally said the name of the Scottish play three minutes before curtain. To make sure a disaster didn’t befall the production, I had to run around the outside of the theatre and spit over my shoulder before the stage manager called places.
  1. When, instead of playing a cue of barking dogs, the soundboard operator accidentally played a track of mariachi music, I realized he was in love with me too. A few years later, I married him.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read a little about THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS! And please come say hello—I’d love to hear from you!

Anna-Marie McLemore writes from her Mexican-American heritage and the love for stories she learned from her family. She lives in California’s Central Valley with a boy from the other side of the Rockies. Her debut novel THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, a YA contemporary love story with a magical twist, will be released in 2015 from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. You can find her on Twitter @laannamarie.
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