YA Q&A with Anna-Marie McLemore

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Hey y’all! Welcome to another installment of YA Q&A! I’m so excited to introduce you to the very talented Anna-Marie McLemore. Her debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, will be out in one month!  Wahoo and congrats, Anna-Marie!  We’ll get to some more details about the book at the end of the post, but first let’s get to her Q&A!

BW: You wake up one morning and, OMG, you’re a mermaid. What’s the first thing you do with your new ability?

AMM: Make an aquatic friend! I’m thinking a manatee, a sea turtle, or a dolphin.

BW: Your parents aren’t super thrilled with the slightly fishy smell and all your water usage. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

AMM: Cate, Maura, and Tess from Born Wicked. A little Cahill magic should do the trick!

BW: Three cheers for those three sisters!  They, of course, can help you out! Back to normal, you arrive at school and literally crash into your crush. He asks you why you’re shaken up. What do you tell him?

AMM: I just tell him I spent the morning as a mermaid. He comes from cultures in which far stranger things are bedtime stories.

BW: Still…it’s a pretty tall tale. He isn’t convinced you’re telling the truth. He suggests going somewhere to talk about it more. Where’s this dream date taking place?

AMM: Right by the ocean. I’ll introduce him to my new sea turtle friends.

BW: It might not be true love yet, but there is a Happily Ever After in your near future. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out super soon. Tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

Romeo and Juliet meets The Night Circus in a tale of rival traveling shows, long-standing feuds, & a romance as unlikely as it is dangerous.

BW: And if that doesn’t have you scrambling for more, here’s the full synopsis:

The weight of feathersFor twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have 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.

AMMMore about Anna-Marie: Anna-Marie McLemore writes from her Mexican-American heritage and the love for stories she learned from her family. Her work has been featured by The Portland Review, Camera Obscura, and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Among her favorite things are fall leaves, Irish dancing, and lesser-known fairy tales. Her debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS  will be released on September 15 from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.

Becky headshots-Becky headshots-0007Becky Wallace is the author of THE KEEPERS’ CHRONICLES: THE STORYSPINNER, a magical adventure in which a case of mistaken identity exposes a young performer to a danger she could have never imagined and a secret her father died to protect. It will be available from Simon & Schuster in March 2015. When Becky’s not writing, she’s baking cupcakes and teaching her kids ’90s dance moves.
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