Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Showcase: Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb by Ally Malinenko


MEET LIZZY SPEARE…
…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very notnormal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert!  It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anybody!)
Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud going back nearly five hundred years.  Is that why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s.  But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in the tomb of that bald guy with the goatee? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?
In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.

Ally Malinenko, a self-proclaimed Bardolator, took her first pilgrimage to Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2009 and hasn’t been the same since. Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is her first children's book. Her poetry book, The Wanting Bone, was published by Six Gallery Press. She blogs at allymalinenko.com. Ally lives in Brooklyn with her husband.





Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. Everything. Honestly. I get inspired by other things I read, by watching Doctor Who, by stranger’s conversations on the train. The premise of one of my WIPs started when I was home sitting on the couch and a menu was slipped under my front door. I watched it skate across the floor and the first thing I thought was, “What if it’s an invitation? What if it was delivered to the wrong person?” And then I wrote 550 pages about parallel worlds.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A. Writing is one of the most important things in my life. I don’t think I could not write. Even if I never got anything published, I would need to write. Everything about it is my favorite but if I had to pick a particular part of the process that I like the best, it’s the initial act of creation. I could do without all the revising.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A. Probably learning how to take rejection. It takes real courage to share this private meaningful part of you with the world. Not everyone is going to like what you create. Some people will downright hate it and they’ll tell you so. The internet is good for that. You learn to be okay with that, you learn to let it go - then you’ve got this writing/publishing thing by the horns.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. I would be a dinosaur.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. Sleep Deprived: The Ally Malinenko Story. Because I get up at 5 am to write and that schedule is slowly killing me.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. One book? Just one? I can’t do it. I’m picking two – one for my favorite as a kid and one for my favorite as a grown up – Wrinkle in Time and Franny and Zooey.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. Meg Murray. Though I didn’t come from a family of geniuses -  no offense to my lovely family. But I loved how real Meg was, how insecure she could be, how unable to see her own talent. She was the anti-Pippi Longstocking. She was very concerned with where she fit in her world much like I used to be.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A. All my characters are a little bit me, but from Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, Lizzy is the most me. She’s smart and creative but also stubborn and she has trouble trusting people. And she has to do everything her way, just like me.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Winter. Followed closely by the fall because it has Halloween – my all time favorite holiday.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. The cover for Lizzy was designed by the very talented Sara Gable. We talked about what happens in the book, the setting and who Lizzy is. And then Sara asked me to send some images of book covers that I liked. Then she came back with the amazing cover she put together for which I could not be happier. Yay Sara!

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A.  Honestly I’ve just started promoting the book and it’s all been online and so far it hasn’t been funny,  just incredible. Bloggers are awesome and so wonderfully enthusiastic about helping to promote writers – especially writers like myself who are on a small press.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. I’m working on two, maybe three books right now. I’m actively writing the second story in the series entitled Lizzy Speare and the Hall of Hecate. I’m also working on a lengthy revision of a YA book about time travel, chess and the multi-verse. And I’m sort of tinkering with a book about when I was in high school and I fell off a waterfall and cracked my head open.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Thanks! I want to say thanks to everyone who read a post, an interview or who picked up the book. Thanks for making my dreams come true. Sharing Lizzy with the world has been a great trip and I wouldn’t change a thing. I mean that.


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