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When Shannon Hale and Libba Bray toured together recently, they dubbed it “The Torso Tour,” since both of their book covers featured torsos.
As reported in Publisher’s Weekly, “Shortly afterwards, the authors stumbled upon a photo booth and proceeded to photograph their own midsections. “We discovered that there is a reason our publishers used models on the jacket photos and not us,” Hale says. “No one else will ever see the photos we took of our own torsos.”
The story also says, “Both have backgrounds in theater and Hale has done improv, so it stands to reason that booksellers refer to their school and store appearances as “performances.” The two regularly shot questions at each other, ranging from “Why are you so foxy?” to “When did you know you wanted to become a writer?” Hale says she prefers to be spontaneous while addressing young readers and “once I met Libba I suspected that she’d be game for it, which was terrific. We weren’t afraid of making utter fools of ourselves, so that helped. We mixed it up each time. Our goal was to keep each other laughing and that kept everything fresh.”
Read more here.
Bloomsbury and Random are joint-touring two authors: Libba Bray and Shannon Hale. PW says, “The tour was originally scheduled for this past fall when both Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days and Bray’s The Sweet Far Thing were to be published.”
Although I kind of wonder if it was more than just the house publicists dreaming it up. Bray’s husband is Hale’s agent. I’m sure that didn’t hurt, at a minimum.
In the mystery world, Denise Hamilton and Julia Spencer-Fleming are published by different folks and have joint-toured.
Read more about Bray and Hale's tour here.
In a radical departure (for me), I read an adult book today. Make that a book for adults, as the former iteration has negative connotations somehow. Anyhoo.
Today, with much anticipation and even greater enjoyment, I read Austenland by Shannon Hale.
And, rather like my well-watched DVDs of the 1995 BBC/A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, I am looking forward to enjoying it all over again.
Is it because it's the best-written book ever? Probably not.
Is it because it's charming and fluttery and a frothy bit of wish fulfillment? You betcha.
Jane Hayes, single thirtysomething from NYC, is hopelessly infatuated with Mr. Darcy (as played by Colin Firth in the 1995 P&P). And with each failed actual romance, she drifts ever further into her fantasy world. When her great-aunt sniffs out Jane's obsession, poor Jane is left feeling as if she's been caught outdoors in her knickers. And when that great-aunt's legacy to Jane is an all-expense paid trip to Austenland, a three-week playacting/wish fulfillment place in England, Jane debates whether to go or not.
And I am so happy that she chose to go, where she exchanged her everyday panties for a set of cotton drawers, and traded her jeans for an empire-waist gown. Now known as Jane Erstwhile, she's expected to spend her time in character as a Regency era heroine, although with a comfy mattress and working bathroom facilities. Two other "young" ladies share the grounds with her, and at first, only two young men, but as time passes, a third joins as well. Jane spends time sorting out which Austen archetype each character is "playing," and finds her own affections torn between sanity, Mr. Nobley, and "Martin" the gardener.
Can Jane overcome her Darcy obsession once and for all? You'll have to read it (or rather, romp through it) yourself to find out. But I can tell you in all honesty that I adored this fun, funny book. Maybe even more than I liked the award-winning Princess Academy (I know! Shocking! Especially since this book is a grown-up romance novel!)
The best part? Teenage Hale fans can actually be let loose with this one, which, while not entirely chaste, is very nearly so. Will they get all the Austen references? Perhaps not. But the best part is, one needn't get the references in order to enjoy the very romantic plot of this novel.
I should note that Kirkus calls this "Mindless froth that Austen addicts will love." As if that's a bad thing.
Brava, Ms. Hale, brava!
I was visiting The Heartful Bogger and I really like her idea of a holiday giveaway. Here's what I'd like to do. The first 5 people who comment on this post will get their choice of an ATC or an assortment of 3 notecards. The ATC can either be a subject of your choice, or you can let me surprise you! Of course it would be an original work of art, not a copy. The cards, however, would be laser copies.
This is just a little way of paying it forward to my friends who stop by. I wish I could give all of you a gift, but I think that would surely take a lot of time (and resources!)
Please give me a month to respond with the goods if you choose ATC's. The cards can be shipped right away.
Good luck! I'm happy you're here :)