The theme of Teen Read Week 2017 is “Unleash Your Story,” so we did a rapid-fire Q&A with some of our favorite YA authors so that they could unleash their stories!

Ready… Set… UNLEASH!

Kendare Blake, author of ‘One Dark Throne’

One Dark Throne

What’s your book about?
Triplet queens with magical gifts who must kill each other in order to ascend the throne!

What inspires you to unleash your story?
A mix of characters and concept. I spend a few years getting to know the characters and their predicament before I start writing, so by the time I’m ready to put words on the page, I’m raring to go, so eager to start their story and see how it plays out.

What are some of your favorite fandoms?
Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Buffy, Harry Potter (obvs.) The Tudor Court (is it a fandom? It should be.)

What was your last 5-star read?
I’ve had a ton of 5-star reads lately, but yesterday I finished Lauren Oliver’s new one: Ringer, the follow up to last year’s terrific Replica. And Ringer was even better than the first!

If you could cosplay as any character, who would it be?
VISERION! My favorite dragon from Game of Thrones. And I would have a cosplay Tyrion by my side at all times, so I could live out my dragon dreams of them riding off together into the sunset.

Kendare Blake is a #1 New York Times bestselling young adult author. Her novels include Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares, the Goddess War series and most recently the Three Dark Crowns series. Kendare lives and writes in Kent, Washington. Connect with her at kendareblake.com.

 

Kes Trester, author of ‘A Dangerous Year’

A Dangerous Year

What’s your book about?
A smart and capable girl suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar and possibly dangerous environment. Riley Collins has grown up in some of the world’s most violent cities, but it didn’t prepare her for life in a Connecticut boarding school watching over a billionaire’s daughter with a target on her back.

What inspires you to unleash your story?
When I was growing up, there were two kinds of YA books: the ones for girls that focused on social issues, and the ones for boys where they got to be spies and adventure heroes. Guess which ones I read? I want to give today’s YA readers the books I yearned for: page-turning stories centered on smart yet relatable girls who are the heroes of their own lives.

What are some of your favorite fandoms?
I’ve been a fan of Jaime and Claire since the first Outlander book was published, but I have also seen every entry in the Star Trek canon (can you guess how the alien Kes in Star Trek: Voyager got her name?). I also love Star Wars (yes, I named my kid Luke!), James Bond, and now the fantastic Wonder Woman.

What was your last 5-star read?
Vic James’ Gilded Cage. It takes place in an alternate reality a la Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials with the same kind of diabolical plotting as Game of Thrones. It’s dark and twisty, and so much fun.

If you could cosplay as any character, who would it be?
I love how strong female characters have moved to the forefront of the Star Wars narrative. Give me a light saber and call me Rey.

A Los Angeles native, Kes Trester has worked as a feature film development executive, producer and head of production for a Hollywood-based film company. In an attempt to raise kids who could actually pick their mom out of a line up, Kes now writes full-time. Her contemporary novels for young adults are cinematic, fast-paced, and above all, fun. Connect with her at kestrester.com.

 

Danielle Paige, author of ‘Stealing Snow’

Stealing Snow

What’s your book about?
It’s a Snow Queen origin story, but not the Frozen version that we all know and love. It’s my take on the original Hans Christian Anderson tale, only from the perspective of the Snow Queen. If you’re not familiar with it, the Snow Queen has more in common with the Evil Queen than any Disney Princess. I wanted to get to the heart of how she got to that very dark place in the original tale and possibly give her a way to her own happy ending.

What inspires you to unleash your story?
All of it! Character! World building! Plot! I think every writer has a little creation complex. After all, who doesn’t want to create their own world, the people in it and then make things happen?

What are some of your favorite fandoms?
Star Wars, Harry Potter, Vampire Diaries, (Karolin forever!), Orphan Black, Pretty Little Liars, and Buffy.

What was your last 5-star read?
Impossible. But I adored Lauren Oliver’s Replica, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. I am such a fairy tale queen, but I love clones and stuff. In fact, I have a clone book I am still dying to write…

If you could cosplay as any character, who would it be?
I love playing dress-up. Check out my Instagram (@daniellempaige), and you’ll see it all! I dressed up as Wonder Woman in honor of Leigh Bardgo’s Warbringer, and I dressed up as Snow from Stealing Snow when I got to cohost Yallfest’s Smackdown with Alex London last year. It is almost Halloween, so I’ll need to figure out what’s next!

Danielle Paige is the New York Times bestselling author of the Dorothy Must Die series and the Stealing Snow series. In addition to writing young adult books, she works in the television industry, where she’s received a Writers Guild of America Award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. Connect with her at daniellepaigebooks.com.

 

Heather Cumiskey, author of ‘I Like You Like This’

I Like You Like This

What’s your book about?
It’s the story of Hannah, a 16-year-old high school loner who wants to change her life by trying to impress a group of popular girls, and instead captures the attention of a dark and mysterious drug dealer. When her life takes an unexpected detour into his dangerous world, she is forced to reexamine what she believes about herself and the people she trusts the most.

What inspires you to unleash your story?
It all started with the idea of a girl taking LSD alone in her basement and the emotional trauma that is revealed. I wanted to find out more about her, like what happened to her, where’s her family, her friends? Suddenly the story of Hannah began to flow out of me.

What are some of your favorite fandoms?
My favorite binge is Orange is the New Black. I also love Younger and The Sinner.

What was your last 5-star read?
The Hate U Give. Thomas’s voice is exquisite.

If you could cosplay as any character, who would it be?
Wonder Woman. She’s a badass, plus I’m dying to get my hands on those wedge boots.

Heather Cumiskey grew up on Long Island with three older brothers, so she often turned to the teen book section in the library for answers when it came to girl stuff, boys and coping with parents. Heather currently lives in Maryland with her husband and three sons. I Like You Like This is her debut novel. Connect with her at heathercumiskey.com.

 

Amy Foster, author of The Rift Frequency

Rift Frequency

What’s your book about?
The Rift Frequency is the second book in the Rift Trilogy. In Frequency, the protagonist, Ryn Whittaker, goes through the multiverse, ending up on many different iterations of Earths. She’s trying to figure out the bigger picture of who her real enemy is at home. Plus, there are a couple very complicated relationships. Frequency leans far more into the fantasy realm than the first book.

What inspires you to unleash your story?
With this trilogy, science is the key that unlocks the fantasy. I am so intrigued by the idea of the multiverse, of evolutionary biology, the butterfly effect, climate change, immigration, emigration, robotics, DNA and history. There are endless ‘what if’ scenarios when you consider that the Earth might have cooled just a little faster or slower during one or more of its Ice Ages, or if there had been a slightly different combination of gases in the atmosphere during the Big Bang. Sound and sound wave particles as they pertain to energy are also a part of what makes this journey of theirs actually work. As a musician, that’s also particularly exciting for me. I just think it’s really cool when science begets actual fantasy.

What are some of your favorite fandoms?
I have so many fandoms I feel I’m part of! Harry Potter, of course, but also, I have a great love of the old WB and UPN, so Buffy and Gilmore Girls and Felicity and Roswell. Also Star Trek, obviously.

What was your last 5-star read?
Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank. It’s just adorable and one of those books that fly by. It’s a mystery, which is not necessarily a go-to genre for me. I also love that she is self-published. Sometimes the readers know better than the fancy publishers!

If you could cosplay as any character, who would it be?
I’d love to wear my character Ryn’s uniform but it might be a little tight lol… I think just for dramatic effect I would be Nascha, a Wise Woman of the Woon-Kwa who are eight feet tall and deer people. They have these ginormous antlers that they cover in bells and chimes. I think that would be pretty amazing.

Amy S. Foster is a celebrated songwriter, best known as Michael Bublé’s writing partner, and has collaborated with Beyoncé, Diana Krall, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and a host of other artists. She is also the author of the novel When Autumn Leaves and the Rift Uprising Trilogy. When she’s not in a studio in Nashville, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Connect with her at amysfoster.com.

 

How will you unleash YOUR story this Teen Read Week?

The News

Quentin Tarantino says he knew about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior: ‘I knew enough to do more than I did’

In a new interview with The New York Times, director Quentin Tarantino — whose films have largely been distributed by The Weinstein Company — admits he knew how Harvey Weinstein treated women.

Earlier this month The Times and The New Yorker published bombshell reports revealing horrific behavior by TWC founder Harvey Weinstein. The reports — and the revelations that came in the days after — rocked Hollywood.

Tarantino remained silent until Thursday’s interview. In it, he tells The Times he “knew enough to do more than I did.”

“It was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things,” Tarantino said, referencing the stories recently shared by “prominent” actresses.

“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”

Tarantino admits that he can offer nothing but a “crappy” excuse at this point. Even though he heard stories about his business partner on multiple occasions, he “chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk. As if that’s O.K. That’s the egg on my face right now.”

The director, whose most recent film The Hateful Eight was distributed by The Weinstein Company, says that he tried to reach out to the disgraced Hollywood mogul after the reports were published, but Weinstein didn’t pick up. More of Tarantino’s remarks can be read over on The Times’ website.

As more women share their stories, Hollywood is starting to take (some) action. Last week The Weinstein Company fired their founder, and The Academy voted to remove him from their ranks.

Explaining their vote to expel him, The Academy said in a statement, “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society.”

October 19, 2017
The Podcasts

Hype is our flagship podcast talking all things fandom

Episode #163 – Justified!

Hype Podcast tackles this week’s biggest entertainment stories including Will and Grace, Riverdale, The Bold Type, Lorde, Avatar and more.

October 7, 2017
The Reviews