Heather Tomlinson & The Swan Maiden

One of the very first books I recieved for review was The Swan Maiden by Heather Tomlinson. It is STILL one of the most beautiful fairy-tale retellings I have ever read, and this year I got the chance to read her new fairy-tale, Toads and Diamonds. I was honored when she agreed to be interviewed and donated a copy of The Swan Maiden to giveaway! Check it out her awesome interview:

What’s your favorite thing about birthdays and why?

Cake. Frosting is optional (unless it’s German Chocolate), but cake makes a birthday!

I'm not a big coconut fan, but I do love me some German Chocolate cake. How do you celebrate a book “birthday”? Do you have release parties? Any traditions?

The Swan Maiden’s launch was my ideal release party, with lots of friends and family present, and a terrific local bookstore hosting the celebration. Other than that, it’s mostly the occasion for a lot of nail-biting, wondering how readers will like the book.

Well you don't have to worry about my reaction. Keep writing fairytales and I'll keep loving them! But right now the really hit thing is paranormal. Let's say your editor returns your manuscript and informs you that one of your characters in Toads and Diamonds needs to be a paranormal creature in disguise. Who do you choose, and what creature do they become?

Princess Ruqayya is a shape-shifter: she has a destiny far beyond supervising her brothers’ eventual nurseries…

Ooh! I'd read about that! If you could change nature's color palette, would you? What would you change? (ie. blue trees, purple grass?)

Grains would grow in as many different colors as flowers already do, so bread and rice and pasta and breakfast cereal would be made “naturally” in dark green, ruby red, and bright orange.

That sounds BEAUTIFUL! I'd grow grain just so that I could see the pretty colors! If you were living a fairy tale, which one would you want to live?

Cinderella. The summer in high school that I worked as a resort chambermaid, toiling for an evil (step) manager, I really felt like I was living it!

Ew. That sounds unpleasant. But it sounds like you're always thinking about fairy tales. Can we look forward to more fairy-tale themed books from you? Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

After attending a writing workshop led by the amazing Juliet Marillier (author of Wildwood Dancing and many other books), I’ve been thinking a lot about Bluebeard. We’ll see—it takes me a year or more to write a book, and I’m not sure I want to spend that much time with him. On the other hand, characters who irritate me tend to spark ideas.

I LOVE Juliet Marillier's books! So cool that you got to work with her. One last hypothetical question: Would you rather be denied your swan-shifting abilities like Doucette(The Swan Maiden), or speak snakes and frogs like Tana(Toads and Diamonds)?

I would be really bad at coping with the reptiles and amphibians, so I’d have to choose Doucette’s situation, difficult though it might be.

I think I'd have to agree. I work with reptiles and amphibians for my job, and they still creep me out.

Now it's time for your mad lib!
Vent’roux’s winding streets were lined with rows of stone feathers capped with silky tile roofs. Behind each house, gardens contained rows of fire irons or well-tended boulders. Mainsails graced many of the town’s small squares, which would be shaded in summer by large crumpets. Bare, ancient branches now admitted the autumn sunlight, which warmed the whistles of the surrounding salamanders and brightened the colorful skirts and kerchiefs of the girls freezing ladders.
*mad-lib idea was inspired by Alysa at Everead!

 GIVEAWAY TIME!

Today's giveaway is hosted by Mariah @ A Reader's Adventure. She's giving away a SIGNED hardcover copy of The Swan Maiden. I'll admit that I was REALLY tempted to keep this one for myself, guys, but I resisted. So you'd better make my sacrifice worth it and GO ENTER!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

32 comments:

  1. What a great interview! I loved Toads and Diamonds, and The Swan Maiden has been on my TBR for months.

    And I agree. Cake does make a birthday.

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  2. Coolies. This book looks exciting :)

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  3. I'm always looking for more great fairy tale retellings--thanks for the interview!

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  4. So glad you interviewed her! I loved Toads and Diamonds. The world in it was so beautiful!

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  5. This was a great interview! Her stories are beautiful!

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  6. I was actually reading up on this one the other day because I was working on a modernization of the swan maiden tale and swan lake! I need to read this!

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  7. I can't believe I've never read her books! I love fairy tale retellings. Okay, she's on my list.

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  8. Great interview! Toads and Diamonds & The Swan Maiden sound very interesting.

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  9. Thanks for the interview. Its always good to know more about the author.

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  10. Looks like it didn't post my comment before when I tried to leave one....but I still maintain that Surrounding Salamanders would be a great name for a band. :)

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  11. I loved the questions you asked!

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  12. I love fairy tales! I really want to read Tomlinson's books.

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  13. What a great interview! The book looks fun! New follower. Love the blog!

    Tia @ Falling For Books

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  14. I always enjoy a good fairy tale. Sounds great!

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  15. Great interview! I loved Toads and Diamonds but I haven't read The Swan Maiden yet. :)

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  16. Oh, I've wanted to read Toads and Diamonds for ages!!!

    --Sharry

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  17. super cool to get to work with Juliet Marillier! Her books are great! The Swan Maiden looks darling too!

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  18. I loved this interview! Colored grains, cake without frosting, Bluebeard, and a workshop with Juliet Marillier = awesome. I enjoyed Toads and Diamonds, but I haven't read The Swan Maiden.

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  19. First mention I've heard of this book. Great interview by the way. Off to check this book out further though it sounds so awesome.

    (\___/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

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  20. Wonderful interview! I am really looking forward to reading this book! Besides, I love fairy tale re-tellings! ^_^

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  21. Fantastic interview! The book looks fantastic, and I loved the author's answers (German Chocolate Cake FTW! And it really would be beautiful if grains and pasta were naturally gorgeous colors. I can't even imagine what it would be like if the world looked like that, though those things would be far too pretty to eat...). I'll definitely be adding this book to my TBR list!

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  22. Great interview and the book sounds really good.

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  23. Such a fun interview! And I'm with Heather on this one -- don't skimp (or skip) the frosting on German chocolate cake! Yum! I totally love fairy tales and will never outgrow them. Looking forward to reading Heather's books. Thanks so much for the chance to win one!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

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  24. This book looks great! & such a pretty cover, I'm a sucker for pretty covers. :) & German Chocolate Cake.

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  25. Such a cute cover! thanks for the giveaway for this book. Im going to check out her other books they look cute

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  26. I really like the cover of the books, kind of reminds me of rupenzel, lol.Thanks for the giveaway!

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  27. Great interview! The cover looks gorgeous...need to really check it out!

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  28. I love fairy tales, can't wait to read this

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  29. I also like retellings so much!! Thanks for this interview and especially for introducing me to this book :)

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  30. I loved the interview!! Is it hard to think of the questions to ask or do the words just flow? I cant wait to read more of Heather's books!

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Thank you so much for commenting! I read each and every one.

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