Birthday Month Author Spotlight: Diana Peterfreund, tons of giveaways & an interview with Elliot North from For Darkness Shows the Stars!

November 6, 2012 / 18 Comments / Exclusive Content, Feature, Interview

Guess what? It’s my birthday today!

I’ve been hinting for the last few months that I was going to have something big for my birthday…so here’s the scoop: this month, I’ll be spotlighting one of my favorite authors, Diana Peterfreund. I’ll be doing giveaways of a bunch of her books and swag, reviews, and a special interview with her with lots of details about her Fall 2013 release ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA!

Author Diana Peterfreund

Why am I doing this? Because Diana is one of the coolest authors of YA and New Adult writing today. I really believe this. I started reading the Secret Society Girl series back in 2008 or so, and it’s still one of my favorite series ever. Her writing is beautiful, articulate, and full of awesome details that really require a second or third reading to be uncovered.

Here’s her official bio: Diana Peterfreund has published eight novels for adults and teens, including the four-book Secret Society Girl series (Bantam Dell), the “killer unicorn novels” Rampant and Ascendant (Harper Teen), and For Darkness Shows the Stars, a post-apocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. In addition, she’s written several critically acclaimed short stories and a variety of non-fiction essays about popular children’s literature. Diana lives in Washington D.C., with her family.
Excited yet? Wait, it gets better.
Yesterday, I reviewed her beautiful 2012 novel, For Darkness Shows the Stars. Today, courtesy of Diana herself, I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of For Darkness Shows the Stars, and bookmarks! Open internationally!I’ve also got an awesome interview with main character Elliot North, who is awesome, strong, and way braver than I could ever be. I was so intrigued by Elliot that I sent Diana a letter asking if she would mind putting it into the knothole in the barn for Elliot. She agreed, and luckily, Elliot was so intrigued that she sent back a paper glider with answers:

Mostly YA Lit: First things first: can you tell me your full name? Do you have a middle name?

Elliot North: My name is Elliot Victoria North. My middle name is for my mother.

MYAL: Speaking of names, you were named after your grandfather. Is Tatiana, your sister’s name, of any family significance?

EN: Tatiana was my grandmother’s name. As I was telling Mrs. Innovation the other day, my mother named both of her children. My father didn’t really care. I know some people think it’s odd that I have my grandfather’s name, since I’m a girl, but my mother almost died after I was born, and she knew she’d have no more children. Like me, my mother was very close to my grandfather Elliot, and wanted to honor him.

MYAL: You’ve lived on your family’s estate a long time – even though you had the chance to leave. Can you tell me a bit more about why you stayed? What’s worth keeping here?

EN: I’m not sure where you heard that! Have you been talking to my friends? The North Estate is one of the oldest on the islands. We are one of the grand baronic families who kept the humanity safe from the Wars of the Reduction. If it wasn’t for my ancestors and their genius in leading people down into the caves to wait out the wars, people — both Reduced and Luddite–would have died out. We have a huge population of Reduced living on our lands who depend on the production of our farm to survive from winter to winter. If I –I mean, if my family — wasn’t here to help them, they’d surely starve.

MYAL: So you’re not into fashion like your sister, but have you gone to Channel City before? What’s it like?

EN: Well, I like pretty dresses as much as anyone, but it’s a little silly for me to wear them out on the farm. I can’t really crawl under the tractor in a ballgown, can I? I have been to Channel City a few times, but it was mostly to visit friends of the family. I never got to go to the Post enclaves or anything like that. I hear they are fascinating, though, and the people there wear very bright colors and have all sorts of gadgets like sunlamps and speedboats.

MYAL: I’ve heard that you like to write letters, especially to a servant named Kai (don’t worry, I won’t tell your father or sister). I know you fold them up into gliders. Do you have a favorite shape of glider?

EN: There’s one I make that goes in a loop, but I’m a little out of practice. I haven’t made any gliders in several years, and judging by how Kai has treated me since he got back, I doubt I’m about to start again.

MYAL: So, about Kai…this may be too personal, but can you tell us about your first kiss with him? How old were you, and how did it happen?

EN: My goodness, the questions you ask! “Personal” is right. As long as you’re sure no one will ever read this… Kai and I have known each other all our lives. We were best friends. But things… changed after my mother died. I was fourteen. I… look, it’s very difficult for me to remember those times. Kai was different. I was different. I don’t think it will ever be like that again.

MYAL: Captain Wentforth comes back to the North estate with some pretty serious technology, including sun-carts and other potentially dangerous advancements. Can you tell me a bit more about this technology?

EN: I’m afraid I don’t know that much about it. Kai doesn’t seem to want me to visit the boathouse and see what they are building there. I do love the suncarts, though. They are so much fun to drive. I see why Kai has taken to restoring them. They are just the type of machine he always used to dream of building… you know, if people were allowed to do that. I wish we could afford a sun-cart, but there are a lot more important things to do with our income on the farm.

MYAL: I know you don’t talk about it much as a Luddite, but are there any doctors or healers around? What happens when Dee goes into labour?

EN: We do have Post midwives on the North Estate. And I feel fortunate that Felicia Innovation will be here because I know she’s highly trained as a healer.

MYAL: How much reading do you do? Are there any books that you’ve gotten to read from the 19th century or 20th century – maybe a few by a lady named Jane Austen, perhaps? Any books you’d recommend?

EN: I have heard of Jane Austen. Tatiana and my mother are huge fans of her novels. I preferred ancient myths and also those stories about humans who traveled all over the world and even to the moon and stars.

MYAL: Proustian questionnaire (you probably haven’t read him, but he’s this great author you should check out. He came up with this short answer personality test):

The quality that I desire in a man: Loyalty.
The quality that I desire in a woman: Same!
If not yourself, who would you be? Probably Kai.
Your favorite colour and flower: Lavender for both, I think.
Your favorite food and drink: Hot cider on a cold night and beef stew on same.
Your present state of mind: A little confused. Where did you say you were displaying these questions again? What’s a blog?

Don’t worry, Elliot – being a Luddite, I’m sure you and your family won’t have seen blogs around for centuries – maybe they’ll re-invent the internet someday!Ok, enter to win!

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18 responses to “Birthday Month Author Spotlight: Diana Peterfreund, tons of giveaways & an interview with Elliot North from For Darkness Shows the Stars!

  1. What an awesome character interview with Eilliot! I really loved reading For Darkness Shows the Stars- it was gorgeously written and the world-building was fantastic. I really liked reading the past letters between Elliot and Kai, because you could see how close they used to be and it broke your heart to see them apart in the present. Even though Kai was back in Elliot's life, he'd never been more distant from her.

    Liz @ Midnight Bloom Reads

  2. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!! I got an ARC for it a very longggg time ago, and I devoured it in one sitting!!!! Such a great read. My favorite scene would have to be when Elliot and Kai finally got it out in the air, at the barn, when Elliot may or may not have told him that she was disgusted with him. Finally, she asserts herself! Loved that scene. And many others in the book. Although I was annoyed with Kai most of the time. And hoped for a little more romance between them. But it was still an amazing book, and I can't wait to read Across A Star-Swept Sea!!!!

    Thanks for the post and giveaway!

  3. Greatly enjoyed this interview with Elliot! I've never read dystopian fiction before! I'll read just about anything to do with Jane Austen, so I guess the aspect that most intrigues me about this novel is that it is a retelling of Persuasion!

    Thank for the giveaway and Happy Birthday!

  4. Great interview! I can't wait to read this book! I know it's been out for a while, but I just haven't had the chance to get it yet. I LOVED Diana's Rampant series and was really disappointed that they didn't publish the 3rd one. I hope this book goes better for her!

  5. Persuasion has been a favorite of mine since I first read it 8 years ago, and Diana did such an AMAZING job retelling it. I loved that there were pieces in the book that Persuasion fans would totally geek out over, but there was enough different that it felt new, and would attract a whole new set of readers. I loved, loved, LOVED For Darkness Shows the Stars and I can't wait for Across a Star-Swept Sea!

  6. I'm interested because I read and liked RAMPANT and it sounds like it has a good concept (especially being inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion.)

  7. I adored the Rampant books, but For Darkness Shows the Stars was a stunner. I just loved the letters between every few chapters and Elliot's determination to succeed even if it means challenging everything she knows.

  8. I've been having a hard time getting my students to try Darkness, but finally someone is reading. I enjoyed it (although I think I prefer the unicorn books).

  9. My friends had read this book and they're not fond of spoiling me so they told me to enjoy it as I progress in read it. Though, I'm not reading it yet. I wanna have the physical copy first before anything else! 🙂

    I love the interview 🙂 Makes me wanna read it so bad 😀

  10. Happy (late) birthday!! I hope you had a spectacular day. 🙂
    I haven't read this book yet but one of my best book buddies read it and LOVED it, and since we almost always like the same books, I'm pretty sure I'll love it too! Plus the cover is just incredible…every time I see it, I stop and stare for awhile. 😉

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