Okay, so I know a lot of people value a signed book, and Masque is a beautiful book to add to your shelf.
I will be signing books in several locations this spring summer and fall
Tonight- signing at Carmichaels in Louisville from 7-8:30
These are the dates for the Dark Days Tour
June 6th @ 1:00 – 2:00PM Book Expo America New York, NY
June 6th @ 7:00 PM Barnes & Noble Fairless Hills, PA
*Participating authors: Aprilynne Pike, Bethany Griffin, and Elizabeth Norris
June 7th @ 6:30 PM Cover to Cover Columbus, OH
June 8th @ 4:00 PM Evanston Library Evanston, IL
June 9th @ TIME TK Printer’s Row Lit Fest Chicago, IL
I'll be in Nashville twice, once in September and once in October for the Southern Festival of Books
I'll also be in Salt Lake City for the Smart Chicks tour (with more fabulous authors)
September 10th, 2012 Time TBA, Launch Event, King's English, Salt Lake City, UT:
Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Ally Condie, Bethany Griffin, Richelle Mead, Carrie Ryan, and Margaret Stohl
And I plan to schedule signings or panels or something in Indianapolis, Lexington, Cincinnati, and possibly Atlanta with some friends (probably Kelly Creagh and Katie McGarry), I'm also trying to arrange a visit with Suzanne Young if so we would do a joint signing in the Arizona area (I know Arizona is a big area, but she just moved and I'm not sure of the details yet!)
The bookplates I am sending only have the www.bethanygriffin.com, sorry they are saved as a pdf, and wouldn't post here. (yay technology!)
If you can't make it to any of these events, or you would just like one of these beautiful signed bookplates, just send me an email www.bethanygriffin.com with your address. If you also want bookmark, let me know that, too!
Also, don't forget about my Masque/Poe contest, take a picture of you reading your book in some creepy/fabulous place to win big prizes!
Everyone needs a little creepy gothic-ness in their life, right?
Today my book is out in the world, and I'm celebrating with a big Poe-centric contest. I'm splitting the awesome prizes into two Poe prize packs, and I've added some since this post http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=6426387881083277083#editor/target=post;postID=4971284225577153795
You'll see the Poe candle and Raven Handpuppet below--I'll post the final prize combos later this week!
But let's proceed to the contest.
Take a picture of yourself or someone you love, reading Masque. In the most phenomenal Poe-appropriate locale you can find. You have three weeks. I will narrow down the entries, and then my critique group, including Kelly Creagh, since she knows Poe, will help me pick the grand prize winners.
Here are my offspring, demonstrating.
Okay, so the rules are simple.
1. Take a picture. Masque should be in the picture!
2. Send it to me at email@example.com with the subject line Masque photo contest
3. You can enter as many times as you'd like.
4. Have fun! And enjoy the book! :) I enjoyed writing it!
Guest Post on Poe's Masque of the Red Death
First let me say that Valia volunteered right away for this thankless job of writing about Poe, and she also helped me with my Masque Pinterest board http://pinterest.com/bethanygriffin1/masque-of-the-red-death/ by sending me some awesome pictures. She's written specifically about Poe's Masque of the Red Death, which is perfect, the day before my re-imagining is released. Thanks Valia!
Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia Valia always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in YA fiction. Her first adult book Simplicity is being republished, while her YA science fiction is on submission to find a home.
Masque of the Red Death has always been one of my favorite Edgar
Allan Poe stories. The man had so much talent, often it can be seen bursting
from the pages. Just like any Poe story, Masque leaves a heavy impression on
the reader. So many aspects of who he was is seen in his words and in the end
isn’t that what good writing is all about?
To tell a story in such a way, to a paint a picture with words, in order
for others to see and feel the emotions that are coursing through the body,
that is the way of a true master.
“Blood was its Avatar and its seal -- the redness and the horror
of blood. There were sharp pains, the sudden dizziness, and then profuse
bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.”
“Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous
“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot
be touched without emotion.”
“And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls
of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall.”
I remember when I was a little girl and reading this story made
me hyperaware of everyone around me. Every noise in the apartment was the
masked man trying to come for me. As a writer, I now take these aspects of the
story and grow from them. Poe taught me so much about good story telling.
Masque is such a short story, but so much to learn. If one has
not read Edgar Allan Poe before, one needs to. A reader and writer alike are
never the same after being introduced to Poe’s writing.
Kelly Creagh on Poe
Okay, readers. I have a special treat for you today. First of all, it's friday, but that's not the main treat (just part of the joy of today). I have a guest post from Kelly Creagh, author of Nevermore, which you should read if you haven't, and upcoming Enshadowed, which you should prepare to read, and/or pre-order
I'm going to be honest and say that when I came up with the idea of doing a Poe inspired YA novel, I thought I was really original. I was somewhat bummed when I read about Nevermore (proving I was not so original, nor, indeed, even the most Poe-inspired author out there--check out Kelly's website--that's some serious Poe inspiration!)
What we are doing with our Poe inspired novels is pretty different, (though we both reference The Masque of the Red Death!) and of course, there's room for plenty of YA books inspired by Poe, so the moment of sadness wore off fairly quickly. Then I realized that Kelly and I lived in the same town, and I read her book and loved it, and she joined my critique group.
Along with my Poe prize packs, will be several signed copies of Nevermore, a book that any Poe fan should have on their shelf! (Okay, I AM envious, perhaps even covetous of the title, that title is BRILLIANT!) but I digress.
Here's Kelly's Biography
As a child, Kelly would hold elaborate one-kid plays for patient relatives, complete with song, dance, and over-the-top melodramatics. Then, whenever Mom or Grandma called for a break, she would venture outside to slay dragons, run from make-believe ghosts and create magical feasts for fairies out of mud and pinecones.
In the third grade, Kelly wrote her first book titled Pink Lettuce, a story about a young girl who comes to the aid of her mad scientist neighbor, helping him to return his potion-pink lettuce patch to its original green and leafy luster.
Kelly holds an undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Today, she finds true joy in transcribing her dramatic daydreams onto the stage of the blank page. When not writing or curled up with a good book, Kelly can be found teaching, learning and performing the ancient art of Bellydance.
Okay, so here's what Kelly had to say about Poe.
Though Poe has had an enormous impact on me as a writer, surprisingly, he is not the one who initially lured me to the writing life. Though there is a serendipitous tale that involves Poe concerning the writer who did.
As a pre-teen and young adult, my favorite story in the universe was (and still is) The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I kept my ragged and dog-eared copy close at all times and relished any retelling, such as Susan Kay’s Phantom. Being familiar with Poe, I always wondered about the Opera Masquerade scene where the Phantom shows up dressed as The Red Death. What’s funny is that I didn’t find out until after I wrote the Grim Facade scenes in Nevermore that the reason Monsieur Leroux dressed The Phantom as The Red Death was because he was a fan and avid reader of Poe. Poe’s work was, after all, very popular in France.
And now can you guess why I gave Varen only a simple white mask to wear at the Grim Facade? I did so because, like Leroux, I wanted to slip in a nod to a writer who inspired me and a story that influenced me. It’s one of those odd moments that cause me to agree with Eddie. That all we see or seem truly is but a dream within a dream.
So, there's Kelly's inspiration! Check back next week to see how you can win that Signed copy of Nevermore, and tons of Poe stuff!
Guest Post from Kate Boorman
Today, I am excited to have a guest post from Kate Boorman, about Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of the Red Death. Kate read the ARC of Masque and then beta-read the sequel, and I have to say she's either the best reader (or worst, but I'm voting for best) because she likes the same stuff as me
, and was in love with the same parts of the story
as me! While I still need my critical readers, the ones whose emails make me cringe, Kate's critiques confirmed everything I thought, so obviously she is a genius.
Kate is a writer, reader, traveller and mom to two brilliantly exhausting children. After several years of theatre collaboration, Kate's creative/hamster brain is now employed writing YA fiction about past lives, faraway lands, and things that blow up real good. She likes hanging out with her fam, planting green things, and drinking coffee in foreign countries. Visit her at: www.kateboorman.blogspot.com
I have acquaintances who are sincerely puzzled by my obsession with things I consider ‘beautiful-creepy’. Catacombs, shrouded corpses, dusty crypts… skeletal trees, distorted shadows, abandoned houses: stuff I find simultaneously gorgeous and teeth-grindingly scary.
Maybe you have a similar penchant. Maybe you have the same acquaintances: the ones who cast a wary eye and move a couple of inches away when you get excited about things that go bump in the night? Maybe they leaf through your dog-eared copy of Poe’s short stories and ask, “But why do you like it?”
My answer requires a brief (I promise) recap of a particular moment in history*. You see the title of this post is not my attempt at cutesy-ing up the great Sir Edgar Allen Poe’s name—it’s my attempt at subverting the title of an important historical publication (which is clearly more forgivable).
In 1579 (or so) a man named Sir Phillip Sidney wrote an essay entitled “In Defense of Poesy”. I’m Cliff Notes-ing here in the worst way but suffice to say: for centuries a debate had raged about the purpose of art and literature (and whether or not it was dangerous!) and Sidney was arguing for literature’s ability to instruct the public in good morals and warn them away from vice.
Part of his argument echoed a rather popular idea that art should only portray the good and the beautiful, so as not to lead us commoners down an unsavory path (since we all find it impossible to differentiate between fact and fiction, right? Riiiight.). Fast forward a couple of hundred years, and the debate about the purpose of art rages on (actually the debate rages still—check your twitter feed), but that notion of portraying only ‘the good and the beautiful’ remains.
Enter Romanticism: the aesthetic era to which Poe belongs, and a marked departure from that prevailing idea. The Romantics thought art should depict and examine life in its entirety. Part of that was, logically, the underbelly of reality: the grotesque.
For the Romantics, the grotesque was not the opposite of all things worthwhile, it was one critical half of a well-balanced whole: good art should show the beautiful and the not-so beautiful, the nice and the not-so nice, the light… and the dark.
And Poe’s dark is truly dark. But it is also honest and wonderful.
It is rife with sumptuous, disjointed imagery: jewel black eyes and sickly smiles, scarlet stains on alabaster skin, blood-red moons, unsealed tombs. It invokes claustrophobia, longing. The rhythm is mesmerizing—(Neil Gaiman suggests we read Poe aloud to “feel the way the words work in your mouth, the way the syllables bounce and roll and drive and repeat”**)—it builds relentlessly and explodes in a cacophony of shrieking, ticking, toiling, chiming, only to cut off again in heart-stopping silence. It unearths and examines our fears and superstitions, our most bizarre preoccupations. Poe’s dark is humorous: his fools can be comical in their disregard for the inevitable (I often want to sit back after reading and exuberantly quote Dr. Seuss: “He HADN’T stop from coming. It CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!”). That underbelly of reality resonates; it gets under your skin and steals your breath and keeps you reading on and on.
I love the dark and the grotesque because it feels real to me; it feels whole. I love it because it challenges a saccharine tyrant that only wants us to have the nice and pretty half of the story. And I love Poe because he shows us there is beauty and truth in that terrifying other half.
And so, in celebration of Bethany’s release month, in praise of her beautiful-creepy reimagining of Poe’s short story, there it is: my own Defense of Poe(sy)—why I love the dark.
Why do you?
* with apologies to everyone—past and present—who knows how many important details I’m about to gloss over
** Poe, Edgar Allan, “Selected Poems & Tales”. Illustrated by Mark Summers, introduction by Neil Gaiman, New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004.
Labels: edgar allan poe, genius, guest post, influence, Masque of the Red Death
Things that Inspire Me
Happy Birthday to Me!
If you have time today, go check out the first stop on my blog tour http://www.twochicksonbooks.com
and check out the other stops, as well!
Today I'm going to celebrate my birthday with things that inspire me. The first is my very favorite quote about writing...or at least about words.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons
Next is a quote about Poetry, even though I don't consider myself a poet, I do love and am inspired by poetry.
A Poet's Advice
e. e. cummings
A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through
This may sound easy. It isn't.
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel—but that's
thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is
feeling—not knowing or believing or thinking.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single
human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think
or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people: but the
moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.
And while we're on Poetry, I'll share one of my favorite poems.
"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"
So, these are some of the things that inspire me. If anyone wants to share things that inspire them, please do!
Okay, so I have a feeling that life is about to shift into the realm of the surreal. It's only been a year and a couple of months since Masque sold, so things are moving so quickly (and conversely so darned slowly). My birthday is tomorrow, and we should be closing on a new house the first week in May, so...things are crazy and exciting.
Tomorrow is my birthday, and it's the first day of my blog tour, so I'm sure I'll be tweeting about that, got lots of great bloggers hosting me this week! For my birthday post I've already got a blog written about things that inspire me. I'm pretty excited about it, if nothing else, I'm going to have some sort of word art plaques made for the new house with some of my favorite quotes (so excited!)
Later this week I'm going to be posting some guest blog posts about Poe's influence, and about Poe's Masque of the Red Death. So check back for that.
Bookplates are ordered, and I'm gearing up for my Poe-tastic give away. The grand prize will be awarded for a picture of my book, or preferably, yourself reading my book in the most Poe-approved locale, so start thinking of where to take pictures. Everyone who enters the contest will get a signed bookplate (in fact anyone who asks me for one will get one). So, I think that will be great fun.
The ones I ordered don't have the words on them, but that file was a pdf, and I have a massive tired of technology headache from ordering bookplates, more bookmarks, and attempting to order magnets.
I also have two local events the week of the 24th, a book release party at schoo
l from 6-8 and a signing on the 27th at Carmichael's bookstore.
Labels: bookplates, signing
A Picture = How Many Words ?
Okay sharing some great pictures from the Pinterest Contest. Will post a few each Monday until Book Release (a week from tomorrow, can you believe it?)
Labels: contest pictures, Masque images, pinterest
Why is Choosing Winners So Hard?
Okay, so the Pinterest contest was a great success, I learned how to do a Pinterest board and got great images!
So far I've chosen one winner check out this board
and I emailed her last night to tell her she won an ARC, but...there were two that tied as second place winners, so I think I'm going to send the first place winner a finished book (got my author copies last week) so we'll have three book winners. Yay! And lots of bracelets to give out, too. Will email everyone by this evening, and send prizes tomorrow (and again next week, if you don't get back to me with your address by tomorrow morning).
Help me start my Pinterest board!!!
For the contest, send pictures via twitter, to my email firstname.lastname@example.org or put links in the comments!
Okay, so today I'm very excited about starting my brand new Masque of the Red Death Pinterest board. I'm very excited about the idea of Pinterest, in fact I just had my creative writing students create low tech collages of their works in progress. I wanted to do my own, but as ever, was behind on grading and ended up commenting on papers while they were cutting, pasting, and glueing.
The other day I discovered a copy of Masque that I had forgotten I had, AND I have a copy that's being mailed back to me by a friend who didn't have time to read it.
I wanted to have a fun contest, so I'm collecting Masque inspired pictures for my interest board. I'm going to pick my favorite pictures and the winners will get their choice of a Masque ARC (I want to get these out since the book comes out in 3 weeks!) or a Masque bracelet. Including the limited edition white bracelet which you can see here
I'll pick the winners by Thursday evening and send prizes on Thursday. Good luck everyone!
Here I am on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/bethanygriffin1/ follow me, and I'll be sure to follow you back!
So excited about this contest and endeavor.
Labels: atmosphere, gothic fiction, pictures, pinterest