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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014 Debut Authors Bash Featuring Bethany Hagen and a Giveaway!

I am so excited to have Bethany Hagen here today for the 2014 Debut Authors Bash! I freaking loved Landry Park and I had some burning questions about the book and book 2! Guess what we have a title woot! Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a copy of the book!

Haven't heard of LANDRY PARK? Check it out!

Landry Park
Bethany Hagen
Hardcover: 384 Pages
Publisher: Dial (Penguin)
ISBN: 978-0803739482
In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.

Now on to the interview

Hi Bethany! First I want to say welcome back to Two Chicks on Books! It feels like forever since I’ve had you or your characters here to visit! Thanks for stopping by to answer my questions! I loved Landry Park and can’t wait for its sequel!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about Landry Park and the characters?

Landry Park is about a girl named Madeline Landry, who is heir to a sprawling estate which is entirely dependent on nuclear power and a beaten-down caste of people called the Rootless, who have to handle all the nuclear waste from the luxurious mansions of the gentry.  After the arrival of David Dana, an army captain with a lifetime of secrets, Madeline discovers more and more about the world she lives in and the people in it.

What about the sequel? Do we have a title yet...ooh what about the cover?

We finally have a title!  After much deliberating, we've settled on JUBILEE MANOR.  I wanted something that had some historical and literary grounding to it, and I think the word "Jubilee," with its connotation of freeing slaves, was very apt.  Also, I wanted the title to look good in a pretty font.  So there's that.

As for the cover, I've seen a few of the comps, and while nothing is final yet, I can say that it is beautiful.  Like I-petted-the-computer-screen-when-I-saw-it beautiful.

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

Bits of people inspire my characters.  For example, I had a teacher when I was in high school that used a cane and had a deep rumbling cough like Jack.  I sat behind a girl in college that had the glossiest, bounciest blonde ponytail and she helped me figure out exactly what Cara looks like.  I'm constantly robbing details from my everyday life to pepper my stories with; just the other day, a co-worker was telling me that her fiance had been rear-ended by a fruit truck (he's fine), and all I could think about was what an amazing detail that would be in a short story.  A fruit truck.  Come on.  I can't not put that in a story somewhere.

Has your writing changed at all from LANDRY PARK to JUBILEE MANOR?

Yes and no, I think.  I'd like to think that my storytelling ability has gotten tighter and that I'm able to write a stronger plot now, but at the same time, very little about my sentence structure or diction has changed, so maybe those two things cancel each other out?  Or maybe I've gotten worse, and I'm going to have Game of Thrones spoilers and spiders mailed to my house after it comes out.

What can readers expect in this next installment? Are we going to cry or want to kill any of the characters?

Mostly everyone dies, except for Cara, who in a strange twist becomes the mother of dragons and ends up invading Westeros.

I will say that there is a body count in this book, and that probably you will want to kill at least one person.  Maybe two, depending on how Cara is behaving.

What is your favorite passage/scene in LANDRY PARK?

Madeline's debut ball is probably my favorite scene--it was one that changed very little from draft to draft and is full of all the lush details that I love--dresses, food, cute boys in tuxedos...

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

I did a fair amount of research into radiation poisoning and nuclear energy.  I never became an expert in nuclear physics (shocking, I know!) but I wanted to know enough that the "fiction" part of my science fiction would at least seem plausible.  From a distance.  If you're squinting one eye.

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re 
dying to read?

I love this question!  I'm always reading.  Right now, I'm double-fisting Tessa Gratton's The Strange Maid, which is the second book in her delectably imaginative United States of Asgard series, and also TheStory of Owen by Kate Johnson, which is about a dragon-slayer in contemporary Canada (yes, it's as awesome as it sounds.)  I'm also about to devour No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown.

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?

Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre.  The thoughts I think about that man would make the Victorians reach for their smelling salts.

What inspired you to write YA?

I'm not sure I know.  I guess when I was a girl in the '90s, the young adult genre was really starting to find its footing and was ripe with amazing authors like Christopher Pike and Ann Rinaldi and Francesca Lia Block.  And then when I got to college, I never stopped reading young adult novels.  Although I read over a hundred books a year and roughly half of those are adult fiction/non-fiction, the young adult genre is where I've found my home.  Those are the stories I'm drawn to.  It could be that the age of young adulthood is a time of intense transformation and discovery--which is why so many myths and fairy tales feature young adult protagonists.  It could be that young adult novels blend commercial and literary elements together so effortlessly.  It could be the tremendous amount of innovation in genre and form and character.  I think it's probably all of those reasons, all rolled into one messy ball inside my brain.

Thanks so much Bethany for answering my questions! I can’t wait to read JUBILEE MANOR!

About Bethany:

Librarian by day, Bethany Hagen is the author of the forthcoming LANDRY PARK, set to be released from Dial February 4th, 2014. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and two children.

Giveaway Details:

1 signed hardcover of LANDRY PARK. US/Canada ONLY.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click on the banner for the full tour schedule. The event runs the whole month of September! There's going to be awesome posts and giveaways!


  1. I haven't read this book yet but I've definitely seen it around! It sounds very exciting and I love the name of the second book!

  2. I have had this book on my wish list all year!!! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

  3. This is my first time hearing of this author! I'm excited! The book looks super good. I'll have to check out for more hidden beauties, thanks!

  4. Looks and sounds fantastic! Congrats to Bethany on the new release and thanks for sharing :)

  5. I've been wanting to get my hands on this for months and months.

  6. I LOVED "Landry Park" so much! It was amazing to read something set so close to my home with such a wonderful premise and story. It really is like a Dystopian "Pride and Prejudice" and I am obsessed. It doesn't surprise me at all that her "inspiration" comes from some of my favorite authors.

  7. Also, kind of sad I can't "Add 'Landry Park' to [my] TBR" because I've already read it. :/

  8. (Alisha Sienkiel in rafflecopter)

    This book sounds awesome! Thanks for the giveaway!! :)

  9. I love that you tried to make your "science fiction" as close to science as possible. As a science teacher I often have issues with that in a story.

  10. Sounds like a brilliant book! Definitely on TBR list now :D

  11. definitely sounds like a great book!

  12. I have been wanting to read this for some time, and great interview!

  13. It sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Love the cover. Here comes a new added book to my TBR pile! Thank you for the giveaway!

  15. Thank you for the giveaway! I've been dying to read this for a while now (:

  16. Love the cover of this book - would love to receive and read it!

  17. I love the cover, and it sounds like a book I would enjoy reading.


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