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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tenner of the Week: Alexandra Bracken

There was a great post this week by Presenting Lenore about all the amazing books we can expect from the Tenners (2010 debut authors). I agree with Lenore - we really are so lucky to have such exciting books on the horizon! With that in mind, I decided to start my very own Tenner of the Week installment series. It will be my way to celebrate debut YA authors who have the most intriguing books being released in 2010! My pick for this week is -

Author of Brightly Woven (Egmont USA- March 23rd 2010)
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Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers. Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

ABOUT ALEXANDRA IN HER OWN WORDS (Courtesy of Alexandra's website)

My name is Alexandra, but I'm more commonly known as Alex, Bracken, or B. My initials are the first three letters of the alphabet out of order, which was really upsetting to me as a child for some reason. I'm the middle child, which supposedly means I'm full of angsty feelings of neglect, but in reality just means I'm always sandwiched between my older sister and younger brother in Christmas pictures.

I was born and raised in the dusty regions of Arizona, but I'm currently a senior at The College of William and Mary in Virginia. That's right. I get to enjoy the historical splendors of Colonial Williamsburg ("The Revolutionary City!") on a daily basis. That wasn't sarcasm. I have a serious, passionate love for my school and all of the crazy colonial reinactors who flock to WaWa at all hours of the day. I'm a double major in English and History, which should imply to you that I genuinely have no idea what I want to do with my life. But! I do have designs on a career in publishing, in a city that has more than one Starbucks in walking distance.

I've wanted to be a writer since third grade. (I don't believe people who claim they've wanted to be a writer since they were 3 or 4--because, in all honestly, I thought books grew on trees at that age.) The strange thing is that I've always wanted to write for children and teens. I think this is largely due to the fact that I idolize and fangirl endlessly over Roald Dahl, Madeleine L'Engle and J.K. Rowling. I think my feelings on children's literature are best summed up by L'Engle's Newbery acceptance speech in 1963:

Because of the very nature of the world as it is today our children receive in school a heavy load of scientific and analytic subjects, so it is in their reading for fun, for pleasure, that they must be guided into creativity. These are forces working in the world as never before in the history of mankind for standardization, for the regimentation of us all, or what I like to call making muffins of us, muffins all like every other muffin in the muffin tin. This is the limited universe, the drying, dissipating universe, that we can help our children avoid by providing them with “explosive material capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly.”

I believe, more than anything, that children's books are extremely powerful. I believe that the influence that they can have on you is unlimited, astonishing, and can last your entire life. And that's all I have to say about that!

5 Things About Alexandra In Her Own Words (Courtesy of the Tenners )

1. I read about my university in an American History textbook in high school and decided that this was the place I wanted to be.

2. I’ve had three eye surgeries—and the first one happened BEFORE lasers. I think I’ve finally blocked that one from memory…

3. My dad collects Star Wars memorabilia, so I grew up visiting a lot of toy stores and going to Star Wars conventions—five to be exact. You’ll have to guess if I actually dressed up at any of them! ;)

4. I came really close to being kidnapped at the Arizona State Fair when I was little!

5. I really, truly, honestly do not like chocolate. At least not plain chocolate! It has to be paired with something else (like peanut butter) for me to able to eat it. And dark chocolate? Yuck!

You can pre-order Brightly Woven now OR head on over to GoodReads to win an ARC!


Fantastic Book Review said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm going to put this one on my list!

Ella Press said...

Very cool post!
Great feature to spread the word about the Tenners :o)

Sheila DeChantal said...

Great post and a great idea. :)

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

Thank you! There are so many awesome books coming out in 2010, I can't wait!

Shalonda said...

Alexandra's book sounds like it's gonna be awesome.

And seriously, can she be any more gorgeous?

Lenore said...

Whenever I read the summaries for the tenner books, I get so excited! Great that you are doing this :)