Marissa Bell Toffoli

Archive for the ‘young adult (YA)’ Category

Interview With Writer Veronica Rossi

In art, author interview, books, editors, fiction, writing, young adult (YA) on June 14, 2014 at 11:17 am
Veronica Rossi. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2014).

Veronica Rossi. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2014).

An introduction to Veronica Rossi, author of the YA trilogy Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, and Into the Still Blue (HarperCollins, 2014). This interview was done with the Rakestraw Books PG-14 Teen Advisory Board, whose thoughtful and fun questions spoke to the heart of Rossi’s work and delved into what life is like for a writer.

When asked about drawing from mythology or other stories and sources, Rossi made a great point about how things can be connected but still unique: “If you’re really writing something that your heart is in, and you’re working hard to be honest in your writing and not copying other ideas, then no one else can write that. It’s okay to borrow ideas, but borrow them and make them your own.” Read the rest of this entry »


Interview With Writer Lissa Evans

In books, fiction, writing, young adult (YA) on September 4, 2012 at 7:38 am
Lissa Evans

Lissa Evans. Photo courtesy of the author.

An introduction to Lissa Evans, author of the new novel Horten’s Incredible Illusions (Sterling, 2012). This book is the sequel to Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms, Evans’s first novel featuring young Stuart, and written with a middle-grade or junior high school audience in mind. Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms was short-listed for the Carnegie Medal, the Costa Book Awards, and UK Literacy Association’s Children’s Book Award, and long-listed for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Branford Boase Award. Her adult fiction includes the novels Spencer’s List and Odd One Out. As the cover blurb reveals, “Lissa Evans’s route to children’s fiction author is perhaps as roundabout as Stuart’s adventures in Beeton.” Evans embarked on a career in medicine, then moved briefly to stand-up comedy, and became a comedy producer in radio and television before finding her voice as an author.

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Interview With Writer J.L. Powers

In editors, fiction, nonfiction, writing, young adult (YA) on November 12, 2011 at 10:22 am
J L Powers

J L Powers. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

An introduction to J L Powers, author of the new novel This Thing Called The Future (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). The book is about 14-year-old Khosi, who lives in a shantytown on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa with her sister, grandmother, and mother. Khosi struggles to be a big sister, a good daughter and granddaughter, to get through school, and figure out what she wants for her own future. As Khosi navigates the turbulent world of being a teenager and having crushes on boys her own age, she is also confronted with the dangers of being noticed and pursued by older men, and with the epidemic of AIDS in her community. Powers is also the author of the novel The Confessional, and the editor of the forthcoming nonfiction collection That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone. Currently she calls Northern California home, but Powers grew up in El Paso, Texas, and has also spent time living and traveling in South Africa. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Keren David

In books, fiction, writing, young adult (YA) on May 16, 2011 at 11:20 am
Keren David

Keren David. Photo by Faye Thomas.

An introduction to Keren David, author of Almost True (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2011), the sequel to her debut novel When I Was Joe. Keren David’s first novel was published in the UK in January 2010, and won the North East Teenage Book Award. A journalist by trade, Keren David began writing fiction when she returned to live in London after eight years abroad. She explained that “the experience of being a stranger in my own land really inspired me to write. I saw everything with a new eye.”

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Interview With Writer & Editor Tod Davies

In books, editors, fairy tales, fiction, writing, young adult (YA) on May 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Tod Davies

Tod Davies. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

An introduction to Tod Davies, author of Snotty Saves the Day: The History of Arcadia (Exterminating Angel Press, 2011). Tod Davies is also the founder of Exterminating Angel Press (EAP), which she started “to find people who were really passionate about an alternative point of view.” What Davies looks for in an EAP writer is someone who has “a practical orientation to life, who says, wait a minute, it’s not working.” Davies will tell you that “stories are living things,” and her author bio in Snotty Saves the Day states that she “firmly believes in the truth of fairy tales, and that if you know who you are (and what made you that way), you can change your world.” Her artistic pursuits are rooted in the philosophy that people ought to think about the world and their place in it, and that everyone may be an advocate for truth and an agent of change. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Danbert Nobacon

In books, fairy tales, fiction, writing, young adult (YA) on October 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm


Danbert Nobacon

Danbert Nobacon. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2010).

An introduction to the author of 3 Dead Princes: An Anarchist Fairy Tale (Exterminating Angel Press, 2010). Danbert Nobacon is perhaps more widely known as a musician, but that won’t be true once this first novel of his gets around. A founding member of the anarchist punk band Chumbawamba, Nobacon has also released a few solo albums. His new album Woebegone will be available in a couple of weeks, closely following publication of 3 Dead Princes. The novel also features illustrations by Alex Cox, who is perhaps more widely known as a filmmaker.

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