Author Chat with Kathi Appelt (Angel Thieves), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Kathi Appelt author of Angel Thieves.
Read on for more about Kathi, an interview, plus an giveaway!
Meet Kathi Appelt!
Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honoree, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award–winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award finalist The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Maybe a Fox (with Alison McGhee), Keeper, and many picture books including Counting Crows. She has two grown children and lives in College Station, Texas, with her husband. Visit her at KathiAppelt.com.
Meet Angel Thieves!
An ocelot. A slave. An angel thief.
Multiple perspectives spanning across time are united through themes of freedom, hope, and faith in a most unusual and epic novel from Newbery Honor–winning author and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt.
Sixteen-year-old Cade Curtis is an angel thief. After his mother’s family rejected him for being born out of wedlock, he and his dad moved to the apartment above a local antique shop. The only payment the owner Mrs. Walker requests: marble angels, stolen from graveyards, for her to sell for thousands of dollars to collectors. But there’s one angel that would be the last they’d ever need to steal; an angel, carved by a slave, with one hand open and one hand closed. If only Cade could find it…
Zorra, a young ocelot, watches the bayou rush past her yearningly. The poacher who captured and caged her has long since lost her, and Zorra is getting hungrier and thirstier by the day. Trapped, she only has the sounds of the bayou for comfort—but it tells her help will come soon.
Before Zorra, Achsah, a slave, watched the very same bayou with her two young daughters. After the death of her master, Achsah is free, but she’ll be damned if her daughters aren’t freed with her. All they need to do is find the church with an angel with one hand open and one hand closed…
In a masterful feat, National Book Award Honoree Kathi Appelt weaves together stories across time, connected by the bayou, an angel, and the universal desire to be free.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
This is a hard one because there are so many characters and I love each one for separate reasons (except for James Morgan). But when it comes right down to it, I love Juba, Achsah’s daughter. She’s so quiet and serious and so astute. She’d do anything to make things right, to make the world good for her mother and sister. Yes, she’s my favorite.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The “half-way-finished-novel.” For a long time, I called it “Prayer Chain,” but for a variety of reasons I changed it. Or maybe my editor changed it? The thing is, at the heart of the story is the central question of the novel—“who are the angels and who are the thieves?” I think this title reflects that.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
It’s the scene in which Cade “meets” his mother Evie for the first time. To me, that scene sums up the notion of love and both the expansive power of it and the costs of it. It feels so integral to the story—love sometimes requires loss, but at a cost.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Oh my gosh, I love the cover. The bright turquoise blue against the black is so striking, and then, take the cover off, and that beautiful ocelot looks right at you. It’s beautiful.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2019?
I’m excited about Kerry Madden’s picture book, Ernestine’s Milky Way. I love Kerry’s voice and her innate musical sensibilities. It’s all about language with her. I can’t wait.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2018?
Hands down, Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith. But it’s closely followed by Chris Barton and Ekua Holmes’ picture book biography of my hometown hero, Barbara Jordan. What do you do with a Voice Like That. Both books are so powerful, so fully, about how we use our voices to bring good to the world.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
There will be camels.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The opening scene, for sure. I kept piling on the information, until it was just full of dead weight. I think this is fairly typical in an opener, at least for me. So much depends upon that opening, right? It has to set the tone, the pace, all of that. But at the same time, it has to pull the reader in. If there’s too much tone-and-pace-setting, it just gets bogged down. I had to do a lot of trimming with that first scene.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Definitely, Soleil. She was my first character when I began this book, but for a lot of different reasons, her story changed in major ways. She kept slipping away from me. By the end, I finally got that she was the bearer of light in this story, and once I figured that out, I think I figured her out. That’s my hope at least.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I’m good with cats. I live with six of them, all gifted and talented.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Vermont College of Fine Arts, hands down. I feel so fortunate to have served on their faculty in the Writing for Children and Young Adults program. I learned so much, from both my colleagues and my students. It changed my life.
By: Kathi Appelt
Publisher: Atheneum/Cathy Dlouhy Books
Release Date: March 12th, 2019
Five winners will each receive a copy of Angel Thieves (Kathi Appelt) ~ US Only
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The cover is intriguing, but then you read the book description and it's like WHAT?! How could I not want to read this?
I love the contrast in colors on the cover!
As for the book... I have actually heard of people stealing angels from the cemetery where I have family members buried (which totally blew my mind!!) so this immediately caught my interest.
I like the colors of the cover and it fits this unique premise which makes me want to know how these characters all fit together.