Author Chat with Elana K Arnold (Red Hood), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Elana K Arnold author of
Read on for more about Elana and her book, plus an giveaway.
Meet Elana K Arnold!
Elana K. Arnold is the author of many books for kids and teens, including Damsel, a 2019 Michael L. Printz Honor book; What Girls Are Made Of, a 2017 National Book Award finalist, and A Boy Called Bat, the first book in her young middle grade series that was selected for the Global Read Aloud. Her books have been variously included on the Los Angeles Public Library's Best Books of the Year list, the Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year list, the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list, have been ALAN Picks, and have been selected for inclusion in the Amelia Bloomer Project. She holds a master's degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis, and is on the faculty at Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She currently lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals.
Meet Red Hood!
And the wolf is angry.
Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.
Amazon * B & N * Indiebound
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Oh, I love so many! Part of what made this book such a pleasure to write was the relationship between Bisou and the other female characters: her wonderful Mémé; Keisha, the school reporter; Maggie, who has secrets.
Pretty much everyone in Red Hood has secrets.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
With this book, the seed of the plot came first: what if, when a girl began to menstruate on the night of a full moon, she found that with her blood came the ability to fight werewolves? Telling a group of friends about the idea, one woman said, “Well, you’re going to call it The Red Hood, right?” “Yes,” I said. “Yes, I am.”
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Boy, do I love the fight scenes. A girl, in the woods. A giant pewter wolf. Bare hands. Bare breasts. A growl, a lunge.
Red Hood is written in the second person, so you become the girl fighting the wolf. Writing these scenes, I felt as powerful as Bisou. I wrote the first one in a crowded café, and when I was done and I got up to leave, I looked around at the other people and thought to myself, “I’ve been into the woods and out again, and they have no idea.” It was pretty incredible.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
As a younger writer, my impulse was to hoard ideas and use them sparingly, saving things for future stories, worrying that I might use up all the good stuff and then be dry. What I didn’t know then that I do know now is that ideas are everywhere; that putting everything I have into my current project creates room for new ideas to grow; and that my imagination is bigger than I ever would have known if I’d stuck with the scarcity mindset of creative work. We all contain multitudes, and our brains are bigger than we can know.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love the blood. I’m not a person who really likes gory stuff, usually; I don’t like horror movies and can’t stand to go inside a haunted house; but in this case, I love the blood, and its dual meaning.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
There are a few books that I’m really excited about: First, Liara Tamani’s sophomore novel All The Things We Never Knew is coming out in June. Her debut book, Calling My Name, was one of my favorites a couple of years ago, so I’m really excited to read this one. I have an early copy of it and it’s actually next up in my reading pile.
Also, I’m super excited for Brandy Colbert’s debut middle grade novel, The Only Black Girls in Town, coming out next month. I’m such a fan of her YA, and I got to hear her read the beginning of this book at Hamline, where we both teach, and I totally fell in love.
And, I’m super pumped for Stephen King’s forthcoming quartet, If It Bleeds. I am a huge King fan (I have a t-shirt that reads “Stephen King Rules”), and his Four Seasons quartet is one of my all-time favorite books.
What’s up next for you?
I write YA and also books for middle grade and younger readers. On March 10, my second picture book comes out with Beach Lane Books, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic. It’s called An Ordinary Day, and it’s incredibly special to me.
Also, I just turned in the third draft of my next middle grade novel, which will be published next year by Walden Pond Press. It’s titled The House That Wasn’t There, and I think of it as a gently magical exploration of the spaces between people and the mysterious interconnections that bind them—with feline teleportation, school research projects, and a taxidermied opossum named Mort.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I think my superpower is my genuine love of being alive, and my deep appreciation for this incredible opportunity we have to exist at all. I think everything is interesting. This means that I’m fascinated by everything, and I see opportunities everywhere.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I’m a many-year supporter of Planned Parenthood and donate regularly. My first gynecological exam was performed in their Costa Mesa, California office, and they’ve been there for me and many people I love.
By: Elana K Arnold
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Two winners will each receive a copy of Red Hood (Elana Arnold) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*