Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Corey Ann Haydu, YABC's Author of the Week!
Corey Ann Haydu is the Edgae award-nominated author of many critically acclaimed young adult and middle grade novels including EVENTOWN, RULES FOR STEALING STARS, and OCD LOVE STORY. In 2013, Corey was chosen as one of Publisher Weekly’s Flying Starts. Her books have been Amazon Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, Indie Next Selections, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Selections. Corey is also on the faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, her daughter, and her dog.
Website * Twitter * Instagram
Meet Ever Cursed!
Damsel meets A Heart in a Body in the World in this incisive and lyrical feminist fairy tale about a princess determined to save her sisters from a curse, even if it means allying herself with the very witch who cast it.
The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired.
Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box.
But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family.
Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Ultimately, I think the character that felt the most exciting to write for this book was Reagan. I originally intended for EVER CURSED to be from on perspective, to be entirely narrated by Princess Jane. But about fifty pages in it became so clear to me that the story of this curse wasn't just about the characters who had the curse placed upon them, but was necessarily also about how the curse came to be, and following that story just as intently. Reagan is a character with a great deal of (very rightful) anger. It was liberating to really connect to her rage, which is also my rage, about who holds power and why and how it hurts us and the people that we love. I'd never written a character like Reagan before.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There is a scene where many of the characters are in the woods with a group of royals, and it was an extremely emotional scene to write. I drew on my own experiences navigating the world in my own body, and because of that I brought a lot of heartbreak to the page. I'm proud of it because it continues to resonate with me and when I read it, I know it captures a certain kind of truth. The hardest, most personal scenes are almost always the ones I'm proudest of.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I think the most important thing I've come to embrace is to keep trying new things. To stay open to everything. When I started writing YA, I thought I would write contemporary realistic YA and nothing else. I discovered magical middle-grade. chapter books. And now fantastical, fairy-tale YA told from alternating perspectives. And of course the verse novel and many other strange and challenging and unexpected ideas that are simmering in my brain.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
EVERYTHING. It's such an intricate, fascinating, beautiful cover. I think the colors-- rose gold and navy (!!!!!) struck me first, because they are colors that I love and feel I don't see a lot on covers. But ultimately it's the hidden details-- the clock, the braided hair-- that really bring it home for me. Also it's such a departure from my other covers, and this book is quite new for me, so I love the way they fit together.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020-2021?
I am really excited about SIA MARTINEZ AND THE MOONLIT BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING by Racquel Vasquez Gilliand. It sounds incredible and genre-bending and the author is a poet, so I'm pretty much sold!
YABC: What’s up next for you?
In 2021 I have my next middle grade novel, ONE JAR OF MAGIC, which is, interestingly, also about power and how it corrupts communities. It's a very different story than this one, but they both share that thematic interest. It's something I've been thinking a lot about in my own life, in these times, the past few years, so it makes sense that it came up in such different projects. I am also working on my next YA novel, which is my first novel in verse, and covers many generations of mothers and daughters. I have been working on it for YEARS, and it has evolved and taken so many different shapes, and it's an absolute joy to work on. I can't wait to see what new directions it continues to go ion.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
The king. Without giving too much away, the king is a character who has to present a few different sides and be interpreted in a few different ways, and it was a challenge for me to round him out, make him three dimensional and believable.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Revising! For me, the bulk of my work is done in revision. I'm quite a messy drafter, and often feel very very lost while drafting. Revising is when my brain really comes alive and goes to unexpected places. I love the feeling of getting a huge epiphany that I wasn't expecting, and that always happens during revision. That said, drafting is coming much more easily to me during this quarantined time, and I'm glad I've been able to be primarily in that experimental space over these months.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
GEMS. It's an organization I've been really passionate about for years. From its website, it's "a non-profit organization that provides services to commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked girls and young women, typically underage youth exploited by pimps and traffickers". I highly recommend people who are interested in fighting injustice check them out. They cover a lot of territory, from addiction to abuse to empowerment, and they focus on a wide variety of ways to fight for people being exploited. I also strongly believe that Black Lives Matter, and encourage everyone to support Black businesses and Black artists as well as finding other ways to be actively anti-racist and fight racial injustice.
By: Corey Ann Haydu
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 28th, 2020
Three winners will receive a signed copy of Ever Cursed (Corey Ann Haydu) ~ (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway