Thursday, December 08, 2005

Such a Tease...

Don't forget (not that I can imagine that you would, of course) that TKA Chats will be starring
Diana Peterfreund tonight (Thursday) from 9-10PM EST
on the TKA chat space (Not Yahoo!) which is linked to our homepage (
So I asked Diana a few questions to get us started... you really don't want to miss this chat! Oh and BTW: click on the book to preorder it

1. Fav books you've read this year? Why?
If you check out my blog ( you'll see a list of books I've read this year. I have three favorites on that list. The first is THE COMPANION, by Susan Squires. Squires has a truly unique romance voice, and this is a re-introduction into fresh and unusual vampire vision. I loved this book because it was full of high seas adventure, and because of a sense of *genuineness* that permeated the novel. The heroine was a genuinely spunky archaeologist. The hero was a genuinely tortured soul (and I mean it. The torture scenes were...graphic). The love story was a genuinely romantic and passionate one. I couldn't put it down.

The second is UGLIES, by Scott Westerfeld. Scott is a well-known writer of YA and science fiction, and he blends the two perfectly in this first book in a trilogy about a future dystopia where everyone becomes beautiful on their 16th birthday. It was a perfectly realized bit of worldbuilding with an fascinating examination of the current culture of what is considered "beautiful". Plus the heroine was pretty kickass. I went out and got every Scott Westerfeld book I could get my hands on after reading this.

The third is VALIANT, by Holly Black. Though Black is best known for her Spiderwick Chronicles series for young readers, this dark urban "faery tale" is clearly targeting older teens. It's the story of a young girl who runs away from home and ends up living in the sewers of New York City with a bunch of other runaways who work as drug runners... for a troll... who lives under a bridge. I love the way Black managed to incorporate the legends and dark, dangerous aspects of old-school (not Disneyfied) fairy tales into the modern urban landscape. This story is extremely edgy, but once again, you've got a very strong heroine in Val.
Ooh, can I pick a fourth? (You'll have me here all day talking about books I love!) I read my first Koontz this year. ODD THOMAS. It was fabulous. I love the voice, and Odd... man, who didn't fall in love with him?

2. What are you currently reading?
JANE MILLIONAIRE, by Janice Lynn. I just started, so don't tell me what happens!

3. Pantzer or plotter?
Plotter, and I'm gonna come right out and say that the term "pantzer" is nails on a chalk board to me. I wish there were a better term for it. It reminds me of that thing that the boys in elementary school used to do, go up behind you and try to pull your shorts down. We called it "pantzing." But I digress. Anyway, I'm a very dedicated plotter. I write a detailed outline of my book before I sit down and write it, often a scene-by-scene outline, complete with snippets and dialogue and everything. It's fabulous for brainstorming. And no, I don't ever feel as if "I've written the story already" when I'm done. I think it's like having a map for a roadtrip. With my map, I feel free to go off on side roads and see where they lead, knowing that I never find myself in a tangle, because there's always that map there, showing me where I have to pick up the road again. Also, I write my synopsis first. I love synopses. And I honestly think this method was why I felt okay selling on proposal. I knew where I was going, and my editor was not disappointed.

4. Favorite college memory?
That's like asking me to pick a favorite book! There are way too many, but I was actually just thinking of one last night, because we've had our first snow here in D.C. Freshman year, all the frosh live on "Old Campus" which is a big green quad ringed with gorgeous stone buildings.
Yale is separated into residential "colleges," kind of like the different houses at Hogwarts. The students in my college, Morse, lived in a building at one end of the quad. The symbol for Morse is a big red axe. On the first snowfall, my freshman counselor (like an R.A., but just for frosh) set up this huge spotlight with a slide and projected a GIANT RED AXE like the Bat Symbol or something on the snow in the quad and all the Morsel frosh went out and ran around it in a ring while they blasted "Thus Spake Zarathrustra" from a stereo. It was so awesome. Of course it turned into a snowfight with the other colleges! Just a small thing, and completely innocent, but so in keeping with the sort of school spirit and sense of fun, and also utter embrace of things, not because they are cool or uncool, but because they are interesting or inspired.

5. Describe your Yale experience in 3 words?

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Back to New Zealand, because I don't think I've ever seen a more heavenly country. I spent two months there in 2004, and it was gorgeous.
And, um, back to Rome. It's my favorite city.

7. If you could speak another language, what would it be and why?
Probably Spanish, because it would come in handy. Also, once I knew Spanish, Italian would be a snap!

Okay, if you aren't itchin' to attend now... I don't know what else to do for you. Can't wait to hear more from Diana P!


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