The YA Scavenger Hunt is now over, however, you can still read Laura Elliott’s bonus material here:
Once upon a time there was a little girl who grew up in very cold, snowy place and dreamed of living in the desert. And so she did. Laura loves writing about the murky seas of perception while eating lots of popcorn. She lives with her hubby, and dog Oso, in their tree house on the coast of central California not far from her two grown daughters who love climbing trees as much as their mom. Laura is the author of Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale inspired by her life-long love of a little-known town, Avenal, CA, and her equal love of enchanted teenage road trips. 13 on Halloween is the first book in the Teen Halloween Series. Laura’s next book, Transfer Student, a YA sci-fi romance, will be released in April of 2012. 14 on Halloween, book 2 in the Teen Halloween series, will be released in the summer of 2012. To find out where in the world Laura is and more about her upcoming books, visit her blog Laurasmagicday and friend her on Facebook. If Twitter is your thing she’s @Laurawriting.
When fear’s as blind as love, how far would you go to find your own happily ever after? One mistake will change Ginny’s life forever. One answer will set her free. Once upon a time Ginny’s road blood ripened, the day she got wise to love. Engaged to the high school quarterback, his quarter-carat ring and enchanting smile should have been enough for her. But, she stands him up and takes a walk where every step questions her happily ever after gone-bad and the fate of the mother she never knew. The mother her father refuses to talk about. Ginny fights to untangle her big, fat, lie-of-a-life on an enchanted road trip to Winnemucca, where she believes all her answers lie. To solve the riddle of her past, she must outrun everyone who wants a piece of her future–including a man determined to see she never has one. This is a digitally-signed edition with a portion of the proceeds going to The Wounded Warrior Project in honor of the author’s nephew. Includes a BONUS EXCERPT from Artemis Rising by YA author Cheri Lasota.
Laura’s bonus material:
Music inspired much of the writing of my debut young-adult novel Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale. Winnemucca is a story about seventeen-year-old Virginia Mae Nolyn and her enchanted road trip to her true self, where fear’s as blind as love. Today, for the first time, I want to share the music and musicians that breathed life into Winnemucca. The Fairy Truck Driver character is based on Johnny Cash. The Fairy Truck Driver is as mystical as The Man In Black himself. The haunting voice of Johnny’s own words in Cash, An Autobiography made a huge impression on me. I hoped to reflect Johnny Cash’s eloquent honesty and love of music in the Fairy Truck Driver character. Here is a video that best expresses the qualities that inspired the Fairy Truck Driver in Winnemucca, who introduces a vihuela, a kind of guitar, to Virginia for the first time.
The other musician that informed my fiction was Lydia Mendoza. In 1928, Lydia made her recording debut at twelve years old. She had learned the lyrics to her signature song, “Mal Hombre,” from a bubble gum wrapper. She was a gifted musician and singer and was crowned the First Queen of Tejano Music soon after. La Historia de Lydia Mendoza, a book written from her own oral history, was invaluable to me in my research of tejano and mariachi music. She is the force behind the character of Virginia’s mother, Esperanza. Here is a video of her singing “Mal Hombre.”
Although I didn’t grow up in Latin America, I did grow up in Latin America. My father worked in many countries including El Salvador, The Dominican Republic and Venezuela. While most kids my age read Dick and Jane at school, Dad brought home Topo Gigio books written in Spanish, along with steel drums, mariachi records and amazing tales of his time spent in the jungle. I loved my Topo Gigio stories and particularly loved the books because they were cut in the shape of Topo Gigio, the mouse, different than any other book I had read before. I loved flipping their mouse-shaped pages.
I am a first generation American, on my father’s side. Americans, I believe, are uniquely able to tell multicultural stories because we all come from somewhere else. There are so many parts to us. In my own stories, I like to explore the parts of myself that I don’t know. Perhaps parts we are all in search of. I play with the idea that the ancestors we never knew can follow us into the future and meet up with us somehow.
If you are interested in a story about what it means to trust yourself, what it means to love deeply and you find inspiration in music, I think you’ll like Winnemucca which is available for The Kindle, The Nook and in paperback. My latest release 13 on Halloween, book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series, is about a girl’s birthday wish coming true in hilariously scary ways when she receives a gift that’s out of this world.
I’m giving away a Johnny Cash 16 Biggest Hits CD and 2 copies of Winnemucca [Kindle or Nook versions] to three random folks who comment here on Lisa’s blog. Good luck and happy hunting! Thanks for hosting me, Lisa!