YAuthor Talk with Claire Legrand

April 29, 2014 Uncategorized 10

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YAuthor Talk is a monthly feature where we ask our favorite authors 5 random questions just for fun! Join us for bookish musings, crazy tangential conversations, and more. This month we’ve got the adorably dark Claire Legrand, author of Middle Grade books, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, and The Year of Shadows; and Winterspell, her upcoming YA.


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1. What book is on your main character’s nightstand right now?

Clara (from Winterspell) is currently engrossed in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. The elements of dual worlds, warring magical races, and forbidden love totally speak to her. Also on her nightstand is her godfather Drosselmeyer’s collection of handwritten stories about strange things like pirate queens and men made out of stars, blind white dragons and grieving women who turn the world to winter. She’s beginning to think maybe his stories have more truth in them than she has always believed. (Dun dun DUNNN!)

2. If you could insert yourself into any bookish moment, which would it be?

I really, really, REALLY want to go traipsing about the roofs of a parallel universe Oxford with Lyra and Pantalaimon from His Dark Materials. It’s a tie between that and practicing with Dumbledore’s Army in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Dying to find out what my Patronus would be. I also might want to jump about midway into A Game of Thrones and knock some sense into Eddard Stark.

3. If your book had a soundtrack, what would be the opening song?

I actually have made a playlist for Winterspell, and the first song on it is “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” as performed by Emily Browning for the Sucker Punch soundtrack. It perfectly fits the dark and gritty atmosphere of Clara’s New York City, which is where Winterspell begins

4. Which YA do you wish had been around when you were a young adult?

If we’re talking high school, I would have to say either Graceling (I think it would have inspired me to get back into writing sooner than I did), or The Miseducation of Cameron Post (so I could have shared it with all my high school friends).

5. You’re stranded on a desert island. Which three books would you want with you, and why?

Fire by Kristin Cashore – It’s one of my comfort reads. Sometimes when I’m feeling stressed, I pick it up and read a chapter just to feel better. I imagine I’d feel pretty stressed if I were stranded on a desert island.
How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – One of the funniest books I’ve ever read.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Another comfort read–this one nice and hefty!

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About the Author
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now a writer, Ms. Legrand can often be found typing with purpose at her keyboard, losing herself in the stacks at her local library, or embarking upon spontaneous adventures to lands unknown. Her first novel is THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, a New York Public Library Best Book for Children in 2012. Her second novel, THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, a ghost story for middle grade readers, is available now. Her third novel, WINTERSPELL, will follow on September 30, 2014, with its prequel e-novella, SUMMERFALL, releasing August 26, 2014. She is one of the four authors behind THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, an anthology of dark middle grade fiction due out May 27, 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins. Claire lives in New Jersey with a dragon and two cats. 
Visit her online on her blog, Twitter, and GoodReads.
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The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The NutcrackerWinterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

10 Responses to “YAuthor Talk with Claire Legrand”

  1. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    Clara likes Laini Taylor? And pirates and dragons? We should obviously be friends. ;) And I would LOVE to be a part of Dumbledore’s Army too. I’d be pretty bad at it, I’m sure, but it would still be fun to hang out in the Room of Requirement.

    Thanks for sharing, Claire and Tonya! Every time I see the cover for Winterspell, I just want the book a little bit more. <3
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

  2. Wendy Darling

    As a huge Nutcracker fan (maybe even as big a fan of that as I am of Claire’s), I am super, super excited for WINTERSPELL! That version of “Sweet Dreams” is so sad and haunting, too–it’s an evocative choice for the soundtrack for this book.

    • tonya

      isn’t it lovely? and i think the cover model bears a striking resemblance to the author… ;)

  3. Pili

    What a fantastic post! This interview was a lot of fun to read, and Clare mentioning the SuckerPunch version of Sweet Dreams as part of the Winterspell playlist makes me even more excited for the book! I love that soundtrack and that version has quite an unsettling feel to it!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #40!!

  4. Carina Olsen

    I love this post! Thank you so so much for sharing. <3 I adore Claire. She is AMAZING. And I loved her MG books so so so much :D I cannot wait to read Winterspell. <3 Aw. I also love Fire, like she does. Such a good book. Love the interview questions and answers :)
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Cress Tuesday #27

    • tonya

      Claire is so adorable. I’m so excited to read her new YA, too. Her MGs transport me, I can’t wait to see what she can do with older characters. :)
      tonya recently posted…Open Road Summer: Review

  5. Vivien

    I would also LOVE to be able to join the DA and practicing!!! I’ve always wanted to be apart of that world. Also agree that I would have just devoured Graceling as a Young Adult. It really is one of the more memorable YA worlds created, and one of my favorites. So looking forward to Winterspell :D

    • tonya

      There are so many books I read as an adult and think, “man, I could have used this life lesson as a kid.” BUt then, maybe i wouldn’t have been able to absorb it at that age. Who knows!
      tonya recently posted…Open Road Summer: Review