July 17, 2014

The Strange Maid Blog Tour: Author Interview + Giveaway


Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Strange Maid! Today I have an interview with the author to share with you and don't forget to enter to win your own copy of the book below!

The Strange Maid (The United States of Asgard #2)
Author: Tessa Gratton
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers


Fans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Maggie Stiefvater will embrace the richly drawn, Norse-influenced alternate world of the United States of Asgard, where cell phones, rock bands, and evangelical preachers coexist with dragon slaying, rune casting, and sword training in schools. Where the president runs the country alongside a council of Valkyries, gods walk the red carpet with Hollywood starlets, and the U.S. military has a special battalion dedicated to eradicating Rocky Mountain trolls.

Signy Valborn was seven years old when she climbed the New World Tree and met Odin Alfather, who declared that if she could solve a single riddle, he would make her one of his Valkyrie. For ten years Signy has trained in the arts of war, politics, and leadership, never dreaming that a Greater Mountain Troll might hold the answer to the riddle, but that’s exactly what Ned the Spiritless promises her. A mysterious troll hunter who talks in riddles and ancient poetry, Ned is a hard man to trust. Unfortunately, Signy is running out of time. Accompanied by an outcast berserker named Soren Bearstar, she and Ned take off across the ice sheets of Canadia to hunt the mother of trolls and claim Signy’s destiny.


1. What was the inspiration behind the United States of Asgard series?

I was in grad school in 2004 and 2005, and my dad was deployed to Iraq. I was studying Anglo-Saxon poetry and Old English, and impressed with how the themes of sacrifice and glory were similar to the rhetoric in the American media and politics. I thought Viking mythology and warrior culture would be a fun and fascinating way to explore my thoughts about what I was feeling regarding with my family and war through story. About 4-5 years later the United States of Asgard was officially born.

2. Did you have to do any research for the books? 

I did about 5 years worth of research, and recently counted: I own 42 books that I bought specifically for some sort of USAsgard related research! Plus documentaries and poetry and fiction related!

3. Are any of your characters ever based on yourself and/or people you know?

Nope! I try not to do that. I might steal a tick or specific reaction for use in characters that I’ve observed in the people around me, sometimes strangers but sometimes family or friends.

4. How many books do you have planned for The United States of Asgard series?

There are 3 books in the series, and 3 novellas coming out in the next year.

5. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors? 

Have adventures! Go out of your comfort zone to experience new things, because only experiences, only communicating with new people, can teach you how people work. People and adventures are the key to writing good stories.

6. What's up next for you? 

The third book of the series comes out next summer and the novellas between now and then (more to come on that soon)! I’m working on my next projects which will be unrelated stand alone YA fantasy novels. It’s wonderful to dive into new research. 

Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with us today Tessa!
TESSA GRATTON has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. She was too impatient to hunt dinosaurs, but is still searching for someone to teach her magic. After traveling the world with her military family, she acquired a BA (and the important parts of an MA) in gender studies, and then settled down in Kansas with her partner, her cats, and her mutant dog. For more information, please visit TessaGratton.com
The awesome people at Random House are letting me give away (1) hardcover copy of the book to a lucky winner! US only!


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