Wednesday, December 18, 2013

INTERVIEW: Molly Zenk (And a Giveaway!)


Today I'd love to welcome the wonderful, Molly Zenk, author of Hyperion Keats! Don't forget to enter the giveaway below the interview. 


Q.
The plot of Hyperion Keats is such an intriguing idea. I love the whole secret diary and secret behind a poem. How did you come up with idea?


A.
I was influenced by Shakespeare's Dark Lady sonnets and how, to this day, no one knows who he was writing about. My first poetic love has always been the Romantics, and especially Keats, so I created a 'what if?' scenario around one of his early sonnets.

Q.
Are you a huge fan of poetry?



A.
Very huge. I remember studying so much for the poetry tests in college that I'd dream about it. Before the test on the Romantics, I dreamed that Keats was reciting 'Ode to a Nightingale' while Lord Byron played billards and got drunk in the background. Byron then pushed Keats out of the way and recited 'She Walked In Beauty.' When I woke up, I thought "Okay! Enough studying! I know this stuff."

Q.
How did you decide on John Keats as the poet to base Hyperion’s story on?



A.
He's my favorite and he has the most tragic history out of the Romantics. There's so many 'what ifs?' for Keats that the other poets were lucky enough to live out (marriage, recognition, etc).

Q.
The LBT Brotherhood is very intriguing. How did you come up with that one? I’ll admit I was very intrigued and did a Google search for them. Nothing. I’m hoping they don’t really secretly exist. lol That wouldn’t bode well for you.

A.
I googled too to make sure they don't come after me for giving away their secrets! I liked the idea of secret keepers like the Knights Templar or Luminati. LBT stands for 'Love, Beauty, Truth' -- the three creeds of the Romantics. Figuring out a literary mystery is intriguing, but the stakes are higher if finding answers could cost you your life.

Q.
I truly loved the “diagnosis” for Isabella. I thought it was very interesting how you wove that in, showing a different side that most people don’t normally see. I’ve worked with children with the same “diagnosis” and they are absolutely wonderful. There’s a whole side most people don’t know about. What made you chose to have the Hyperion’s sister as the one with a condition and not Hyperion herself?

A.
Two of my three daughters have the same diagnosis so it's something very important and close to home for me. It's also very under-represented in literature. With Isabella, I wanted to show that everyone has secrets and sometimes those secrets are not what you expect from the pretty, popular girl who seems to have everything going for her.

Q.
The sister rivalry was spot on. Did you have an older sister growing up? I was the older one and sometimes I think it was hard for me to understand what it was she went through as the younger one?

A.
I was the older sister but only by a year. Growing up, people asked if we were twins. For her, I think it must have been hard being the younger one. You always compared and that's tough on anyone.

Q.
Can we expect at least one more book with Hyperion, Isabella, and Will?



A.
I'm planning two more books -- One for each creed the LBT Brotherhood is protecting.



Q.
What project are you currently working on? (If you can talk about it and it’s not super-secret.)


A.
I'm working on the sequel to Hyperion Keats and revising two other projects. I'm using poetry quotes as the titles for the other two Hyperion books.


Q.
And because I’m such a big reader myself, and slightly nosy when it comes to books, what are you reading right now?


A.
I'm reading Killer, book six in the Pretty Little Liars series. It's fun to see what the show incorporates and what they just make up. After reading the books, the show seems like one really long fan fic.

Hyperion Keats by Molly Zenk
Published by: Highland Press
Release Date: December 4th, 2013

Synopsis:

Three modern teens, a 200-year-old diary, a literary mystery to solve.

Twelve-year-old Hyperion Frances Keats, great-great grand niece of poet John Keats, hates tip-toeing around her older sister's “medical diagnosis”.  Why is Isabella so determined to turn her back on what makes her unique in a sea of wannabes?  Is popularity more important than the truth?

The sisters and boy-next-door Will find themselves in the middle of a mystery after discovering a 200-year-old diary written by the girl who inspired the sonnet “To A Lady Seen For A Moment At Vauxhall.”   The teens aren't the only ones after the answers found in the pages from the past, though.   The LBT Brotherhood – a secret society dedicated to preserving the Romantic Poets three creeds of  love, beauty, and truth – want the secrets contained in the diary to remain lost to time and will stop at nothing to silence Hyperion, Isabella, and Will forever.

Giveaway! 

Grand Prize: Autographed Paperbacks of Hyperion Keats, Chasing Byron, and Hearts Affections.

Runners Up: (2nd, 3rd, and 4th place) Hyperion Keats e-book

Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Rules:
-Giveaway begins December 4th and will end December 18th 11:59 EST. The winner will be announced by email.
-Open to U.S. residents only
-We are not responsible for items lost in the mail & have the right to disqualify anyone, at any time.
-Personal information given by the applicant in the giveaway will never be shared. All information is deleted once the giveaway ends. 

Excerpt:
I barely crack the door open before Neighbor Boy launches into a spiel that may or may not be rehearsed—I can't really tell because he's talking too fast for me to guess one way or the other. “Hi, I'm not a stalker or anything so don't get freaked out, okay? But I saw the historical marker in your front yard and had a couple of quick questions if you, uh, don't mind me, uh, asking. You don't mind me asking stuff, do you? I can go away if you do.”  He blinks nervously a ton of times in anticipation of me either saying yes and waiting for his couple of supposedly quick questions or no and slamming the door in his face. Why would I say no? He's the prettiest boy I've ever seen up close. Even if boys don't like to be called pretty, with his huge blue eyes and unruly, anime character hair, that's the only word that comes to mind. Pretty. My heart does this funny little fluttery jump like I've run a mile in under five minutes and I'm positive my palms are too sweaty to shut the door. Even if I wanted to, shutting the door means he'd go away and there's no way I'm letting that happen. Especially not on my birthday.

“Go ahead. Ask your questions,” I whisper because I seriously doubt I can say it louder even if I wanted to right now.

 “Great.” He flashes a lopsided grin that makes my heart fluttering turn into a hammering. “Is this really the George Keats House? Like the real George Keats, brother to the poet John Keats’ house, and you actually live here-live here and not keep it up like a museum or something? Do I have to buy admission because I'm, like, standing on your yard?”

“Um, yes, yes, no, and no,” I field his jumbled together questions in order.

“Really? Are you like direct descendants or did you just buy the house from someone else and decided the historical marker was a cool trick to attract fan boys like me?”

His rapid fire, excited delivery is getting easier to understand. For a second, I think about Isabella by the window seat with her natural light waiting to make her good first impression, and about how Mom always tells me not to talk to strangers because she reads way too much of Nancy Grace's child snatching Headline News blog, but it's like my mouth is on auto-pilot as my heart ratchets away in my chest and I answer anything Neighbor Boy asks. “Direct,” I say. “Or Dad is, which makes us too. Mom was just a Romantic Poets fan girl who lucked out by meeting Dad in some college class and marrying in. They both teach at the university. British Lit.”

Neighbor Boy pushes his sandy blond hair out of his face with one long-fingered hand and, I think, even if I don't like to do manual labor on my birthday, I got the better deal by agreeing to open the front door. While Isabella is hanging out in the kitchen imaging what he's like, I don't have to imagine. I know.
Molly Zenk was born in Minnesota, grew up in Florida, lived briefly in Tennessee, before finally settling in Colorado.   She graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL with degrees in Secondary Education, English, and Creative Writing.  She spent six years using those degrees teaching High School English, Poetry, and Creative Writing before going on “hiatus” to focus on being a stay-at-home/work-at-home Mom.   Molly is married to a Mathematician/Software Engineer who complains about there not being enough “math” or info about him in her author bio.  They live in Arvada, CO with their  young daughters, one dog, and one cat.

This blog tour was hosted by Publicist Christine Marie Book Publicity and Promotion. If you'd like to stay up to date with the latest publicity opportunities happening email me at: PublicistChristineMarie@gmail.com 


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