The Compulsive Reader: Supernatural July: Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Supernatural July: Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the YA author of three Gothic fantasy novels from Candlewick Press--Tantalize (2007), Eternal (2009), and Blessed (2011), which will crossover the two casts and pick up where Tantalize leaves off. A Tantalize graphic novel is also in the works. In addition, Cynthia's recent YA short stories include "Haunted Love" from Immortal: Love Stories with Bite, edited by P.C. Cast (BenBella, 2008) and "Cat Calls" from Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magic, edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, July 2009), both of which are set in the Tantalize universe, as well "The Wrath of Dawn, co-authored by Greg Leitich Smith," from Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown, 2009). Cynthia runs a large children's-YA literature resource site at: www.cynthialeitichsmith.com and a popular blog, Cynsations, at: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/

What three words would you use to describe your books?

Horrific, romantic, layered.

What element(s) would you say make(s) your books unique?

For this three set--Tantalize (2007), Eternal (2009), and Blessed (2011), all from Candlewick--it's probably the girl-empowerment themes and the combination of multicultural, religious, and economic diversity in fantasy settings. They're also upper-level YAs that include, say, quasi-epistolary elements, unreliable narrators, alternating point of view, etc., which gears them toward more YA sophisticated readers. Beyond that, I'm writing stories set in a universe. They don't all have the same characters, and they're not in linear order. They include novels, short stories, and (forthcoming) graphic novels, so I'm using a lot of formats.

What supernatural book or books have influenced you the most?

In terms of my Gothic writing, Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897); Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause (1997); and though it was a TV series, Joss Whedon's "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer."

If you could have any supernatural power, what would it be and why?

The ability to freeze time for everyone else while I continue to work. Reason: deadlines!

What supernatural read are you itching to read?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (Delacorte, 2009).

Thanks so much for agreeing to answer my questions! I really do appreciate it!

Thank you!

And check out the trailer for Eternal, Cynthia latest book!

Eternal Trailer


Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting, I like the trailer.

Amelia said...

Great interview! Eternal looks really good.

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

How funny! I just started Tantalize last night! :) It's pretty good so far. Only on page 36! :)

I picked it up from Target the other day.

Liviania said...

I still need to read the Forest of Hands and Teeth myself.

Rhiannon Hart said...

I love Tantalize! Looking forward to the next two. And I also love Blood and Chocolate. It's probably my favourite YA.