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readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cover Stories: Tantalize, Kieren’s Story

Cynthia Leitich Smith is a huge supporter of the YA writing community who truly rocks. I recently wrote a guest post for her awesome blog, Cynsations, about writing "true" vs. "likeable" characters. She also happens to be the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of the Tantalize series: ETERNAL, TANTALIZE, and BLESSED, Gothic fantasies from Candlewick. TANTALIZE: KIEREN’S STORY, illustrated by Ming Doyle, is a graphic edition in which Cynthia re-envisions her dark fantasy through Wolfish eyes. How cool is that?

Here's Cynthia with the Cover Story for  TANTALIZE: KIEREN’S STORY:

"I anticipated that the cover would nod overtly to Kieren’s identity as a human werewolf-hybrid. We often see this with books that involve a shape-shifter protagonist. I tend to prefer those in which it’s more subtle, like Vivian’s wolf shadow on the original cover of Annette Curtis Klause’s Blood and Chocolate (right).

"Usually in shifter books, the transformation is a powerful moment in the story, and as a reader I prefer to experience that in my imagination rather than to be offered a visual up front. However, in my story, because Kieren is a hybrid (and has some issues with that), he doesn’t shapeshift as easily or completely as, say, his mother who has no known homo sapiens heritage.

"I was wary of the idea that the cover might suggest that Kieren would go full Wolf and managing that more delineated duality would be the book’s focus. The story is more of a murder mystery with strong romantic elements than a straight-up creature feature, though certainly creatures abound.

"My first thought when I saw the cover was, He’s a boy. Definitely a boy..."

Read the rest of Cynthia's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com.

PS-Read the original Cover Stories for Eternal and Blessed.

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