Welcome to the SILVER IN THE BLOOD read-along! It has officially started, so grab your copy of the book and start reading! We’ll be reading a little more than a chapter a day. I’ve included a schedule below so you can follow along with Tressa (Wishful Endings) and I (Batch of Books) as we read. You don’t need a blog to join in, but if you have one, you are welcome to add it to the linky so we can stop by. Otherwise, just leave a comment with your thoughts on the book.
Use hashtag #SilverRA and feel free to tag me or Tressa if you tweet! @denabooks or @tressherm
And now I would like to welcome Jessica Day George to my blog! We asked her about the inspiration behind the book and this is what she had to say.
I’ve always wanted to write a contemporary book. The first five manuscripts I wrote had contemporary settings, and people wore jeans and ate pizza and drove cars when they needed to get somewhere, and it was glorious. Now that I’ve written pre-tech books, I realize just how glorious. I long to have my characters use slang and make Monty Python references. Yet somehow I have found myself writing book after book set in worlds where everyone wears gowns and travels by horseback.
SILVER IN THE BLOOD was supposed to be my published first foray into the modern world. It was going to be entirely emails, texts, and diary entries. It was going to start with a teenage girl visiting her cousins in Romania for the first time, being hugged by the only one of her aunts with a bust, and realizing that the aunt’s push-up bra was stuffed with Kleenex. In despair, the girl would email her best friend back home in New York to moan that she was destined to be flat chested like all her female relatives. I was excited. It was funny. It was modern. And yet there was a dark magical secret waiting for this teen girl and her smartphone.
I told my idea to a friend, who is also a writer. Just before we started talking about this idea we had been talking about THE LUXE by Anna Godberson, which we had both just inhaled in one day, we loved it so much. And this friend, Amy Finnegan, said, “You should set your story in that same time period. Imagine how much worse it would be to be stuck with total strangers, finding out about your dark family secrets, if you were a silly little debutante from the 1890’s!”
So much better! It was the final key that made the entire book fall into place.
But then, of course, I had to come to terms with the fact that there would be no jeans, no pizza, and no emails in this book. I had to rewrite the entire first chapter. Names had to be changed. (I think at one point a main character was named Kiki. Now she’s Maria Louisa.) But I only mourned for a few minutes, because this idea was on fire, and it was time to get to work.
And it turned out to be rather a lot of work, actually. Another thing that I hadn’t known when I started out, but I don’t have regrets about, is that at the time I knew pretty much zilch about Romania. It’s relatively easy to make up a fantasy world of your own. It’s your world, and your rules, right? And SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW was set in the real world of 18th century Norway, but I’d spent four years at a university pretty much specializing in 18th century Norway, so that setting came very naturally as well. But Romania? I knew that Vlad the Impaler, Prince Dracula, the inspiration for Count Dracula, came from there, and that’s it. I’d been inspired to use Romania as a setting because I’d just seen a movie that took place in Bucharest, and it was so beautiful and yet foreign, that the idea of an American teen wandering the streets of Bucharest, lost and alone, pleased me greatly. So I began to read about Romania, and I just couldn’t get a feel for it. I’ve travelled over northern Europe, been to Brazil and Canada and Disneyland, but I’ve never been anywhere like Romania. In the end I decided that my book needed me to get up close and personal with the setting, so I packed my sturdy walking shoes, my favorite stuffed dragon, and my husband, and headed to Romania for a two week research tour.
It was amazing.
And it got me results. It got me this book, SILVER IN THE BLOOD, which I have been bluntly informed by my friends, family members, and even my agent, is my best. And I hope you think so, too!
About the Book:
The thrilling start to a richly drawn, romance-filled series, this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives will have readers coming back for more.
Jessica Day George is the author of many books for young readers, including the wonderfully whimsical Tuesdays at the Castle and three books in the Dragonskin Slippers series. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a librarian and bookseller. Jessica lives with her family in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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