Welcome to this week’s Penguin Teen Author Spotlight! We are so excited to welcome the queen of fantasy, Kristin Cashore, to today’s feature, because guess what? Bitterblue is finally out in paperback! This means you can have a copy for your bedroom and your locker, because do you ever have enough Graceling Realm in your life? Before you go get your copies copy, though, check out Kristin’s interview below and obsess with us over trying to figure out if she’s going to write another Graceling Realm book anytime soon…

Name: Kristin Cashore

Novel: Bitterblue

Available: September 17, 2013

Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? I don’t have one favorite author. So how about I answer a series of different questions instead?

Which author’s work is in closest proximity to you at this very moment? Edward Gorey. What books are you most yearning to reread, if you could only find the time? Tamora Pierce’s Alanna quartet. What’s the longest book you’ve ever adored? Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset, translated from Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally. (It’s about 1100 pages long.) What’s the best not-yet-released book you’ve read recently? The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. What picture book did you go bonkers about last week? Journey, by Aaron Becker. By which authors do you own more than four books? Well, peering at my bookshelves from here on the couch: Laura Ingalls Wilder, William Shakespeare, Melina Marchetta, Maurice Sendak, Rumer Godden, Ellis Peters, Dorothy L Sayers, Charles M Schultz, David Macaulay, Mary Stewart, Robin McKinley, Cynthia Voigt. (That question is a touch unfair, because some of my favorite authors haven’t written more than four books.)


Important Part of my Bookshelf

What’s your favorite thing about your book? The long and difficult experience of writing it.

If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? Mervyn Bunter, who’s Lord Peter Wimsey’s manservant in Dorothy L Sayers’ mysteries. It’s the only way I could ensure my trousers remained creased and my cravats straight. Small things like this are important when you’re depressed on account of being stranded on a deserted island. (In reality, I have a cousin who’s a Navy Seal. Could I just choose him? He would keep me alive.)

Where do you write? I have a nice broad table in my home office and have been working there a lot lately. I’m surrounded by my book plans and other miscellaneous notes on the walls, and I’ve got the space I need for my manuscript, my notebooks, and my cup of tea. (I write by hand.) However, I’m pretty flexible and can write anywhere as long as I’m alone or surrounded by only strangers.


One Corner of My Office. (I’ve been using my dictionary and thesaurus as foot rests. Sorry, Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster.)

Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? I’m constantly wowed and motivated by people’s stories, but I don’t have one particular hero.

Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? I am one of those Paleolithic people who doesn’t tweet. I find that the less time I spend on the Internet, the happier and more centered I am in my life. (I do have a blog, though, and I use twitter as an amalgamation feed.)

What is your favorite season? Fall!

If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? I would like to see Earth from a great distance, but close enough to discern the colors and shapes. I think that would give me a deep sense of home. I’d also like to go anywhere where I could observe other intelligent life in the universe.

Do you have any writing rituals? I have habits, practices, and preferences, but I think my only ritual is my cup of tea.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? The freedom to be myself without constraints, take care of myself and others, connect sincerely with friends, family, and strangers, travel to other places when possible, do the work I love, and not get wound up in things that don’t matter.

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? This is a tough one – I’m not into this “choosing one” thing! I was at the very front of a fabulous Sting concert in Sydney during my junior year abroad. That same year, I stood on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, part of the audience for Crowded House’s free “final” concert. One year just after Thanksgiving, I went to the most glorious performance of Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Rodeo at Lincoln Center in New York. I prioritize experiences like this and have had many wonderful ones.

What are you currently working on? Nothing. I’m on vacation. But I just finished a revision of a contemporary YA realistic novel that takes place in a fictional town in New England, and I’m about to begin the revision of a high concept novel I’m not sure I’m allowed to, or ready to, talk about yet. Somehow, I’m both working on nothing and too much. I think it averages out to just the right amount.


Thanks, Kristin! We can’t wait to read whatever you write next!

You can find Kristin on her blog.

Keep up with the Graceling Realm and Bitterblue on the website and Facebook page.

Add Bitterblue to your “to-read” shelf on Goodreads!

Buy Bitterblue from your preferred retailer.

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