From my interview with Carrie Jones, author of NEED (and several other wonderful books) on Monday:
A lot of contemporary fantasy novels for adults have incredibly confident, butt-kicking heroines but that dominance hasn’t completely taken over the young adult genre. There are still a lot of damsels in distress, which is okay, but I wanted some variety, some female leads who become tough and still are girls, who have bravery and empathy. Zara’s development is like those adult protagonists for a reason. Girls deserve stories where the butt-kicking and the saving isn’t ALWAYS done by the guys. They deserve stories where the female isn’t always the damsel in distress. She can be in distress sometimes, but not all the time.
There are teens out there who are smart, athletic, socially conscious, and whose lives aren’t defined by their boyfriends. They deserve stories where the main character is like them.
From my interview with Maggie Stiefvater, author of LAMENT and several forthcoming novels, on Wednesday:
[I]n a lot of urban fantasy, the female lead has to become a super kick-butt leather-bodice-wearing chick in order to have the same level of coolness as her supernatural hero. I didn’t want Grace to be that girl. I wanted her to be a strong, level-headed character who was cool without leather and rivets and Taekwondo. So Grace became this extremely practical, loyal girl capable of great things in a very ordinary way . . . and she also has fun backstory which I will NOT TELL YOU.
From my interview with Ryan Mecum, author of ZOMBIE HAIKU and the forthcoming VAMPIRE HAIKU, on Friday:
2. How did you come up with the idea to write ZOMBIE HAIKU?
The idea came from my wanting to write haiku in the voice of a broken and gross narrator. Zombie films have a special place in my heart, and giving a zombie a poetic (yet jarring) voice seemed like a wonderful pairing.
I love the novelty and gimmick of the 5-, 7-, 5-syllable structured haiku. Haiku has become the Las Vegas of the poetry landscape, where it is mostly cheap and clichéd. However, through that you can also find beauty that shines a bit brighter due to its limitations. A great haiku is like finding a circus freak with a wonderful singing voice. A great zombie haiku is like that, too, but the circus freak wants to eat you.
From Colleen's interview with Jenny Davidson over at Chasing Ray:
I find biography a particularly evocative genre - a well-written biography offers a whole slice of social and cultural history as well...
From Vivian's interview with Kristin Cashore over at Hip Writer Mama:
Writing is all about listening to the voices that tell you you can’t do it, you’ll never do it, what you’re trying to do is impossible, particularly for a talentless bonehead like you; saying to the voices, “Well, aren’t you sad and pathetic, the way you’ll do anything to stop me? You’re wrong, you know. I can do it. Here, have a hug”; accepting that the voices will never go away and that a part of you will always believe them; and writing anyway.
You can see the full schedule of Summer Blog Blast Tour interviews over at Chasing Ray. Colleen Mondor, organizer extraordinaire, has even annotated them for you, so you can see a bit of what's going on at each of the "stops" on the tour.