Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for Suzy Vitello's new book The Empress Chronicles. Read for all the details about this great read as well as a little Q&A with the lady herself.
THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES
by Suzy Vitello
by Suzy Vitello
Publication Date: September 4th 2014
Publisher: Diversion Books
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In this dazzling first book in the EMPRESS CHRONICLES series by the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…
When city girl Liz is banished to a rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control. She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval. The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons. But all of this changes in one historical instant.*One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own. Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love. But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.*When Liz finds a timeworn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria. It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own…
Readers of books like Rachel Harris’s MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY will love THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES
About The Author
Suzy Vitello is a proud founding member of a critique group recently dubbed The Hottest Writing Group in Portland, and her short stories have won fellowships and prizes (including the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Award, and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship).
My fascination with 19th-century Europe generally, and the historical figure, Sisi – the last Empress of Austria.
What was your favourite fairy tale growing up?
I loved the fairy tales with sisters in them. Rose Red and Snow White, for instance. Something about having two girls with different temperaments in a single narrative has always interested me.
Think quick! Vampires or Werewolves?
Vampires. Sort of. Neither, if pressed.
Who was your favourite character to write and why?
I found Liz’s voice fairly easily. I relate to the outlier personality. A teenager who tends to be interior rather than outgoing. Sisi was harder to write – and more tragic. Sisi started out robust and full of spirit, and as time went on, external conditions tamped her down – whereas my plans for Liz (I have two other Empress books outlined) have her going from shy and introverted to outspoken and brave.
Where did your love for writing come from?
A need to find an outlet for an overactive imagination. I turn observation into narrative in my every day life, and if I didn’t write my head would explode.
If you could pick anyone, whom would you cast in a movie adaptation of The Empress Chronicles?
There is a stunning young Polish actress named Agata Trzebuchowska (in an indie film, Ida), and I think she’d be perfect for Sisi. As for Liz, definitely an actress with serious emotional chops. Like Shailene Woodley. Cory could be played by a roughed up version of Jamie Blackley. Lauren Lee Smith for
What three books would you recommend to readers of The Empress Chronicles?
MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY by Rachel Harris
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING by Kari Luna
Any of the Stephanie Perkins books: ANNA, LOLA, ISLA …
Here’s a random one for you. If you were living in a Dystopian world that’s ALREADY been written, which one would you choose and why?
Probably THE STEPFORD WIVES. Ha! Seriously – I had a somewhat chaotic upbringing. Young eccentric parents who were also mostly students when I was a kid. I had this secret fascination with what it might be like to have an ordered, pristine household. A mom who wore lipstick and made pot roast. That sort of thing. Of course, I’d last about a day in the dystopian world of Stepford. I’d probably drop an f-bomb at the wrong moment, and that would be that.
What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you?
Sitting in one place for too long. The physical aches and pains of looking at a screen for hours a day. I have to take long walks to shake my ideas to the next level of depth.
Why did you choose to write for this particular genre?
Young adult? Historical? Contemporary? It wasn’t the genre that I wrote for – it was just a couple of characters who had a story to tell, and when I’d written a draft, I had to find a category for the book in order to sell it (and me) to an agent. (Even though this book is being pubbed after THE MOMENT BEFORE, it’s my debut chronologically.)
What is your favourite genre to read?
Realistic fiction. Family saga – type stories.
Another random one to keep you on your toes. Prince Charming turns up on your doorstep with a glass slipper. It fits, but isn’t yours! What do you do?
Fun question! I ‘m a huge believer in going with intuition. If the shoe feels like the perfect fit, I say, it’s meant to be!
Lastly, tell us WHY we should read The Empress Chronicles?
It’s the first of three books I have planned that explore the idea of “the road not taken” for one of the most intriguing marriages of the 19th century. It’s the foundation for a fantastical adventure in which a girl from our time tackles her crippling phobias through the interaction with an historical legend. It’s a metaphor for the power of imagination. If those ideas appeal – and you’re the type of reader who can patiently suspend disbelief while being transported to a different time and place, please read THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES!