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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Starring: VOILA, by Debbie Rigaud

Girfriend Debbie Rigaud has stopped by my blog to talk about her short story, “Voila” featured in the new book: OPEN MIC: RIFFS ON LIFE BETWEEN CULTURES IN TEN VOICES (Candlewick Press) Edited by Mitali Perkins

Listen in as ten YA authors use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction embraces a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry and comic form.

About “Voila”:
Thanks to overprotective parenting, Simone’s elderly great aunt Ma Tante has more of a social life than she does. But one afternoon, Ma Tante’s social scene awkwardly intersects with Simone’s in the unlikeliest of places.

Our Interview:
Kristina: If your story was made into a movie, who would star as your main character?

Debbie: I'd go with "A.N.T. Farm"'s China McClain. I can see her taking on the challenge of playing the character Simone, the somewhat skeptical but hopeful child of overprotective immigrant parents. How cool would that be?

Kristina:  Who are the Young Adult authors that turn you into a fangirl?

Debbie: Kristin Cashore and Nnendi Okoafor Mbachu! These literary sheroes are such imaginative storytellers with a palpable love for the (writing) craft. I am transported every time I pick up their books.

Kristina:  Would you ever try writing in another genre?

Debbie: As far as YA, I'd love to write a paranormal or fantasy novel, as well as a historic fiction book. I have a few proposals completed, but it's just the matter of narrowing my attention on the right one. And lately I've been toying with the idea of writing a Middle Grade novel and even an adult one. I started work on an adult manuscript after being consumed by this one idea. Nothing has come of that yet as I'm still only mid-way through the manuscript. But every time I put it aside to focus on my work in progress, it always seems to resurface right under my nose. Who knows? Maybe there's a chick lit book in my future.

Kristina: What are you working on now?

Debbie: I've just completed the editing phase for my first YA e-book. Set to release this winter, it's titled TURFQUAKE. The story follows one city girl's reluctant (and awkward) switch to a suburban school at the same time her cousin from earthquake-ravaged Haiti moves in and faces greater challenges adjusting to life in the US.

Kristina: Do you prefer reading an ereader or book in hand?

Debbie: That's easy--I'm all about books. I love the feel and smell of books. It's the reason I feel so at peace in a bookstore. But--sigh--though I'm a late hold-out, I'm sure that I'll have to break down and get an e-reader in the near future. The writing's on the wall. The e-reader has already made its way into my home--my husband swears by them and doesn't buy books anymore.

Rave Reviews for OPEN MIC:
“[Open Mic] will leave readers thinking about the ways that humor can be a survival tool in a world that tends to put people in boxes.” –Publishers Weekly

“Naomi Shihab Nye offers an eloquent poem about her Arab American dad, whose friendliness made him ‘Facebook before it existed.’ David Yoo, Debbie Rigaud, Varian Johnson and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich also contribute stories to this noteworthy anthology, which robustly proves Perkins’ assertion that ‘funny is powerful.’” –Horn Book Magazine

“Teachers will find some powerful material here about how the young can become discomfited and find solace in their multifaceted cultural communities. –School Library Journal

For more about OPEN MIC, like their page

About Debbie Rigaud (
Debbie Rigaud began her writing career covering news and entertainment for popular magazines. Her YA fiction debut, HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru was followed by the fish-out-of-water romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT/Simon Pulse. Since then, Debbie’s non-fiction essays have been published in anthologies IT’S ALL LOVE/Broadway Books and DEAR BULLY/HarperTeen. Her short story “Voila!” is featured in OPEN MIC/Candlewick Press, and TURFQUAKE, her first YA e-book will be released late 2013.

Espressologist Web Series Trailer

Oh my goodness, I love love love this awesome trailer Alloy Digital put together for The Espressologist web series!!

Espressologist Trailer from Alloy Digital on Vimeo.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Starring: REFLECTING EMMY, by Diana Wallach

Author Diana Rodriguez Wallach is stopping by to talk about her latest work, Reflecting Emmy: A Mirror, Mirror Mythology, recently released on September 3rd. Find it on Amazon for only 99 cents.

Background About REFLECTING EMMY and the MIRROR, MIRROR Trilogy

Diana Rodriguez Wallach, author of the award-winning YA series Amor and Summer Secrets, has created a modern take on the myths of Narcissus and Nemesis in a contemporary teen setting.
Her Mirror, Mirror trilogy debuts September 3rd with “Reflecting Emmy,” followed by “Nara Gazing” in October, and “Shattering GiGi” in November. Each title will be a $0.99 short story sold in digital ebook format for Kindle, nook, and kobo. The titles will be combined to create the complete Mirror, Mirror trilogy, along with bonus materials and a prequel short story, in December 2013.

In early 2014, Diana’s Mirror, Mirror trilogy will be combined with the works of YA authors Jammie Kern and Magda Knight to create the Mythology High anthology, available in ebook and paperback through Buzz Books.


Eighteen-year-old Emmy is in the family business-trapping vapid narcissistic souls into her silver compact mirror for all eternity. It’s what the Rhamnusia family has been doing for thousands of years, all under the direction of Great Grandmother. Only Emmy’s latest assignment, Nara, is about to prove more challenging than she ever expected.  Gorgeous and self-absorbed, Nara is unflinchingly cruel to her classmates. Even her boyfriend, Luke, can no longer tolerate her actions–much to Emmy’s relief since she finds Luke a little more than intriguing. But when Emmy tricks Nara into gazing into her mystical mirror, what she finds there is not what she’s expecting.

What People Are Saying:

"A fun, fresh and thoroughly entertaining modern twist on the Narcissus myth. Readers will love Emmy and her (mis)adventures. Wallach packs a lot of story into a small packing--romance, friendship and the power of one person to make a difference. The only thing missing... is more!"
~ Tera Lynn Childs, award-winning author of Oh. My. Gods., Forgive My Fins, and Sweet Venom.

"Diana Rodriguez Wallach’s Mythology High is too much fun. Emmy collects narcissistic souls for the family business but after making one tiny little mistake she finds her life turned upside down. These three stories are a must for anyone who loves Greek mythology, feisty heroines and second chances. My only complaint is that I didn’t want them to finish." –Amanda Ashby, author of Fairy Bad Day and Demosity

Our Interview

Kristina: How did you get the idea for (title of book)?

Diana: Reflecting Emmy is the first short story in my Mirror, Mirror trilogy, which is based on the myth of Narcissus. I wanted to reimagine a myth that most people, and teens, would know very well. And honestly, within seconds of my brain contemplating Narcissus, I came up with the idea of a paranormal organization that traps Narcissistic souls by judging their reflections in mirrors. I wish I could pinpoint what part of my brain came up with this idea and how it happened so quickly, because there are times when I’m slugging through a revision and would love to manually click that switch.
Kristina: If your book was made into a movie, who would star as your main characters?

Diana: For Emmy, the paranormal secret agent who traps teen Narcissistic souls for a living, I’d cast Vanessa Hudgens. Emmy’s Greek, a decedent of the goddess Nemesis, and I think Vanessa has that Mediterranean look.

For Nara, the shallow, narcissistic girl whom Emmy is targeting, I’d cast Molly Quinn (the daughter from Castle). Nara is a strawberry blond beauty just like the actress.

Kristina: How do you come up with the names of your characters?

Diana: To be honest, my characters’ names are little on the nose. The main character, Emmy, is a reimagining of the Goddess Nemesis, the goddess of retribution. And I thought “Emmy” was a nice play on that.

The character of Nara is a reimaging of Narcissus, the beautiful hunter who died staring at his own reflection. Her name is an obvious play on that.

Echo, who you meet in the second short story in the series Nara Gazing (which comes out in October 2013), is hopelessly in love with Nara. He’s a singer-songwriter with magical powers. This is literally stolen from the female nymph Echo, who trails lovelorn after Narcissus in the Greek myth.

And the one who bestowed Emmy with her magical silver compact in which to trap Narcissistic souls is her great grandmother GiGi, who you meet in the third story, Shattering GiGi (which debuts in November 2013). The name GiGi is actually a nod to my husband’s 91 year-old grandmother, who is now blessed with nine great grandchildren, and who we all call GG.

Kristina: Would you ever try writing in another genre?

Diana: Sort of. It’s not exactly another genre, but a subgenre within a genre. Right now, I’m writing my first YA mystery. Or I guess I should say I’m rewriting it. I started it five years ago, and I’ve been working on it ever since. It’s my first crack at a mystery, and even though it’s still YA, there’s a lot more that goes into it. It’s been a long, slow process to learn how to properly craft a good mystery/thriller; and thankfully, I have a very generous editor/beta reader who is currently offering support as I muddle through. Hopefully, one day I will finish this book and see it in print.
Kristina: Who is (or who are) the Young Adult author that turns you into a fangirl?

Diana: Christopher Pike! I was obsessed with him when I was a teen. I read everything from Chain Letter, to Remember Me, to Fall Into Darkness. I would completely geek out if I ever met him in person. He’s one of the reasons I write for YA now.

About the Author 

Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of Mirror, Mirror, a short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, that includes Reflecting Emmy, Nara Gazing, and Shattering GiGi (Buzz Books 2013). She is also the author of three award-winning YA novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books).

In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins), and in 2013, she will be featured in the anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books). In 2010 Diana was named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch by, and she placed second in the International Latino Book Awards. She hold a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.