Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.
Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
Hi Genn. I’m so excited to have you here today.
I’m a former teacher and academic who always loved stories. I wanted to write books from a young age and I finally got serious and made it a priority shortly after my daughter was born in 2010.
At first I was hesitant about using the term Spinster, but it grew on me. My advisor in graduate school actually studied 18th century female writers who were considered Spinsters, so I liked the idea of taking the term back and playing with our concept of what a Spinster was.
The idea for the novel stems from a painting by Remedios Varo where girls sit in a tower and embroider the world. I built on that by adding more traditionally female arts like weaving and spinning. It’s been tricky to create a woven world, and even trickier to get the idea out of my head and onto the page, but I’m finding that there’s a lot of room for expansion on the concept. In book two, we’ll meet characters with different powerful skills that can affect the fabric of life.
The world came second to the situation Adelice was put in. It started with a girl who could weave and embroider the world, and so when I decided to use the term Spinsters, the dynamics of power naturally gravitated toward gender hegemonies.
Romance is so hard to get right, because I remember being a teen and falling in love for the first time and it was HEAVY stuff (I eventually married my first love, so yeah, I DO believe teens can really fall in love). For me the key to Crewel was that romance can’t be Adelice’s whole world, because she has a lot going on. When she’s in the romantic moments, they’re all consuming, but she still has goals and issues outside her relationship. I’m not sure I was that balanced as a teenager. In fact, all I remember is HORMONES, but Adelice has a better head on her shoulders.
I have to admit the whole story still shocks me. There were several agents who were excited about Crewel, and I loved them all, but after several conversations with Mollie, I realized she was the person I wanted to email when I had a question. I really couldn’t ask for a better advocate. It was a similar circumstance that led me to choose FSG. They were passionate about the book from the beginning, and they’ve done an amazing job throughout the editorial and publishing process.
I have to thank my publicist for that. She submitted the novel and additional material to the committee and they chose it. It was an amazing feeling to walk into BEA. Every time I turned around I saw an author I admired and then there was the books! So many books! If a debut author has the means to go, they should. I met so many other 2012 debut novelists there. It was a great networking experience, but it was also a lot of fun!
I definitely can’t take much credit for the marketing and buzz surrounding the book. I’m very fortunate that Macmillan has been so proactive and passionate about Crewel. What I’ve focused on is using social media to engage with other writers, bloggers, and readers. I enjoy that though. My best advice is to figure out what you enjoy doing in terms of PR and marketing and focus on that. You can’t do it all, so try to find what you are comfortable doing.
Don’t over-analyze. Just write.
I’m working on the rest of the Crewel World series at the moment, but I have a MG on the back burner. I’d like to write something for my kids.
And don't forget to enter my contests for THE TORN WING and ASHEN WINTER, two awesome books. The links to the contests are at the top of the blog.
Here's what's coming up:
On Friday I'll be sharing a guest post by debut author Jordan Jacobs and giving away a copy of his middle grade book, SAMANTHA SUTTON AND THE LABYRINTH OF LIES. It's a story about a legendary ghost, a hidden treasure, and a ancient temple in Peru.
Next Monday, I'm interviewing debut author Shelby Bach and giving away a copy of OF GIANTS AND ICE. It's a unique fairy tale retelling centering around the Ever After School that I enjoyed and I think you will too.
Next Wednesday, I'm interviewing debut author Laura Ellen and giving away an ARC of BLIND SPOT, a fantastic contemporary YA book about a girl who's dealing with macular degeneration, a schoolmates death, and a whole lot more.
Hope to see you Wednesday!