We are so happy to be taking part in the Poisoned Apples blog tour! Check out the deets on this AMAZING book, and check out our interview with the Author/Poet, Christine Heppermann! (Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a HARDCOVER copy!!
Trust me guys, you’ll need this in your life.
Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.
Christine Heppermann’s collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, this is a powerful and provocative book for every young woman. E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls it “a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that’s caustic, funny, and heartbreaking.”
Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.
If you could use 3 words to describe your books, what would they be?
Small but mighty.
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novel (and in this case, poetry)? Why?
One of the many cool things about writing poetry is that sometimes your original first line or first stanza becomes your last, and vice versa. Sometimes I’ll be working on a poem, thinking I have everything in the right order, and then, for fun, I’ll move the bottom stanza to the top. Just to see what happens. It’s always a happy surprise when such experiments result in improvement. To me it shows that stories—and I believe all poems tell stories—can be structured in unpredictable ways.
Again, applying to poetry: Which comes first in your writing process, the title, or the content of your story? Do you always know what your book’s title is going to be?
Another cool thing about poetry: the story often begins in the title. The title gives the poem context, so you kind of have to start there. For example, “Photoshopped Poem” in Poisoned Apples wouldn’t make much sense without the title, as it’s about a poet taking out “most of the lines” in an attempt to make her poem “more attractive.” The joke opens with the punchline.
How do you plot your books, do you write it down on paper/index cards/etc, or do you write on the fly? Do you ever find that your plot changes as you write, or does it stay pretty close to how you planned it?
Hardly anything ever stays as I planned! Which can be frustrating but also exciting. I’ll get an idea for a poem and start scribbling lines, sometimes just disconnected words, and see what, if anything, fits together. It often takes a long time and lots of drafts for anything resembling a coherent narrative to emerge from the mist.
Do you have any authors who inspire you or your writing style? If so, who?
Countless authors inspire me. Those whose work I consistently return to include Lucille Clifton, because she packs incredible power into very short poems; Connie Wanek, because her poems hold humble objects such as umbrellas and combs up to the light and dazzle me with them; Ron Koertge, because he is irreverent and funny, but also kind, which is how I’d like to be; and Lynne Rae Perkins, because pretty much every time I read or re-read one of her books I wish I’d written it.
What’s in your “Author Survival Kit”? (Pens, Caffeine, iPods, Prozac?)
Caffeine for sure—though I’m weaning myself from full-caf to half-caf lattes—but my kit has to be big enough to include my writer friends whom I turn to—pester?— for support when I’m feeling stuck or restless or lonely. They are scattered across the country, so I guess my kit doesn’t have to be THAT big. It just has to have Wifi.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
PIE. And if I could eat only one kind of pie, strawberry rhubarb. Or blackberry.
What is your favorite movie?
“Together,” directed by Lukas Moodysson. It’s about a commune in Sweden in the 1970s. A close second is Moodysson’s “Show Me Love.” Both contain fantastic introverted, outcast teen characters.
What are the last 3 books you enjoyed reading?
Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger, Pointe by Brandy Colbert, The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop. I have eclectic tastes!
This or That?
Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunrise. I am the opposite of a vampire. I fade at night.
Coffee or Tea?
Hot or Cold?
I lived in Minneapolis for fifteen years and then in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so cold for sure. I can always put on more clothes, but there are only so many I can take off.
By Land, or by Sea?
Land. The ocean scares me. Too many things hidden in there that probably want to bite me.
Sept. 21 – Andye @ ReadingTeen.net – Guest Post
Sept. 22 – Liza @ WhoRU Blog – Review
Sept. 24 – Hannah @ The Irish Banana Review – Review
Sept. 25 – Stephanie @ No BS Book Reviews – Interview
Sept. 26 – Katie @ MundieMoms – Review
Sept. 27 – Mary @ The Book Swarm – Guest Post & Review
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