Today we have the author of Landry Park which was described as "Gone with the Wind meets The Hunger Games." by VOYA. Let us all welcome, Bethany Hagen!
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubt yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?
I think doubt is probably the bad angel on every writer's shoulder. I would write a passage one day that I thought was brilliant and beautiful and then look at it the next day and want to light my laptop on fire. More and more, I think the key to a long-term writing career is learning to shut down the bad angel, whether she's telling you that you've completely screwed up a character arc or reminding you of that one Goodreads review with all the gifs. I don't think doubt ever goes away, but with practice, you can turn the volume down so that it's not buzzing in your ear whenever you sit down to work.
About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?
I worked on Landry Park by myself and with critique partners for about eighteen months before I thought it was ready to send off to agents. My dream agent, Mollie Glick of Foundry Media, read it and offered me an R & R, which I pounced on because I felt that all of her ideas were amazing. That revision took me three or four months, and then she offered to represent me as soon as she read it. I dropped my agency contract in the mail on Thursday, she subbed to ten or fifteen editors on Friday, and by Monday, we had our first offer, which happened to be from my dream house, Penguin. So I said yes. And then I screamed happy screams at my husband for a couple hours and then drank many celebratory beers.
About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?
Being a published author is kind of like graduating college--it's a huge relief, for one, and a huge accomplishment, for another, but it also doesn't guarantee anything for the future, which can be nerve-wracking on occasion.
So far my favorite thing has been getting to meet teens who've loved my book enough to come out and see me at events or to take the time to write me. (But for real, holding my book--and then getting to shelve it at the library I work at--pure awesomesauce.)
About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also has an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?
I spent three years working at a tiny history museum, wandering around exhibits and staring at old photos. At this museum, the Gilded Age/Edwardian Era section was just around the corner from the Cold War nuclear hysteria section. After a few hundred times walking the exhibit loop, the idea began to form for a story combining the aesthetics of the Edwardian Era and the science of nuclear energy. Luckily, the job also gave me a lot of spare time to write and that was how Landry Park was born. (I hope my old boss isn't reading this.)
About the Author:
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Bethany Hagen was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up reading Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, and all things King Arthur, and went on to become a librarian. Landry Park is her debut novel.
Title: Landry Park
Genre/s: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
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Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayalIn a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.