Thursday, January 24, 2013

You guys have no idea how excited I am to have Cynthia Hand stop back by the blog today for an interview as part of the Boundless Blog Tour hosted by Mundie Moms!  The last time she stopped by for a chat, we got serious about her books, but I thought we'd do something a little different for today's stop on the tour.  But first, a little bit about the final -- *sniff* -- book in the bestselling Unearthly series:

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Title: Boundless
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly, the third and final book
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Excerpt:  Browse Inside Boundless

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

And in case you're curious what I thought of the final book in the Unearthly series, you can find my spoiler-free review here.  The teaser trailer for Boundless is below:

Since we talked mostly shop in our last interview, I’d like to make this one a departure from that, especially since I already know you won’t give us any hints about Boundless. :)  So, let’s find out more about you. We’ll start with the basics, the easy stuff, and then delve a little deeper and find out what kind of reader you are, if that’s alright with you...since we already know what an awesome author you are. :D

What is your favorite color? 

It changes, but mostly I am attracted to purples and blues. Which has worked out well with my book covers.

Yes, it has!  And what pretty covers they are...they always depict really pretty scenery, besides the girl in a beautiful dress.  =)  What is your favorite season or time of year? 

I love that part of the year that is between seasons, when winter gives way to spring or when summer fades into fall. The changing part.

I loved your descriptions of the weather and scenery in the Unearthly series.  I have a habit of always wishing it were the next season as soon as I get tired of the weather.  Do you have any bad habits? 

Two that come to mind straight-away. Nail-biting, which I do when I am nervous or stressed. And being a know-it-all, which I find that I also do when I am nervous or stressed. Two habits I would very much like to break!

Nothing wrong with being a know-it-all in my book.  You'd come in handy when traveling.  Where is the most amazing place you’ve ever visited? 

Delphi, Greece, in a snowstorm. Knossos, Crete, eating a fresh orange. Topkapi Palace, Istanbul. Hemingway's writing room in Key West, Florida. Or standing in front of the Grand Teton mountains at sunset. I'm a traveler by nature. It's hard to pick just one, as I find magic in all sorts of places.'ve been to some fabulous places, and I bet you've eaten some equally fabulous meals in those places.  What is your favorite comfort food? 

I like Hershey's Symphony bars with toffee, as a chocolate rescue. And I make this yummy cheesy vegetable soup, for days I just don't feel very good and want to get warm and cozy.

Now for some deeper questions.  Who is the person you’d most like to meet, living or not? 

Jane Austen would be a hoot, I think. Hemingway, who I find both irritating and fascinating. As for living people, I think I would gravitate toward authors I admire but haven't met in person yet: Maggie Stiefvater, John Green, Lauren Oliver.

Speaking of all of those equally awesome authors you'd like to meet, who is your favorite author? 

No way I can go with only one. See above.

Okay, okay, it would be hard for me to pick just one, too.  What is your favorite book?

I'd sooner pick a star in the heavens than a favorite book, but I have a few staples I keep coming back to, starting with To Kill A Mockingbird, which was probably the first book where I noticed the language as much as the story. Such a lovely voice, TKAM.

I loved To Kill a Mockingbird, but I'm probably due for a's been awhile.  Who is your favorite heroine and why?

Again, I find it impossible to pick an out and out favorite, but one that comes instantly to mind is Evie, from Kiersten White's Paranormalcy series. Because I love a girl who can kick butt and crack jokes at the same time. Which harkens back to another fave heroine of mine: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Ah, good ole reliable Buffy.  :)  I was more a fan of the show than the movie, myself.  Do you usually enjoy movies based on books? Do you hope that your books will one day be made into movies? 

Yes, I usually love to see movies that are based on books, although I often leave the theater feeling a tiny, tiny bit empty, because the movie couldn't possibly live up to what it was in my head. But, having said that, I'm pretty easy to please with movies. It would be amazing to see my books as movies, a final step in the process of having others share what at first was only a bunch of fragments and images in my head. So cool.

Aside from the love triangle, which we’ve previously discussed, what are some other tropes you’d like to see die a slow and painful death? 

This is going to sound ironic considering how I just professed love for Buffy, but I am growing weary with the "heroine who's just as tough as a man" characters. Don't get me wrong-- I loved Katniss, but these days I kind of yawn when I open a book to find a character who is clearly trying to be defined as "strong" because she can wield a gun (or crossbow or sword or whatever) and hates the color pink and doesn't know how to express her emotions to a guy. I feel a lot of friction with the idea that women have to behave "like men" to be considered strong. I'm also tired of bad, dysfunctional families in fiction: uncaring, absent parents, orphans, etc. I understand why authors do this (if the adults aren't present, it makes the teen character accountable for themselves and responsible for solving their own problems, which is better for story-telling) but I also think that if you cut out the family as a writer you are going to miss out on one of the most powerful relationship dynamics there is.

I completely agree about the absentee parents in YA fiction.  In fact, I just did a post on this.  So, do you prefer to read a book all in one sitting or pace yourself to get the full effect of the story?

I read hungrily and greedily, and I hate to put a book down in the middle.

I'm sure many of your readers feel the same, myself included.  Now that you’re a bestselling author, how many books do you think you read a year? How has this number changed after your success? 

I read about 60 books this year, which is about the same, give or take 5-10 that I've read for the past few years, maybe a little more, since I have more money these days to spend on books. My "success" hasn't changed the way I approach reading. I like to think of myself as a student, and, in many ways, still a beginner to this writing gig, and also a true lovers of stories, so I read books in order to study and grow, and, at the end of the day, to immerse myself in another world for a little while.

Ha, I like that..."since I have more money these days to spend on books"...and I'm glad to hear that being an established author hasn't slowed your reading down at all.  Since you can still buy and read all the books even though you're a fancy author lady, which 2013 release are you most looking forward to? 

The finale to Anna Carey's EVE series (RISE), the finale to Veronica Roth's Divergent series, the finale to Moira Young's Blood Red Road series. Sheesh. A lot of finales.

I know!  I'm so sad to see sooo many of my favorite series end this year, including yours!  Alas, all good things must come to an end, right?  And since it’s that time of year, I have to ask. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Care to share with us? 

I did resolve to write two full novels this year. This may kill me, as I'm not very fast, as a writer, but I am aiming for two!

Wow!  That's an incredible goal!  Thanks for stopping by today, Cynthia!  I wish you all the success and accolades you deserve!  

About the author:

Cynthia Hand grew up in southeast Idaho (very near the Wyoming border). Currently she lives in southern California with her husband and two small children. She teaches courses in creative writing at Pepperdine University. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series with HarperTeen: UNEARTHLY, published in 2011, HALLOWED published January 17, 2012, and BOUNDLESS, due out in January 2013.

You can find Cynthia on: her Blog | Twitter | Facebook | HarperTeen | GoodReads

I hope you learned something new about the author today!  Be sure to stop by I Read Banned Books today, as well, because Jen has a guest post from Cynthia for her stop.  And be sure to check out all of the other stops on the tour here...some have giveaways!  Special thanks to Mundie Moms, HarperTeen and Cynthia Hand for allowing me to be a part of this tour!

Thanks for stopping by & happy reading!


  1. Blues and purples are my favorite too. Definitely perfect for the book covers then! Also a nail biter. And I sooooo agree about the absentee parents gripe in YA. Clara's relationship with her mom is part of what makes this series so special.

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful interview with a wonderful author! :)

    1. Yep...I love Clara & Maggie. :) The series just wouldn't have been the same without that relationship. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. i loved boundless! i reviewed it here:

    1. So glad to hear it! I'll stop by to see what you thought. :)

  3. I can't wait to dig into this book, It is up next. So looking forward to seeing who Clara picks! Wow she is writing two books, I can't wait to see what Cynthia brings next. Thanks for sharing today!

    1. Heidi, I cannot wait to see what you think! I know you love this series as much as I do. =)

  4. Aw, Jen! I love this interview, especially Cynthi'as favorite travel memories. And the problem of absentee parents and surface "kickbutt" heroines. And I should have known that she would love Maggie Stiefvater, too. If they were at an event together and I happened to be there, I think my brain might just explode all over the place.

    1. I know, right? I don't know if I could handle that much awesome at one time either. :) Thanks so much for stopping by, Wendy! :D

  5. Such a great review! I have met Maggie Stiefvater a number of times and she sweet and very funny.

    1. JEALOUS! The closest I've gotten is interacting with her online, but you're right, she is very sweet and very funny. :)

  6. Wonderful interview! I completely agree about being over absentee parents. It's one of the reasons I love this series so much. The relationship between Clara and her mother especially is so touching and heart-warming to read about it. And yay for two novels in a year! :-)

    1. So excited for two more books from Cynthia! I can't wait to find out what they're about!!!

  7. I love the covers in this series, I just got Boundless and am so excited to read it!! Thanks for this interview too, I was happy to learn more about the author!

    1. I loved finding out some of this stuff about Cynthia, too. And she just seems so genuine. Can't wait to see what you think of Boundless!

  8. Such a great interview! I met Cynthia last spring with the Spring into the Future tour and she was so sweet and funny, just like in this interview! I am stoked to read Boundless! But I'm not allowing myself to buy any books until February... UGH why do I do this to myself!?! Thanks for the fabulous interview; It's made me even more excited for Boundless than I was before!

  9. Thank you for being on the tour! :)

  10. I really like that success hasn't changed her - this lets me know she is a real person even if she is a famous author. I love that. I have downloaded the first book in the series and now I am more anxious than ever to get started on it. Great interview!

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