Monday, December 17, 2012

Tempest & Exposure By: Amy Helmes & Kim Askew Book & Cover Reveal!

Book Mark Belles brings you yet 2 other amazing Books & their cover reveals we're so glad & excited that we were asked to participate so without any further delay here they are and let me tell you they so sound delish!!!*Lisa =)
 About the Twisted Lit series:

 No one knows teen angst like William Shakespeare. Be it Romeo and Juliet's

 desperate passion, Hamlet's stepdad-directed rage, the delinquent follies of

 a young Henry V, or Cordelia's frustrations with her impossibly bitchy older

 sisters, the Bard had a true knack for understanding the volatile emotions
 that lie deep in the adolescent heart. To that end, Twisted Lit brings the
 playwright's universal themes of love, passion, hatred and revenge to new
 life in a compellingly page-turning, thoroughly modern format. Young
 Shakespeare fans will likely pick up on the subtle nods referenced
 throughout the books, but you don't need to have read so much as a single
 soliloquy to appreciate the humor, hi-jinks, heartbreak and high drama
 inherent in every Twisted Lit novel. The Bard's prolific repertoire offers a
 deep well of inspiration to draw from, offering countless possibilities for
 novels that will resonate with today's teens.

The Books:

Tempestuous: A modern-day twist on Shakespeare's 

"The Tempest" (pub date:Dec. 18)


"This quick, clever read is the perfect combo of classic literature and
contemporary storytelling for anyone who likes their lit smart and funny."
 --Heather Swain, author of Josie Griffin is Not a Vampire
Synopsis: Recently banished, unfairly, by the school's popular crowd, former "it girl," Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge
against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her
delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall's nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare's
 "The Tempest."

Exposure: A modern-day twist on Shakespeare's "Macbeth"
(pub date: Jan. 18)

"Exposure is an intelligent, poignant, and riveting mash-up of Shakespearean tragedy and high school politics, which, as it turns out, have a lot in


Daria Snadowsky, author of Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Anatomy of a Single

 "This haunting novel will keep you on the edge of your seat!"
 --Melissa Walker, author of Unbreak My Heart

Synopsis: Double, double, toil and trouble. Sometimes, the quest for high

school royalty can be deadly! In this emotionally charged twist on

Shakespeare's "Macbeth," a self-conscious shutterbug named Skye Kingston navigates a treacherous school year in Alaska fraught with unspoken secrets and tragic twists of fate. Along the way she encounters three strangely prophetic BFFs; one social-climbing, sociopathic cheerleader; and a heart-stopping hottie named Craig McKenzie: the man who would be Prom King. Can Skye save the boy she loves ‹ and herself ‹ before they get caught in the crosshairs?

Interview with Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

1. Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?

Amy:  Our books, Tempestuous and Exposure, are modern-day spins on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Macbeth,” respectively. Tempestuous is about a young woman who seeks revenge (and, unwittingly, romance) while trapped overnight in a shopping mall during the worst snowstorm of the century. Exposure explores the darker side of popularity and proves that the quest for high school royalty can be deadly! We chose these plays as the first two novels in our Twisted Lit series, because, in addition to being among our favorites, they also afforded us two very divergent story arcs to follow.

2. How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?

Kim: Both Amy and I were English majors in college and remain devotees of classic literature. We were tossing around ideas for a series, and when we hit on this one, it seemed like a no-brainer. Shakespeare’s themes are called “universal” for a reason. It’s been so much fun to take the things we love about Shakespeare and reinterpret them in our own way. Doing so within the YA genre made sense because the emotions and conflicts Shakespeare’s characters are dealing with seemed to us to fit perfectly with the experience of being a high school student.

3. What kind of research did you do for this book?
Amy: We re-read the plays in question, but since we didn’t want too literal an interpretation, we didn’t go crazy over-analyzing them. We took notes as we read, jotting down any ideas that came into our head and let the inspiration spring from there. We also did online research about Alaska for Exposure, because we wanted to present a realistic depiction of life there.

4. What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Kim: Both Amy and I have full-time jobs at the moment, so our writing is generally done at night and on the weekends. Personally, I do my best writing in the late morning. My routine usually involves caffeine and walking my dog Macbeth beforehand to supercharge my brain. I like to listen to dramatic classical music like Bach or Beethoven while I write--it strangely helps me stay focused. My writing room is filled with books; they are a great source of inspiration. Amy and I take turns writing chapters, and then we trade and edit one another’s work. My favorite thing (next to actually writing) is reading what Amy has written. We have a general outline of where we want to get in each chapter, but how we choose to get there is always a surprise. I know Amy is depending on me to get my portion done, and of course, I want her to love what I’ve written. It’s excellent motivation!

5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Amy: Starting a book is really difficult because the possibilities are limitless to the point of being daunting. Also, every time you first sit down at the computer to do your writing for the day can be agonizing. It reminds me of riding a bike up a slight incline: the first few pedals are really tough until you get some momentum going.

6. What’s the best thing about being an author?
Kim: For me, the very best thing is when I’m “in the zone” while I’m writing. I have no sense of time or place other than what’s happening in the story. It’s transcendent in that way, and I never know how something I’ve read, a movie I’ve seen, or something new I’ve learned, is going to turn up in what I’m writing. I feel a great sense of fulfillment after I’ve written something I’m happy with. The second best thing is having people respond positively to what I’ve written. It’s great to make those kinds of connections with a reader.

7. What are you working on now?
Amy: We’ve started writing the third book in our Twisted Lit series, which will be a modern version of Romeo and Juliet. Our story spans two different generations and time periods and we’re really excited by our take on the tragic and romantic tale.

8. What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Kim: Find something to motivate you, something that will keep you writing day in, day out. In our case, having each other spurred us on to complete our books because we didn’t want to let each other down. Find a vehicle for your writing, be it a blog or a writing group, and you’ll be less inclined to have that “maybe I’ll get around to it -- someday” attitude. Don’t be afraid to submit your work. Everyone gets rejections, too, so don’t let that stop you.

9. Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Kim: In addition to the classic writers whom I adore (Jane Austen, Henry James, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, et al), I’m a huge fan of contemporary novelists like Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Joyce Carol Oates, Andrew Sean Greer, and Paul Murray. I thought Hilary Mantel’s historical novel Wolf Hall was incredible.

Amy: Like Kim, I’m pretty obsessed with the classics--Victorian-era writers in particular. Dickens, Thackery, the Brontes, Trollope... one of my favorite novels is Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. I also love reading non-fiction books, particularly anything historical or biographical.

10. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Amy: How does it feel to have sold more books than J.K. Rowling? (A girl can dream, can’t she?)

Random Q & A fun with Book Mark Belles
1. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Amy: She’s Smarter Than She Looks. I actually overheard someone say that about me, once.
Kim: So Many Books, So Little Time. ‘Nuff said!

2. Twook! (Tweet your book): Describe TEMPESTUOUS & EXPOSURE in 140 characters or less. Go!
Amy: “The Tempest” set in a shopping mall and “Macbeth” repurposed in a modern-day high school: Shakespeare gets a modern-day makeover.
Kim: Shy Skye faces off against a sinister cheerleader in Exposure, while girl power saves the day (and night!) in the adventurous Tempestuous.

3. Name 5 items in your author survival kit?

Amy: Caffeine, a decent Internet connection, The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, a thesaurus, and more caffeine.
Kim: PG Tips tea, a fancy teacup, Bach via Spotify, my MacBook Air, The Complete Pelican Shakespeare.


4. Sweet or Sour?
Amy: Sweet, with a bitter bite. (i.e., Very, VERY dark chocolate).
Kim: See above.

5. If you could be anyone in the world who would it be and why?
Amy: A cast member on “Downton Abbey!” (Preferably an “upstairs” character, so I could wear all those beautiful costumes.)
Kim: It’s weird how alike Amy and I are. I’ve always wanted to be an extra on Merchant Ivory films, like A Room with a View. Barring that, maybe Doctor Who’s next companion or a docent at the London National Portrait Gallery (Tudor Wing).

6. What would your superhero name be and what special powers would you have?
Amy: “Moth Girl.” My power is empathizing with the “social moths” of the world. Having once been shy and insecure myself (a social moth as opposed to a social butterfly), I like to make sure no one feels like an outsider in social situations.
Kim: “Writer Girl.” My power would be the ability to compose exquisite sentences in a single bound. 

(P.S.: We blog about book-to-film adaptations over at:

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