Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 3: YA Books that influenced Marissa Doyle

Marissa Doyle, debut young adult author of Bewitching Season reads. A bunch. Just ask her family and friends and neighbors and pets. Yes, she has a reputation.

(Marissa also likes to curl. But that's another post for another blog for another time.)

We cornered Marissa in study hall to ask this burning question: Which young adult book influenced you the absolute most?

And this is what she said...

Nope. Can’t name just one. There are dozens, actually, but I have to mention these three…all of which are historicals. How coincidental.

1. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. I read and re-read this book to pieces in sixth grade. It had everything: an outsider heroine (and oh, was I an outsider in sixth grade!), fascinating historical details (I love the scene where Kit starts unpacking her trunks and pulling out her jewel-colored dresses in the middle of that drab Puritan kitchen), a New England setting that I already knew so well, excitement, romance…it was the perfect book as far as I was concerned. Then in seventh grade I found...

2. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. Again, an outsider heroine who comes into herself over the course of the book, more amazing detail (this time about Tudor England, which already enthralled me), more romance and peril and excitement…and paranormal elements, too, that didn’t take over but meshed seamlessly into the story line.

It took me a while to find another book that stood with these two…in fact, it wasn't published until I was already an adult. But that didn’t stop me from loving...

3. A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer. A rich, well-realized alternative early 20th century setting, magic, romance, sly humor, and supporting characters who are as real and fully developed as the main ones. This book really should be more widely read, because it’s wonderful.

2k8: Pop back tomorrow when Marissa chats about the teachers who inspired her.


Anonymous said...

Hi Marissa
I'm glad you made that point about newbie authors. As I said in my NESCBWI workshop recently, agents do take on new authors - I'm an example! I loved Witch of Blackbird Pond!
Best of luck with your book!
Padma Venkatraman

Barrie said...

Ahhh....more books to read!

Fun interview!

M.P. Barker said...

I LOVE The Perilous Gard! It's about as close to perfect as a book can get.

And speaking of books to love, I just finished Bewitching Season. What a fun story! I laughed out loud when the clothes attacked the maid. Truly delightful! It'll be fun to see what Persy and Pen do next. Kudos, Marissa!


Erin said...

All three of those have been on my to-read list for such a long time....must read them!

TJ Brown said...

I loved the Witch of Balckbird Pond. So well done. I still pick it up on occasion and I loved reading it to my own kids:)

Anonymous said...

I LOVED the Witch of Blackbird Pond. I've reread it so many times. Can't wait to pick up Bewitching Season! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Hey Marissa,
I saw your book face out on the featured YA titles shelf at the big Powells in downtown Portland! Congratulations!

I'm excited about this book because I think kids who strongly favor fantasy may find it a good introduction to the pleasures of historical fiction and vice versa. Love it when I can find a book to bridge that gap.

Congratulations on your release!

Marissa Doyle said...

Rosanne, thank you so much--that's splendid to hear! I really need to get out there and visit Powell's someday--it sounds heavenly.