Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Giveaway & Interview with Jay Kristoff, author of STORMDANCER

Quick Stats on Jay Kristoff
  • Jay regularly references Firefly and Serenity and that's pretty much the most important think you need to know about him. You guys know that anyone who does that is all right in my book.
  • His blog makes me laugh out loud. You can also stalk him on Twitter here.
  • STORMDANCER is his debut, and it's a steampunk Japanese story, which makes me both jealous (because, eff it, I wanted to write a steampunk Japanese story!) and also incredibly happy because now there's a steampunk Japanese story in the world. Steampunk Japanese. I don't think I said that enough in this bulletpoint. 
  • On Jay's website, he claims he's 6'7". Which makes him the tallest author I know. I kind of want to see him do an event with Kiersten White now. For reasons. Height reasons. And also because they're both hilarious.
  • STORMDANCER comes out on September 18--you should probably look into pre-ordering it now.


YOU
We can read all about your life from your bio in the jacket flap of your book. So, what's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?
My wife and I eloped in Rome. If you’re getting stressed about planning a wedding, I sincerely recommend it. Coolest and most romantic city in the world.

As a kid, what was your favorite book? Have your tastes changed since growing up?
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It’s still my favorite book of all time.

Your book, STORMDANCER, is a Japanese-inspired steampunk. Which came first: the Asian setting, or the steampunk world?
Steampunk, I think. I really liked the SP aesthetic and wanted to do something with it, but I felt like Victorian England had been done a lot. Too many frock coats and cups o’ tea, pip pip what ho guv’nor. The world had plenty of amazing cultures during the 19th century an author could riff off, and as far as I knew, nobody had done Japan. And here we are :)

YOUR BOOK
It's the inevitable question: what inspired STORMDANCER?
A dream. But that’s the lamest answer ever. So if someone can think of a better story, I’ll totally go with that. Something involving sexy ninjas and some kind of secret destiny would be sweet.

One of the things that stood out to me in STORMDANCER was the totally unique and immersive world. How did you go about developing it?
Drank lots of saké. Ate pocky until my eyes bled. Had my friends yell curse words at me in Japanese while I trawled Wikipedia and watched Seven Samurai and 13 Assassins over and over and overrrrrr.

Can you tell us a little bit about the process--particularly the timeline--of writing & publishing STORMDANCER?
I started writing it in January 2010. First draft took around six months. I actually trunked it about eight chapters in - my previous attempt at a novel had been a very dark and angsty vampire novel (nobody sparkled, everybody died) and I felt a little silly going from that to a story about a telepathic samurai girl and her friend the griffin. But something about the characters and the setting dragged me back.

I started querying in August. I had four offers of rep by November. We went on sub around Thanksgiving, and by Jan 2011 we were in a three-way auction, which was very strange and very cool. As for what happened to the last 18 months, I’m not really sure. Aliens may have been involved. Or possibly sexy ninjas.

If your reader could only take away one emotion, theme, or idea from STORMDANCER, what would you want it to be? 
Open your eyes. Open your mind. Close your hand and make a fist.

YOUR WRITING
What's the most surprising thing you've learned since becoming a writer? 
Apparently, people think I’m funny. Which is kinda baffling to me, because in real life, I’m as funny as a funeral. Like, the funeral of a school bus full of kids and cute puppies. Eaten by werewolves. On their birthdays. And then they exploded. BOOM.

Tragic :(

Beyond the typical--never give up, believe in yourself--what would be the single best advice you'd like to give another writer?
Never finish a writing session by finishing a scene. If you leave the scene hanging, when you sit down to write the next day, you’ll be able to pick it up immediately where you left off. You won’t be stuck sitting there, looking at the flashing Cursor of Doom™ wondering wtf happens next.

What do you think are your strongest and weakest points in writing?
I think I write nice violence (if violence can ever be nice). I’m never happier than when something is disintegrating or getting disemboweled.

My weak point is definitely sex scenes. I feel ridiculous writing them. The whole time I’m writing them, I’m imagining my mother reading them, which is the death of happy-pants.

Any specific websites or info you’d like me to include somewhere in the interview?
Stormdancer is released on 18 September. If you could link my twitter feed (@misterkristoff) and website (www.jaykristoff.com) that’d be sweet.

And, because Jay is awesome, he's offering a giveaway of STORMDANCER--and he's SIGNING it--to a lucky winner! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Open internationally.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

88 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just read a 5/5 star review of this book, never mind how much I love this cover, then add in the fact that it has to do with Japan THEN add steampunk. Winning this book would be the best day ever. If I don't win I'm going to have to crack and buy this book (but I'm a college student so I'm hoping for the win here).

-K8
http://froze8.blogspot.com/

Marie-Michel said...

I've heard great things about this book and the cover is so amazing.

So good reviews+great cover+japan= I need this book!!!!


Marie

Broken Angel said...

I seriously can't wait for this book! I love Japanese things and steampunk. :D

Molly Kawaguchi said...

Ever since Scott Westerfeld had a scene with steampunk in Japan I've been dying to read another book with a similar theme. I live in Japan so a part of me can't wait to see how spot on the details are ;D

Also, yup, misterkristoff, he's funny.

Katrina T. said...

I'd love to read this book! I've been seeing a lot of good reviews saying that it was one hell of a roller coaster ride :) I love fantasy and I also like YA dystopians, and I've read a few steampunks too, so I guess a dystopian Japanese-inspired Steampunk Fantasy is exactly what I should read next.

Carina Olsen said...

Thank you for this perfect giveaway and interview :D Wants the signed copy. <3 Jay already knows how much I loved his book ;) Gave it five stars. :) So much love.

Melanie S. said...

The book is on my wishlist for I don't know how long and I can't wait to get my hands on it :)
Wish you all the best, Melanie

Evie said...

I can't wait to read this book! The concept seems so unique!
Thanks a lot for the INT giveaway :)

miki said...

I've read some really good review about this book so i really want to discover it too and it's the first place where the giveaway is open internationally that i've found

Thank you so much the interview and the international giveaway ( and thank you beth for having though about those who don't have twitter)

Daphne said...

Yay, I cannot wait! Thanks for the great interview and the generous international giveaway!

Jenny said...

Japanese Steampunk? I NEED THIS BOOK NOW. Thank you so much for the awesome interview and giveaway!

Danielle Nguyen said...

EEEEE this book sounds so amazing! Japanese steampunk & griffins & man I just. cannot. wait. Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

Jay, Beth, Stormdancer has been the most anticipated new novel in my Goodreads feed. Since March. Needless to say, I have to read it!

Vivien said...

I have been waiting for this book for months. The anticipation is just killing me!!! The synopsis and cover are just brilliant. I need more.

Erica N said...

This looks like a cool read! :)

Kris (Imaginary Reads) said...

This is a book everyone should read because it combines elements of STEAMPUNK and JAPAN! Katanas for the win. And I love the cover :)

Kris (Imaginary Reads) said...

*chainsaw katanas

Hannah @ Once Upon A Time said...

I have never wanted a book so bad.. in a long time. Fo real. I'm absolutely skint at the moment but SERIOUSLY considering begging my dad to pre-order it for me.. I don't even live with him. THAT'S how much I'm bouncing around trying to get my hands on it. D:

Cyn said...

I already read the book, but I definitely loved it. Chances are I'll be getting the book if anything for the gorgeous cover alone haha

Vinny K said...

I pre-ordered this book the instant I read the synopsis and read the review by Pat Rothfuss. I can't wait to read it and I'm willing to bet Jay is going to become one of my favourite authors.

~Vinny K~

Nicole T said...

I've wanted to read this book the moment I saw the cover! It's absolutely beautiful and sounds amazing. The story line is somethig different and unique, one I would love to read and appreciate :D

Pabkins said...

Mr Kristoff makes me piddle myself reading his reviews and blog. Loved Stormdancer! For all you crazed readers out here just buy it, or crazy firey space mokeys will fling acid poo at you. So yes it's worth it.

TL Conway said...

Steampunk + Japan? Seriously, this is amazing. Griffins? Ninjas? Must read it--NOW!!

Thanks for the fun interview and the giveaway!

Zino said...

The amount of giveaways I've entered to win this book is crazy! I get so excited when I find a new one. The book just seems so amazing, seriously you had me at Griffin! But Jay Kristoff's description of his book on Goodreads was what made me REALLY want to read this. But if I don't win any copies I'll definitely be buying this one

Ryan Simpson said...

WANT STORMDANCER BADLY D:!!

dragongirl said...

Japanese + steampunk = awesomeness. This book sounds completely epic and I want to read it so so so bad!

Goth Angel said...

I desperately want to win a copy of Stormdancer, not least because I love the US cover so much more than the UK one! Oh, and don't forget the fact that it's Japanese steampunk. I was sold on it from the moment I saw the description included those two words next to each other, and the great reviews make me want very badly to own it! Like Zino I entered a lot of giveaways for it, but have been very unlucky so far :(

Nicole F. said...

Yes please. This book sounds very intriguing!

Stephanie Jobe said...

I have a fascination with steampunk but it also kind of scares me but I'm pretty sure this is the book that is going to make me face my fears. Everything about it intrigues me.

Also that feeling while writing sex scenes. Probably compares to watching Crank on the big screen sitting between my ex-boyfriend and my mother.

Kateri Ransom said...

So yeah, he's pretty funny if I'm in a computer lab--utterly silent--and using everything in my gut not to LOL. Big time. I've been looking forward to this release for weeks!!! So excited!!!

dapolkabot.blogspot.com

Joti Bilkhu said...

AHHH! I'M SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!

Lea said...

I'm so looking forward to this book! For sure going to share it with my best friend who loves all things Japan.

Shadowrose96 said...

I'm so excited for this to come out, even if I don't win this here I'm buying it. Everything about this book screams 'win'.

Mythical Word said...

Japan + steampunk = awesome without a doubt. I cannot wait for the book! If I don't win (knock on wood, say a prayer) then I'll use some of that unnecessary saving-up-for-a-car money to buy myself a copy. :D

Lena said...

I love what Jay Kristoff said here" Open your eyes. Open your mind. Close your hand and make a fist" it is so awesome, the book, and him haha

Colin Smith said...

I've had STORMDANCER on my TBR list from the first time I read about it. It would be cool to win a copy, but if I don't I'll probably get it anyway. :)

reekamarie said...

Are you kidding me!? This book sounds like pure magic, and I won't even mention how IN LOVE with the cover I am!(oh..I just did). Also, I think that interview alone sealed the deal for me, Jay Kristoff sounds like one of THE most down to earth authors-and it doesn't hurt that he has a sense of humour! =). I would ADORE winning this book.

Anonymous said...

:) I've had this book on my goodreads to-read shelf for months. So excited for it!

Melissa said...

I heard about this book on Friday the Thirteeners blog, as he recently did a vlog dare. It sounds like a great book, and different, which is always a plus!
Beside all that he's from Australia, and an inspiration to me that this publishing thing can be done on this side of the world, as I think Australian authors tend to be out of the spotlight and not as well heard of, in my opinion anyway. And there are some really great Australian storytellers out there!!

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gaby Pendragon said...

How much I want to read it?
Well it's crazy, for starters the cover is gorgeous but when you read the synopsis you know this is an amazing book! It's just brilliant!!

mary ann(RunOnce828) said...

Well I've heard a lot of good reviews about this book and I really can't wait to read it to the point I tried to search a lot of blogs w/c are having an international giveaway.:))

Lynn K. said...

I've read an ARC and it was amazing! I was a bit skeptical when I went into this book due to all the 5 star ratings and hype. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Yukiko and Burru <3

aparajita said...

r u kidding who wouldn't want to read this book....here are there i have been hearing 5 star reviews on it....oh did i forget to mention the Japan part and the steampunk??? well i for one am not going to miss out on this book eva :)

sweetxveracity said...

Thank you so much for making this giveaway international - such a rarity. I'm basically dying to get my hands on this book.

Anonymous said...

Curious to read this book; I've heard differing things about it.

JC said...

Definitely looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

Jessy said...

Oh no, I hope there aren't too many sex scenes for your sake.

Can't wait to explore the Japanese/Steampunk world!

Christine said...

I love the unique premise of this book, can't wait to read it! :)

Aeicha @ Word Spelunking said...

Well, actually I've already read an eARC of this book and fangirled quite a bit in my review...but I would LURVE a signed copy!

Sarahbotbonkers said...

A sign copy would make my dreams come true. I am currently reading it right now and I absolutely freaking love it. :) Thanks so much for the opportunity to win!

Oh! Paper Pages said...

Every review that I have read of this book has been positive. Reading this interview makes me want to read the book even more. That happy pants comment made me chuckle. Thanks for the giveaway!

Emily said...

This book looks epic! Definitely picking it up at the library if I can manage!

Andrew said...

Not only do I love the cover, the concept sounds fascinating. :D Japanese culture is very rich and combined with Steampunk sound awesome.

Definitely on my TBR for while now. :D

Keertana said...

I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this from NetGalley and I just LOVED it! It was fantastic! I'd love a signed copy though and am so excited to buy an actual hard-bound copy of Stormdancer for my very own shelves with its beautiful cover and THOSE MAPS! I need to see them in their splendid glory opposed to on the computer, so I can't WAIT! Just under a week to go! :D

@MelanieCDuncan said...

Love the idea of a book combining Japan & steampunk! Plus, the cover art is amazing. Can't wait to read it :)

Anonymous said...

Have the hardcover preordered but would donate it to someone if i won the autographed copy!!

Alexa said...

I NEED this book. I'm a sucker for cool mixes and innovative settings. And kick-ass. Just look at that cover. If this doesn't promise tons of kick-ass... <3

Krista Abell said...

This is confusing and i'm not sure i'm doing this right but I digress. Japanese Steam Punk seriously? sexy ninjas, disembowelment? where has this book BEEN all my life?

Reading mind said...

I want it all, I want it all, I want it now!!! PLEASE give me the book now! In this minute! Teleport it here!!!

Anonymous said...

It's super early in the morning.

Frank said...

This book sounds really awesome. And a signed copy would be a nice addition to my collection, right by the R.A. Salvatore and Brandon Sanderson signed books I have... (Yes, Jay, I'm already lumping you into such lofty company. No pressure or anything)

Jayna said...

I wish the US didn't have to wait forever!! I want to read it now!

Jayna said...

I wish the US didn't have to wait forever!! I want to read it now!

Matt Nelson said...

I have been waiting for this one since the first minute I heard about it. Can't wait to read it.

Samantha Todd said...

I wish I had heard about this book sooner. You had me at "sexy ninjas!" Haha! ^_^ But seriously... The premise of the book is so intriguing! I'd LOVE to have a signed copy of this book! Thanks for this opportunity!

Tammy Sparks said...

I can't begin to tell you how many contests I've entered to win a copy of Stormdancer! Many Many contests. It looks like I will be purchasing it unless I win this one! LOL. Seriously, I can hardly wait. Thank you for the giveaway!

LeeLou said...

This is the book of my dreams! I am slap happy, jump up and down happy, pull out my hair happy to read this book!

A Backwards Story said...

Great interview! I especially love the line about how it's important not to end a scene so you have something new to go back to the next day. I've been stumped like that before, and never considered this. So thank you!

Michael @ The Bookshelf Review said...

Thank you so much for the great giveaway Beth. You are awesome. Ever since I heard of Stormdancer I have wanted to read it. The book sounds so good. I mean Japanese Steampunk, do I need to say more. Can't wait. Thanks again. =]

Desiree said...

I read an ARC and then gave it to my favorite local indie bookstore employee to read and love so that they can order Stormdancer for their store. It was one of my favorite books that I have maybe ever read and I can't wait to hold and pet and love a hardcover!

Bookfool said...

I've been dying to read Stormdancer since I first heard of it. Funny as a funeral, eh? He's a hoot on twitter.

Stephanie T. said...

If someone handed me a picture of Stormdancer and told me "Japanese Steampunk" I'd run to the nearest computer to preorder it. I'm a big fan of the Japanese culture, anime, manga, etc. Sadly I can't buy it because of my 5 dollar a month budget. Oh, and he's tried to write a sex scene before? Please tell me it's for the second book in The Lotus War series.

Olivia Booknerd said...

Steampunk and Asian culture all in one story? Awesome!

Kayla Beck said...

I want to read Stormdancer so bad that I preordered it back in March - before there was a cover! *dies*

Amanda Hardy said...

I am mooning over this book so very much. Apparently it's already out in Australia but none of the big chain carrying stores seems to be aware of this. I have visited Target and Kmart and Big W and the lone, lonely bookshop that still exists out at Highpoint, and alas still no book.

I figured I'd be in for sure to get a copy at the Melb launch party, but my babysitter got gastro.

"That's fine," I said. "He goes to daycare Fridays anyway, he'll be sick before you know it from something or other, might as well be gastro!".

"Seriously. I will throw up on your baby." Then she hung up on me to go puke.

Honestly, some people just have such a poor set of priorities :P

Manda (taliana42 at hotmail dot com)

Alaiel Kreuz said...

Dear Jay,

I seriously need to read your book. In fact, I'm sure that if I don't I will die of sadness and emptiness.

Sincerely,
Alaiel :D

Constance said...

I am pretty super excited about this book. I added it to my immediate to-read list, because Japan. And griffins. And general awesomeness. *bounces*

Melina Latremouille said...

I want to read Stormdancer so bad I will give you my firstborn!!He is 3 years old, potty trained and listens very well!

(I am joking obviously)

Susan Light said...

Love reading steampunk. This one is definitely going on my TBR pile!

Susan
books4susie@aol.com

Ileana A. said...

You know how much I want to read Stormdancer?? I've been stalking Mr. Kristoff in all his blog interviews/giveaways for the chance to win a copy of his book. That's how i'm so freaking excited to read Stormdancer and I haven't had lucky. Thank you so much for another chance! :D Fingers crossed!

Enna P. said...

I've heard so many good reviews of his book! And I've been waiting for this book to hit the library shelves forever! It be great to win a copy for my own though!

G. Donald Cribbs said...

Beth,

Thank you very much for hosting this giveaway! I adore you and your books, and I adore Jay's book too! (okay, I adore Jay in the way a guy admires another guy, in a hetero way).

I did a whole blog about how much I would love to read this book and why I love STORMDANCER so much: http://gdonaldcribbsbooks.blogspot.com/2012/07/raiders-of-last-arc-official-entry-for.html While I didn't win the last ARC (which is why I'm REALLY hoping to win this copy), I did receive a lovely Littlest Stormdancer Book from Jay as a thank you. Still, I'm dying to read the YA version. *crossies*

Victoria said...

I...want to read this book. A lot. :)

Alison said...

Wow, what an awesome idea! Can't wait to read it :)

Aida said...

I can't give you my firstborn, but I have an 11-year-old brother who can teach you spanish, wake you and your neighbours up with his high-pitched songs, and even play cello making it sound like a dying cat. He's really charming in every other way.
Maybe I could send him to Australia while I peacefully read Stormdancer, but then I might need to get him back because my mum would kill me and I actually kind of love him.

Goth Angel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goth Angel said...

Hey, I was wondering - when will the winner be announced? It's been two days now and I keep checking hopefully (not that I'll win, I just know it *sigh*), but so far either it's really not been decided yet, or I badly need to get a stronger pair of glasses :P I sincerely hope it's the former rather than the latter!