Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Weariland by Mary Shotwell @MaryEShotwell @yaboundtourspr @MergePublishing

Mary Shotwell
Genre: YA
Release Date: May 10th 2016
Merge Publishing


For fifteen-year-old Lason Davies, it all started with a text. 


The last words of her murdered grandmother haunt Lason as she travels to England with her sheltering mother for the funeral. The crime is a sensation, but the clamoring reporters and news photographers aren’t the only ones interested in their arrival. 

As her mother’s behavior borders on erratic (on a good day), Lason encounters a stranger from Weariland, a dreary world once known as Wonderland. He petitions Lason’s help in finding a secret family heirloom, a key to saving his land—and to Lason’s past. Lason is swept in an adventure through Weariland’s unpredictable realm, encountering colorful, fantastical characters and discovering her family’s elusive history. But if she isn’t careful, she may never return… 

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Book Trailer:

Interview with Mary Shotwell

What inspired you to write Weariland?

I was a big fan of Gregory Maguire during my graduate stage of life. I kept hoping he would write a retelling of Alice and reimagine Wonderland from another character’s point of view, or from a different societal perspective. At the same time, I had a poster on my wall with the colorful characters and scenes from the original. I started to envision an updated Wonderland, and who I would want to be involved. The thoughts eventually developed to the point I said to myself, Why don’t I write it?

Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in Weariland or what you have planned for the future?

I planned Weariland to be the first in series. Some fans have noted there is room to expand and I did that on purpose. I essentially had the major actions of the whole series planned out before getting Weariland published. The next will be deeper and darker. I am close to releasing the first in a new series called The Underlings. It’s dystopian/sci-fi, about an underground society. That’s all I’m saying about that for now!

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Weariland?

Lason is based (loosely) off a teenager I know. She’s fifteen, yet has had to be independent or self-sufficient for a good while. In real life, the teenager’s mother is not all together motherly. I wanted to explore a story that explained why or how a mother could act in such a way. Therefore, Lason’s mother, Caroline, seems mean-spirited and unloving at first. When the mother-daughter pair experience their adventures, we learn more about the reasons behind their behaviors. I don’t want to give too much away about the fantastical characters, but you will meet some favorites and relatives of familiar ones.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Hands down, Michael Crichton. I committed a blog to him at maryshotwell.com, but in short, his stories got me through a tough time in life. I loved how he could take a real scientific part of life and tweak it just a little to carry it over into fiction. It saddens me he is no longer with us.

If you could time-travel would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go and why would you like to visit this particular time period?

Past! I don’t want to see the future. I’d be too Type-A and wonder if I could change the course of my life or other people’s lives. But then again, I wouldn’t want to make changes to the past to alter the present. I wouldn’t want my picture to fade a la Michael J. Fox. If I had to choose a time period…either the Victorian Era or the flapper days. I’m currently watching Z on Amazon and love the idea of speak-easies and swanky parties. But everyone has this idea of going back in time and participating in the best parts. Each era has a dark side, and I’m not sure most people think about going back and living the worst part of the time period, in the lowest social class.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

I have three children, or the equivalent of 17 dogs. In both love and odor.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today.

About the Author
Mary grew up in northeast Ohio, so it was only natural for her to pursue a degree in marine biology. After studying dolphin behavior and estimating great white shark populations, she earned her Ph.D. in Biostatistics in Charleston, South Carolina. It was there, during the arduous dissertation process, where she had the idea to write a book. 

With Alice and the crazy characters from Wonderland staring her down from her bedroom poster, Mary envisioned what that fantasy realm would look like in current day. Creative writing served as a natural escape from technical writing, wedding planning, pregnancy, and job hunting. 

Mary is excited to debut Weariland (Merge Publishing, 2016), a novel introducing Lason Davies, a teenager who learns about her family's past in a world once called Wonderland. She currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and three children.

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Enter the Weariland giveaway HERE!

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