Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Stars Fell Sideways Interview & Giveaway

It's Halloween, and since you stopped by, I have a treat for you. I interviewed Cassandra Marshall about her brand new book THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS. Not only will you get the inside scoop on this author/freelance editor/lit. agency worker, but two commenters will be winning prizes. YAY! So ready, set, here we go...

What is your pitch for THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS?
Alison Arroway takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. She has to, or she won’t get paid. Alison is a stunt double for pampered teen actress Pomegranate and when the director takes the shoot to Portugal, Alison is anything but thrilled to be rooming with Pom. But getting to hang around teen hearthrob Erik? Now that’s a plus. 
Erik invites both girls on a sunset boat trip and Alison manages to have a decent time. Until the storm hits and the boat is shipwrecked on a small island, leaving Erik missing and the boat captain dead. 

In the morning light, Alison and Pom find themselves on the lost island of Atlantis. Only one problem: now that the girls know the secret of the island, the Atlanteans don’t want them to leave. They're stuck with corsets, full-skirted dresses, and the strange steam-driven contraptions that are just a way of life for the islanders.
When a plot by the ruthless army Captain to take over the island and declare himself General over all emerges, an underground group promises to return the girls to the mainland if they can help stop him. They'll go through a mountain, literally, to find the Book of Blue, a book that will explain how to make ‘the stars fall sideways' in order to save the day and earn their freedom.
THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS, a YA Steampunkish fantasy, from MolliePup Press!
How would you explain steampunk to a reader who is unfamiliar with the term?
The basic gist of steampunk is imagining a world where mechanical development stopped in the Victorian age with steam-powered contraptions. There's also an undercurrent of questioning authority and asserting your independence. Aesthetically it's about Victorian garb--top hats, parasols, corsets, heeled shoes, etc--and decoratively it's about cogs and gears, wood paneling, rivets, hodgepodge construction, reusing the finite, etc.
Your main character goes on a sunset boat trip with a hottie actor. If you could go to sea with any actor, who would you choose?
Oh, wow... Um... ?? Hopefully one that knows how to make the boat go, because I have no idea! How about Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes? I feel like he'd know how things work, plus he's nice to look at!
If you could play any character from any book in the movie version, who would you play? Hermione Granger! I'd get to play with magic, Crookshanks, and I'd curl up with Neville Longbottom!
In addition to writing, you work for a literary agency and do some freelance editing. What are some of your tricks for balancing it all?
Scheduling, compartmentalizing, and I stay in a lot. :)
Where can we buy your book?
ISBN: 978-0988264502

Amazon | Createspace | Indiebound

ISBN: 978-0988264526
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple iBooks Diesel
Signed print copies can also be purchased from thestarsfellsideways.com!

Thanks, Cassandra! I hope you sell a bajillion copies.

And now for the giveaway: Cassandra is offering one first page critique (up to 250 words) and an e-copy of THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS as prizes. To enter, leave a comment telling us who your favorite movie star is. Make sure I know how to email you in case your name is drawn! For an extra entry, tweet a link to this post with @LauraRenegar in it. I'll draw 2 winners (one for each prize) out of a hat after Halloween's midnight. Good luck!


  1. Laura,
    Thanks for interviewing Cassandra Marshall. I enjoyed learning about The Stars Fell Sideways, which keeps building and building on suspense. Wow! Sounds good! Please enter me in the drawing.

  2. Great explanation of Steam Punk! I knew I liked it, but could not have said succinctly what it was all about! And I thoroughly approve of the choice of Mr. Cumberbatch! As for my favorite movie star, maybe Margo Martindale because she made me cry in Paris, je T'aime.

  3. Please enter me in the drawing. My favorite movie star...John Cusack? Smart, quirky, holds good music up to a gal's window...
    Love your blog, Laura. I have to admit, I got sucked right in, and I've been reading all your back posts when I only meant to do a quick pop in. I will now be a follower! Great site! A fellow North Carolinian, Donna Koppelman www.donnakoppelman@gmail.com

  4. What a fun interview and intriguing book! Can't wait to read it.

  5. What fun! Thanks for posting the interview. Good luck to both of you!

    Bethany Dellinger

  6. Linda- I agree! Cassandra's book has a wonderful premise. Thanks for visiting. :)

    Shonna- I'm glad you found her steampunk explanation helpful. I did too! Thanks for stopping by and for tweeting about the post!

    Donna- You made my day with your sweet comment. I'm glad you dropped by and explored. And good music held up outside a window? How can someone go wrong with that?

    Laura- Thanks! I hope lots of people will grab copies of THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS. :)

    Bethany- Thanks for visiting my blog. Good luck to you too!

  7. Benedict Cumberbatch... yes. Yes. :)

    Steampunk is def growing on me. Especially after seeing it featured on quite a few Doctor Who episodes!

    I wish you much success!

  8. The contest is now closed. *puts the names in a hat and shakes the hat*

  9. My apologies for the delay in posting the winners. Sandy had left one of them with spotty internet service.

    The winner of the 1st page critique from Cassandra Marshall is Shonna McNasby. YAAAAAY!

    The winner of THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS eBook is Donna Koppelman. Woot! Woot!

    Congratulations to these two ladies! Cassandra will be in touch with you about how to redeem your prize.