Happy Saturday guys! I’m here with another Meet the Newbies post today! This time I’m introducing the author of STONE FIELD, Christy Lenzi!! She did an awesome interview and there are TWO giveaways at the bottom of the post, so make sure to enter them both!
Author Most Likely to Win the Lottery but Lose the Ticket
First Day of School: March 29, 2016
Homeroom: Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan
Grade: Historical Fiction
Extracurricular Activities: Thumbwrestling Team Captain, Verbal Gymnastics Team , Mellow Drama Club
Favorite Class: First
Favorite Quote/Motto: “Be curious, not judgmental.” –Walt Whitman
A stunning debut novel that offers a new look at a classic love story about soul mates torn apart by the circumstances of their time.Catrina Dickinson is haunted by her past and feels caged in by life in small town Missouri. When she discovers a strange man in Stone Field where her family grows their sorghum crop, her life takes on new meaning. He has no memory of who he is or what brought him to Cat's farm, but they fall passionately in love. Meanwhile, the country is on the brink of the Civil War, and the conflict in Missouri demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.A passionate and atmospheric reimagining of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Stone Field explores how violence and vengeance perverts the human spirit, and how hatred can be transcended by love.
B: What inspired you to write Stone Field?
CL: The idea for the novel came to me when I considered combining two of my long-time interests—Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and the Civil War history of my childhood home.
What drew me to do a retelling of Wuthering Heights was Catherine Earnshaw’s guiding belief that her soul was somehow entwined with another person’s to the point where she says, “he is more myself than I am.” Related to this is her conviction that she is a part of the wild remote landscape in which she lives. When she dreams that she has died and angels want to take her, she weeps because she would rather stay and haunt the land she loves than go to Heaven. I wanted to explore such beliefs and their implications through a first-person point of view, so I envisioned a troubled, slightly unhinged, but passionate young woman and her beloved land.
I understood this attachment to one’s land and the importance of a sense of place. I grew up in southern Missouri—the Ozark highland region. My connection to the wild landscape, culture, history and mood of the place is deep-rooted and I grew up exploring the hills, woods, caves, creeks and springs. As a kid, I often heard stories about our infamous ancestor, Bushwhacker Bill Wilson, who once lived on the same piece of property that I did. When the Union soldiers tried to conscript him into the army during the Civil War, Bill resisted and became a violent outlaw. His story horrified and fascinated me and I began to do research about the area. The wildness of the time and place seemed to suit a story similar to Wuthering Heights. I loved the idea of combining both of these interests into one project.
B: Are there any scenes you had to cut before publishing that you could share?
CL: Yes, but then I would have to kill you.
B: If you could be any character in your book for a day, who would you be and why?
CL: I would like to be Cat’s best friend, Effie, for a day. She has a measured and sensible personality as seen through Cat’s eyes, but I would like to experience such a personality first-hand to know what is going on under that calm and reserved disposition. What is she thinking in that intelligent head of hers? And what secrets does she keep in that locked-up heart?
B: What was the weirdest thing you had to research while writing Stone Field?
CL: Youtube instruction videos are, for the writer, kind of like those training programs uploaded directly into Neo’s brain in the movie The Matrix. For Stone Field, I watched videos instructing me how to load and shoot a Civil War rifle, build a whiskey still and make moonshine, and how to smoke a pipe. If anyone looked at my browser history around that time, they might imagine I was an old hillbilly man in overalls. I think the most interesting research I did was to learn how to blow smoke rings. I wanted to try out my new knowledge, so I visited a pipe shop and left with a corncob pipe and some tobacco and went home to put that in my pipe and smoke it. Sometimes, on a chilly fall evening, I still go out on the back patio and try to blow smoke rings. Maybe one day I’ll get good at it.
B: Where is your favorite place to write?
CL: If a librocubicularist is one who reads in bed, why do we not have a cool, $10 word for one who writes in bed? That would be me.
B: If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
CL: A big, fat one. An anthology would be ideal, for variety. I would choose the Norton Anthology of World Literature. That’s probably cheating, because I think it’s three volumes. But that is my best, albeit dubious, answer.
B: What word do you misspell the most?
CL: Oh, which of the plethora of words I mangle is the most troublesome of them all? Maybe “maintenance”? I even spelled it incorrectly just now, but my computer understands my weakness and silently follows me, subtlely correcting my mistakes or alerting me to my absurd attempts—like right now, it has put a little squiggly red line under the word “subtlely” and is pestering me to change it to some other word, which I will not, just to demonstrate to you how poor I am at spelling.
B: If someone dared you to write “book nerd” on your forehead while wearing your favorite pajamas- and then share a photo of it – would you do it? (If so, we double dog dare you to do it and share it with us right here!)
CL: Any chance to get into my pajamas is a chance I will take. I saw Rory wearing this shirt on the Gilmore Girls, and I would not rest until I found one for myself. Now I rest in it all the time. Zzzz.
Finished Copy of Stone Field
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