Day #4 is here and it brings a focus on Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton. Tessa was kind enough to write up a guest post for us and her publisher is providing a copy of the book for one of our readers to win. Reading Lark would like to thank both Tessa and Random House for their participation in BIR2011. Be sure to check out my review of Blood Magic.
I imagined a mask settled against my skin: brilliant yellow and blue, with gold glitter sprinkled everywhere and cheerful pink flowers at the corners of the wide smile.
Silla, the heroine of BLOOD MAGIC, is an actress. She identifies herself that way, and it’s her goal in life to act on Broadway. Her favorite thing is to lose herself in a role, to use words and costumes to become another person. When she loses everything, and grief becomes her reality, she finds comfort in the great symbol of theater: the mask.
When she needs to put on a smile, she imagines a happy mask on her face to hide behind. She has masks for calm, masks for confrontation, masks for sorrow. Before going into a situation where she feels uncomfortable, Silla pulls one of them out of her imagination and settles it over her face.
It needed to be fierce and dramatic: a black shimmer with red lips and a thick red slash across the eyes. It fit over my face like a second skin.
The first draft of BLOOD MAGIC, way back when, was called Masquerade. It was only a temporary title, but it fit the themes to me: hiding who you really are, and not knowing you who want to be, body-snatching, and theater. It was important to me to give Silla a dramatic way of relating to the theme of masks, and I know that especially when I was younger I used to think of having different faces that I showed the world for different occasions. With my friends I was one person, with my teacher another, and with my parents yet another Tessa. It wasn’t difficult to jump from that to Silla’s imaginary, decorative masks.
She took it to a new extreme, because she needed extreme in her situation. And part of her character arc throughout the novel is learning to make those masks more a part of her – to become who she’s trying to be. Which is one of the hardest things any of us ever has to do. I won’t give it away, but the moment when Silla brings her masks and her magic together in order to defeat the villain is one of my favorite moments in the whole book.
I found a mask for courage: a red dragon-face, long and snarling.
Thanks for having me!
Giveaway Time! One lucky Reading Lark winner will snag a copy of Blood Magic.
* You must be 13+ years old
* You must fill out the Blood Magic Giveaway Form
* You don't have to be a Reading Lark follower to win, but we'd really appreciate it if you were :)
* The giveaway is open to US residents only
* No PO Boxes allowed
* Leaving a comment on this post will earn you +3 entries into the giveaway
The winner will be chosen using random.org. The contest runs from December 14-20.