Saturday, June 8, 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Ally Malinenko

We are excited to welcome author, Ally Malinenko, to the nest today. She's here to discuss her novel, Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb. Be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of this post.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: How did you come up with the idea for this novel?

Ally: I've always been a big Shakespeare fan but the idea of the book really sprouted from a book I saw by Philip Ardagh about a character named Eddie Dickins who lived in Victorian London and I thought it was such a cute idea. Then I mused that if I ever wrote a kid's book it would be centered around my favorite writer - Shakespeare. By the time I left the bookstore, I had come up with all the major characters!

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Can you describe your novel in five words?

Ally: Sure. Wait, that doesn't count! 
1. Shakespeare
2. Mythology
3. Adventure
4. Magic
5. Tomato splatter

or in a sentence: "Please don't call me Hamlet!"

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What was the last book you read?
Ally: I read multiple books at a time. Right now I'm doing research on memory for a different novel so I've been reading a lot of books on how memories are created and how they are stored and what happens on a scientific level when we forget. A memoir by Deborah Wearing called Forever Today was incredible. Her husband, Clive woke up on morning in the 80's with a fever. After a day or so, he was hospitalized but the virus he had contracted had basically eaten his hippocampus which is where you store memories. He was no longer able to create new memories - every day was brand new. Every blink made him feel as if he had just woken up. Yet he still knew she was his wife though he couldn't remember her name or describe her if she left the room. It was a truly striking book.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which character is most like you? Why?

Ally: Lizzy is most like me. She's very much the way I was as a child. Smart, stubborn and always in some sort of mess. Lizzy has a good heart but she doesn't always make the right decisions and she certainly doesn't think things through. But she would do anything for her friends. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Who are three of your favorite authors?

Ally: I don't think I could pick a favorite author of all time, so I'll say my three favorite children's authors when I was young and books changed my life were C.S. Lewis, Madeline L'Engle and Katherine Patterson.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite bird?
Ally: Hawk. I like the way they hang in the air like a question.

About the Author

Ally Malinenko, a self-proclaimed Bardolator, took her first pilgrimage to Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2009 and hasn't been the same since. Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is her first children's book. Her poetry book, The Wanting Bone, was published by Six Gallery Press. She blogs at Ally lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

About the Novel


…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!)

Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud nearly five hundred years old. Could that be why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s. But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in Shakespeare’s tomb? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?

In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters—in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.

We have ONE paperback copy of Lizzy Speares and the Cursed Tomb up for grabs for our followers in the US. We also have ONE eBook copy of Lizzy Speares and the Cursed Tomb for our International followers. Thank you, Ally Malinenko, for providing the book for the giveaway.
In order to win you must:

* Be 13+ years old
* Fill out the Rafflecopter below

The giveaway runs from June 8-15. The winners will be contacted via email on June 16. Reading Lark is not responsible for prize delivery.


  1. "Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb" promises to be such a fantastic read.


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