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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo - Book Tour + Giveaway

What Big Teeth
Rose Szabo
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: February 2nd 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Young Adult

Rose Szabo’s thrilling debut What Big Teeth is a dark, gothic fantasy YA novel about a teen girl who returns home to her strange, wild family after years of estrangement, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls.

Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her wild family for years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the home she left behind. But when she gets there, she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds.

Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together. In order to save them all Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.

Exquisitely terrifying, beautiful, and strange, this fierce paranormal fantasy will sink its teeth into you and never let go.

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Guest Post
What was the inspiration for Eleanor and her strange family?

 In maybe 2010 or 2011, I found an empty picture frame in my parents’ basement. It was the kind you’d expect to have family pictures in it, but there were none. It made me think about how little family history of mine I knew. I had relatives, but I didn’t really know their life stories, and my grandfather in particular was prone to just making things up. So I thought: here are blank spaces; I can fill in the details. I took the frame upstairs and drew these pictures to fill in the empty spots in the frame.


The characters haunted me for years after that, but I couldn’t figure out exactly how they fit into a story. The first thing I wrote was about Grandpa Miklos’ pocketwatch, gleaming like an artificial sun. But the story wasn’t moving. Everything felt as though it had already happened.

 Finally, I thought about Eleanor. She was my least favorite of the characters I’d drawn--there was nothing really special about her, and she seemed like she didn’t like or trust anyone else in the picture. They were so completely themselves, and she wasn’t. And then I thought: what a perfect villain for this story--someone who isn’t comfortable with herself, and who can’t stand when other people are.

 Of course, as I wrote, it became more complicated than that. While I’d initially thought of Eleanor as the problem. I started thinking about how a house that had so much tolerance for strangeness could be so intolerant of her. Why was she the problem? And the answer I came to was that she asked too many questions, that she was always pointing out things that other people were trying to keep secret.

 Writing this novel, for me, felt like exploring a house at night. I’d open a door not knowing whether it led to a room or a hallway, or whether I’d be suddenly outside. I felt my way through it--through Eleanor’s fear of her family, her desire for them to be normal, her attempts to change them, or to change herself. I had pictures of these people, but as I wrote, I found out that they weren’t all who they seemed to be at first. This book was probably my favorite that I’ve ever written, and almost impossible to revise, because there was so much that I wanted to say that had no place in the actual story. The picture ended up being so much larger than what could fit into the frame.

 

Author Bio: 

Rose Szabo is a nonbinary writer from Richmond, VA, where they live with an assortment of people and animals and teach writing at VCU. They have an MA in English from the University of Maine and an MFA in creative writing from VCU. Their work has been published in See the Elephant and Quaint magazines. What Big Teeth is their first novel.


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3 comments:

  1. Thanks for being on the tour! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The storyline as well as the cover are very interesting, I am definitely intrigued by this book.
    lindacfast@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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