Win a Signed Copy of Marianna Baer's FROST!

Hi Everyone! I'd like you all to meet Marianna Baer, author of Frost. She was nice enough to stop by to answer some questions and giveaway a signed copy of her novel! 
 
Hi Marianna! First off tell us a little about the book.

Frost is the story of two 17-year old girls -- Leena Thomas and Celeste Lazar -- who are roommates in a potentially haunted dorm at a New England boarding school. I say "potentially," because the girls are definitely haunted, but I'm not going to tell you whether it's by the house itself, or by their own internal demons. It's a creepy, psychological, modern Gothic novel. 
 
Since you are now officially a ghost expert with the publication of this book give us the low down. Real or not? Have a good ghost story of your own you can share with us?
 
Unfortunately, I myself have never lived in a haunted house. But I've heard enough stories from credible sources that I do believe houses can contain certain energies, left by past (and passed) residents. All of my personal experiences with the paranormal have involved ESP, that sort of thing. For example, one time I had a dream that my roommate's friend (someone I'd never met, but had heard about) was in the hospital and we went to visit her. There was absolutely no reason I should have dreamt about this girl I'd never met, so I told my roommate about the dream in a, "Isn't this strange?" context. About an hour or two later my roommate got a phone call: her friend had been hit by a car and was in the hospital. I'm sure some people would say this was a random coincidence, but I don't think so. And I've had too many other experiences that make me think there are lots of things going on around us and in our brains that we don't understand.
 
Since you're the only person I've ever met who actually went to boarding school you're also an official expert on that now. It sounds so cool. What was that experience like and how did it  feed into the writing of Frost?

I absolutely loved it. Not that I didn't have my share of emotional trauma, but I had wonderful friends and (truly) incredible teachers, and immensely enjoyed the whole living-in-a-dorm thing. Most years I lived in medium-sized dorms, but my senior year I lived with several of my closest friends in the real Frost House, a quirky little Victorian house on the edge of campus. There was a faculty member with an apartment in the house, but she was pretty hands off, so it felt like we were living on our own most of the time. Once I started writing YA, I knew that I wanted to write about girls in a similar situation. It provides such natural tension, the fact that you don't go home from school at night. If things aren't going well, there's no escape. If things are going well, it's the most fun ever.
 
So you're a grad from Vermont College's writing program. Can you tell us a little about the experience. Any particular words or wisdom or key lessons you learned while you were there?

How long do you have, Jeff? :) Seriously, when I start talking about VCFA I can get a bit long-winded.  For those who don't know, it's a low-residency program, which means that I went to the campus in VT five times over two years, for 10-day residencies with the other students and faculty. The rest of the time, I was working from home with an advisor. I'd send monthly "packets" of critical and creative writing, and would get feedback in letter form and sometimes over the phone.

The experience was life-changing. Finding myself in a community of people who were as passionate about children's literature as I was was incredible. The residencies were intense -- non-stop lectures, readings, workshops, dance parties... And the faculty -- which includes many award-winning authors, like Rita Williams-Garcia, Kathi Appelt, and Martine Leavitt -- are so generous and supportive.  My graduating class of sixteen included wonderful writers such as Carol Lynch Williams (The Chosen One), Jandy Nelson (The Sky is Everywhere), and Trent Reedy (Words in the Dust).

I think one of the major skills I acquired was how to read like a writer. How to evaluate what about a book is pulling me in or pushing me out of the narrative. And how to read my own work in a similar way.

Holy crap! Barack Obama bought your book! What was it like for you when you saw that?

My reaction was total denial (I still don't believe it actually happened. Literally.) combined with, "Who cares if it actually happened??! My name is in an article about PRESIDENT OBAMA!!! My. Name. With. Obama's. Name. Together! As long as we both shall live!!!!!!!!" And I smiled a lot.
 
What's next for you? Is there a new book on the horizon we can look forward to?

I'm working on a new YA novel, unrelated to Frost, called Immaculate. It's about a 15-year old girl in Brooklyn who is pregnant, but says she's a virgin. It will be published by Balzer+Bray, as well, so I'm fortunate to be working with my editor Kristin Daly Rens again. Yay!
 
Lastly, can you tell us five things readers might not know about you?

1. I’m terrible with wheels. I haven’t driven a car for years, but when I did, I endangered everyone in a three-mile radius. When I try to ride a bike, my life flashes before my eyes. And don’t even ask what happened the one time I rode an ATV!
2. I’m a sucker for beautiful clothes. One of my favorite museums in NYC is the gallery at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
3. Despite being somewhat shy, I have no problem taking over the dance floor if the right music is playing.
4. Since childhood, many of my friends have called me Mair, meaning they also sometimes call me the extremely mature sounding “Mair Baer.” (Rhymes with Care Bear.)
5. I own a broken skateboard made of fried pork skin. I’ll let you wonder why.

Thanks for coming by Marianna!
 
To enter a drawing for a signed copy of Marianna's FROST, just leave us a comment below! If you have a good ghost story, share that too!

39 comments:

Andrea Mack said...

Thanks for the interesting interview! This sounds like a good read.

debbie said...

What a great interview. How amazing to have had the president buy your book. I would love to read it. (sorry I don't know any ghost stories).
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

virg_nelson said...

Great interview!!

World's Shortest Ghost Story:

BOO!

virg_nelson@yahoo.com

Julie Beukema said...

How awesome that the Prez bought your book. Now THAT'S a recommendation!

dani_nguyen said...

Wow, I can't even imagine how excited I would be if the president bought my book. Congrats!

Thanks for the giveaway! I don't really have any ghost stories to share, sorry.

daniellesaunders1984(at)hotmail(dot)com

Paul Greci said...

I'm definitely interested in this story! Thanks!

The story I want to share is "The Invisible Man" It isn't an actual ghost story but people think there's a ghost. The old movie version of it is great, too.

collkosinski said...

Loved this interview!

coll

Book Love 101 said...

Awesome interview! Sign me up for the giveaway! : )

sarinana0309(at)yahoo(dot)com

LindsayWrites said...

...so I posted a super awesome comment about me having premonitions and stuff...and then it disappeared when I hit enter.

Sigh.

So here was the punch line...i had a premonition that I WON the contest! Woohooo thanks! Lol. I wish.

Lindsaycummings20 at yahoo dot com

Tere Kirkland said...

Frost sounds like a spooktacular read, Marianna, can't wait to get my hands on it! Your five things gave me a good laugh this morning. Excepting five, of course, I could say the same about myself for the others. Only I'm a Ter-Bear. :)

cegluna said...

You should email The White House and ask POTUS to blurb your next book! :)
cegluna(at)Gmail(dot)com

dothutchison said...

What was I hoping would be my good ghost story got cut off by the nagging practicalities of preserving life- my friends and I wanted to go to Sack's Covered Bridge outside Gettysburg, but it's where all the druggies and rapists like to hang at out midnight. So. No.
But I have been really looking forward to this book since it first hit the system at work. Congrats!
~Dot
requiemofrain(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jessy said...

I don't have any good ghost stories. I would love to encounter a ghost, but it seems I am very unlucky there.

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Catherine Stine said...

I haven't seen ghosts, but I've sensed them. For instance, I could swear that I sensed a group of old men smoking cigars and playing cards in the basement of a house I lived in, in the East Village of NYC. As it turned out, there had been a social club down there in the 20s. Love ghost stories and yours sounds cool.

Teril said...

I don't ave any good ghost stories in mind right now but I loved the post and the book sounds fantastic! Congrats on a presidential purchased read ;)

terilhack at gmail dot com

Alex said...

I don't have a ghost story, but that's because I don't believe them. I like ghost stories, and scary ones, but I don't have any myself or know of any I believe to be supernatural, which brings my main point.

It is said that those who believe supernatural things (mysticism, perhaps) can happen and believe in God- anything of a nature of being beyond human understanding- are more likely to experience supernatural events. I would ask if people who have ghost stories also believe in those other things I mentioned.

Interesting interview though.

alessandroconno at hotmail dot com

May-Day_Aura said...

Loved the interview! I heard about this book recently and now I want to read it ever more. :)

I don't have a "ghost story" to share, but I have had premotion dreams like Marianne before. Most have been relatively minor things, but once in high school I dreamed my best friend was in a car accident. The next day, when he didn't show up for first period, I panicked. Turns out he had been in an accident on the way to school that morning. Luckily he was uninjured, but his car was pretty banged up. It has a freaky experience to say the least!

Rachel.Danae226@gmail.com

Christi said...

Thanks for the great interview! Frost sounds amazing, I can't wait to read it!

caldellizzi(at)gmail(dot)com

alli said...

Sounds good. So awesome about the Prez!! Wow!

sRy_ said...

sounds interesting :) count me in if it's international

jpetroroy said...

Wow! Obama! Very cool.

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

Jenny S. Morris said...

This book sounds really cool. And Obama, that's awesome.

mjlnmorris@gmail.com

Vivien said...

I'm so excited for this book!! Thanks so much, can't wait :)

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Alden said...

Congratulations on the Obama plug! I would be interested to find out what he thought about it when he is done.

Please count me in for the giveaway.

alden(dot)ash(at)gmail(dot)com

Kailia Sage said...

I love that cover and it sounds interesting too!

twilightforever.edward at gmail dot com

Bookish in a Box said...

Your senior year sounds awesome. That's the kind of school experience I always dreamed about!

whatinabox at gmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

This sounds like a really good book! I'd love to be entered to win.

old follower on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Sarah Nicolas said...

I can't even imagine what it would feel like to see that the President had bought your book - and publicly!

I had friends at my first high school who called me Sarah Bear!

sarah.nicolas.ya at gmail dot com

ForbiddenDreams said...

Loved the interview & thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway! (:

Susanne Drazic said...

Interesting interview. Thanks for sharing about the book. Also, thanks for the chance to win a copy of Maianna Baer's book.

Petra @ Safari Poet said...

Great interview! I don't really have a ghost story. The only thing close, would be when I was younger and would hear my mother calling me. When I finally found her and asked what she wanted she would say, "I didn't call you. Jumbee ah play tricks pan you." Jumbee (in Caribbean folklore) is a ghost or spirit of the dead and are said to have the ability to possess people. So, I should be glad they were only playing games and not trying to possess me :-)

Jenna said...

My intricate and genius ghost story:

There once was a ghost. It scared people. The people fled in horror. The ghost celebrated. The End.

:)

jennapomme[at]yahoo[dot]com

Marg @ Clockwork Reverie said...

I haven't read a psychological thriller/ghost story in a looong time. This one seems really intriguing. I'd love a chance to read Frost. Thanks for the giveaway!

gosia727(at)gmail(dot)com

tinatre said...

This book sounds awesome. Obama! Super cool!


tinatre at msn dot com

Amber Elise said...

Thanks I really enjoyed your interview. Never knew Obama picked this one up! I'm going to have to click on that link when I'm done!!!

Anywho thanks again. Learned so much about Ms Baer and I wish her tons of success!

amber.hrkns at gmail dot cmo

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

Great interview! Loved to learn that she went to boarding school and lived in Frost House. Neat!

themgowl at gmail dot com

Yan said...

Ooohh loved what Marianna had to say about her book! Definitely looks gripping and intense!

yan.pocky(at)gmail.com

Christina said...

I don't know if this is still going on but I'll give it a shot. I loved the interview, though! I've been wanting to read this book since before it came out! Can't wait to finally have it for myself!

Ashley said...

Awesome interview!! Books set at boarding schools are always interesting to me since I went to one. My dorm wasn't haunted as far as I know though. :P I don't have any ghost stories to tell... fortunately. lol
aldiss87(at)gmail(dot)com