Monday, July 13, 2009

Smoke and “Ash”

Ash cover

Just to show you it’s not all hot girls in tank tops and lacy underthings (not that there is anything wrong with that, nothing at all), let’s talk books. And, to put a finer point on it, let’s talk one book. Let’s talk “Ash,” the first book by Malinda Lo. Many of you will remember Malinda as the former AfterEllen.com managing editor. She still writes the column Notes & Queeries and her vlog The Lo-Down will return next month. Malinda left the site last year to complete “Ash,” a lesbian retelling of Cinderella. Now it is set to come out in September. I’m about a third of the way through and can happily report that Malinda has created a lush, lavishly-descriptive universe that will immerse readers young and old.

Malinda has graciously agreed to giveaway two autographed advanced copies. But before you start clamoring for a copy, let’s find out a little more about the story.

A quick Q&A with Malinda about “Ash”

DS: Describe the story of “Ash.”
ML: In the most blatant of terms, it's a lesbian retelling of Cinderella.
Stepping back from that concept a bit, Ash is about a girl who is grieving the loss of her parents, who both die in quick succession when she's only 12 years old. That loss sends her into a deep, almost suicidal depression. The novel tells the story of Ash coming out of that depression and choosing to live. The fact that she falls in love with a woman, as opposed to a man, is almost secondary.

DS: Where did the idea come from?
ML: I chose to retell the story of Cinderella because as a kid, I loved reading Robin McKinley's retellings of fairy tales, and she never retold Cinderella. I wrote Ash because I wanted to read it.

DS: What was it about the Cinderella story that you thought was ripe for the retelling?
ML: I actually had no idea if it was ripe for retelling — I didn't choose it, so much as it chose me. It's always been my favorite fairy tale.

DS: Did you always want to bring gay storylines into your work?
ML: Funny you ask that, because the answer is no. The first draft of Ash was not gay at all — Ash initially fell in love with the prince. After I gave it to a friend to read, she pointed out that the prince was pretty boring. I looked at the story more closely and realized that Ash was actually falling in love with someone else, and that someone else was a woman — Kaisa, the King's Huntress.

DS: Was it hard, getting mainstream publishers to accept a lesbian storyline in young adult fiction? Was there any resistance?
ML: I haven't had any resistance at all. My agent was behind it 100% from the get-go, and we received offers from several publishers who were all very enthusiastic about the lesbian story line. My editor, honestly, encouraged me to intensify the romance between Ash and Kaisa.
What I find interesting is that my publisher, Little, Brown, isn't positioning the book as a lesbian book, really. If you read the cover copy, it's not even entirely clear that Ash falls in love with a woman. It's being positioned as a mainstream YA fantasy — even more so in the U.K. I just got the cover copy from my U.K. publisher, Hodder, and there's basically no hint that there's a same-sex romance in there.
I don't think they're trying to hide it, because they're very supportive of reaching out to LGBT readers. I just think they believe the gay part is mostly irrelevant.

DS: What do you hope readers, both young and old, take away from the book?
ML: I just hope they'll find an enjoyable story — that sounds really basic, but it's true. And since I didn't write Ash as a young adult novel (I just wrote it — the categorization came after it was finished), I do hope adults as well as teens pick it up.
Other than that, I must admit that I really hope lesbian/bi readers like Kaisa. Not that straight readers can't like her too! But I think she deserves to be crushed on. :)

DS: Are you working on your next one? What’s it about?
ML: Yes, I'm currently in the middle of revising my next novel, which is sort of a prequel to Ash. It takes place several hundreds of years before, but it's set in the same world, and it's about the first woman to become a King's Huntress. It's my version of a quest story, so there's a dangerous journey, powerful magic, ancient fairies, and romance — plus, of course, lesbians. Barring unforeseen circumstances, it should come out in fall 2010.

If you are interested in receiving a free copy of “Ash,” leave your email address in the comments section (spelled out if you’re worried about spammers) by noon Thursday PST. I will pick the two winners via my friend the random number generator and post them on Friday Monday. Find out more about “Ash” and Malinda at her website, www.malindalo.com. Happy reading.

NOTE: Unfortunately, this giveaway is limited to US and Canada residents. I believe it's for legal release reasons. But Malinda said she hopes to have another giveaway for all non-North Americans once the UK edition comes out. So please stay tuned and my apologies.

NOTE II: Entries are now closed. The winner will be announced on Monday. Thanks so much for your interest!

296 comments:

1 – 200 of 296   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Is this generous for non-Americans, too? :-/

Anonymous said...

... forgot the "offer" ...

Leigh Olivia said...

*t*h*e*
"dot"

*m*i*s*s
"dot"

*l*e*i*g*h

at gmail "dot" com

minus the asterisks

ms. snarker, you do seriously fantastic work (that's not bribery, i just usually lurk instead of comment)

concorddawn said...

Woooo!! Looks awesome!

jetgrrl at ihug dot co dot nz

(willing to pay if the offer doesn't include postage to non-US addresses..)

Mandy @ work said...

mandy @ pixels-bandwidth.com

(I'm from Australia, I hope you can send it there.)

kate said...

looks wonderful!

heykate at gmail dot com

frannie said...

Can't hurt to try. It sounds totally awesome.

whymzecal at att dot net

Thanks so much!

Amy said...

Totally give it a shot: inthemainstream at gmail dot com

;)) babs said...

I already pre-ordered it - can't wait!

;)) babs

churgles said...

Freaky...
Considering the fact that I've been gay-ifying different classic story tales in my head for the past 2 weeks.

tiggy claws at hot mail dot com
(No spaces 'course.)

Robyn said...

Can't wait!

robynhood75 at hotmail dot com

BarbaraRyan said...

Sounds interesting. I love Lesbian retellings.

ladypythia@hotmail.com

BarbRyan

kat said...

Thank you for letting us know about this book, this opportunity!

kattellofilms
at

gmail

dot

com

Katie said...

Sounds fantastic! I'd love a chance to win a copy.

kroche74 at gmail dot com

Thanks!

Hannah said...

YA fantasy doesn't really appeal to me as an adult (I almost never read YA books and even less fantasy, I tried but it's just not my genre), but this does sound like the kind of book that I would have loved when I was a teenager. So no contest for me, but good luck with it! I hope this finds a very big audience.

Miki said...

the story sounds great. cant wait to read it.

the.red.hot.paprika@gmail.com

CATHERiNE said...

quantumquarter at yahoo dot com

Megan B. said...

meg dot bolger at gmail dot com

Shug said...

...sounds great!

blue_iris at charter dot net

Labrysia said...

guruthwen at yahoo dot de

I've no problems to pay the overseas shipping if I'm one of the lucky two ;-)

Miz Moffatt said...

Oooh, count me in!

starfizz_jones at hotmail dot com

:)

bronco said...

delikanli_banu {at} hotmail.com

Laura said...

laura-oconnor AT hotmail dot com

:) xxx

Anonymous said...

Wow sounds cool
nemo dot no dot man at gmail dot com

Laura said...

ljplayspoker at gmail dot com -- can't wait to read it!!!

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this! Can't wait! ck at eastlink dot ca

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

shadowed.echo@gmail.com

Sounds awesome. Can't wait to read it, even if I buy it myself.

Alaina said...

motozulli at gmail dot com

I love fairy tales!

Anonymous said...

i love a good fairytale...

appleblossom82 at hotmail dot co dot uk

Ordy said...

Sounds like a good read. :-) freakinordinary at yahoo dot com

Allie said...

amkonet at gmail dot com

Blythe said...

So happy with the idea of YA fiction with lesbian story lines.

gotkaylee at hotmail dot com

eletta said...

Ok that's my e-mail:
surfix67 at hotmail dot it
and I'm obviously from Italy.

Anonymous said...

Ok here it is:
surfix67 at hotmail dot it
Obvioulsy in my case you have to send the book to Italy hope it's not a problem!

Marathon Girl said...

this sounds awesome!! also, your blog is great! I love reading it every day!

v.pwalker@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

nzlesbian at gmail dawt comb

(if it can be sent to NZ)

Jess said...

mizarchivist AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Would use it for my classroom library, too!

jinkyb at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for this book!

buckne23 at gmail dot com

lilblackdress said...

I can't wait to read "Ash". Thank you for an interesting interview with Ms. Lo and thank you for running this contest.

littleblackdress at siniful dot com

Lindsay said...

Great post. I always love a good book!
lindbrownsay@gmail.com

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

louisa-.- at hotmail dot com

Nora said...

norabombay at gmail.com

Dana said...

dana at sheridanschool.org

Collins said...

i've been waiting for "ash" to hit the shelves since i heard malinda was leaving AE to continue working on it. thanks for covering the long awaited release of "ash" and for giving us a quick Q&A with malinda. i can't wait to get my hands on this book.

crystaleecollins at gmail dot com

Jamie said...

I've been waiting for her book to come out! If I don't win, I'll be headed to the bookstore :-)

jslade83 (at) comcast (dot) net

Sam said...

This looks great. I loved retold-for-the-times fairy tales.

samfeasor [at] gmail [dot] com

Blondie said...

This looks wonderful! I'm looking forward to reading it, free or not.

tex and blondie at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

sounds great!

allison dot knupp at gmail dot com

Norma Desmond said...

kesimon 0918 at gmail dot com

Where, oh, where were these stories when I was a 'young adult'? *laments*

Anonymous said...

Love it!

forget dot everything dot you dot know at gmail dot com

Ari said...

starsfadeintoday at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I've been anxiously waiting for september!

ybme91 at yahoo dot come

petbluedragon said...

Fabulous!

keepon325 at msn dot com

Journal of a ____ said...

Very cool! lee.chip at yahoo dot com.

Love reading you Dorothy!

MaryAnn said...

I've wanted to read Malinda's book ever since I first heard about it!

maryannechka at gmail dot com

AveshaDee said...

aveshad(at)
hotmail
(dot)
com


this is so exciting!
thank you for posting about this book .

Esther Greenwood said...

ms.esther.greenwood@gmail.com

tlsintx said...

telliott79 at hotmail dot com

thanks, Snarker and best wishes ML!

Miss Amber said...

yes please
vailadventures at gmail dot com

Allie said...

rachel maddow is the bees knees at gmail dot com (without the spaces!)

yay for books! :)

ash L said...

sounds delightful!

ashleylsimpson at gmail dot com

Kate said...

indubitably dot kate at gmail dot com

kimber p said...

ok..spelling out the letters of my email addy,

u ess em cee mama at gmail dot com

I would LOVE a copy of this!!!

Amy said...

oooh fun!
amyborgergilligan at G.M.A.I.L dot com

will that keep the spammers away?

Dianna said...

dianna "dot" blaylock "at" gmail "dot" com

Kerri said...

ohhh looks good!! I want one!

a t c k e r r i (at) y a h o o .com

lottie.m said...

lottie dot mallard at gmail dot com

and it's also named after me ;)

Ash x

alice said...

shipman dot alice at gmail dot com

You had me at 'retelling of Cinderella', but the fact that Malinda is a fan of Robin McKinley makes me even more eager to read this. Yay for great books!

And I'm also v. intrigued by the marketers' decision not to hype up the lesbian line. Really emphasizes how this next generation is seen as being gay-friendly. How awesome will it be if most books morph into something that can have straight, queer or (gasp) both kinds of relationships as main plot points!

Ms. Schrepfer said...

kschrepfer at gmail

Anonymous said...

Can't wait! Congrats on the book ML!

avalon1476 at gmail

Jaded said...

I am so stoked about this book, I've always loved her writing and now I'll get to cuddle up with a novel of hers. Wicked! Thanks for the overview D

Megling said...

oh my mercy that sounds fabulous,
meganbelen at gmail dot com

Sam said...

so exciting! can't wait to read this one.
srender
at
gmail
dot
com

Gayle said...

idgiexwp at gmail dot com

Let's hope it's made into a movie too :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds Fantastic!

blodgett34 at aol dot com.

Tami said...

oooh, pick me, pick me! LOL

br.nidgrl@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Yay! I hope I can wait until you choose the winners before I run out to find it!!!

dreenme @ sbcglobal -dot- net

Pamela said...

Ooh, MalindaLo! I've always loved everything she wrote on AfterEllen (Asians! butch/femme!) and there's no doubt her book is going to be brilliant. I'm quite happy to pay for outside-US shipping too (for me, to Southeast Asia) for a signed Malinda Lo book.

my email address is:
pam underscore the underscore great at hotmail dot com

M's said...

yimm dot ncssm at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing Malinda to my attention! I'd love to read it.
pstepler625 at aol dot com

Sapphic Hyperbole said...

Normall;y I would leap at the opportunity to receive a work by a new author. However after spending what seemed like "years" watching Melinda Lo act as editor Sarah Warn's lackey, I'll pass.

rocketdyke said...

rocketdyke at gmail.com

Sarah said...

I've always loved the Cinderella story. This sounds amazing. My email address is sarahdee86 [at] gmail dot com!

RHEA said...

hubbaduh [at] gmail.com

:)

RevanDesigns said...

lpdarren5 at hotmail dot com

Pink said...

Looks amazing! anne (dot) paschke (at) gmail (dot) com

shereen said...

can you send to singapore?

y2jshereen at gmail dot com

Jaded said...

I yeah, I forgot to say, "Pick me, Pick me!" thejadedrogue(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

chocostoner at aol dot com

Niki said...

If I don't win it, I'll be first in line to buy.

niki.brakefield @ gmail . com

P. Bing said...

agoodshinkickin at gmail dot com

sageweb said...

I can't wait for it.

sageweb@gmail.com

Nox said...

lesbian fairy tales... how could I possibly resist. (queer characters, fantasy setting, familiarity with a twist... the hopeless romantic I keep locked up is breathless in anticipation)

so here we go...
Nox Ferocia (at) gmail
[Remove spaces, obvious replacements]

Grace said...

oooh, I've been wanting to read this forever!

gracerae at hellokitty dot com

Aubrey said...

*crosses fingers*

aglaias_smile @ yahoo . com

Anonymous said...

yay!
melefez (at) gmail dot com

angelina said...

yes please, thank you

a dot bustoswright at gmail dot com

soooo excited about this book! (I'm going to get it regardless) yay!

bagofsnakes said...

This looks awesome. I can't wait to read it!

nisemono.12.15.1791 at gmail dot com

Carli said...

I love Malinda's previous writings so I'm sure it will be great!

cfinlm at aol dot com

Logan Jones said...

loganemilyjones at mac dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Love your blog and Melinda's writing!

jessicachesnutt at gmail.com

This Mom said...

I am so excited to read this book! Please enter me btmommy@gmail.com

Beth said...

mbpagano90 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Yes, please! :)

biracialmenace at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great read

dlmercier at gmail dot com

thanks,
denise

Elise said...

Ooh can't wait to read it
EliseRD at gmail dot com

cjanet said...

Sounds like a fantastic book! janet dot castillo@nike dot com :)

Sarah said...

genius underscore girl 28 at hotmail dot com

Anne Lyden said...

This looks amazing - and just the thing to buy for my high school students as well.



aelyden at gmail dot com

am north of the border - just in case you can send it up to Canada

p.s. love your blog!!!

elliB said...

sounds excellent!
eabwritesdesigns at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

lcshaw@comcast.net

A day without Dorothy is like a day without dessert.

Anonymous said...

ok, apparently I should have said "A day without Dorothy is like a day without caffeine"

here's my ACTUAL email address:
lcshaw60atcomcastdotcom

J9 said...

Yeah - I'm looking forward to reading this, and I don't anticipate winning, as I've won a giveaway from you before. j9tigger at gmail dot com

Vikki said...

vikki@uppoppedafox.com

Claudia said...

if it is also for non-US readers, then my email address:

c l o n c h i @ g m a i l . c o m

cami said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
long beach kelster said...

I read every bit of lesbian literature that I can get my hands on! Can't wait for this one! Thanks DS for sharing and ML for writing!
ksrich343 at yahoo dot com

alphafemme said...

ooo I want one! I want one! :)

calliope_calling [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Yahooo! great to see more stories out there!

sherri contact [at] yahoo . com

Thanks! for the give away, Ms. S!

Courtney said...

Giveaways: A great way to start off the week!

Nice post, DS

pleaseletitbeme at hotmail dot com

Erin said...

erindeel at gmail dot com

This looks lovely.

Simone said...

simone dot colas at gmail dot com

sara lotz said...

sara dot lotz at gmail dot com

skrailly said...

bjshell422 at yahoo dot com

scully said...

I'd love to read this. And I agree, the Prince (usually) is boring.

blueshadow333 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

i_am_alwayz at yahoo dot com

Lopeytal said...

alizaaaay at yahoo dot com

This book sounds awesome, and I can't wait for it to come out!

B. Peregrine said...

redatdawn @ gmail.com

renee said...

Very nice of the author!
renee.etienne at gmail dot com

Mark said...

Very cool. Just wanted to make sure that you and your readers have also seen "Kissing the Witch", which does a retelling of a lot of fairy tales, and many of them have a lesbian spin. "Ash" as a full-length novel seems wonderful, but this book of short stories is also well worth keeping in your library. That being said, I keep giving away my copy!

Anyway, check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Kissing-Witch-Old-Tales-Skins/dp/0064407721 (Not trying to promote Amazon, just trying to help y'all see the book!)

Brenda said...

Very cool! ripley1130 at yahoo dot com. Oooo, hope I win :)

Jessie Maims said...

jix1125 at gmail dot com

The Bullet Girl said...

sampstein{at}gmail{dot}com

Can't wait for it to come out!

Allison said...

abarclay110 at gmail dot com

Biblio Reader said...

That sounds awesome!

danikaellis@gmail.com

Amanda said...

albrace at gmail dot com

jhnyoliv said...

j*h*n*y*o*l*i*v at gmail "dot" com
minus the asterisks

Cgquack said...

I can't wait to read this.

Cgquack@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

dycarter @ gmail dot com

Maya said...

maya dot genis at gmail dot com

aj said...

soul of a citizen at gmail dot com

no spaces

and THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

*jgc*well* at live dot com

(no asterisks)

Microkritter said...

Wow that sounds awesome! I'm just finishing Gregory Maguire's books, which are basically retellings of fairy tales. (ex: Wicked). Would love a copy.

A_L_I_E_N89 at hotmail dot com.

Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

Anonymous said...

triggerhippie91 at gmail "dot" com

az said...

b*l*a*m*e*i*t*o*n*b*e*t*t*e@gmail.com

Without the asterisks

Elise Lorenz said...

sounds like a good read!

elorenz(dot)lorenz(at)gmail(dot)com

domiscalm said...

d-o-m

underscore

b-e-r-n-a-r-d-o-8-8

@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

OoooO new books! yaaay

sheeples at hotmail dot com

=D ~Gaby

Emily said...

sounds awesome!!

hohman dot emily at gmail dot com

Jac said...

jac dot wabbit at gmail dot com... Not that gmail has a spam problems :D

Erin said...

forte dot erin at gmail dot com

So excited about his book!

May said...

sounds amazing! reddvenus at gmail dot com

Stephanie.h90 said...

i'll throw my hat into the mix!

stephanie.h90@gmail dot com

love the website!

thanks!

Heidi said...

hvancetx at gmail dot com

I'm very excited! I'm 32, and I love young adult books. Not that I don't love old adult books, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic!
kwhite2 at wi dot rr dot com

RotatingWorld said...

Would love the free copy.

lasternberger (at) gmail (dot) com

Literary Ambitions said...

literaryambitions(at)yahoo(dot)com

Thanks!

Joliet said...

This sounds wonderful. Thank you so much!

garbosgirl@gmail.com

legume427 said...

sabrinamhc90 AT verizon DOT net

I get so very excited by romance that is not of the boy meets girl, girl initially hates boy, boy and girl fall in lurve and live happily ever after variety.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited about this book!
cascata13 at hotmail dot com

robin W said...

Looks like a great book!

thinkdamnit *at* hotmail *dot* com


Love the blog by the way!

e. said...

candidate_kav at yahoo dot com

Alex said...

Wow, this sounds great! I've always loved it when people play around with fairy-tales. I used to read a webcomic called No Rest for the Wicked that had a great open interpretation of many of them.


Can't wait to read this!! I'm sure I'll be buying it, but just in case I'll leave my e-mail:

shortstack51@gmail.com

The Proper Bostonian said...

juliag2001 at gmail dot com

TheWeyrd1 said...

I'm totally up for some summer reading material!

TheWeyrd1 at gmail dot com

TheWeyrd1 said...

I'm totally up for some summer reading material!

TheWeyrd1 at gmail dot com

Joell said...

jsmithborne at gmail dot com

Larry said...

I'm very excited already- I love young adult books.

lschwanr@yahoo.com

Anna said...

scienceplusmusic [at] gmail [dot] com

I loved Robin McKinley's retellings too!! I can't wait to read this book.

erica marie said...

i'm studying queer children's literature--pick me! pick me!

erica(dot)gillingham(at)gmail

Jessica M. said...

Sounds wonderful!

jmaynard@tiger.brenau.edu

Nurse W said...

soapvivor @ gmail.com

Hoping I won't have to wait until September! Fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

Exciting! My email is: angerballx3@hotmail.com

Crystal said...

crystalmboyce at gmail dot com

Emilie said...

I was curious when I heard Melinda was writing a book. Now I'm plain excited. emashre at gmail dot com

Hoolia said...

Ooh, exciting! Looking forward to reading it one way or another.

jtigger at mail dot com

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

darkolivegreen@gmail.com

Anita said...

llmf81@yahoo.com

iamaleo said...

monique
d
gray
at
gmail
dot
com

Lauryn said...

lauryn dot kronick at gmaill dot com

----this sounds fabulous----

Nichole said...

nichole 4 fsu at hotmail dot com.

Wai said...

cheers. :-)

thedivinebovine at gmail dot com

Laur said...

Sounds intriguing. Count me in!

lapear5 at gmail (dot) com

chantgirl said...

Wooo, go Malinda!

chantgirl at gmail dot com


And Dorothy Snarker, I just adore your blog and your witty, witty sense of humor!

4:34 PM

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
this sounds fantastic!
superswimgirl at sbcglobal dot net

Bri said...

B*-*a*-*i*-*z*-*0*-*7*-*
@*-*a*-*o*-*l*-*.com
thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book. i've been waiting for it to come out.

linster said...

Who do I have to sleep with around here to get a copy? Obviously, Snarker and Malinda weren't enough. :o

Anonymous said...

e . levesquegottlieb @ gmail . com

I will leave my obnoxiously long address for a chance at this book. I've been reading about its progress for so long, it feels so weird it's coming out soon. (Weird, but awesome.)

Natalie said...

I definitely want to read this, getting a free copy would just be a bonus! ncbizzarro at gmail dot com.

the details said...

read about this a few months back, so excited! either way if i loose (which i slightly expect since i never win anything) i'll be buying it [;


bek.faye [!at] gmail.com

chemx said...

Chemx89 at yahoo dot com

Woot! :)

Anonymous said...

Cool!
tristan at
wickedbear
dot
com

Alicia said...

Free copy?! That's very generous, and awesome!

Here's my e-mail:

toanythingtaboo (at) gmail (dot) com

cyc said...

i cant wait for the book to come out!

jadedlittlegirlx (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Congrats Malinda! This sounds great!

klbower at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

kline dot ashleyee at gmail dot com

dalila said...

hello,

one interested reader..... jklnjo24@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

moonfire30 at live dot com

Sounds interesting. I love YA fiction!

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