Monday, 5 November 2012

Suzanne Lazear on Her Perfect Critique Group and a Giveaway: A Two and Twenty Dark Tales Blog Tour

If you can't tell, today I have Suzanne Lazear here with a guest post. We're celebrating the release of Two and Twenty Dark Tales, an anthology from Month9Books. 

Month9Books, a new publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens launches in October 2012, with the release of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES.  This unique collaboration’s proceeds (from the first 5,000 copies sold) will be donated toYALITCHAT.ORG, an organization that fosters the advancement, reading, writing and acceptance of young adult literature worldwide  

TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES features some of today’s most admired young adult authors, including: Michelle Zink, Lisa Mantchev, Sarwat Chadda, Nina Berry, Leigh Fallon, Suzanne Young, C. Lee McKenzie, Angie Frazier, Jessie Harrell, Gretchen McNeil, KM Walton, Heidi R. Kling, Nancy Holder, Karen Mahoney, Suzanne Lazear, Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg, Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone, Leah Cypess, Sayantani DasGupta, and Georgia McBride, founder of Month9Books. Francisco X. Stork, author of the critically acclaimed MARCELLO IN THE REAL WORLD, provides a foreword that is nearly as riveting as the stories themselves.

Now that you know a bit about the anthology. Let's hear from Suzanne!

If you could choose four authors, dead or alive, to make up your very own dream critique group, who would they be and why? How have these authors and their books impacted your writing?

Thank you so much for having me on. So, what four authors, dead or alive, would I have as part of my dream critique group? Wow, this is such a difficult question. There are so many authors who have influenced me at different periods and choosing only four is tough. 

But, if I had to choose... 

Louisa May Alcott is one of my all time favorite authors. I read Little Men and Little Women over and over again. I loved her stories so much –especially how I could re-read it and never tire of it. 

Ann M. Martin is my favorite author from my childhood. The very first book signing I ever went to was hers and I had her sign one of my Babysitter’s Club books. I told her I wanted to be an author when I grew up and she gave me incredible advice.  

As an adult, my writing was hugely influenced by Kim Harrison, who writes the Hollows series. The depth and breadth of the worlds she builds continued to astound me.  

Jules Verne’s worlds and stories fascinate me. They are just so incredibly detailed and thought out – not to mention he is considered the grandfather of steampunk. 

Finally, I’d choose Marion Zimmer Bradley. I read all of the Darkover books when I was in college, and they made a big impact on my life and really made me want to write in fantasy. Her worldbuilding astounds me, since her stories span thousands of years (and galaxies).  

Can you tell I am enthralled by worldbuilding and creating new, creative, and intricate worlds? 

Oh wait. Did I just say five? Whoops. I told you this was tough.

Anyway, these authors and many others influenced me in many ways. The poem How Many Miles to Babylon, which is the subject of my short story Candlelight in the Two and Twenty Dark Tales anthology, influenced me as a child as well. It was always such a fascinating poem, and mentioned in several books I read as a kid – the one I remember most vividly being Can I get there by Candlelight.  

While writing my short story Candlelight, I drew on quite a few influences from childhood in order to create something dark and creepy, yet still (hopefully) true to the poem.

What authors influenced you?

~Suzanne Lazear

Some awesome choices here, Suzanne! And now, you have the chance to win an ebook version of Sarwat Chadda's DEVIL'S KISS. Just leave a comment below. This contest is international and you have until Monday (11/19) at 5 EST to enter.

Suzanne Lazear loves steampunk, faeries, and fairytales, which is why her YA series THE AETHER CHRONICLES blends all three of them. Book #1, INNOCENT DARKNESS, is out now and book #2, Charmed Vengeance, releases in 2013 from Flux. Suzanne lives in Southern California with her family where she’s attempting to make a raygun to match her ball gown. She’s a member of the RWA, holds a masters degree in Public policy, and is part of the popular Steampunk group blog Steamed. Visit or for more information on Suzanne and her stories. 

Be careful what you wish for...In an alternate version of 1901 Los Angeles sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed to restore his dying world.  Her best friend, V, who has secrets of his own, appears to help Noli escape and return to the mortal realm.  If they are successful, Noli will live, but if she does  the entire Otherworld civilization will perish. 

Month 9 Books is a publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens… where nothing is as it seems. Month9Books will donate proceeds from each of its annual charity anthologies to a deserving charity. Individually, authors may donate his or her advances and royalties to a charitable organization. Month9Books will also release 10-12 non-charitable titles annually. TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES is Month9Books’s first release. Month9Books is distributed by Small Press United, a division of IPG. 

You may visit for more information. You can also find them on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and their Blog.



  1. I am so with you on Kim Harrison, what an awesome talent. I could tell right away we were kindred spirits ;) Thank you for taking the time and effort to share with us today, it was a treat to read.

  2. Ann Marin is one of my favorite authors too!! I haven't read Alcott yet, but I'm definitely poised to read Little Women next.



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