I’m so excited to be a stop on the Fantastic Flying Book Club’s blog tour for Red Hood! I’ve participated in a few blog tours with them and they’ve always been a blast! Today’s post is a short interview with Elana K. Arnold!
Elana’s newest book, Red Hood, is a dark and twisty book! It reimagines the tale of Red Riding Hood. If you’re a fan of fantasy and retellings, you should definitely check out Red Hood!
Be sure to check out all the other stops on the Red Hood blog tour!
Elana K. Arnold Q&A
What inspired you to write Red Hood? Was it a particular thought that sparked it or did several things lead to its formation?
All of my books begin with just one thing, but I’m not never sure I have a whole novel until that one thing has become three or more things. The first thing I knew about RED HOOD was that it would center the experiences of a menstruating female teen, and that she would be powerful.
My last two books explore young women who find their power near the end of the story; I knew that power would come naturally for Bisou Martel, and, what’s more, I wanted the reader to possess her power, which led to my decision to write this book in the second person: you are the girl in the woods. You must fight the wolves.
Later, as I began to write, I discovered that this was a book about other things: allyship and sisterhood, consent and incels, mothers and grandmothers. If I were to wait until I knew everything to begin a book, I could never start. But if I have one good thing, something I need to know more about, then I can trust myself to begin the writing journey, unsure of where it will lead, but certain it will go somewhere interesting, if I’m willing to follow.
I’m sure it’s hard to choose, but who was your favourite character to write about/for in Red Hood?
Bisou’s story is so action-driven in the book’s beginning that it was an absolute pleasure to write. Fight scenes are fun! Sex scenes are fun! But as the story moved further along, I found myself deeply interested in Bisou’s caretaker, her grandmother Mémé.
What’s your favourite thing to write? Is it dialogue? Action scenes? What gets you excited to write?
Though I don’t often write them, I got the chance in RED HOOD to center fight scenes and consensual, pleasurable sex scenes. I think I’m really good at both, and I find that these scenes are among my favorites to write.
What 2-5 fictional characters would you love to be friends with in real life?
If you mean characters from RED HOOD, I’d love to befriend Mémé, as well as Bisou’s friends Keisha and Maggie. I love them all, and they form such a strong sisterhood that I know I’d feel uplifted and energized by their strength.
If you mean characters from other books, I’d love to know Anne Shirley (of Green Gables), Liara Tamani’s Taja from CALLING MY NAME, and Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons. I do love dragons.
Do you have any backlist, current or upcoming books to recommend?
I had the chance to read Anna-Marie McLemore’s beautiful book DARK AND DEEPEST RED, which I love. They are a master of weaving timelines and storylines into something unique and new.
I’m a big fan of OUT OF SALEM by Hal Schrieve, which was a longlister for the National Book Awards last year.
I’m looking forward to Tamani’s sophomore novel, ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER KNEW, out in June.
I love the work of Laura Ruby, and her most recent novel, THIRTEEN DOORWAYS, WOLVES BEHIND THEM ALL is incredible.
If you like rad girls doing rad things, I have a treat for you—Mindy McGinnis’s newest novel, BE NOT FAR FROM ME.
And, I can’t wait to read Brandy Colbert’s debut middle grade novel, THE ONLY BLACK GIRLS IN TOWN. I’m already such a fan of Brandy’s YA work, and I can’t wait to see what she does in the middle grade space. I am sure it will be phenomenal.
About Red Hood
You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.
And the wolf is angry.
Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.
Elana K. Arnold writes books for and about children and teens. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature. Her most recent YA novel, Damsel, is a Printz Honor book, Her 2017 novel, What Girls are Made Of, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her middle grade novel, A Boy Called Bat, is a Junior Library Guild Selection. A parent and educator living in Huntington Beach, California, Elana is a frequent speaker at schools, libraries, and writers’ conferences. Currently, Elana is the caretaker of seven pets, only three of which have fur.
If you’d like to win a copy of Red Hood, enter the giveaway below! Stars on February 18th and closes on March 3rd, 2020. Open to US only!