Y'all! Guess what guess what guess what!!! It's Monday! I know; I know. Monday, blech! And I wouldn't be excited either except for the fact that Libba Bray is here to talk about her new book, The Diviners! Everytime I read a new Libba book I think, "man, she's really topped herself this time!" but SHE HAS REALLY TOPPED HERSELF THIS TIME. Spooky, hip and wildly hilarious, The Diviners will have you crawling under your covers and nipping from your flask of gin.
My (glowing, obvs) review of The Diviners will be up on Thursday, but here's a little bit of info to tide you over: Evie's just a Midwestern flapper with too many failed dreams, a brother dead in the war (that'd be WWI, folks) and parents who can't deal with her spirited attempts at actually living. So they ship her off to New York to stay with her Uncle Will, curator of the Museum of The Creepy-Crawlies, and neighbor to Evie's BFF Mabel, Follies Girl Theta, and Theta's brother-from-another-mother Henry. There's also the study, but silent, Jericho, Uncle Will's assistant, the devilish Sam and MY FICTIONAL BOYFRIEND FOREVER, Memphis. MEMPHIS, I LOVE YOU.
But there are also some deep, dark forces at work. Can Evie's special skills help her Uncle Will solve the rash of violent murders taking over the city? And just what do a numbers-runner from Harlam, a Ziegfield dancer, a socialist, a street hustler and a gay pianist have in common? You can find out! When you read The Diviners!
Or also, you can watch this actually pretty freaking excellent book trailer! Just watching it gives me the shivers again!
Libba's just started her blog tour off and Forever Young Adult is her first stop! I couldn't be more pleased if I had a flask of hooch smuggled under my skirt! Much like a socialite with an Oijua Board, Libba's channeling the voices of her characters, so protagonist Evie, a flapper, diviner, and regular good-time gal has stopped by to answer a few of our questions. So, without further adieu, take it away, Evie!
1. Hey palski, what's your abso-tive-ly favorite place to get a little coffin varnish around New York? How about helping some of your fellow flappers hide their hooch from the cops? Got any suggestions on how to keep the Temperence Union off our trail?
EVIE: Jeepers, any place that’ll serve me, honey, whether it’s a speakeasy in a brownstone on the west side, Henry and Theta’s flat upstairs at the good old Bennington, a party full of bohemians in Greenwich Village (but if the divagets sore, leave at once before les objets start flying!) or a darling night club like the Hotsy Totsy up in Harlem. I find that an aspirin bottle half-filled with hooch fools the cops every time. And of course, no flapper worth her onions would be caught flat without a silver flask tucked into a garter. Roll down your stockings and the Blue Noses will be so distracted by your rouged knees they won’t even notice when you take out the flask and nip a bit of panther sweat. (That’s hooch, if you didn’t know.)
2. What's it like working in the Museum of the Creepy Crawlers? Got any good spooky stories you could share?
EVIE: And how! You simply wouldn’t believe the spooky knick-knacks Uncle Will keeps in that dusty old tomb—gris-gris bags, old bones, the diary of an actual witch! The museum was once the most darling mansion, built by the railroad tycoon, Cornelius T. Rathbone. His sister, Liberty Anne, was supposedly a Diviner. She met some mysterious man in the woods and the next thing you know, she’s lying in bed in a trance spouting prophecy and visions of the future as if it were the latest Valentino picture while her brother wrote it all down—a bunch of creepy-crawly stuff about a coming storm and a time when the Diviners would be needed to fight evil.
Here’s another story for you: One night, when Will dispatched me to the collections room to locate a Bible (don’t ask…), I found an old record on the Victrola—a man talking all about seeing spirits and knowing that there was evil in the world. I tell you, it gives a girl the heebie-jeebies. Unc’s got a stack of newspaper clippings filled with ghostly sightings and all manner of things that go bump in the night. It’s a living, I suppose. Honestly, if Unc would tear down those awful drapes in the museum and roll in a bar, that joint could be the berries!
Frankly, I’d rather kick up my heels at the Hotsy Totsy.
3. Your best friend Mabel has socialist parents and your older brother didn't come back from the War. You have any political leanings? Are all the adults in this country just looking to ruin it?
EVIE: Dear, dear Mabel. Such a bleeding heart, always fighting for the worker and organizing strikes and rolling her eyes at rich industrialist heroes like Jake Marlowe. Me? I don’t care much for politics. Everyone knows the older generation sold us a bill of goods about God and country during the war, and then those dear boys never came home, and the ones who did come home still have the war raging inside them. So, I say carpe diem, darlings. Let’s toast to today because who knows what’ll come tomorrow? I’m a thoroughly modern girl-ski; I don’t worry about a thing. I just keep my headache band on straight and look for the next party.
What’s that? Don’t be silly—I’m fine.
Of course, everything’s jake!
Sometimes I get something in my eye, that’s all.
Say, you wouldn’t happen to have a little hair of the dog for a girl, would you?
4. Marry, Shag, Kill: Sam, Jericho, Memphis
Marry: Memphis (If he weren’t already spoken for by my darling friend Theta)
Shag: Jericho (If my pal Mabel weren’t pos-i-tute-ly goofy for the Nietzsche-loving lug. Quelle tragique!)
Kill: Sam. But shag first.
Evie, I cannot fault your choices at all! I knew we were destined to be bosom friends! Let's go get us some coffin varnish!
And thanks, Libba, for kicking off your The Diviners blog tour here at FYA! And hey, what's that? You have a prize pack to offer? HOORAY! Yep, we're giving away: 1 Signed Copy of The Diviners, a Diviners necklace, a 1920s headband and some Bit o' Honeys (which really are the greatest candy ever).
In order to enter to win, leave a comment below telling us your favorite aspect of the 1920s (the fashion, the music, the Model Ts, whatever!). We'll pick a winner at random on THURSDAY of this week (9/20/2012).
And check out our fellow bloggers this week as more characters from The Diviners make their way across the internet. Tomorrow, street-hustling Sam is showing up at The Book Smugglers, and maybe we'll all learn a few tricks to pick some pockets!