SHADOW AND BONE Author Leigh Bardugo Praises Secondary Characters in LEGEND OF KORRA

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Considering Leigh Bardugo‘s Tumblr posts, it’s no surprise that she would have something to say about Legend of Korra.  In this one, she talks about the power of the secondary characters in the series, and I have to admit, they are quite impressive.

leigh-bardugoConsider Asami: She first appeared as a love interest for Mako and could have been swept off screen after her father was bested. Instead, she’s back in Book 2 with her own goals and challenges. Bolin entered the narrative as a kind of jester, but has taken on the roll of the wise fool. Tenzin is a classic mentor character—patient, tenacious, wise. But through his flashes of frustration and temper, his dry humor, and his complicated relationship with the spectacularly badass Lin Beifong, the writers keep him human, fallible, and truly fun to watch. Even his children, who usually appear briefly and for comic relief, have distinct personalities. (I’m not going to touch on Naga and Pabu here because cuteness unfairly tips the scales.)

Book 1 of The Legend of Korra was packed with characters who had fabulous backstories (like Amon and Tarrlock) and those who simply hinted at fabulous backstories (like Tahno and his Wolfbat entourage). I would gladly watch a Tahno spin-off. In fact, I think Tahno’s hair may require its own show, too.

Read the rest of her assessment of secondary characters on Hypable.

Tumblr Fan Art Contest for SHADOW AND BONE Author Leigh Bardugo’s Signing

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(Alina by mseregon, Legend by Marie Lu, Korra by Erica, The Walking Dead by Brian Robot Jameson

As we stated in a previous post, Leigh Bardugo will be at the Barnes & Noble book store at the Grove in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 26th, with Legend author Marie Lu, Avatar and Legend of Korra creator Mike DiMartino, and The Walking Dead Co-EP Seth Hoffman.  If you’re attending (which I hope to try myself) and you like drawing, then you might be interested in this contest by New Leaf Literary:

Hello Fellow Tumblrites!  We here at New Leaf had an AWESOME idea that spawned from an AWESOME event that is happening next week (I seriously can’t wait—the fangirl in me is wigging out!).  You see, creative geniuses Michael DiMartino, Marie Lu, Seth Hoffman and Leigh Bardugo are getting together on a panel to discuss the incredibly rich worlds that they have worked on…(you might recognize some of these)
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….and how their work and/or creative processes have evolved in the age of social media—where fans have direct access to the artists they admire and have the resources to create fantastic art and stories inspired by others.  (Which is, in my opinion, freaking awesome.) So in turn, we had an idea that involves the amazing and talented fans out there: a tumblr fanart contest!
Using the hashtag #PowerofFandom we invite you to create a piece of fanart that encompasses something from each of the panelists’ work.  Be creative!  Make it fun!  Anyone can enter!

How cool is that?!  Of course, this type of crossover may need some out-there creativity, as you it’s not generally known that characters from Avatar or Legend of Korra frequent the lots of The Walking Dead.  However, artists tend to have a very creative mind anyway.

So, get at it, and post it on Tumblr!  They might get it signed for you and even shower you with other gifts as well.  Who knows when it comes to these authors.

For all the details about the contest, go here.

Leigh Bardugo’s SIEGE AND STORM Blog Tour Stop #7

On Leigh Bardugo‘s seventh stop in her blog tour, Leigh gives us more insight on Alina, the 2 previously known male characters and 1 new male character in Siege and Storm, as well as some information on Ravkan wedding traditions (what?!):

Jen: I love that the books explore the issue of women and power. In Shadow and Bone, Alina remembers suppressing her Grisha abilities as a child. Using her powers brings Alina a sense of joy and even pride, but also a great deal of ambivalence, guilt and self-doubt.  Can you talk a little about this?

Leigh: One of the questions at the heart of Shadow and Bone is what we give up, what we’re willing to sacrifice to belong to someone or something. I think we often make those concessions—women in particular—without even realizing it, so I wanted to explore that. But I also think Alina’s struggle with power is as much about class as it is about gender. At the beginning of the series, she’s a girl without status or prospects or any kind of real say in her life. So while using her power is a joyful thing, the repercussions of actually wielding influence are much harder for her to contend with.

Jen: Dealing with those repercussions is certainly a huge part of Alina’s story in Siege and Storm.Transformation is another theme in your books. Besides being a writer, you’ve worked as a “glamour and ghouls” make-up artist. Do life and art intersect in this area for you?

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(source: Leigh Bardugo)

Leigh: I worked primarily in beauty as opposed to effects, so most of the time, my job was to make someone look “natural” (now there’s an illusion) or perfect a smoky eye. But my favorite shoots were the ones that combined the beautiful and the bizarre, where I got to bring a little bit of fantasy to life. With both makeup and writing, the goal is to hide the craft, so that the viewer or the reader never has cause to question the illusion. Hopefully, they just get to experience something magical.

Jen: I would definitely call your books magical! And yet, Alina also feels like a real girl. She can be prickly and sarcastic — and funny!  In an interview last year with author Claire Legrand, you described Alina as someone who “struggles to be strong.” Would you still describe her that way in Siege and Storm?

Leigh: I think that may depend on your definition of strength. Alina is far more powerful, more confident, and simply more dangerous in Siege and Storm. Now she has to struggle to maintain her humanity. Being merciful, kind, and just, and balancing those traits with the authority to rule requires a different kind of strength.

Jen: You’ve also written a trio of swoonworthy yet complicated male characters: Mal, the hunky guy next door with a chip on his shoulder, the Darkling – the tortured bad boy – and then, in Siege and Storm, the swashbuckling, wisecracking Sturmhond, who is creating quite a buzz around the blogosphere. They’ve inspired fan art and fanfic. Are you amazed by how invested people have become in your characters?

Leigh: It’s the craziest, most wonderful thing. I am so blown away by the things that people create, by their talent, by the fact that they care enough about the characters and the story to find all of these wonderful ways to bring them to life. I just don’t think there’s any higher compliment. But one of the reasons I like tumblr so much is that we’re all fans of something. I love finding out that I share fandoms with my readers, because then we get to geek out over Legend of Korra or The Mortal Instruments or Game of Thrones together.

Jen: I love your Game of Thrones posts! I can tell that you’re an avid fantasy fan, but I also think about history and historical figures when reading your books. After finishing Siege and Storm, I began to wonder if Alina might surprise us all and stay single, like Queen Elizabeth I. Then last month I saw an intriguing little tidbit that you posted on tumblr:

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Is this wedding you speak of a love match? A marriage of convenience?  Is it reminiscent of the plots of any of these Hollywood wedding movies: The Runaway Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding or What Happens In Vegas?

Leigh: Ha! Well, I didn’t say it would be Alina’s wedding, did I? Elizabeth is an interesting parallel.

Jen: Well, no, you didn’t say that.  But… hmmm… I’m going to have to think more about this.

(via seventh blog tour stop: YARomantics.  Enter to win a paperback copy of Shadow and Bone and a Hardcover copy of the upcoming Siege and Storm!)