Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway: Masque of the Red Death

Welcome to my Birthday Bash!
This is day #4!

Today we are being taken over by author Bethany Griffin, who penned the amazing Masque of the Red Death. (P.S. She's also a fellow teacher!) 

Check out her post and then enter to win a SIGNED copy of her book! 

You can read my five star review here:

(Click picture to be taken to Goodreads)

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)
A Dark and Twisty Love Triangle
Bethany Griffin

Okay, so the suggested topic of this blog post was Will and Elliott—writing such unique, dark, twisted characters in YA.

First, let me say that I’m pleased and flattered that Goldilox found them unique, and dark, and twisted. I consider all of those adjectives complementary in the extreme. But with that being said, I agree with her, I love complex and morally ambiguous characters, and would love to think that I’ve succeeded in writing some!

So, let’s start with unique. And let’s define that as different from each other. I didn’t set out to write Will and Elliott as polar opposites, though I’ve seen them described that way. But they do have different backgrounds and different personalities. Now, as an amateur student of humans psychology, I was always slightly more nurture than nature (meaning that I thought environment and heredity were both important to how people develop, but I thought environment was more important, at least in bringing out certain traits. After having kids, my opinion has shifted slightly, but that doesn’t change the fact that as a writer you get to mold both…but the nurture part, the environment, is the more satisfying aspect for a story, even if you don’t reveal all the back story.

 So, Will is dark haired, and tattooed, and incredibly handsome. And Elliott is fair, and not tattooed, and Araby doesn’t realize that he IS good looking until quite late in the book.

As creatures of their environment, Elliott is an aristocrat, and is working to change the city. He’s arrogant, hot-headed in a calculating way, and very focused. He watched his father’s murder, and feels guilty that he couldn’t stop it, even though he was a child. Then, he was shaped by the cruelty of his father’s murderer. He tells Araby not to trust anyone, and he in turn is not trusting, as a boy, anyone he trusted, was killed.

Will has seen death and destruction. From the poorer part of town, he’s been caring for small children since he was a child himself. He does his job at the Debauchery Club efficiently, but he’s also selfish in his care for his siblings. While my rich characters get to pine away for the lives they would’ve lived if the plague hadn’t happened, Will has to keep going, he can’t succumb to depression or search for oblivion. He’s trying to put food on the table, trying to afford masks for the little ones.

Elliott’s goal, to take over and reform the city, if accomplished, would ultimately help more people, but it’s also an arrogant goal, focused on himself as the savior of humanity. Maybe, Araby could reform him, she’s already making him think of someone other than himself. Will, on the other hand, is nearly selfless. His goal is much smaller, to raise healthy children in a city filled with death and disease. But he’s spent his life focused on the comfort and happiness of other people.

I think I’ve covered a bit of the dark and twisted…in that the world of Masque IS dark and twisted. I’m fascinated by the effects of catastrophic events on people. A post-apocalyptic scenario can give rise to both heroes and villains who might have been normal people had their lives remained…normal. Elliott and Will have been shaped differently by the plague, by their backgrounds and how those backgrounds affected their adaptation to the plague, and by their interactions with other people. They will both do what they have to do to survive, and to reach their goals.

I love both Will and Elliott, and we will learn more about each of them in book 2.

Thank you to Bethany for being here with me today! 

Check out this unique dystopian for yourself:

And now for a chance to win! 
Bethany is kindly offering a signed copy of Masque of the Red Death. So even if you already own it you have an incentive to enter - hello - SIGNED! 

You must be 13 or older to enter and live in either the U.S. or Canada, since the author will be shipping this herself.

Enter on the Rafflecoptor form below!

Missed any of the other features this week for my Birthday Bash?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I haven't read the book yet, but want to badly! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  2. I haven't read the book either but from the post I would choose Will.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. I haven't read the book. But I would definitely go with Will. I just enjoy that name so much more and that is also the abbreviated version of my Dad's name. LOL

  4. I was rooting for Will - he seemed so down to earth and kind. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Will.... because he's the nicer guy!

  6. I haven't ever read this book yet, but I want to...thanks for the giveaway!!!

  7. I haven't ever read this book yet, but I want to...thanks for the giveaway!!!

  8. I don't know who to pick as I haven't read the book yet. I would certainly love to though.

  9. I haven't read this book yet, but it's in my TBR list. :)

  10. I was rooting for Will from the beginning, however at the end I was torn. :-) Can't wait for book 2!!

  11. I haven't read the book yet but based on Bethany's guest post, I'm going to go with Team Will for now. I love his selfless commitment to the kids.

  12. I haven't read this yet so I don't know...soon, very, very soon!

  13. Ugh.... Team Will. I read the book & know what happens, but you gotta love him!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. I am rooting for Team Will because someone who has seen so much bad stuff in the there life and continue to go on & help people is always good stuff! How could you not love that?!

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  15. Probably Will. He has tattoos for starters! And he seems like the one who's lived the harder life and endured more. But I'll have to read the book to make a better decision. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  16. I would have to choose Will! Sorry, Elliot. ;)
    I chose Will because I can relate more to his character and putting children as top priority!
    This sounds like a wonderful read! Thank you for the opportunity to read it.

  17. I'll go with Elliot...just because everybody is rooting for Will!!!

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  19. I haven't gotten the chance to read Masque of the Red Death but from the description above of Will and Elliot, Will seems to get my vote! :D

  20. You know... I'm thinking I'll be rooting for Will when I read it! He sounds like the type of guy I normally love in books... Thanks for the giveaway!


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