Bethany Hagen was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up reading Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, and all things King Arthur, and went on to become a librarian. Landry Park is her debut novel.
Interview With Bethany
What are you currently reading?
I’m working on two things, actually. The first is Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson, which is so delicately haunting that I never want it to end, and the second is Space Chronicles, which is a collection of Neil Degrasse Tyson’s columns and essays about the space program. Since it’s NDGT, it’s witty and insightful and forward-thinking, and it’s perfect for the book I’m writing now, which is about space.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
When I’m trying to find words that don’t want to be found, I frequently stare into the middle distance in an extremely unnerving way–or so I’m told. This probably why no one ever wants to sit next to me at coffee shops.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
For me, plot is always the most difficult aspect of a story, and it usually takes me multiple drafts to really find the throughline for a story.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled for research?
Oh man, what weird things haven’t I Googled? Let’s see, off the top of my head: how fast does blood coagulate, can you break a rib by lacing a corset too tightly, will your eyeballs explode in the vacuum of space, what does paint look like on a dead body…you know, standard author stuff.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I used to be a lot more fluid with my writing, setting weekly or monthly goals, but over the last year I’ve settled into a routine of writing 2,000 words a day, five days a week. This is roughly six or seven hours of work, especially once I factor in things like answering email and playing on social media, and it also gives me a weekend, which I need for weeping into my whisky glass.
What are your must have writing accessories?
I prefer to have some sort of caffeine-delivery system at hand, and it depends on my mood whether that beverage is coffee, tea or Diet Dr. Pepper. I also splurged and bought myself one of those giant pairs of headphones, the Earmuffs of I Don’t Want Anyone to Talk to Me in Public.
What inspired you to write Landry Park?
A really, really boring job. Several years ago, I worked at a tiny local history museum, where my job was to give tours, and in between tours, to straighten up exhibit spaces. But since it was a small museum, I did a bit more exhibit-straightening that tour-giving, and around my 739th walk around the exhibit, I started fantasizing about the dresses and the garden parties from the Gilded Age and the Edwardian Era being transplanted into the 1950’s Cold War display. And those idle daydreams eventually evolved into the backbone of Landry Park.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
2 Fast, 2 Furious: The Bethany Hagen Story.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently writing a standalone science fiction story about teenagers building a space station. It’s a little bit solarpunk, a little bit spacepunk, with some zero G brawling and also there’s kissing, so I’m happy. It should be out in either late 2016 or early 2017.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading my books!
Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal
In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won’t allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty – her family and the estate she loves dearly – and desire.
Lisa’s Review: The world building in this book was awesome. I was able to visualize the scenes easily. The descriptions also portrayed the emotional response as well.
Madeline is a pretty cool character. I like that she is able to be herself and stand up for what she believes in or wants. David, on the other hand, I couldn’t figure him put for awhile. I felt like Madeline because I didn’t know what he wanted. When it all came together in the end I understood his reasoning for the way he behaved earlier. Jude though, I totally love his character. I hope we get to read more about him in the next book.
Overall, this book kept my attention and flowed well. I can’t wait to read the next book.
|Release Date: 8/11/15
The thrilling conclusion to Landry Park is full of love, betrayal, and murder–perfect for fans of Divergent, The Selection, and Pride and Prejudice
In Landry Park, Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, in Jubilee Manor, she struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs—Madeline’s old friends—are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die—and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.
This conclusion to Landry Park, which VOYA dubbed “Gone with the Wind meets The Hunger Games,” is a richly satisfying, addictive read.
-Paperback copy of Landry Park (open INT)
-ARC of Jubilee Manor (US only-donated by Bethany)
a Rafflecopter giveaway