4/20/2015- Alice Marvels- Interview
4/21/2015- Books, Bones & Buffy- Review
4/22/2015- A Glass Of Wine- Guest Post
4/23/2015- Jump Into Books- Review
4/24/2015- IceyBooks- Interview
4/27/2015- Fiction Freak- Review
4/28/2015- Nerdophiles- Guest Post
4/29/2015- The Starry-Eyed Revue- Review
4/30/2015- Seeing Double In Neverland- Interview
5/1/2015- Winterhaven Books- Review
About the Book
Author: Martha Brockenbrough
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora.
For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.
Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?
Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.
The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.
Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.
Q & A with Martha Brockenbrough
1. How did the concept of The Game of Love and Death come about?
Slowly! I had a vague idea of writing a book about love and death and WHAT IT ALL MEANS. Turns out those are rather large and fraught concepts. But I had a lot of things that inspired me: music and its power for expressing the heart’s truths; certain works of art that took my breath away when I was a teen and still do; a true story about two children who fell in love when they were seven and eight and stayed in love despite horrible things that happened. I also had this notion of a narrator, Love, who was a tad bitter and jaded. And then Death walked onto the scene and yanked the bitterness right out of Love’s hands, and this was really when the book came to life: when these two larger-than-life characters showed me what they really thought of humans. In many ways, Love and Death are reinventions of the Greek Gods I so enjoyed reading when I was younger. They’re like people, but they’re immortal. They’re powerful but flawed. Neither is all good or all evil.
As I considered these characters, I thought it would be fresher if Love was a man and Death was a woman. Likewise, Henry, my human protagonist, wants nothing more than to love and be loved, while Flora, his counterpart, for good reason is skeptical of the entanglement. In my experience, men value and desire love as much as women do, and I hope this book balances the narrative just a bit.
2. What is the most interesting interview you have every conducted?
I used to be a reporter, so I’ve done a lot of interesting interviews. Some were with interesting people, like Slash, the guitarist for Guns N Roses. Our interview took place in the morning and he was smoking, drinking, and chewing gum at the same time. We talked about, among other things, his favorite dinosaur (the diplodocus). I also interviewed the Jonas Brothers in their private jet, and while two out of three of them were very sweet and accommodating, the jet was my favorite part. One of my favorite interviews ever, though, was with Jennings Bryant, a college professor in Alabama. I can’t even remember what our interview was about, because we soon got to talking about life and stories, and he became someone I was glad to know. Years later, it turns out he was the favorite professor of one of my writing pals, Alan Silberberg. What started as a coincidence then made cosmic sense: our paths were meant to cross.
3. What is the best advice you have been given as a writer?
I’ve received so much good advice, but probably the bit I return to is to cultivate a habit of completion. Finish that draft. It might be terrible, but it’s a start. You can turn a crummy draft of a novel into something good, but a blank page will always ever only be that.
4. What success in your many successes is the one you are most proud of?
I can’t really take credit for my two daughters. The credit for who they are is all theirs. But there’s nothing in the world that fills me with more pride than watching them grow and become the people they’re meant to be. That I have managed to do this myself—become an author with many books on the shelves even while raising children—does fill me with pride. It’s no good to sacrifice your dreams for other people; that’s too much for anyone to ask. But to cheer each other along as we go? That’s pretty great, and what my kids and I do for each other.
5. What is the most important thing you hope readers take from reading THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH?
I hope they find their own meaning in the book. I had certain ideas as I wrote, but readers get to bring their own experiences and questions, and it’s one of the best things in the world when that dialogue between writer and reader builds something personal and enduring. This book means a lot to me; it’s in many ways my love letter to the world and the people I’ve had the privilege of knowing and observing. I hope readers take away a bit of that great affection and close the book feeling they’ve lived some extra lives in all their bittersweet beauty.
Martha Brockenbrough (rhymes with broken toe) is the author of two books for adults and five books for young readers.
She's the founder of National Grammar Day (every March 4), and she's written game questions for Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. The former editor of MSN.com, Martha has interviewed lots of celebrities, including the Jonas Brothers and Slash (his favorite dinosaur is the diplodocus). Her work has been published in a variety of places, including The New York Times. She also wrote an educational humor column for the online encyclopedia Encarta for nine years.
She lives in Seattle with her family. Her favorite kind of food is Indian, although Thai runs a close second. Besides writing, she likes board games, playing music with the family band, travel to places far and near, drinking lots of coffee, and working out really hard at the gym.
5 winners will receive a finished copy of THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH! US Only.