FTC Disclosure: I received free print (Book 1) and digital (Book 2) copies of the Curiosity House books from the publisher, HarperCollins
Hey everybody! I hope you are all having a good reading week.
I am happy to share a blog tour post today for the second book in the Curiosity House series, The Screaming Statue, written by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver & the mysterious H.C. Chester. I have a Q&A with the authors and one of the characters, as well as a giveaway for you, so read on!
About Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head (Book 1)
The book is about, among other things: the strongest boy in the world, a talking cockatoo, a faulty mind reader, a beautiful bearded lady and a nervous magician, an old museum, and a shrunken head.
Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events.
When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.
This sensational new series—a 2016 Edgar nominee for Best Juvenile book—combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich knowledge of the notorious relics collector H. C. Chester.
About Curiosity House: The Screaming Statue (Book 2)
Edgar Award nominee for Best Juvenile Mystery
In this second book in the exceptional Curiosity House series by bestselling author Lauren Oliver and shadowy recluse H. C. Chester, four extraordinary children must avenge their friend’s death, try to save their home, and unravel the secrets of their past... before their past unravels them.
Pippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max are happy to be out of harm’s way now that the notorious villain Nicholas Rattigan is halfway across the country in Chicago. But unfortunately their home, Dumfreys’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders, is in danger of closing its doors forever.
But their troubles only get worse. The four friends are shocked when their beloved friend, famous sculptor Siegfried Eckleberger, is murdered. As they investigate, they find clues that his death may be tied to the murder of a rich and powerful New York heiress, as well as to their own pasts.
Book 3: Coming Soon!
Q&A with Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester
Read Now Sleep Later: How would you describe your Curiosity House writing approach--weird with a side of fun? sinister but sensitive? How does that approach contrast and coexist with the other creator's approach to the series?
Lauren Oliver: We have fun, for sure! And there is definitely a lot of weirdness. There has to be. The whole book series is in many ways a celebration of weirdness.
H.C. Chester: My approach is that I provide Ms. Lauren with access to my unique collection of rare artifacts, along with my encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, and then permit her to do all the work.
RNSL: You have quite a cavalcade of characters. How do you keep track of who everyone is?
LO: Oh, these characters are not exactly the shy-and-retiring types. It's less an issue of keeping track of them than in getting them to shut up when I want to take a nap.
HC: I let Ms. Oliver keep track of everyone as well as everything else that occurs in the book.
RNSL: The people and plot of the novels are spectacularly fantastic, but as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction. Are there any elements of the book drawn from people or things that existed/happened in real life?
HC: From what I have gathered through many years of research, there was an actual Dumfrey's Dime Museum and a quartet of extraordinary juvenile performers.
LO: Yes, absolutely! As Mr. Chester suggests, we've found references to a Dumfrey's Dime Museum in several sources, although none of them are absolutely creditable. However, dime museums most definitely existed, and were a huge component of the entertainment industry in the early 1900s. Dime museums boasted collections of zany, unique, and weird artifacts and also featured live performers, much like the ones in our book.
RNSL: Your house is burning down and you can only take one thing with you before the whole place goes up in flames. What one thing do you rescue from the conflagration?
LO: I'm counting ALL my animals as one animal. I'm assuming my fiancé can get out on his own. Other than that, my stack of writing notebooks.
RNSL: You are about to go on a book tour around the world and you need to bring an assistant. Which denizen of the museum do you take along as your traveling companion?
HC: TRUDY!!! I admit she is not technically a "Denizen of the Museum" but I cannot conceive of traveling without her.
LO: That is a fantastic question. I would say Sam, because he is a sweetheart and can carry all my luggage, no matter how many shoes I pack!
Q&A with Smalls, the Giant
Nearly 8 feet tall, Smalls has a near-constant bump on his head from grazing the ceiling. An aspiring poet, Smalls has published several of his own original works (including “Ode to a Toaster” and “The Elegy of an Unknown Dust Bunny”) in a literary magazine he publishes and circulates himself.
RNSL: If you could have written any other author's poem or book, what would it be and why? (I would love to have written The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, but she beat me to it.)
Smalls: Though I have deep admiration from the Greats, from the Bard to the esteemed if oft-overlooked Giuseppe de Peppecinno, famous for being the first to rhyme "spaghetti" with "come get me", I would never trade my voice for anyone else's, as a voice is to a poet what tomato sauce is to a vine. (As I point out in my poem "Ode to Tomato Sauce on a Vine.")
RNSL: What do you think is the most essential tool a poet needs to write well?
Smalls: A poet needs nothing but a pen, a place of solitude, and a velveteen thinking cap, preferably with a tassel. I like mine in hunter green.
RNSL: If tallness was a thing you could trade for any other characteristic, physical or personal, would you trade it away? If no, why not? If yes, what would you like to trade it for?
Smalls: No, no. I should never trade my stature, for it allows me to see clearly and penetratingly into the future--and at the movie theater even if I am in a back row.
RNSL: In your opinion, what is the best word in the English language?
Smalls: Taradiddle. I have been told again and again that I am full of it, and though admittedly I have not had time to research its precise meaning, assume it is a synonym of "wisdom," or perhaps "learnedness."
RNSL: If I gave you a tiny pouch in which you could carry any one item, large or small, and keep it with you at all times, what would you put in the pouch?
Smalls: I do carry a small pouch! Of course, though it is small to me, it might seem quite sizable to a non-giant, and it contains a bound copy of my Versos Completas, my latest collection of poems, just in case I should run into a literary-minded person, preferably one with access to a large printing press and a large quantity of cash.
The prize winner will receive:
- 1 copy of Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head (paperback)
- 1 copy of Curiosity House: The Screaming Statue (hardcover)
- 1 deck of Curiosity House cards featuring art from the series
Want to win? Sure, you do! Read the rules, then enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.
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