Monday, June 27, 2011

Author Guest Post: Cayla Kluver (& A Giveaway)

When I was a kid, I had to choose between reading and writing.  I didn’t have time for both, with school and friends and life.  So I chose writing. 
I used to think I was a horrible excuse for an author, because authors are supposed to be bookworms and I wasn’t one growing up.  I was too busy creating my own places and people, putting my own words on paper.  Then I realized why writers and bookworms are so often the same people – we share an obsession with words.  And although as a kid I let slip one of the two best ways to explore language, the need to explore was still the most powerful influence in my life.  I may not have been a bookworm, but I was a word nerd. 
Of course, there were exceptions.  It’s not like I never read a book as a child.  There was Junie B. Jones when I was little, and Nancy Drew, and Captain Underpants.  Then I moved on to Harry Potter,Artemis FowlThe Outsiders, and then the classics, To Kill a MockingbirdLes MiserablesA Separate Peace.  Unlike my older sister though, I hadn’t mowed through all the classics by ninth grade, and I read hardly any contemporary authors at all. 
Now that I’m out of school and I have more control over my own time, I’ve discovered how much I really love reading.  Because I’m finally becoming the bookworm hidden away inside, I want to share with you some of my favorite books that I’ve read recently, and why they’re my favorites. 
The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory.  The Other Boleyn Girl was a fantastic book, but this is the one that made me cry.  Philippa Gregory’s depiction of Katharine of Aragon as an indomitable woman placed in an impossible position is beyond captivating – it made me examine the way I view myself.  Even with the most powerful people in England turned against her, Katharine did not break, she did not compromise, and she held to what she believed.  This book empowered me as a woman, and encouraged my love of historical fiction. 
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.  This YA novel is stark, honest, and emotional.  It tackles the difficulties of anorexia head-on, and I am forever grateful to Laurie Halse Anderson because her book enabled someone I care about very deeply to see that she was hurting herself.  This is a perfect example of a book that can shape and change lives.  Nobody understands the power of words like Halse Anderson. 
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.  This book didn’t absorb me because it was frightening.  Hauntings and the supernatural don’t really scare me (I’m the most annoying person ever to watch horror movies with).  I think the phrase “lyrical prose” is used far too lightly in general, but not in the case of Shirley Jackson.  The opening paragraph of this book is one I refer to regularly – it’s sheer brilliance, with a million and a half layers and meanings.  I cannot get enough of this woman’s genius. 
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.  If any of you are familiar with my blog, I’m always talking about RLS.  This was the first work of his I read, and since then I’ve been consistently impressed with his ability to say exactly what he means in English that’s proper, but not coddling.  He doesn’t make it easy, he makes it intellectual.  Robert Louis Stevenson has been a huge influence on me, and it was fascinating to finally read the story that started the Jekyll-Hyde “franchise”, if you will.  It’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s psychological – which is what I find magnetic in books – whatever that says about me. 
The Italian Renaissance by J. H. Plumb.  I picked this book up for research, and ended up reading it for fun.  When I was younger, I didn’t read a lot, but when I did, I always read fiction.  I guess I got enough non-fiction in school.  But this book reawakened an interest for me in non-fiction across the board.  Some of the best books I’ve read since have been non-fiction.  J. H. Plumb, however overused this phrase may be, actually brings the Italian Renaissance to life. 
What books have changed the way you look at reading and writing?  What books have changed the way you look at yourself?  I know I wouldn’t be the same without these five books. 
Giveaway Details:
I have 1 copy of Legacy up for grabs!
Open to residents of the U.S & Canada
To enter leave a comment with a way to contact you (Twitter, email addy, etc.)
Ends 7/4
& that’s not all!

Follow along on the LEGACY Blog Tour for a chance to win an iPod Nano! For every one, legitimate comment made on the tour posts you will receive an extra entry in the giveaway. The final giveaway form will be posted on the last stop of the tour. Good luck!


  1. This looks like such an interesting read! And I love the cover.

    arallison at gmail dot com

  2. I love the book Legacy. I can't wait until the second book is out.

  3. Ahh I loved Junie B. Jones when I was little! Can't wait for the's a bummer I have to wait another year, but it'll be worth it!

  4. I loved Wintergirls. The way Laurie Halse Anderson exposes this story is amazing!

    Awesome interview; it's always cool to see what authors are reading!

    Thanks for the giveaway,

    eliweibley AT gmail DOT com

  5. Thanks for the recommendations! I'm absolutely obsessed with reading, especially fantasy and sci fi and I'm probably the biggest Harry Potter nerd ever.
    Legacy is fantastic, thanks for writing!

  6. I love the cover and idea for the storyline of Legacy. Thanks for a chance to win!

  7. Hi!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Sounds like a great book to read. I've always loved reading but just starting writing myself. :O)

    estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

  9. The only one I've read is Wintergirls but I do want to read a Philippa Gregory book one of these days.


  10. Victoria ZumbrumJune 27, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

  11. Beautiful cover. I would really like to read this, please count me in.


  12. Christie, you are the giveaway queen!! Thanks for the contest!! This looks amazing!! Love those historicals :)

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  13. I want to read Legacy so bad! :) Great cover, great giveaway, great blog! <3

  14. Sounds good! Thanks for the giveaway!


  15. I most definitely haven't read any of those books.

    thebookcellar @

  16. This sounds really good! Thanks for the giveaway.

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

  17. I wouldn't have associated authors and bookworms together. I think the only requirement an author must have is an imagination. It was through your imagination that gave Legacy life.

    I can't say that any certain books have changed the way I look at reading and writing, or have changed the way I look at myself? I'm no writer, just a lover of fiction, and only within the last two+ years have I fell in love with reading. However, because of historical novels, I am more thankful for how far women have come in today's society and where I'm at.

    Email: joanna9273[at]gmail[dot]com

  18. Thx for the giveaway!

  19. Sounds amazing, thanks!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  20. Twilight definitely changed the way I looked at reading-- I didn't even LIKE to read until I read that book!


  21. I haven't read all the books you've listed so I will be looking for them
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  22. Thanks for the giveaway!
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  23. Thank you for the giveaway.

    headlessfowl at gmail dot com

  24. Thanks so much!


  25. I love RLS, too! He's a master storyteller. I would like to be entered for the giveaway please :) Thank you!

    imagesandwords at optonline dot net

  26. This sounds interesting! I would love to read what happens to Alera.

    wade2121 AT gmail DOT com

  27. I love to read this book is great. Love it and the insigh on the author is great.

    flaka.077 at gmail dot com

  28. It sounds soo good! thanks for the giveaway!

    twilightforever.edward at gmail dot com