Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Interview and Review: Cyn Balog

Hey everyone! Please join me in welcoming Cyn Balog, author of Fairy Tale and Sleepless. You can find my review of Fairy Tale below. Currently living in Pennsylvania but a Jersey girl at heart, Cyn Balog spends her time either writing or running - she also writes for Runner's World, Running Times, and Bicycling magazines. She wrote her first young adult novel when she was 15.

1. I finally have an opportunity to ask a Young Adult author a question that has been burning in my brain! When writing Fairy Tale, why did you choose to have your characters so young? If they were to have such strong feelings for each other, why not make them older? Is it because of the age group you write your books for?
I've always written stories from the viewpoint of 15 and 16 year olds. I think it's the perfect time for first love, which is also the most intense time of a person's life. By the time kids go to college nowadays, a lot of them are jaded! But my book is for ages 12 and up, and kids typically read about people who are a few years older than they are.

2. You decided to have Morgan be the narrator rather than Cam, the actual fairy. Why not follow Cam so we could see all the cool fairy stuff he was learning?
I'd read a lot of books from the viewpoint of the fairy, and I didn't want to go there, really. The book wasn't about what Cam was learning, and it wasn't about him becoming a fairy. It was really about intense first love. About how even relationships that seem so perfect might not always end up lasting, and yet that's okay. Because even though we may not end up with a person we love so dearly, that relationship teaches us things that we need to know to make our next relationship work.

3. I read an interview of another author once. She explained that when it came to naming her characters, they kind of named themselves and changing the names, changed the character. What's your process? How does it work for you?
I sometimes pull names out of thin air, or sometimes I used If I have a character with a certain characteristic I will type that in for the "meaning" and then pick a name that goes along with it. I already know who my characters are before naming them, so I think for me, the name does not dictate the character... the character has always dictated what name I'll give them.

4. Who would you pick to play Pip in the hypothetical Fairy Tale movie?
I have no idea! I totally don't follow teen actors because I doubt my books will ever be made into movies. Seriously, the only teen actors I know are now in their 20's.

5. What is one book you recommend to everyone?
WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead. Her mind must have been spinning when she wrote it because it is brilliantly plotted, with such a compelling mystery, and all the loose ends are tied up so neatly.

6. Any last words?
Just wanted to thank you for the interview! And all my readers for taking the time to buy and read my books. It means so much to me!

Thanks for stopping by Cyn! I can't wait to read Sleepless!

Here's my review for her debuting novel:

Written by: Cyn Balog
Publication dates: June 23, 2009
Released in Hardcover and Paperback

5 stars

How I Came to Read This: First I read about it online. It sounded interesting but still I sat on it a while. Then I read about the sequel, which sounds really good, and decided that this was a series I wanted to get into.

Synopsis: Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne are a match made in heaven. They've been best friends since birth, they tell each other everything, and oh yeah - they're totally hot for each other.

But a week before their joint sweet sixteen bash, everything changes. Cam's awkward cousin Pip comes to stay, and Cam starts acting distant. Morgan is stunned when her formerly perfect boyfriends seems to be drifting away.

When Morgan demands answers, she's shocked to discover the reason for Cam's distance. It isn't another girl - it's another world. Pip claims that Cam is a fairy. No, seriously. A fairy. And now his people want Cam to return to their world and take his rightful place as Fairy King.

Determined to keep Cam with her, Morgan plots to fool the fairies. But as Cam continues to change, she has to decide once and for all if he really is her destiny, and if their "perfect" love can weather an uncertain future.

Witty, original, and unexpectedly touching, Fairy Tale is a remarkable debut by Cyn Balog that will captivate fans of Twilight and Wicked Lovely.

My Review: Within the first 5 pages, I said to myself, "Aw man, this is gonna be good!"

Morgan: I love the confidence she has. It's obvious in the way she peaks and carries herself; even if it isn't obvious to her. She's got this power within her and it makes her feel older to the reader. You'd think with Morgan being psychic and all, that she wouldn't be so skeptical when something clearly otherworldly happens to Cam. She should have been more open-minded and sensitive to his situation. But she's a good person and she loves Cam completely.

It was strange at first, that the main character wasn't the mystical creature. I kept wishing we could know what Cam was up to - while learning the "fairy ways"!

Cam was pretty accepting about the whole being a fairy thing. I kept waiting for the jock to come out of him and start freaking out about being a boy and and fairy! I can't imagine that sitting too well with any of the guys I know! But not Cam. He comes off as more a controlled soul. And maybe a part of him always felt different on the inside and when he found out that he actually was different, he embraced it.

Now Pip...There was something funny about Pip from the moment we met him. I just couldn't put my finger on it. It wasn't just him showing up at school out of the clear blue sky with a fairy in his lunch bag, it was almost like he was too innocent. People like that are usually guilty about something. And then when Pip started to gain what Cam was losing, I just knew Pip wasn't telling us the whole story!

Who Should Read This: This book was very touching and I can't imagine the feelings Morgan must've had while trying to fight to save her soul mate. Everything that happened was just so unbelievable that there is no doubt you'll be craving more!

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