Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Interview with Lexa Hillyer for Frozen Beauty

Frozen Beauty

by Lexa Hillyer
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 17th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
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Everyone in Devil’s Lake knows the three golden Malloy sisters—but one of them is keeping a secret that will turn their little world inside out….

No one knows exactly what happened to Kit in the woods that night—all they have are a constellation of facts: icy blue lips and fingers cold to the touch, a lacy bra, an abandoned pick-up truck with keys still in the ignition. Still, Tessa, even in her fog of grief, is certain that her sister’s killer wasn’t Boyd, the boy next door whom they’ve all loved in their own way. There are too many details that don’t add up, too many secrets still tucked away.

But no matter how fiercely she searches for answers, at the core of that complicated night is a truth that’s heartbreakingly simple.

Told in lush, haunting prose, Frozen Beauty is a story of the intoxicating power of first love, the deep bonds of sisterhood, and a shocking death that will forever change the living.

Can you briefly describe FROZEN BEAUTY and its characters?

When Tessa and Lilly’s older sister, Kit, is found frozen to death out by the woods, in the back of the boy-next-door’s truck, evidence of foul play leads to a murder case, while the two younger sister are left to pick up the pieces, and unpack the night that led to Kit’s death. The story is told in Before and Now sections, with the Before sections containing excerpts from Lilly’s diaries, and the Now told by Tessa. There are also poems by Kit sprinkled throughout.

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

I loved writing all three sisters; this answer may be a cheat but I loved writing the dynamic between the three of them the best. That said, I did have a lot of fun with Lilly’s diary entries, and Kit’s poems.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere? 

It started with an image –of a girl’s body found frozen in the woods—and a feeling. I started doing research on hypothermia, and on other suspicious deaths, and at the same time, I realized I knew I wanted to tell a sister story. All the pieces slowly began to constellate around that. Using the Before and Now format helped me bring more levity into the book – I wanted to start with Kit’s death, but I also wanted to be able to go back and see all three sisters on the page together, see what their life was like before it all fell apart, build those bonds, and, of course, sprinkle hints and clues for the later mystery.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

The Leaving Song

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

Ooh, I don’t know. Saoirse Ronan is too old now to play Tessa, right? 

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

Window seat anywhere with a view of dark woods, hot cocoa in hands

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish FROZEN BEAUTY?

Feel free to check out my other books – Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever! I also have a poetry collection called Acquainted with the Cold. If you’re looking for something else, I suggest The Deep by Alma Katsu, Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw, I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Rishi, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg, and… I could go on and on and on.

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

The middle.

What’s next for you?

We’ll see! There will be more books, maybe by me, definitely by other people (I also run the book side of Glasstown Entertainment!)

Lexa Hillyer is the Founder and President of Publishing at Glasstown Entertainment, an all-womxn creative development and production company located in New York and Los Angeles. She is also the author of Frozen Beauty, Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever, all young adult novels published by HarperCollins, as well as the poetry collection Acquainted with the Cold from Bona Fide Books. Acquainted with the Cold was the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry and received the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in a variety of journals and collections including Best New Poets 2012, and she has received several honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both HarperCollins and Penguin, before founding Glasstown Entertainment along with New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter and their very skinny orange tree.