Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING by Jen Castleberry

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing

by Jen Castleberry
Publisher: The Parliament House
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Fifteen years have passed since a Fire Scale scorched Cayda’s village.  Fifteen years of beatings, of bare kitchen cupboards and sloppy swordplay.  Fifteen years of biting her lip for her father’s cane while her younger sisters did the same for the grimy patrons of the village brothels. Fifteen years of staring steadfastly after beauty in an increasingly ugly world.

Now, with hair shorn and breast bound, Cayda marches into the Summer Alps as Cody, a hopeful Champion seeking a dragon-slayer’s reward, with the full weight of her family’s survival on her shoulders.

But the road between poverty and prosperity is rife with beasts, betrayals, and baser temptations. Sensible Cayda soon discovers that she is not the only Champion with her eye on the prize, or the only one wearing a disguise.
With monsters, gods, and royalty hot on her heels, Cayda must ask herself if victory is worth sacrificing her identity for – or her life.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing pits girl against dragon in a stunning blend of Greek mythology and medieval lore. Readers will not quickly forget the diverse cast or the thrilling, sexy ride!

Today we’re welcoming Jen Castleberry, author of A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING, into the FFBC.  Welcome Jen, we are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

We're so happy to have Jen Castleberry in our tours and to talk to her about her new book:


Favorite Book?

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve read it six times. Give me any member of the Night Court (and a certain member of the Autumn/Spring Court), and I’ll marry them. Except maybe Amren. She scares me.

Favorite TV Show?

I’m a Netflix binger, so this changes pretty frequently. Right now I’m obsessed with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Favorite Movie?

The 2005 Pride and Prejudice, with Keira Knightly. Even though I own it, I watch it through to the end every time it’s on TV. I’ll never get tired of it. Best movie ever made (says the girl who always says she can’t wait to see such-and-such movie but never actually watches it). 

Your Favorite Song?

Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie. It’s been giving me shivers for ten+ years.

Favorite Food?


Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Ketterdam. The Night Court. Wolf Spring.

Name a recent book you’ve read that you would recommend to our YA fans.

Wildwood by Jadie Jones. Urban Fantasy. Lots of twists and turns. I just finished reading it for the second time. And I  recommend the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo every change I get. It’s a heist-YA Fantasy and it’s PERFECT.

What were your favorite books growing up?

Harry Potter. (Obvs. When the books first came out, I wrote a lot of Weasley-twins fan-fiction.) Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse (which I purchased at one of those school book fairs). I also had a bad habit of sneaking into the adult-romance section of the library and reading books that were way too old for me!

Favorite Quote?

You can’t edit a blank page. Best piece of writing advice I ever received. 

What are your fandoms?

Grishaverse, ACOTAR, Raven Cycle


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING?

A girl, forced to live as a boy, encounters a prince, a god, and a spiraling sociopath on her way to slay a dragon!

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

I wanted to write about sisterhood. I wanted to write about strength and self-sacrifice. About girls. Hayden, Emilia, and Cayda would do anything – even the most unimaginably terrible things – to help one another. To save one another. They have this pure, unflinching love that makes them brave and selfless and strong. I’m the middle sister of three, so I spent a lot of time thinking about my sisters. About the bond that we share. I drew inspiration from the emotional aspects of my own life to create that deep sense of duty which drove Cayda through the course of the entire book. 

Tell us your favorite quote from A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING.

She is wild, though she is plain. A wild and unremarkable thing.

If you could hang out with any character from your book, who would it be?  And what would you guys do?

I’d go out dancing with Fares! He’s the life of the party! So many of my closest friends are very Fares-like, snarky and flirty and wildly inappropriate. I felt like I was writing my favorite kind of friend when I wrote him. 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING– Which one would you pick? 

Pain by Imagine Dragons. I play a little movie trailer for AWAUT in my head every time this come on the radio.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING.)

#Dragons #DeathGod #WarriorGirl

Do you have favorite books/movies/tv shows that feature magic/dragons/mythology?

Magic - I’m obsessed with the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. The magical realism aspects are so clever and surprising, and the series itself is heart-wrenching and hugely entertaining.

Dragons - I have to say Beowulf, with is, quite literally, old school. I remember reading it a hundred years ago in AP Old English Lit. It was the first story that made me love dragons.

Mythology - Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis. It’s a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. 

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING (specific music, snacks…)? 

I have a playlist up on World of AWAUT with songs that remind me of certain characters or scenes!

What’s next for you? 

I’m currently working on a new YA Fantasy! (And I’m completely obsessed with it.) It’s a bit under-wraps, but you can catch sneak peeks from time to time on my Insta and Twitter!

Thank you so much for everything, Jen!

Thank you for having me! I always have a blast with you guys!

Jen Castleberry lives and writes in Virginia Beach.
Her background is in Animal Welfare.
All of her pets are named after superheroes.

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