Hi! Today we’re celebrating the release of ABOVE with Leah Bobet.
The synopsis: Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above–like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.
But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe’s history and the shadows’ attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home–not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.
“Above pulls off that rare trick of being convincing and utterly magical at the same time.”
– Emma Donoghue, NYT bestselling author of ROOM
I haven’t had a chance to read ABOVE yet. Doesn’t it sound marvelous, though? And the cover is gorgeous! Now, for our interview with Leah:
1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Matthew is a young, stubborn, conflicted storyteller.
2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.
ABOVE is an odd, unclassifiable little love story. (note from Jess: I love this!)
3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.
I am a curious, passionate, pragmatic maker of things.
4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?
Oh, man: that’s a hard one. Greece – specifically Crete – for all the amazingly ancient history and the huge Mediterranean skies; Russia, because there’s just so much of it, and some of my family came from there, and for the (highly romanticized, yes) image of Siberia and trains in the snow; and Peru, mostly because I want to learn about Incan terraced agriculture. Yes, that’s really dorky. It is also awesome. (note from Jess: I want to go to Greece SO MUCH.)
5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?
Canning and preserving. My roommate and I routinely pickle/ferment/dehydrate things, but I’ve held off on actually canning fruit and vegetables for the winter because I don’t know enough, and don’t really want to give us both tasty, tasty botulism.
An introductory urban planning course. I read a lot about what people write about planning decisions, but sometimes you need the basics.
Cartooning. There are so many silly, ridiculous things that go on in my head that I could inflict on the rest of you if only I could draw worth a damn.
(So…maybe you all don’t want me taking that last class, come to think of it.)
6. If you could have 3 alternate careers, what would they be?
Urban planner! I really want to be an urban planner, specifically where it comes to poverty issues and food policy and the like. I might try sometime very soon, in fact. Barring that, I would happily be a musician, if I was good enough at it to be a musician (I’m not). Or a jack-of-all-trades activist, which I may well be on the road to being one of these weeks.
7. What are 3 of your favorite flowers?
Blue roses – I know they’re artificially made, but it’s my favourite colour; cherry blossoms, just for the amazing smell; and those little purple European periwinkles that you find all over everyone’s lawns in Toronto. They’re a sign, around here, that spring’s well on its way.
8. What are 3 of your favorite foods?
Oh, that’s a hard question too: I don’t really usually do the concept of favourites so well. I like all the things! Why don’t I get to like all the things?
Three things I will stop for every time, or order every time if they’re on a menu, though: duck, in any format; crème brulee (had an amazing lavender honey one this past weekend); and fresh-picked raspberries.
9. What are 3 of your favorite books?
(But I like all the books!)
Three of the ones I read young enough that they’re still perfect to me, and always will be: Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia; Lloyd Alexander’s Taran Wanderer, and the bar none winner, Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. Which is the most important book in my world.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Leah! You are fascinating. Happy book birthday!