Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour – Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci

March 15, 2015 Blog Tour, Giveaways, Interview, Thuy, Young Adult 0

Hi, everyone! I am very excited to be a part of the Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour today. If you don’t know, the Ontario Teen Book Fest is a really fun event that is taking place on March 21, 2015. I went last year and had a really great time mingling with readers and attending some awesome author panels. Check out all of the details below and then check out my author spotlight on Cecil Castellucci, author of Odd Duck, Tin Star, Stone in the Sky and a lot more!


When: March 21st, 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Colony High School
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761

This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free! Also, keep scrolling to find a giveaway held by us bloggers!

You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.

Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Once Upon a Time Bookstore :) OUaT is an amazing bookstore and we are so excited that they will be providing books for the event.

Official Blog Tour Schedule

February 28th: Spotlight on Kasie West — Adventures of a Book Junkie

March 1st: Spotlight on Melissa Landers — What A Nerd Girl Says

March 2nd: Spotlight on Anna Carey — The Reader’s Antidote

March 3rd: Spotlight on Catheine Linka – Read Now Sleep Later

March 4th: Spotlight on Debra Driza — Read Now Sleep Later

March 5th: Spotlight on Katie Finn — Fearless Kurt Reads YA

March 6th: Spotlight on Claudia Gray — A Bookish Escape

March 7th: Spotlight on Shannon Messenger — People Like Books

March 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller — The Thousand Lives

March 9th: Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross — Kid Lit Frenzy

March 10th: Spotlight on Brad Gottfred — Recently Acquired Obsessions

March 11th: Spotlight on Sherri Smith — Movies, Shows and Books

March 12th: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer — What A Nerd Girl Says

March 13th: Spotlight on Jessica Khoury — The Consummate Reader

March 14th: Spotlight on Maurene Goo — The Windy Pages

March 15th: Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci — Nite Lite Book Reviews

March 16th: Spotlight on Jessica Brody — The Romance Bookie

March 17th: Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil — Movies, Shows and Books

March 18th: Spotlight on Aaron Hartzler — Fangirl Feeels

March 19th: Spotlight on Michelle Levy — The Consummate Reader


Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci


I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Cecil Castellucci, a local writer that I’ve long been a fan of. Cecil writers in so many genres and mediums and is a fantastic public speaker. Her latest novel, Stone in the Sky, was released on Feb 24 and is the follow up to Tin Star. Big thanks to Cecil for coming on to the blog today.

NL: Hi, Cecil! Welcome to Nite Lite! We are really excited to have you on this week with an interview.

You’ve written in many different mediums and genres over the years – including sci-fi, YA, picture books, operas, and comics and graphic novels (I am sure I am missing a few). I saw a panel with you last year where you said (and pardon me if I paraphrase this incorrectly) that you considered each medium a tool in your storytelling arsenal and that the story would dictate what medium you used to tell it. This is a really interesting idea that makes a lot of sense. When you start a story, do you already know what medium you are going to write it in or does that come about later in the process? Have you ever started a story in one medium and then decided later on that it would be better suited to another?

CC: That is right. I do feel like that. I think the answer is mostly yes, because it’s like the story tells me what it wants to be. I wouldn’t say that I started in one medium and finished in another, but I would say that some stories want to be more than just what they start off as. For example, with Tin Star I made an RPG game and also wrote a short story. I also think that there are some stories that I tell one way but someone else might want to tell another way. I’m good with that. Stories are flexible.

OddDuck-CecilCastellucciNL: Do you have a preferred medium for storytelling or is it really all dependent on what story you are telling? What story of yours was the most fun to write and/or what was the most difficult and why?

CC: They are all so different and lend themselves to their medium. I think it’s fun to write comics, or opera or to be in a band because it is collaborative. It’s nice to have other people who care as much as you do about the story. I think Odd Duck was super fun to write because working with Sara Varon was great fun. The most difficult I think are my operas because it’s hard to figure out and also they are in French, which I speak fluently, but is harder to write.

NL: Is there a medium that you want to write in that you just haven’t found the right story for yet?

CC: I’d really like to write a play. I mean I have kind of. I transferred one of my short stories into a play. But I’d really like to write something that was specifically for the theater.

NL: You are very involved in the local southern California literary community and are a literacy advocate. You are often the host of the LA Author Teen Reading Series at LAPL, a panel discussion between a revolving roster of YA authors that takes place once a month at a local library branch. How did you get involved in this program and what do you hope to accomplish with it?

CC: I was inspired by David Levithan who does the NY Teen Author Reading Series. I felt that we needed one on the west coast and so I approached Mary McCoy at TeenScape at Central Library. She’s really my coconspirator. And she’s just published her first YA novel. A noir called Dead To Me.

NL: Do you have any tips or suggestions for those who might want to help promote literacy in their area but don’t know where to start?StoneInTheSky-CecilCastellucci

CC: I think you just have to approach your libraries and your bookstores and schools and see what good stuff you can cook up with them. I would also say start small and build.

NL: Congratulations on the release of your follow up to Tin Star, Stone in the Sky, which was just released! Can you give us the quick, Hollywood pitch about what we can expect from Stone in the Sky?

CC: The Tin Star series is about a girl named Tula Bane who is a human colonist that is abandoned and left for dead on an alien space station at the brink of a galactic war. She has to learn to survive as the only human and wants to seek revenge on the man who left her there, the nefarious Brother Blue. When three humans arrive, everything changes, and she has to make some hard choices about what it means to be human.

NL: The main character in the Tin Star series is named Tula, which I think is a fabulous name. How did you decide on that name? What is your process in picking names for your characters?

CC: At first it was Noessa. But I thought that sounded too much like Tessa who was the main character of my hybrid novel The Year of the Beasts. So I started thinking of other names. I remembered a friend from elementary school whose name was Tulia and I loved it. So I just tweaked it a bit, and voila!

NL: Finally, can you tell us what we can expect next from you?

CC: I’ve been working on a graphic novel with artist Joe Infurnari called Pearl in the Rough. It should be out in October ’16.

Quick Fire Questions:

YearOfTheBeasts-CecilCastellucciNL: Favorite beverage while writing?

CC: Coffee or bubbly water.

NL: Book you’ve read the most times?

CC: Persuasion by Jane Austen

NL: Vampires or werewolves?

CC: Neither.

NL: Favorite guilty pleasure movie?

CC: There are no guilty pleasures! All movies are fun! But I just watched Leap Year and that’s a pretty terrible thing to admit.

NL: Cake or pie and what kind?

CC: Cookie.

NL: Thank you, Cecil! Look forward to seeing you later this month at the OC Book Fest.

Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star and Odd Duck. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, and various anthologies including, Teeth, After and Interfictions 2. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus and a two time Macdowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.

Find Cecil on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads




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Thanks also to Sara at What a Nerd Girl Says for organizing this blog tour and we hope to see you all at the OC Book Fest!