Rachel Grinti, Author of CLAWS, Talks Tamora Pierce

23 Apr

Hey there everyone! 

I took a little hiatus last week to rethink the blog schedule. In honor of MG Monday (a concept I love!) I’ve decided to switch my interviews and guest posts with great debut writers to Mondays instead of Tuesdays. Work for you? Great! 

This week I’m happy to host Rachel Grinti, author of CLAWS. Here’s a little more about her debut: 

Emma’s sister is missing. Her parents have spent all their savings on the search. And now the family has no choice but to live in a ramshackle trailer park on the edge of the forest, next door to down-and-out harpies, hags, and trolls. Emma wonders if she’ll ever see Helena, and if she’ll ever feel happy, again.

Then she makes a friend.

A smooth-talking, dirty-furred cat named Jack. He’s got a razor-sharp plan to rescue Emma’s sister. He just wants one small favor in return…

CLAWS comes out September 1st, 2012. Read on to hear about Rachel’s favorite female characters: 

I sat down to think about my favorite heroine in literature… and I got stuck. Too many awesome girls come to mind, and there’s no way I can choose just one! There are a few heroines who stand out because of the impact they had on me when I was younger. I loved reading about awesome, adventurous heroines. Characters who did things I couldn’t — and by that, I don’t just mean saving the world. I was a pretty shy kid, and I retreated into fantasy worlds I could imagine myself being part of.

There was Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle, Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins, Julie from Julie of the Wolves.

And there was Alanna, the lady knight of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. When I was twelve, I came across In the Hand of the Goddess at the local library. It was book 2 in a series I’d never read, and the cover was faded and dingy, but it came home with me anyway. I went back for the rest of the books, and I was hooked. Alanna was a character my own age with magic and knights and castles and awesome things like that. She was a girl who set goals and succeeded when the world told her she couldn’t. And she also dealt with getting her first period and stumbling through relationships. She was heroic, but she also felt real, so that made her awesome.

The first random gift I ever gave my husband when we started dating was a copy of Alanna: The First Adventure after I found out he’d never read it. I think the influence on our characters is something harder to define. We wanted to write strong girls that kids can relate to. They struggle with the same things, even when they live in completely different worlds.

When Mike and I wrote CLAWS, we knew it was going to be about a strong girl fighting to put her family back together again. When she realizes her parents can’t solve their problems, she takes it upon herself. She gets some pretty powerful magic powers, but magic alone can’t solve everything — and sometimes it can make things worse. Emma’s real strength is in her ability to stay true to herself, even when she’s faced with easier options.

…I also just realized both Emma and Alanna have talking cats.

Learn more about Rachel, and CLAWS, here. 


One Response to “Rachel Grinti, Author of CLAWS, Talks Tamora Pierce”


  1. Middle Grade Monday: Rachel Grinti and CLAWS « Writing Triggers - April 23, 2012

    […] asked Rachel to write about her favorite heroines in children’s literature. Click here to read more about what she had to say… Show me some love:TwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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