Landry Park by Bethany Hagen Tour: Interview + Giveaway

January 27, 2014

Hello, people! Welcome to my stop on the Landry Park tour hosted by Merp Blog Tours! I've seen a ton of great reviews for Landry Park, so I'm really excited to be interviewing the author, Bethany Hagen, here on the blog. Scroll down to check out the review, and keep an eye out for an exciting giveaway too!

Title: Landry Park
Author: Bethany Hagen
Publication date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Dial
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Amazon Goodreads
Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal

In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.

Author Interview

1. I know this is an often asked question, but...where did you get the idea for Landry Park?

The kernel of the story started to form while I worked at a local history museum. It's a fairly small museum, and there was a lot of downtime in between tours. So, to fill the hours, I'd wander the exhibit, half-heartedly wiping down the Plex that covered the artifacts, or I'd read all the old books and academic papers on the sagging shelves by the curator's office, or I'd flip through the scans of old photos. I toggled between scrutinizing restrictive covenants, looking at wealthy heiresses in their best coming out dresses and all the fantastic paraphernalia that emerged from the Cold War era. And suddenly, I was writing a book about pretty dresses and radiation!

Landry Park has a 'future historical' atmosphere to it. What made you decide to blend the two time periods? I've always loved Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte and I've always been fascinated by science. Writing a story that played in both sandboxes felt natural to me!

2. Who was your favourite character to write? And who were your inspirations for him/her?

Beyond doubt, Cara Westoff is my favorite character to write. She's so self-assured, so brassy and bold, that I feel less like I'm writing her and more like she's writing herself.

3. You're a librarian! I'm so jealous! That's like, my dream job! What effect did being in such a literary atmosphere have on you? Did it make you look at your writing more critically?

Being a librarian is seriously the best job ever. Not only am I surrounded by books all day long, but I'm surrounded by other people who live, think and breathe books too. Of course, since I'm constantly consuming amazing literature, I have developed a very critical perspective about my own work. Writers are usually their own worst critics, and I think that's double so for the librarian-writers...

4. What scene did you have the most fun writing? And what is your favourite scene from the book?

I think I had the most fun writing Madeline's debut. The dress, the food, the dancing, the boys...but I think my favorite scene overall is probably the part where they find Cara Westoff attacked outside of a party. Whenever I revisit it, I can picture it all so clearly in my mind.

5. What was the most challenging part of getting yourself published?

Once I found the agent I knew I wanted, I sent her the book and she read it, and she liked parts of it, so she offered me a revise & resubmit, meaning I would need to heavily revise the book and then send it back to her. Those were a few months of uncertainty and angst--but it was that revised manuscript that led my agent to offer and then she sold it right away.

6. What are your favourite books? Did any of them inspire you when writing Landry Park?

Oh yes--definitely! Jane Austen's oeuvre played a huge role in inspiring the world of the gentry--the idea of a landed class, of the importance of inheritance, of the importance of making a good marriage. David has pieces of Sebastian Flyte from Brideshead Revisited and Lancelot from The Once and Future King in him, and quite a lot of Rhett Butler. Speaking of Rhett--Gone with the Wind was another huge influence. The idea of land, of subjugation, and how a life of beauty and ease was only made possible by the wrenching suffering of millions--it was a theme that was very much present while I was writing.

7. What advice do you have to give aspiring authors?

Keep writing. Write after rejection and write after success. Find the beauty and joy in it, but don't shy away from the pain either. Just keep writing.

8. What are you working on at the moment?

The sequel to Landry Park, which will be out in 2015, and ten thousand other half-started documents that take turns gathering dust on my Macbook (and in my brain.)

Okay, now for some fun random questions!

5 favourite TV shows? Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Community and The Daily Show/The Colbert Report (technically six, but I love them all too much to choose!)

5 favourite dystopian books of all time? Brave New World, Tomorrow, When the War Began, The Road, The Handmaid's Tale, The Children of Men.

Dark, milk or white chocolate? Ooh, dark. Definitely dark.

When's your favourite time of the day to write?

I feel more inspired at night, but I'm bucketloads more productive during the I guess the daytime? Anytime that has coffee, really.

At the end of the day... I'm sipping a scotch, reading a book by my favorite window.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Bethany!

About The Author

Librarian by day, Bethany Hagen is the author of the forthcoming LANDRY PARK, set to be released from Dial February 4th, 2014. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and two children.


The winner gets a finished copy of Landry Park by Bethany Hagen, along with bookmarks and stickers! Yay!

Enter below, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

Follow the rest of the tour here: