I am honored to part of a blog tour to promote Jillian Cantor's soon-to-be-released second novel, The Life of Glass, which is incredibly well written and so on and so forth in praise (read my review of the book here). Jillian was sweet enough to provide me and my blog with a unique blog post. I hope you enjoy!
Five Things About The Desert that Melissa and I Know (That You Might Not)
Unlike Melissa, in THE LIFE OF GLASS, I did not grow up in the Arizona desert. But I’ve spent most of my adult life here. I’d lived in Arizona for about eight years before I started writing the book, and by then, most of the landscape felt like something normal to me, something I’d always known, and so it was easy for me to incorporate it into the story. Over the past few weeks, it’s been interesting for me, reading some of the reviews of the book where people mention they’ve never heard of a wash or even mistake it for a canyon, because I’d forgotten that these are not normal, everyday things to everyone. So here are five things that Melissa and I know about the desert that you might not:
The Water: Before I moved here, I thought that it never rained in the desert. But actually, during the monsoon season in the summer, we get a lot of heavy rain and thunderstorms late in the day, usually enough for roads to flood and the washes to fill with water. You see the result of this in the last chapter of the book!
The Cold: Melissa complains about riding her bike to school in November when it’s cold, and yes, it does actually get cold enough to freeze/frost in the nights and early mornings in the winter. It’s not swimming pool weather all year round!
The Rodeo: At one point in the book Melissa’s sister Ashley mentions going to the Rodeo Parade with their father. Yes, in Tucson, there is a rodeo parade. And the schools even close down for the “rodeo holiday,” a Thursday & Friday near the end of February.
The Stars: There’s a scene in the book where Melissa remembers lying out in the back and looking at the stars with her father. In the desert, the sky is so clear and pitch black that the stars are nearly always visible and vibrant at night, much different from where I grew up on the east coast, where it was nearly always too cloudy or hazy to really truly see all the stars.
So there you have a little bit about the desert. I hope you’ll be able to see it the way I do after you’ve read the book. Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today, Steph!
Thank YOU, Jillian! You've made me want to jump on a plane right now to see this Arizona desert for myself. I love it, and I hope you guys did too! Don't be afraid to check out The Life of Glass (HarperTeen, Feb. 9, 2010) if you want to see how Melissa and the rest of the characters interact with the desert.
But before we go: a public service announcement! :)
Enter to win free copies of Jillian Cantor's books and cool prizes! One grand prize winner will receive two glass spirit stones (one for you, one for a friend) from Arizona, where THE LIFE OF GLASS is set, along with an autographed copy of each of Jillian's novels: THE LIFE OF GLASS and THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS. Two lucky runners-up will receive a signed copy of THE LIFE OF GLASS. To be eligible, send an email to email@example.com with the subject line "The Life of Glass Giveaway". All e-mail entries must be received by midnight (PST) on February 14, 2010. The winners will be selected at random on February 15, 2010. Be sure to include your name and e-mail address with your entry (If you're under age 13, give your parent's contact info). One entry per person. Jillian Cantor's complete blog tour schedule can be found at www.jilliancantor.com. Good luck!