April 2019 Curiositales Magazine with Tricia Levenseller and Scott Reintgen

Page 1


Art © 2019 by Getty Images/Sunny

O R LO S E A N D D I E .


FA S T - PA C E D D E E P S PA C E A D V E N T U R E . ” —VICTORIA SCHWAB, #1 New Yor k Ti mes bestselli ng aut hor


A FO R A M A Z I N G . ”

—JAY KRISTOFF, New Yor k Ti mes bestselli ng aut hor






—MARIE LU, #1 New Yor k Ti mes bestselli ng aut hor







@ bibliophilogy





Interview with Tricia Levenseller of Warrior of the Wild

Recipes from Warrior of the Wild and Nyxia

Interview with Scott Reintgen of the Nyxia Triad





TRIGGER WARNINGS IN YA LIT To be or not to be?







Check out these three amazing Bookstagram creators

Holly Pezant shows off her amazing cosplays favorite

CONTENTS 11 Editor’s Letter

A note from the editor.

13 Contributors 14 16 24 28 30

Learn more about this month’s writers, photographers, and crafters. Giving Back Learn more about this month’s charity. Genre Bending and Blending Tricia Levenseller of Warrior of the Wild Tricia Levenseller | Share Your Shelf Tricia shares her favorite goodies. Seeking Contributors Like what you’re reading? Join our team! Fiction Food Recipes inspired by Warrior of the Wild and Nyxia.

36 What would you do for millions of 44 48 60 84 94

dollars? Scott Reintgen of Nyxia Uprising. Scott Reintgen | Share Your Shelf Scott’s tour of his favorite bookish things. Trigger Warnings in YA Lit by Mieke Göttsche Bookstagram Creators Check out these awesome readers. Literary Cosplay Holly of @coffeefae shows off her best literary cosplays. April New Releases

96 Around the World










Letter From The Editor


ideo games are addictive. Go outside and play. Stop wasting your time. These are common phrases many of us remember hearing or perhaps are still hearing. This month’s authors challenge these statements, though, and remind me that creativity can come from anywhere. Tricia Levenseller discusses, among other things, how video games have made her fight scenes better. And Scott Reintgen tells how he was first introduced to imaginative world building through gaming. Don’t let anyone dictate how you spend your time. If you are doing something worthwhile, something that allows you to live the most creative life possible, do it. Of course, books are still my favorite way to do that. Happy Reading, Gillian St. Clair Editor-In-Chief CURIOSITALES

K 11


EDITORIAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Gillian St. Clair CONTRIBUTORS Kelsey Bjork, Mieke Gottsche, Elle Jauffret, Juliet White, Holly @coffeefae


ONLINE Curiositales is a digital monthly magazine. We also engage readers with a free newsletter. For your regular dose of all things bookish, subscribe at www.curiositales.com

COPYRIGHT Copyright 2019 by Curiositales Magazine. All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in review.




Mieke Gรถttsche Essay, Trigger Warnings in YA Lit

My name is Mieke Gรถttsche and I am a 23 year old blogger from South Africa. I studied English literature for four years at the University of Pretoria.

Holly Pezant Photo Essay, Literary Cosplay

Holly is a photographer from South Louisiana with a passion for reading, cosplay and thrifting.

She loves combining these hobbies to bring to life some of her favorite bookish characters.

Elle Jauffret Food Writer Elle Jauffret writes from personal experience about the culinary arts, mysteries, and France.

You can find her at ellejauffret.com or @ElleJauffret on Twitter and Instagram.


K 13


April 2019 | Issue 10

Every month we feature an organization that’s working to make change within the reading community around the world. When we each commit to change, the growth is immeasurable. Check out this month’s feature, and, if their mission statement is in alignment with your own beliefs, follow them online and help out however you are able.



Room FIFTEEN YEARS OF IMPACT 10 MILLION CHILDREN A quality education remains out of reach for millions of children around the world, even as access to schooling has improved. While the number of out-of-school primary school-aged children has fallen by almost half since 2000, 250 million children (or almost 40% of all primary school-age children in the world) still lack basic reading, writing and numeracy skills. UNESCO estimates that nearly half of those 250 million children will never reach 4th grade.¹ When children reach the 3rd grade without basic literacy skills, it is virtually impossible for them to catch up.²

to Read

Room to Read Global Strategic Plan 2015–2019

To date, we have benefited 9.7 million children and achieved the following results through our Literacy and Girls’ Education Programs. We now reach approximately one million new children each year, yet despite this reach, we recognize that the global need for quality education cannot be addressed by any single organization alone. Reaching 250 million children who lack basic primary education requires a collaborative effort among many organizations and governments.

In addition, despite gains over time in girls’ primary school enrollments, gender equality in education continues to be a serious problem. Female student enrollment drops sharply between primary and secondary school due to various societal challenges that girls face as they enter adolescence, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. In addition, there are still substantial differences in girls’ and boys’ experiences in school as well as in transitions to the next phases of their lives.

Providing over 31,000 girls with enhanced education opportunities and life skills training

Establishing more than 17,000 libraries

In our last strategic plan, A Roadmap for Learning: Literacy and Girls’ Education (2010–2014), we committed ourselves to two critical areas where we believed we could have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education, with a focus on providing support for the critical milestones of a child’s education. We brought our efforts to establish libraries, construct schools and publish books in local languages, and our then newly piloted reading and writing instruction programs together under one unified Literacy Program. We recommitted ourselves to the vision of the Girls’ Education Program, which supports girls to complete secondary school and provides the life skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. We also enhanced our support by incorporating more systematic ways of delivering the life skills and mentoring aspects of the program. After much concentrated effort and dedication across the organization over the past five years, our operations now focus on two core programs: the Literacy Program and the Girls’ Education Program which, together, reflect our vision for creating change through education.

Supporting reading and writing instruction in 2,300 classrooms across 1,300 schools

Constructing over 1,900 schools Publishing more than 1,100 original local language children’s titles and distributing over 15.5 million books

Impacting the lives of more than 9.7 million children Results as of December 2014


UNESCO Institute of Statistics, EFA Monitoring Reports (2000-2013/4). Estimates based on a composite of children who do not complete grade 4 and results from sample-based learning achievement surveys; definition of children who reached grade 4 is based on the expected cohort completion rate method.


Catherine Snow et al. Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. National Academy of Sciences, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, 1998.


K 15




That was something that I had to learn for myself. I didn’t have to achieve anything or do anything to be worthy of love. It’s just something that you have, because every person is worthy of love.


GENRE BENDING AND BLENDING Interview by Gillian St. Clair Written by Juliet White

ighteen-year-old Rasmira seeks redemption after being banished from her village. Slight hitch: the only way to get it is by killing a god! On the surface Warrior of the Wild is a quest novel. Although an enthralling premise, this is a book about much more than overcoming seemingly-insurmountable challenges. “It’s a story about a girl in a male-dominated society proving her worth and, even more important than that, it’s a girl realizing that she shouldn’t have to prove her worth, because she is worth something regardless,” author Tricia Levenseller explained. “It’s a story I wrote because that was something that I had to learn for myself. I didn’t have to achieve anything or do anything to be worthy of love. It’s just something that you have, because CURIOSITALES

K 17

every person is worthy of love.” Frankly, high school. “I was a senior and we had to that’s a reminder that we all need at times. do a project—perform the duties of some sort of job we were considering as adults. Levenseller is known for her duology: I’d taken one of those personality tests and Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter it had told me ‘editor.’ So I was gung-ho of the Siren Queen. Her new work, Warrior but, when it came time for the project, I of the Wild, is another alternative-world, didn’t have anything to edit. I had to crehistorical fantasy but the story takes place ate material, and that’s when I discovered in a different world. I enjoyed writing.” Although Levenseller has always gravitated toward fantasy, her niche within that field has shifted over time. “The first book I finished was an urban fantasy. I knew about a contemporary girl going to school, so that’s what I started out with,” she said. Obviously, that wasn’t Daughter of the Pirate King, which was the author’s fourth novel but her first published work.

Hey, why don’t you just finish a book? You’ve always been wanting to do that.

“What I love to read is historical fantasy because it requires teenagers to become adults faster,” Levenseller revealed. “They don’t do the whole high school thing; no, they’re getting married at 16 and they After her first year of college, Levenseller have to be adults really fast. I like playing returned to the idea. “I was home for the around with that.” summer and I was suffering from some pretty intense anxiety. My mom was like, “I love historical settings and times far ‘Hey, why don’t you just finish a book? removed from myself, so I can learn more. You’ve always been wanting to do that.’ I do alternate world historical, which And I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to do it.’ means that it’s not based on a hard, fast And I did!” time in history—I’m not writing about the Cold War or anything. I’m taking a Levenseller doubted she would have gone time period and I’m totally changing it for that goal without the support of her to a whole new world, and applying it to mother. “You’re so busy with life and you brand new people. If it’s not completely know ‘real jobs’—I hate that term—it can historically accurate, I get some leeway. be hard to be like, ‘This is more than just I love the research, but I also love the a hobby.’ Without that push, I don’t think worldbuilding element of writing alterI’d have given myself permission to just nate-world, historical fantasy.” write a book, so I definitely owe a lot to my mom.” Levenseller’s career path actually began in



“After I finished that first book, I went back to school. The only time I had to edit was if I sacrificed sleep in the morning and got up early to work on that book. And I love sleep so much; I don’t know how I did that.” Nowadays, Levenseller has her writing process down. She usually starts a project by focusing on the plot and then tries to integrate the magic. That’s how she approached Daughter of the Pirate King. “I’ve got these pirates and I know I want to have some sort of treasure map element, but I want the fantasy in there too. How can I bring that in?” she pondered. When asking these sorts of questions, she isn’t ready to put fingertips to keyboard. “I’m

definitely still brainstorming. I’m working on something in the back of my mind for probably months before I put it on paper. I want to feel like I’ve got a good sense of the main character. I want to know my setting really well, and I definitely want to know how the magic’s going to work. I’ll already have a beginning, middle, and end. And then, once I’ve got the core elements all figured out, I’ll do my outline and start writing.” “It really helps to prevent writer’s block if I already know what I’m doing ahead of time. I generally just do a chapter-by-chapter outline and it’ll be super basic, like: there will be a romantic, tension-filled scene right here. Then I’ll get


K 19

to that scene and I’ll have to sit there for a bit and figure it out and curse my past self for not being more specific! So, I do still get writer’s block but I’ll spend a couple of hours thinking about it, and then I can write.” Inspiration often comes from diverse sources. For her duology, Pirates of the Caribbean was a big influence because it was one of Levenseller’s first introductions to work that fused together history and magic. “When I read stories that are straight-up historical or when I read contemporary, I’m all, ‘I loved this book but how much cooler would it have been with magic?’” She also finds that gaming improves her



her writing. “I’m a pretty recent gamer,” she said, “but my main obsession right now is Overwatch, which is mostly a first-person shooter game. Playing over and over again, you start to learn things: if you have the higher ground, you have a better advantage over an enemy; if you are able to get on either side of the enemy and box them in, you’re more likely to win. These things maybe seem obvious but, when you’re doing it, you see how strategy works. Then I can use that more effectively in my novels.” Levenseller was excited to start her newest book, Warrior of the Wild, because it gave her the chance to feature new characters, such as Razmira. “Alosa [from Daughter of the Pirate King] was my Slytherin;

Razmira is my Hufflepuff. I myself am a Slyther-puff so, for me, it was exploring the other side of my personality. I’d done this feisty girl who kicks first and asks questions later and this time I wanted to do someone who thinks a little more before they act, someone who still has those quick remarks but whose personality is just a little bit different. I started there and Rasmira just kind of came from that.” “Sometimes it helps to be like, ‘Okay, here’s what Alosa would do.’ It sounds weird, but once you have multiple characters out there it’s easier to visualize how a new character would react, just by comparison.” That technique also helped with worldbuilding for Warrior of the Wild. “I loved all the swashbuckling in Daughter of the Pirate King but I wanted to write different kinds of fight scenes for this book. I was a little sword tired,” Levenseller admitted. “And then Gimli, [from Lord of the Rings], popped into my head, holding his big axe and I was like, ‘Battle axes would be cool. Let’s do battle axes.’ But an axe is impractical, it’s super heavy, it’s hard to swing. Why would a society use axes instead of swords? “I decided this would be a society that lives in a hardened world. The animals they hunt have tough exoskeletons; even their fruit has these tough husks. The monsters that hunt them can only be killed with a heavy swing of an axe. Basically, the worldbuilding was born of this idea of, ‘How can I make an axe work? It has to make sense.” Levenseller continued to ask herself ques-

tions until the plot fell into place. “I’ve got this girl who wields this axe but I want to throw some sort of cool conflict at her. What would be hard and complicated enough to match this world? The natural answer was killing a god! So this novel went from fight scenes, to setting, to plot.”

Alosa was my Slytherin; Razmira is my Hufflepuff.

While Levenseller weaves alternative history, fantasy, and romance into seamless narratives, she is a writer of genre fiction and that comes with its own baggage. “I think part of it is that the genre fiction— the horror, the fantasy, the sci fi—tends to be second class compared to the flowery, beautifully-written, literary fiction,” she commented. “Even though it’s the genre fiction that actually brings in the money— people can do it full time—it’s just been held to a higher standard. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that opinions start at the scholarly level and then filter down.” “Obviously romance gets hit harder than any other genre and the only explanation I can think of for that is that it’s dominated by women. It’s what women like to read and men, as a result, are making us feel CURIOSITALES

K 21

guilty. Just like how, as a society, girls can like guy things but guys can’t like girl things. That’s shifting to books and there’s a lot of shame there. However, I feel like it’s more of a societal problem than it is a reading problem.” Levenseller has also experienced that attitude as an author of YA lit. “I think YA fiction is specifically called out because it’s not supposedly ‘real fiction.’ It’s for kids; it’s not for grownups. And I see that a lot and think that’s ridiculous. I’ve heard things like, ‘When are you going to write real books?’ and I’m just like, ‘Have you read YA fiction? It’s good, deep stuff.’ So, I think a lot of the criticism comes from people who aren’t actually reading it.” YA lit is a competitive market and Levenseller reads with that in mind. “I read almost exclusively in my genre. Because I do that, I know what’s about to come out, even if I haven’t read it yet. So, when I think about the kind of book I want to have coming out in two years, I know what’s already been done. It helps me make my novels more unique and stand out among the floods of YA fantasy.” Levenseller adopted this habit after a bitter disappointment early in her career. “That first novel I finished after my first year of college got me an agent, but it was a Persephone and Hades retelling. Two months later, there were deals announced about Persephone and Hades books so that book never sold. Part of the problem was the market. I don’t know that I could have prevented that, because the announcements didn’t come out until after I’d already written the book but, at this point in my career, I get to sell books 22


before I write them.” Once you’ve finished tearing through Levenseller’s books, she has some recommendations for you. “If anyone hasn’t read Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, that one’s very good. It’s another Viking-inspired novel, and it’s really fun.” She also recommended Uprooted by Naomi Novik, a story that features a magical wood and a girl who must serve as an apprentice to a reclusive wizard. Don’t forget to visit Levenseller’s site to discover her new releases. “For an author writing full time, we need to put out a book a year in order to stay afloat, so we try to maintain that schedule,” she explained. That’s good news for readers who don’t want to wait too long for another alternative-world, historical fantasy fix. Such practical realities may not fit with our ideas about an industry that centers around creativity, but the business side of publishing doesn’t deter Levenseller. “I wouldn’t trade being a writer for anything. The payoff is more than worth it.” Devoted to engrossing YA lit? Then pick up Warrior of the Wild or delve into Levenseller’s pirate-themed duology here.


K 23

Share Your Shelf with Tricia Levenseller


Baby My Book book sleeves: I just adore the octopus book sleeve I bought from Baby My Book! I use it all the time when I travel to keep my current read safe!

Octopus bookends: It’s no surprise that I own a lot of books. These bookends are so fun to look at on my shelf! Severus Snape Wand: I like to cosplay when I attend comic cons, and when I wear my Slytherin garb, I can’t be seen without a wand! I think Snape’s is the coolest looking, and he’s my favorite character in the series!

Flickering Tales book candles: These candles smell amazing! I have a Daughter of the Pirate King set that I love to smell for inspiration. (I think they’re temporarily closed for business, but watch out Art Prints from @morgana0anagrom: for them opening again!) I love Salome’s art. She is so talented, and I love to have bookish art prints hanging Shelf Love Crate subscription: on my walls to inspire me! This is one of my favorite book boxes. They specialize in YA sci-fi/fantasy, which ACOTAR tapestry: is of course my favorite genre! I love getI actually have this hanging on the wall ting a box of book goodies every month. in my bedroom. Not only does the quote The quality is always incredible and the inspire me, but the beautiful art is just so items always useful! fun to look at. 24


Fizzy Fairy soap: I love book-themed soap and bath bombs! I received my first Fizzy Fairy item in an Owlcrate book box, and I simply love my Elven bread soap. Out of Print t-shirts: I get to sport my favorite Harry Potter book (Half-Blood Prince) when I leave the house by wearing this Out of Print shirt! They have many different fandoms to choose from! Harry Potter Hardback set: I’m obsessed with Harry Potter (obviously), and one of my favorite gifts was when I received the whole set in hardback. Now they’re displayed proudly on my bookshelves. CURIOSITALES

K 25




K 27


Curiositales Magazine is on the lookout for contributors. If you have an idea geared toward the YA readership, send us an email: contribute@curiositales.com. Our readers are creative and talented and we want to feature you. Send us an email to be considered for an upcoming issue. Cosplayers: 10 Full Page Photos featuring characters from literature. Payment $50 within 30 days of publication. 28




K 29


By Elle Jauffret

WARRIOR OF THE WILD “[…] precious stones and gems, fine clothing sewn with metallic hems, preserved fruits and pickled vegetables […]” […] I peer inside to find bright yellow berries piled to the rim. […] he turns valder meat over on a spit […]”





Wash and slice 2-3 cucumbers into ribbons with peeler. Pack the cucumber ribbons into a jar tightly (but do not smash). Fill the jar with vinegar + water (equal amount of each) + 1 tsp salt + 2 crushed garlic clove + 1 tsp dill + ½ tsp ground pepper. The brine should almost reach the top (about ½ to ¼ inch from the top). Seal jar. Place in refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Mix [2 cups flour + 1tbsp baking powder + ¾ tsp salt ] + [1 ¼ cups canola oil + 4 tbsp unsalted butter (melted) + 1 ¾ cups honey + 2 tsp orange extract + 3 eggs + 2/3 cup milk] until well blended.


Add 1 cup of dried goldenberries + 1 cup golden raisins. Pour in muffin tray molds. Bake in 350-degree-oven for about 30 minutes.

Place 1 lb lamb shank in oven-safe pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Roast in 400-degree-oven for 20 minutes. Then cover pan tightly (with lid or aluminum) and cook in oven for another 45 minutes at 320 degrees.


K 31

NYXIA […] and the scent of Moms’s herbal tea isn’t hanging in the air. […] He sets the orange in my open palm. […] “Higashi,” Katsu announces. “My last piece. It’s made with real wasanbon.” […] He’s standing at the buffet, back to us, picking through the deviled eggs.





Slice 3 hard-boiled eggs lengthwise. Carefully scoop out yolk. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and mash them with a fork. Add 1 tbsp mayonnaise + ½ tsp Dijon mustard + 1/8 tsp salt + 1/8 tsp pepper + 1 tsp sweet chili sauce. Mix until well combined. Fill egg whites with egg-yolk mixture. Lightly dust with paprika.

Mix ½ cup powdered sugar + ½ tsp matcha green tea powder until well blended. Add ¼ tsp water and stir well. The mixture should still be powdery (not wet but slightly “humid”). Press mixture into molds with your thumbs to exert the maximum pressure. Unmold the sweets and let them dry for 2-3 hours before serving.


K 33

French-born, Californian lawyer by day, writer/home chef by night, Elle Jauffret writes from personal experience about the culinary arts, mysteries, and France. She received the 2016 SDSU Writers’ Conference Choice award and loves creating “fiction food” based on the books she enjoys. You can find her at ellejauffret.com or @ElleJauffret on Twitter and Instagram




K 35



It’s not just about how great you are at something or how talented you are. It’s also about your underlying goodness and what you did to get where you are.

“If you were offered millions of dol-

WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR MILLIONS? Interview by Gillian St. Clair Written by Kelsey Bjork

lars to go to space for three years, what would you say?” – that’s the question Scott Reintgen likes to ask when introducing his Nyxia trilogy. Asking this question is the perfect way to help readers get into the mind of the protagonist, Emmett Atwater, who wrestles with this very dilemma. In the end, he chooses to accept the offer to mine nyxia on the planet Eden with nine others – once the mission begins, though, Emmett discovers that the sacrifices he must make to earn the money might not be worth it. While some would think it’s worth it, others, including Reintgen, would disagree. That’s why sacrifice is a big theme in Nyxia. Emmett is sacrificing time with his family, of course, but the sacrifices Reintgen CURIOSITALES

K 37

wanted to analyze the most were moral ones. “When you’re given an amazing opportunity like this, how much of your moral compass are you willing to let stray?” he asked hypothetically.

I was addicted to it,” he admitted, “but, they also helped me as a writer. Much to the chagrin of a lot of teachers and parents, video games are rich spaces of imagination.”

“Are you going to be the exact same person and be honorable the whole way? Or, are you going to break the rules a little?” he continued. “Would you be willing to do that if the stakes were that high?” Emmett wrestles with these questions constantly, and sometimes, he does find himself breaking the rules. “But, there are other moments where he chooses to not break his morals because he’s reminded that he is not that kind of person,” Reintgen said.

Video game fans are probably not surprised by his thoughts. “I’d play Halo, Call of Duty, and others that have great storylines and huge epic quests, and it fueled my desire to write my own stories. Those games, from an early age, were great spaces for me to create and thrive.”

He wanted to write a character like Emmett so his readers could learn from both his triumphs and his mistakes. “I think kids need to understand that when it comes to success, and anything else in life, questions of that nature come up. It’s not just about how great you are at something or how talented you are. It’s also about your underlying goodness and what you did to get where you are.” In order to be successful, authors are told to read a lot and write a lot. On the contrary, not as many people recommend playing video games. One of the reasons has to do with the stigmas that surround them – more specifically, that they are addicting. Reintgen thinks there’s both positive and negative effects in playing video games. “I actually wrote a paper in college about how World of Warcraft is addicting while 38


Along with creativity, playing video games as a kid also brought out Reintgen’s competitive side. That might not sound like a good thing, but his competitive nature has greatly helped him in unexpected ways. “I’m the middle child of three, and both of my brothers were better than me at every video game,” Reintgen said. Plenty of gamers with siblings can relate to this struggle, but despite the competitiveness between them, they would also work together.

Much to the chagrin of a lot of teachers and parents, video games are rich spaces of imagination.

“We were constantly winning money playing Halo and other games, and one of the natural consequences of that is being a competitively driven person,” he explained.

how to get back up after being knocked down. But Reintgen’s competitiveness has also helped him promote his own books. In the past year, he has visited close to 90 schools.

“I lost so many times to my brothers at so many different games that it was this constant reminder that I had to get back up, dust my shoulders off, and go at it again. I know it seems silly because we’re talking about video games, but it really was this continual lesson that I could get better and get a little closer to winning each time.”

“I set up at least 76 of those,” he said excitedly. “I get on the phone with schools day in and day out and set up new events, and I do it to make sure I’m out hand selling my books to students. That just shows how that competitive drive doesn’t go away. It’s a part of who I am and a big part of that stems back to video games.”

I got to a point where I thought a lot of fictional stuff was on the nerdy side – which was ironic because I was already writing a ton, playing a bunch of video games, and writing fanfiction of said video games.

Authors have to deal with a lot of rejection, so it’s absolutely vital that they learn

Of course, books helped shape Reintgen into who he is as well. But the love he has for books wasn’t always the way it is today. “My mom read to us a lot, but for the most part, I fell away from reading until middle school. And when I did read, it was usually sport biographies and things like that,” Reintgen said. “I got to a point where I thought a lot of fictional stuff was on the nerdy side – which was ironic because I was already writing a ton, playing a bunch of video games, and writing fanfiction of said video games.” During this time, one of Reintgen’s seventh grade teachers came into class exhausted after staying up all night to read Harry Potter. “I remember it very distinctly,” he said. “She apologized to the class for how tired she was, and I remember thinking that that was so nerdy and that I would never do that,” he said laughing. “But then I got the seventh book at midnight when it came out, and I finished reading it at 8 p.m.” CURIOSITALES

K 39

Harry Potter has greatly influenced tons of people around the world, including Reintgen. “It played a big part in my transition from barely reading to being the lifelong reader that I am today. I always credit The Prisoner of Azkaban for doing that. Even though I had listened to my mom read those stories to my brother and thought they were interesting, I wasn’t that invested until book three. That’s where all of these plots start to happen. After that I was and I like, ‘Wow! J.K. Rowling set up everything and it’s perfect!’” Reintgen was already into writing before becoming an avid reader, but his love of writing was especially strengthened when a teacher in high school did the unexpected. “In my junior year of English I had a great teacher who was super nice to me. I showed her a chapter of something I was working on and the next day she pulled me out of Spanish and put me into creative writing,” he said. “That little show of faith was enough for me to be like, you know what? I am going to be a writer.” Reintgen had an encouraging start to taking writing more seriously, but…things went south for a while after that. “I didn’t have great experiences the whole way,” he chuckled. “In college, I had teachers who taught me really important literary things, but I also had a lot who basically said, ‘You’re writing genre – scifi, fantasy – and it’s not real writing.’ But, I got over that and continued on until meeting my writing group in 2012. From 40


there I got better and better until, thankfully, my third book (Nyxia) got me a publication deal that has allowed me to be a full time writer.” Reintgen used to be a teacher, and he hasn’t fully left that part of his life in the past. During the summer, he still helps at a camp for middle schoolers. “I’ve been connected with Young Writers Camp for about six or seven summers now,” he said. “When it comes to teaching and speaking, I always have a couple of things in mind. One: I want to have an impact on that age group. That’s why I write for them in the first place. And two: in order to write good middle-grade and YA books, I have to be in touch with students of that age group. I have to hear their voices and be reminded of what life is like for them right now.” Reintgen loves having the opportunity to mentor kids and this love made its way into his Nyxia trilogy. “When I first started writing it, I wanted Emmett to be a very cut-throat competitor. But, he surprised me. He kept making friends and finding alliances and I was like, ‘Well…this is kind of harder to write,’” Reintgen laughed. “So mentorship and relationships that form who we are and how we make good decisions are very important in this story.” One of the mentorship characters is named Vandemeer. “He’s Emmett’s caretaker who guides him every step of the way,” Reintgen said. “At first Emmett views him as his assigned doctor who’s

clearly here for the company. But as their relationship progresses there are moments where he sees that Vandemeer’s alliance is actually with him and that, together, they can figure out a way for Emmett to survive and make sure that he does what he does to the best of his ability.” Vandemeer is also there to give him advice on moral issues. “On several occasions, he gives some very poignant advice. He tells Emmett about times when he could have punished someone or put them in their place, but instead, he did not,” Reintgen said. “This is a reminder for Emmett that he will not regret being merciful, and he will not regret being a good person throughout this competition. It will echo and be important to him later.” Despite being insanely far from home, Emmett is able to call his parents from time to time.

to make sure his stories were diverse, but he felt especially driven to do so after a student told him that they don’t really see themselves on bookshelves. “No world is as white as Tomorrow Land, Enders Game, or a lot of other stories. The reality is that we live in an ever increasing diverse world and to represent that in the right way is meaningful because it means a lot to our readers.” Thankfully, as diverse books become more common, it will encourage readers to help make it the norm one day. “The hope is that after reading a story like this – and like so many of the great own-voices stories being written right now – kids will go back to their own computers or notepads and feel like they can write their own stories in their own ways,” Reintgen said. “That’s my big goal overall, I would say, is empowering young students to feel like they can write whatever story they want to write.”

If you haven’t read the first two books in “It’s necessary to have families of all types the Nyxia trilogy, make sure to do that in books, but I think having dead or abnow because the series finale releases on sent parents is a trope in YA, so I wanted a April 16! Links to purchase all three can set of parents who are present, loving, and be found on Goodreads. think the world of Emmett,” he explained. “His dad, on several occasions, is very demonstrative in saying, ‘Remember who you are.’ He reminds Emmett that he is the best of his dad, and the best of his mom, and that is who he is.” Besides the themes Reintgen has mentioned, something else readers might notice is the diversity. He already wanted CURIOSITALES

K 41



MEET YOUR NEXT A C T I O N - PA C K E D S C I - F I O B S E S S I O N ! Art © 2019 by Getty Images/Sunny



L E A R N M O R E AT G E T U N D E R L I N E D . C O M



K 43

Share Your Shelf Current readsThe Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.

My handcrafted coffee mug from Studio Pema.

with Scott Reintgen

Alexrainbird MusicThis YouTube compilation expert puts together new Indie lists every month that I find perfect for listening to while writing.

MacBook AirMy first Mac has been a revelation. You can’t beat the ease of travel and the consistent high performance for everything I have to do with work. TeeFuryMost of my favorite bookish t-shirts come from TeeFury - I have a mash-up T of Where the Wild Things Are and Game of Thrones that I particularly love

Leuchtturm 1917 NotebookI use this for taking down story ideas and more. Never found a better design than these. 44


BetaBooksThis new program helps you organize your beta readers so that you can streamline feedback more effectively

Semi-Pretentious Writing Jacket or SweaterHow else will people know you’re a writer in your local coffee shop without one?

Those Illustrated Cover Copies of ClassicsMaybe I’m just a sucker, but I grab one of these almost every time I walk into a Barnes and Noble. Garamond fontWhile most publishers ask to convert to Times New Roman, all of my drafting is done in Garamond. CURIOSITALES

K 45




K 47

It Matters

Trigger Warnings in YA Lit

by Mieke Göttsche

Words hold a lot of power... triggering - (especially of something read, seen, or heard) causing someone emotional distress, typically as a result of arousing feelings or memories associated with a particular traumatic experience. “this could be very triggering for victims of sexual assault” (1)

Words hold a lot of power. They can

a film rated PG 13 because we are not old enough yet. They want to protect our innocence from what is being depicted in the film. What if this happened to our reading material as well? Books that contain mature content are labeled as such at the back of the book in very small writing above the barcode. Have you ever noticed this? I wasn’t aware this even existed until late last year when I closely inspected my copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. It made a lot of sense that this book should be marked as mature. The book contains graphic sex, graphic violence, attempted rape, bullying, and severe traumatic experiences.

remind us of the best times of our lives, but they can also bring back haunting memories of the worst times as well.

Would you have still picked up the book if you had known what it might entail?

From an early age, we’re restricted by our parents, by society, and by big corporations. They tell us what content we can consume and what is inappropriate. One of the most obvious examples of this is in film. All movies are rated according to their content whether it be violence or sex or something else. We are told by our parents at 12 years old that we cannot watch

It may be beneficial to state at the beginning of a novel that this book could cause distress for sensitive readers just like they issue warnings before certain television shows and films. This type of warning may cause a reader to not read the book or it might change the reader’s perspective because all they would be looking out for in the book would be the sensitive



(1) Oxford English Dictionary

content. This could also prompt parents to limit what books their younger teenagers can read just like they limit what films they can watch. This is where the murky categorization of books marketed for teenagers and young adults comes into play. Teen fiction and young adult fiction is marketed for an audience between the ages of 12 and 17. Books such as Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series would rather fall into a relatively new genre labeled “new adult”. The “new adult” genre was coined by Dan Weiss and S. Jae-Jones from St. Martin’s Press who described it as a genre for a slightly older audience than that of YA fiction. “New adult” novels would thus be centered around characters that are slightly older than those in YA fiction (2). It would be a genre for those about 1825 years old. If books were categorized more effectively, it would minimize the (2) Between youth and adulthood: Young adult and new adult literature by Amy Pattee (journal article)

chances that younger teenagers would read inappropriate reading material for their age group or read about sensitive material that they would not yet be able to deal with. It would also make it easier for readers to identify books that may contain mature or sensitive content. From what I have personally experienced whilst reading books is that warnings may do more harm than good. I was bullied and ostracised at school and for a long time books had become my refuge. What made things very uncomfortable, however, is that many of the books I read contained scenes where the protagonist was bullied and it made me think back to my own experiences. It was very hard to read through the protagonists struggles without having thoughts swirling through my brain at an alarming pace. But at the end of the novel, the conflict was usually resolved and it gave me hope that my own situation would resolve as CURIOSITALES

K 49

well (which it eventually did). If I hadn’t read those books out of fear that I would not be able to deal with the protagonist’s struggles, I would have probably been worse off. In regards to my own personal journey, I was able to handle the protagonist’s struggles with bullying by focusing on the resolved ending but for others, the trauma can be so deeply rooted that small, insignificant details may cause flashbacks to be triggered and might even cause setbacks in their trauma recovery process. The University of Cambridge has issued trigger warnings on their reading lists for their English classes, describing Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare as containing “potentially distressing topics” (3). The students thus have the option to not read the play if it would be too emotionally difficult for them.

developing young minds. What they consume becomes part of who they are. By adding the ‘mature content’ label in such an impossible to find position it makes it difficult to discern which books are not suitable for certain age groups. By placing books in their correct genre categories it may become easier to discern what books are more suitable for mature readers. Adding the ‘mature content’ label in a more visible position on the book or marking books with mature content with a sticker may be helpful as well. With trigger warnings, it is always important to remember that it must, first and foremost, be a warning and not a means of censoring.

Would you give the students the freedom to decide whether or not to read novels or plays because of certain potential triggering themes or storylines? It is a great idea to introduce trigger warnings to university level reading material and to school level reading material but giving the student the freedom of choosing whether or not to read the book based on these trigger warnings is problematic. Students would abuse the freedom to choose what to read and what not and My name is Mieke Göttsche and I am a 23 year old would rather opt to skip the play/novel blogger from South Africa. I studied English literature completely. Having trigger warnings in literature is an important factor to consider in the future as books and films have a huge impact on 50


for four years at the University of Pretoria and I will be continuing my Masters in Children’s and Young Adult Literature in September at Dublin City University. You can find my blog at mousethatreads.wordpress.com

(3) https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/ cambridge-university-trigger-warnings-shakespeare-plays-titus-andronicus-mary-beard-academics-a8008456.html


K 51




K 53




K 55




K 57




K 59




K 61


Melodie F.




K 63

How do you decide what to read next? I’m a total “mood-reader”, as one would say. My favorite genre by far is fantasy, but sometimes it gets too heavy and then I need a light read or a reread of a favorite book. I just look at my shelves and decide spontaneously! What book speaks to me, what book am I hyped about? It’s definitely a choosing process based on my feelings and what I’m in the mood for. Instagram actually also has something to say in this process. If a newly published book is talked about a lot in the community or all the people I’m following are reading it, I’ll probably be leaning toward reading the recent release instead one from my massive TBR pile!

What real-life event should be made into a novel? Wow, that is honestly a really hard question for me. So many things have happened in history, but they’ve all been made into books already, haven’t they? Who is your favorite debut author from the past year? I’ve loved Alexandra Christo! She wrote To Kill a Kingdom and this book honestly had me hooked. It’s a retelling of The Little Mermaid, but twisted, and full of magic and characters that really had character. I loved it!!! Everyone should read it!!



Why is reading important to you? Reading has always meant a lot to me. It’s been my hiding place when I had no friends, when I had to eat alone in school and when I felt lonely. Books don’t care if you’re this weird introvert. They’ve just always been there to give me comfort and to show me that there is magic and that anyone can be a hero. I grew up with books. Which character would be your best friend? I hope it would be Hermione Granger and the Golden Trio, to be honest! The Harry Potter books are my favorite books of all time. I grew up with these characters and this world means so much to me! Especially Hermione. She is a lot like me, she’s always been my role model, and I identify with her! If you could master one spell, what would it be? I feel like Accio would be very handy, haha! Works for almost everything and is just so convenient! Do you judge books by their covers? Yes, I’m guilty. But honestly, I think nearly everyone does, especially when you’re a bookstagrammer. Beautiful covers just speak to me as I barely ever read the summary of a book. I like to be surprised by the story! Also, when you see a book in the bookstore, the cover is the first impression of the book you have and I’ll be more inclined to pick a book up and look what it’s about if it’s dressed in something beautiful. CURIOSITALES

K 65

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you bookstagram. My name is Melodie and I’m a 23-yearold book lover from Germany with French roots. If you spend a little time on my Instagram you’ll soon learn of my unending love for “Harry Potter” (proud Ravenclaw, YAY!). I started my bookstagram kind of accidentally because my best friend wanted to do a challenge with me and it was all about books… I mean, I loved books so of course I was in, but after the challenge ended, I wanted to continue with posting about books and here we are!

Do you prefer heroes or anti-heroes? Difficult question for me. I like “tragic” characters. I’ll never be the reader who falls for the nice best friend but always for the sassy and dark love interest! But when we’re speaking of just that, heroes and anti-heroes, I’ll usually prefer the heroes (except when Loki is involved, let’s be real here).



“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – J.K.Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” CURIOSITALES

K 67


Bogi Mihรกly . .




K 69

What real-life event should be made into a novel?

How do you decide what to read next? My mood and my remaining feelings from the previous novel that I read are the factors that usually decide what my next reading will be. I don’t really like to read solemn books after each other, I need some days to recover from the experience. So after it, I choose something that lifts my spirit. Who is your favorite debut author from the past year? I only read Imogen Hermes Gowar’s The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancoock from the debuting authors of the past year. So it would be a little bit of an exaggeration to call it a favorite, but nevertheless, it’s a pretty good novel and a superb start. I really loved this story. 70


In my opinion, a truly good novel must be based on personal experiences. In order to deliver a message, you need to have your own observations. That’s the reason why I’d choose to write about bullying since I had been the target of it in primary school for a significant amount of time. I come from Hungary where this issue is still not recognized enough to bother with. I truly like to help others and I could uphold them and provide understanding through a book like this. Maybe more people could stand up for themselves if they felt that they’re not alone.

Why is reading important to you? Partly relaxation, like sitting down with a book after a long day… and partly self-development, because you improve your vocabulary, you learn, you can become more tolerant... It’s also my shelter, a place where I can hide and where I can find understanding. Which character would be your best friend? I believe Luna Lovegood would be a good friend of mine. I’d been excluded from communities or object of mocking for a long time. At the same time I’ve been more empathic towards others and haven’t liked when someone’s been hurt or excommunicated, so I’ve always done my best to uplift them and become friends with them. Luna has helped me a lot, I’d love to be friends with her. If you could master one spell, what would it be? I’d definitely like to be the master of some kind of time-related spell! I always have difficulty when it comes to time management and I wish there were more hours in a day than just 24! I’m late regularly, I can’t keep deadlines, so I hope that if I had more hours I could do more as well. Or it would be even more catastrophic. :D CURIOSITALES

K 71

Do you judge books by their covers? Yes, I do. Many might think that this isn’t a fair thing to do but I reckon that a nice cover sells a book. It’s a nice feeling when an amazing story is hidden behind a peculiar cover and when it can be a great decoration to the shelf as well. Furthermore, the first thing that grabs my attention when I don’t know the book is the cover. I believe that a peculiar cover and a high standard look is a good sign of an even better story inside. Do you prefer heroes or anti-heroes? I’m absolutely on the hero’s side. Since I was a little girl I’ve always been cheering the prince on the white horse. I love when the good wins and the bad perishes. Not to mention that heroes are always brave characters and I like to learn from them. I often feel like a coward in life so these types of personalities are my inspiration when it comes to difficult situations. Simply, I need heroes. Tell us a bit about yourself and why you bookstagram. I’m a Hungarian girl who lives in Switzerland and I’ve always been interested in books. My grandfather was a teacher and headmaster who used to have lots of books at home, so I had the chance of deep diving into the world of literature at a young age. My love for books grew even bigger when I spent a lot of time helping out in the library as a student. I did not really enjoy going through the obligatory readings for my classes. On the other hand, I really liked creating. Reading itself as a passion only started when I first got to know the Harry Potter series. There’s been no stopping from then. My favorite genre has always been fantasy. My bookstagram is a mixture of these qualities of mine. I love books and I love feeding my creative genes. Bookstagram is perfect for this. An amazing community that reads and creates at the same time. Who needs more than this? :) 72


“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” - Albus Dumbledore CURIOSITALES

K 73


Meg Chia




K 75

If you could master one spell, what would it be? Making people forget things! Imagine using that in exam halls! I can be Hermione too! How do you decide what to read next? I’m a huge mood reader! But I also have a TBR pile that I sometimes follow. Which character would be your best friend? Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, I like it think I’m very quirky and she would be a best friend to gossip and do quirky stuff with! 76


Who is your favorite debut author from the past year? Tomi Adeyemi! Her writing style is so my cup of tea! I can’t wait to read her next installment! Why is reading important to you? I really don’t have an answer for this, because I’ve been always reading since I was young, so I guess it’s oxygen? Necessity, really! Do you judge books by their covers? Of course! Who doesn’t? I always will love a good cover! Do you prefer heroes or anti-heroes? Both! I love characters with great development in general! Basically, I’m the reader who loves everyone in the book!


K 77

“Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am.” - Luna Lovegood Tell us a bit about yourself and why you bookstagram. I’m Meg, from Malaysia! I love anything with llamas on it and I love to bujo (bullet journal) and code! I started bookstagram because I love pretty pictures and I feel like it’s a way to express myself, and to let my creativity flow! Also, books really represent me so I want to combine my love for pretty pictures and books together!




K 79




K 81




K 83

Character Reading: by Holly Pezant @coffeefae




K 85




K 87




K 89




K 91

About the Photographer

Holly Pezant Holly is a photographer from South Louisiana with a passion for reading, cosplay and thrifting. She loves combining these hobbies to bring to life some of her favorite bookish characters. She creates these looks by recycling her cosplay pieces and altering thrifted finds- keeping everything diy and budget friendly! Pg 84: Smaug, Pg 85: Cardan, Pg 86: Jadis, Pg 87: Jude, Pg 88: Nikolai, Pg 89: Nina, Pg 90: White Queen, Pg 91: Red Queen




K 93

04/16/19 Buy Now

04/23/19 Preorder

04/02/19 Preorder

April Releases 04/09/19 Preorder



04/09/19 Preorder

04/16/19 Preorder

04/02/19 Preorder

04/02/19 Preorder

04/09/19 Preorder

April Releases 04/02/19 Preorder

04/02/19 Preorder

04/30/19 Preorder


K 95

Around the World


hat’s better than one bookstore? Six! Since Daunt Books opened in 1990, they’ve expanded to five other locations across London. The first store, located on Marylebone, was established in a beautiful Edwardian building. Originally, it was built for an antiquarian bookseller named Francis Edwards in 1910. The Marylebone location features a galleried room with a gorgeous arched window that’s partly glazed with stained glass. It’s no wonder you can buy tote bags, both online and in person, with various images of the store on them. No matter which location you choose, stop by Daunt Books when you’re in London! Or, you could even visit all six! Because, let’s be honest, you can never visit too many bookstores!




K 97



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.