Wednesday, June 15, 2011


WARPED is gripping and original novel, which reminded me of several adult historical fiction novels I’ve read, including The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Girl in Hyacinth blue, and The Birth of Venus.

Told in rich detail, Maurissa Guibord paints beautiful portraits of several worlds. Tessa’s modern world still feels old world. Set in Maine, mostly in a bookstore owned and run by her father, a quirky, intelligent man of simple means, the book comes alive. I felt the dusty, antique atmosphere like an old friend. And the flashbacks to Will’s world were vivid, accurately portrayed and told in stunning detail.

Warped opens with Tessa and her father, bidding on books at an auction. An antique unicorn tapestry is accidentally included in the lot they won. When Tessa pulled out the unicorn tapestry while examining their purchase, I was plunged into visions of a different time along with Tessa. I held my breath, turning the pages to learn more, knowing this was where the story would literally and figuratively unfold and come to life. And I’m glad to say I was not disappointed.

Will, the unicorn freed from the tapestry when Tessa pulls on a loose thread, is transformed into a handsome nobleman before her eyes. And the banter that ensues between them, and continues throughout the book, had me sighing, laughing, and rooting for their somewhat doomed love. Their worlds, so different yet intricately woven, pulled them together in a knot as strong as any of the threads woven in the forbidden tapestry.

Guibord’s portrayal of The Norn (The Fates) spoke in a voice rich with character and imagery. And the antagonist Gray Lily, is a frightening and manipulative soul who will make your skin crawl. I loved to despise her.

Opal, Tessa’s best friend, was as great of an addition as they come. An unyielding, loyal and funny friend, she brought something to Tessa’s character that made the story a believable blend of time periods. I doubt the character developments of Tessa or Will would have been as rich without Opal shining her iridescent light humor on them.  They were all masterfully written, multidimensional and very likeable.
Expertly fleshed out, this story is full of magic, sacrifice, suspense, mystery, desire, betrayal and plenty of action. A must read for anyone who loves myths, period literature, romance, or mystery.  Bravo Maurissa Guibord—BRAVO!


WHY I YA: Why do you write books for young adults?

MAURISSA: The stories I want to tell seem to naturally fall into this age group. I really love stories with magical aspects that impinge on the real world. Teen characters are already interesting because they aren’t static- they’re growing and dealing with all sorts of issues- independence, finding a path in life, romance, friendships etc. Then when I put one of those characters in a situation where something supernatural shakes things up even more- it makes things pretty exciting!

WHY I YA: Do you think there’s an age limit for writing the YA protagonist?

MAURISSA: I’m going to take your question as meaning a limit for the age of the main character…Hopefully one can’t be too old to write a YA protagonist. Because then I’m in trouble.

It seems like most YA characters are limited to high school age. Personally I would love to read some YA fiction with college or graduate school age characters- early to mid-twenties. Right now that is a really hard sell- but I suspect that the YA market will continue to expand and we will get some of these older protagonists. In fact I pitched an idea to my agent for a YA series about a young woman in medical school, who happens to be a witch. But the older age of the character was a sticking point.

WHY I YA: Who was your favorite character to write in Warped, and why?        

MAURISSA: I loved writing the baddie-Gray Lily. I guess because with her character I could sort of cut loose and go over the top a bit. And yet I did give her some back story that explained her reasons for being the way she was. So she wasn’t just born evil- J

WHY I YA: Is this the character you most identify with?

MAURISSA: No. I really identify with the main character Tessa. She’s always trying to do the right thing- and a bit of a control freak, LOL.

WHY I YA: What was the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

MAURISSA: There are a couple of things that have been kind useful.

1) Stay in the moment. This means don’t be worrying about what’s coming up next or what led up to this scene- just experience the moment and try to convey the moment to your reader as best you can.
2) Add more emotion- it’s easy to get carried away with lots of physical description, action and dialogue and then realize- you can’t tell what the characters are feeling. So cut out some description and add internal thoughts, sensations and feelings.

WHY I YA: How do you deal with negative criticism or reviews (if any)?

MAURISSA: The first few times you get a negative review is devastating. And no glowing review will make you feel better. Perhaps it’s because we’re always ready to believe negative things rather than positive. The best plan, in my opinion is to simply not read them.

WHY I YA: Have you, or do you think about, writing anything other than YA?

MAURISSA: Yes. I write other things, like mystery short stories for adults. I might write an adult novel one day if the story goes that way.

WHY I YA: What ran through your mind the first time you saw your book in print?

MAURISSA: Ha ha! It was very strange. Like it wasn’t connected to me- it had taken on a life of it’s own by that time. I did think it was very pretty!

WHY I YA: What’s in store for us from Maurissa Guibord?

MAURISSA: I’m working on a paranormal story right now called REVEL. It’s about a girl who comes to a remote Maine island to find her estranged family. She discovers the island is home to two communities- one human and the other is made of demi-gods of the sea and their monster slaves.

WHY I YA: Why did you choose to write a mythological based story?

MAURISSA: I used mythology in WARPED to explain a fantastical occurrence: basically how a man could be trapped inside a tapestry for five hundred years. So the idea of the Fates, the three sisters who spin and weave and cut the threads of life, fit perfectly.

Thank you for letting us into the world of WARPED and your life as a writer. I'm sure your fans are exicited to see what comes next. I, for one, am looking forward to REVEL. Especially, as an aspiring YA author who writes books based in Greek Mythology.  


  1. Great interview! I've had this on my TBR list and must read it =D And the current WIP sounds really awesome, too. Thanks, you ladies rock!

  2. Great interview! I loved so much this book! It will certainly be one of my favorites!

  3. Trisha - Hi! Definitely move it up on your list. It is fantastic. I promise you'll love it. : )