Friday in the Fort with Anastasia Hopcus

Welcome Anastasia Hopcus to The Fort! Read her interview and see how to win SHADOW HILLS and swag below!

About Shadow Hills: Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry. 

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life. 

About Anastasia Hopcus: Anastasia wrote her first book in the 2nd grade. It was entitled Frederick the Friendly French Ferret and was seven pages long. During high school she wrote numerous short stories and started (but never finished) three screenplays, all as an alternative to doing actual school work. At the very wise age of twelve her career ambition was to drive a Mack truck, but when that didn’t pan out, she tried acting, bartending, and being a receptionist in a dojo before finally returning to writing. Anastasia loves horror movies, Joss Whedon, obsessing over music, and British accents. She lives in Austin, Texas and her debut young adult novel is out July 13th, 2010 from Egmont USA. 

Favorite comfort food? 
Kraft Mac and Cheese. The original kind in the blue box. There's no reason why it should taste any different when the macaroni is in, say, the shape of a dinosaur, but it just isn't as yummy to me.

Favorite game (think summer, flashlight tag, Marco Polo)?
It's not a standard game, but my favorite thing to do in the summer was to have friends over to play make-believe. We'd pull clothes from a trunk that was stuffed with old Halloween costumes, decorate my bedroom like a far away land (blue bedsheets=sea, green sleeping bag=mermaid tail), and act out little plots I'd come up with.

Sun worshipper, spray tan or SPF 50?
SPF 60! I'm about as pale as they come, so I usually wear a hat and big dark sunglasses, too. I look like I'm in the witness protection program or trying to evade the paparazzi or something.

Beach or lake? Boat or shore? 
Beach and shore. I love to play in the surf---though I do fear every time that I'm going to experience my first jelly fish sting. I hear that it's horrific.

Air conditioning or open windows?
Air conditioning. I've got heinous allergies. (Is anyone else seeing a pattern here? No wonder I'm not outdoorsy.)

Favorite summer drink (lemonade, iced sweet tea, Kool Aid, be specific)?
Iced tea but not sweet. I know that's blasphemy, being that I'm from Texas, but I just don't like sweet drinks.  

Ghost story or Truth or Dare?
Definitely ghost story. In middle school, en route to a camping trip in Big Bend, TX, I told a story about a serial killer who'd escaped from a nearby prison, only to die in the surrounding desert. But the world wasn't rid of him… he'd haunted the area ever since.

When we got to our destination (which was a big desert-y state park), it was dark.  Everyone got out of the school van in front of ours, but the students who were subjected to my tale refused to get out for about twenty minutes. When we finally did disembark---we had to use the bathroom----what do you think we saw on the park's bulletin board? Warning fliers with a sketch of a guy who the police were searching for after he escaped from prison. No joke.

Truth? Or dare? 
Truth, but if it's too truthful, I'd probably try to switch to dare. I know; I was that kind of player.

What singer/musician/band is a must have for The Fort soundtrack? 
Gogol Bordello and Les Savy Fav. Picking just two is hard enough---I can't narrow it down anymore!

What movie would you bring to watch?  
I have a billion favorites, but if it was happening right this second, I'd have to say Wonder Boys or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I've really been wanting to re-watch those recently.

Who's the ideal male mascot (wow that sounds sexist) for the fort and why?
I'd have to say Robert Downey Jr. (there's another pattern) because I love him and would use any excuse to get him to hang out with me.

Marshmallows, lightly toasted or burned to a crisp? 
I'd aim for lightly toasted, but knowing me and my inattention when cooking, I'd have to say it would probably end up burned to a crisp.

Yes. I do consider roasting a marshmallow cooking. My culinary skills are very limited. I mostly stick to microwaving, except when I make my beloved mac and cheese. I go old school with the whole pot of boiling water and everything. ;)

Awake all night or first one to sleep?  
Definitely awake all night.

If awake all night, practical joke or no (and what kind)? 
I don't think I ever went to a sleepover where any practical jokes took place. I mostly remember us talking about boys and ranking them by hotness. Then one of us---whoever had the best handwriting---would compile our data into a comprehensive list. And sometimes we'd call the top 'list guys' and pretend to be on the newspaper staff at the neighboring middle school. We'd ask them all kinds of stupid questions while covering the mouth piece so they wouldn't hear our giggle attacks. I think I originally came up with this ridiculous idea, but it spread like wildfire. The boys from our class must have thought the other middle school had a newspaper filled with nothing but stories about their favorite bands and movies.

If you could have any YA author visit the fort and tell stories, who would it be and what story would you ask them to tell?
Scott Westerfeld, and I'd be cool with whatever story he wanted to tell---it would pretty much be a given that any story he told would be funny, exciting, and creative.

Thank you, Anastasia! Isn't she a doll? AND NOW - you can win the ARC of SHADOW HILLS and some SWAG from Anastasia! Just fill out the form below to enter! 


  1. Okay, that story just freaked me out, esp. since the police were really looking for a guy.

    Myra-you need to come to Austin this weekend so you can come hang out with Anastasia at her signing. We could have one huge party. :)

  2. I think I'd be freaked out when I saw they were looking for a guy. Loved the post! Great book! (I'm crossing my fingers & hoping I win this one.)

  3. I can attest that yes, jellyfish stings SUCK.

    But your books sounds fascinating and is going on my TBR list! I am so gonna go broke this year on books...

  4. I'm so excited to read this book. I've read excerpts online and they are GREAT!

  5. Thanks for the interview! I love how everybody loves Air conditioning. = ]

  6. Fun interview with a really nice new author! I had a chance to chat with Anastasia recently and she was great. Looking forward to reading Shadow Hills. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  7. Nice interview! I've never been stung by a jellyfish, but I can imagine it hurts really badly (hehe, FRIENDS)

    Thanks for the post and giveaway!

  8. That is super nice interview and I love Robert Downey Jr. too!

  9. Fabulous interview. And absolutely love, love, love Robert Downey Jr. I can't wait to read this. I've read so many fabulous reviews and am suffering from serious book envy. :-)

  10. Great post! Love the truth or dare answer! I was totally like that too.
    Shadow Hills sounds amazing! Can't wait to read it!

  11. I'm squeeing for Shadow Hills! Great interview ladies. And BTW, I was more a truth-but-not-that-truthful sort of truth or dare player. You simply can't be ashamed of you past.

  12. Great interview, it makes me even more excited to read the book (if that's even possible)!

  13. I am so excited to read SH! Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. I love to read. Hourglass i read in one day. I would love to have the arc book. I have never had one before. Thank you for rewarding your readers with a contest.

  15. spf 50 all the way. I burn like a mother

  16. jellyfish memorie coming back....ahh! Even though I may need therapy now, the post was worth it!

  17. Yikes. I gave you the wrong link to my tweet: https://twitter.com/bkobsessed17/status/18735859713

  18. I spotted Anastasia's book in the store the other day and picked it up! It sounded so good I just couldn't resist! Now that I hear how awesome she sounds, I'm glad I got it!

  19. I enjoyed the interview and the book sounds great!!

  20. Bahaha, I love her camping story!! And also, Scott Westerfeld is a good choice. -nods-

    Great interview!!


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