With her long golden hair and tragic run-in with three impossibly large bears in a remote cabin, seventeen-year-old Sonora Martin is a modern day Goldilocks. Yet her life is no happy, romantic fairy tale. Instead she finds herself thrust into a dark magical world of the fae and shape shifters and questions who she can trust.
After the sudden death of her grandmother, Sonora is forced to live with an aunt that she barely knows, her cousin, and Luke, her aunt's reluctant boyfriend. A fight with her aunt sends Sonora running into the woods where she inadvertently learns a web of family secrets and of a startlingly pact for revenge with her as the target. Now with the help of a pair of unlikely allies Sonora must travel to the Shadow Realm in search of a way to survive.
R&M: Welcome everyone to R&M Fab Book Reviews! Today we had the chance to talk with Monika Pardon, the author of Golden!
R&M: First I would like to say welcome to our blog, thank you for being with us today!
Monika: Thank you for having me!
R&M: You are so welcome! Can you tell us a little about Golden?
Monika: It’s a tragedy more so than a romance. It’s about a girl who lost everyone in her family, then finds out that there is this whole magical side to her family—a world within a world—that she didn’t even know about. Sonora is scared most of the time, but she needs to be brave so she is. She has to accept what’s happening to her or she’ll go mad. Golden is a very fast story. The timespan is only a matter of days after Memere’s funeral. So much happens to her that she still hasn’t had time to process everything. Whereas Luke knew a lot more and therefore he was able to grow a lot more.
R&M: So, what was your inspiration?
Monika: I was listening to my mom as she read Goldilocks and the Three Bears to my son. The story just fell into my head after that. The cardinal came when I was looking out the window during a snowstorm and noticed a red cardinal that was surrounded by white. It looked out of place. The spider web came to me when I was camping and the way the moonlight filtered through the dark trees. Everything else just fell into place as I wrote.
R&M: We remember our mothers reading that to us as well. It’s a nice comforting memory. What made you decide to become an author?
Monika: I didn’t actually make that choice. What happened was I started to write one day and never stopped. I showed my mom and sister (two of the most critical people I know) my work and they told me that it was good and that maybe I should think about publishing it.
R&M: So you kind of fell into it, so to speak. It’s good that you had someone from the start give you an honest opinion. So, tell us which character do you have the strongest connection with and why?
Monika Whitney. I was the girl always drooling after the guys (not teachers though. That’s just gross). She is loyal and isn’t the strongest one in the bunch, but she can hold her own in a fight when she needs to.
Here’s a fun fact about Whitney and her talking about Mr. Farr in front of him pretty loudly. That conversation actually took place, except my friend was the one who giggled “extra credit” and I was the one who pointed out to her that the teacher could hear her.
R&M: All of the characters in the book are fascinating. It’s interesting that you identify most with the boy-crazy Whitney. Most of us girls were like that to some degree in our teens. If you don’t mind us asking, what was the hardest part of writing Golden?
Monika: The hardest part in writing Golden was knowing when to stop. The ending is a cliffhanger for a reason. The story isn’t over. However, if I kept going and made Golden a lot longer, it would have made the story weaker. There’s going to be a reckoning between Sameron and Sonora, but he’s still too strong for her. Golden is not a series. It’s a trilogy. 3 books!
R&M: Sometimes it is difficult knowing where to draw the line. Cliffhangers keep people coming back for more. We would love to know, who is your favorite author?
Monika: Cassandra Clare, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Stephen King, Jackson Pearce, Shakespeare (his comedies), Meg Cabot, and Sarah Dessen. My favorite book of all time is Shannon Hale’s Austenland, because I laughed through the entire 189 pages and was left wanted more of Mr. Nobley.
R&M: Wow, that’s a long and varied list! Are there any projects that you are pursuing currently?
Monika: Here’s the problem. I’m always writing something. However, for my job, I work on a very strict federal grant. Because of this, while I’m on service (24/7, 365 days) I cannot promote my work. Whatever work I have written prior to service or within the next two weeks, I can release while on service, but I can’t say here’s my book. It’s awesome! It’s frustrating not only for you guys, because of the ending you want to know what happens right now; it’s also frustrating for me, because I want to give you the sequels and talk about it. I want to promote my work. Truly, my hands are tied. Anyway, I haven’t written the sequels to Golden yet and will not be able to within two weeks since I’m studying for the GREs for grad school. Unfortunately, I won’t be putting anything out until the end of August 2013, which will be the sequel to Golden. I’ll release the third book of the Golden Trilogy quickly after that.
R&M: That is difficult to deal with, but also great that you have a plan! While we may be disappointed in the time it will take, with what we read in Golden, you can be sure your loyal fans will be waiting! We can’t wait to see them when they are released! Just out of curiosity, what would you like your readers to take away from the book?
Monika: That you can be brave even when you don’t think so, and that you are stronger than you might think. Be you, because there is nothing quite like your or as beautiful as you.
R&M: Someone once said that you never know how strong you are until something happens. Your words should be an inspiration for young people everywhere! Before we go, do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Monika: Write. That’s all. Just write.
R&M: Well, we would like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us today and to provide your readers with a little more insight. We wish you continued success in your career!
Hey everyone, we would like to thank you for coming and viewing our interview with Monika Pardon, the author of Golden! Please stick around and check out the review of the book, as well as any other reviews that we have done. And don’t forget there is giveaway contest so please make sure that you enter! Thanks! Authors Are My Rockstars! Happy reading everyone!
Monika Pardon grew up, the youngest of six children, in southern Maine. As a child, she constantly made up stories that entertained her family. As she grew up, she never grew out of her imagination or her fondness for story-telling. She eventually went on to college and graduated from the University of Michigan in 2006. Today she lives near Portland, happily writing her stories and reading anything entertaining that she can get her hands on. Golden is her Young Adult debut novel.