Welcome To YASH!
In case you couldn't tell, we are #TeamBlue! And we are hosting the amazing Mary Fan and her YA sci/fi romance STARSWEPT. You can read about Mary and her inspiration for the novel below. But let's get the rules out of the way...
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE RULES
DIRECTIONS: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number (in BLUE). Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on TEAM BLUE, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!)
HINT: THE SECRET NUMBER IS HIGHLIGHTED IN BLUE! (Yes, I'm going to keep repeating our team color; it's BLUE)
ENTRY FORM: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
RULES: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by SUNDAY, OCT 8th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, October 8th!
There are SEVEN contests going on simultaneously as well as a bonus contest and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM but there is also a RED TEAM, GOLD TEAM, ORANGE TEAM, PURPLE TEAM, PINK TEAM, & GREEN TEAM! Check out each team for a chance to win different sets of signed books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, let's meet Mary!
Hey everyone! Mary here, and the exclusive content I'm sharing will be a "soundtrack" for my music-themed YA sci-fi novel, STARSWEPT! And by "soundtrack" I mean "playlist of songs that remind me of my book," though the music is more classical and/or cinematic than what a playlist usually implies. I also include little explanations of why each is included.
Set in the 23rd century, STARSWEPT is about a futuristic performing arts school, and the main character, Iris, is a viola player struggling to stand out. Kind of like Juilliard... plus holograms and spaceships and telepathic aliens. Here's the book trailer to set the mood:
Soundtrack's below! I also made a playlist on YouTube in case you want to leave it running in the background while you do other stuff later.
1. "The Butterfly Lovers", a violin concerto by He Zhanhao and Chen Gang
In STARSWEPT, Iris's favorite composition is a fictional viola solo piece called the "Butterfly's Lament", a musical narrative that tells a story through its notes. While that song doesn't exist (yet), it was inspired by a real-world piece: a violin concerto called "The Butterfly Lovers," which uses music to tell the story of the Chinese legend by the same name. It's absolutely gorgeous... long, but totally worth it! I highly recommend you listen to the whole thing...
2. "Suite No. 3 in C" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Like the fictional "Butterfly's Lament," Bach's "Suite No. 3 in C" is meant to be performed absolutely solo. One performer, alone on stage... no orchestra, no accompanist, no nothin'. As a player, that kind of opportunity is both the most wonderful and most terrifying thing in the world... as Iris finds out first hand. I picked this one because it showcases what a solo viola sounds like.
3. "Coro a bocca chiusa" (Humming Chorus) from Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini
Also butterfly-related... the plot of STARSWEPT, which involves a fairytale romance that quickly leads to heartbreak when the love interest vanishes to another world, was loosely inspired by one of my favorite operas, Puccini's immortal masterpiece Madama Butterfly, a tragedy set in Japan. While writing some of the book's more serene scenes, I'd imagine the opera's famous Humming Chorus playing in the background...
4. "Last Night of the World" by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil
Madama Butterfly was the inspiration for the musical theater sensation Miss Saigon, which is essentially a retelling of the opera set in the Vietnam War. Shortly before the Viet Cong attack Saigon, separating the story's tragic lovers, the two sing about their hopes and about the song that played the night they met. In STARSWEPT, Iris attends a dance with her love interest... shortly before he's torn from her. I imagine the song they dance would have a similar sound to "Last Night of the World."
5. "Earthly Emotions" by Matthew McCauley
On a more sci-fi note is "Earthly Emotions" from the soundtrack of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, a TV space adventure. If STARSWEPT every became a movie, I imagine the space scenes being set to something like this.
6. "First Sleep" by Cliff Martinez
Did you know that the 2002 film Solaris has a gorgeous soundtrack? Otherworldly and haunting... just as I imagine the backdrop of STARSWEPT would be.
7. "String Quartet No. 3 'Mishima', IV" by Philip Glass
When most people imagine string quartets like the one Iris eventually joins, they probably picture an old-fashioned bunch providing background music for someone's old-fashioned wedding. But quartet repertoire goes far beyond that... as Philip Glass's lovely minimalist piece below shows.
8. "Mars" by Gustav Holst
Just about every sci-fi soundtrack in the world owes something to Gustav Holst's 1913 orchestral suite, The Planets, particularly the "Mars" movement. If the song below sounds familiar, that's because composer John Williams borrowed heavily from it for Star Wars. This would be the soundtrack for when Iris finds herself whisked away on an alien starship and wandering around on a strange new planet...
9. "Across the Stars" by John Williams
Speaking of Star Wars... Say what you like about the prequel films, but the sweeping love theme from Episode II: Attack of the Clones is absolutely gorgeous. If STARSWEPT had a love theme, I'd hope it would sound something like this...
BONUS: "Winter Spirits" by Mary Fan
Fun fact: I'm a composer! Though I've yet to incorporate my own music into my writing... Perhaps someday... Anyway, the below is a short little orchestral/choral piece I wrote a while back. While it wasn't composed for STARSWEPT, it was on my mind when I wrote the scene where the school's winter ball is announced by an opera singer with a full orchestral backing...
In case you want to listen to the full list later, here's the full playlist on YouTube.
You still need our favorite number, huh? Well, it just so happens it coincides with one of the staple movies in our favorite genre, Horror!