by Lexa Hillyer
Release Date: March 17th 2020
For as long as I can remember, I have loved books about sisters. From Ramona and Beezus to the Sweet Valley twins, from Caroline and Sara Louise of Jacob Have I Loved to the March sisters, from Jane Austen’s Dashwoods and Bennets to Jeffrey Eugenides’ Lisbon sisters. I have two younger sisters plus a little brother, and my mother has always been close to her three sisters, so I grew up in the midst of that closeness and competitiveness, that circle of love fraught with feuds and tears and shared memories. Unlike friendship or romance, sisterhood is something you don’t choose; often, siblings are so different from one another, yet they’re bonded by the intimacy of youth, and the mutual responsibilities of family. This creates such an intense and interesting dynamic. Usually within sibling hierarchies, roles emerge that can completely define the kind of person you become: eldest sibs are often leaders or nurturers but secretive when it comes to their own emotions, youngests tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves, and middles are known to channel their desire to be noticed through over-achievement and competition. On top of that, siblings are often the people who know your weakest parts; they’re often the ones who can hurt you the most. But sometimes when terrible things happen, those are the only relationships left standing; these are the people who pick you back up when no one else is around. That makes the relationship between sisters full of angst and vulnerability, tenderness and uncertainty. It’s a powerful mix of emotions, and has such a strong hold on how we self-identity. For all these reasons and probably many more that I can’t quite articulate, I find myself drawn again and again to writing about sister relationships. My fantasy duology, Spindle Fire and Winter Glass reimagine fairytales (Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, respectively) as if the two heroines are sisters—Aurora and Isabel. In my most recent novel, Frozen Beauty, there are three sisters: Kit, Tessa, and Lilly Malloy. As much as Frozen Beauty is a mystery/thriller, it’s truly a tale of the bonds between young women as they navigate the sometimes rocky path to adulthood and truth. Boyd, the boy next door, describes the secret world of the Malloy sisters as Narnia or Terabithia, a magical terrain that’s tantalizing close, yet impossible to enter unless you are one of them.
I wanted to write about what it was like to be inside that bubble… and how easy it can be to take that special access for granted until it’s shattered.
Lexa Hillyer is the Founder and President of Publishing at Glasstown Entertainment, an all-womxn creative development and production company located in New York and Los Angeles. She is also the author of Frozen Beauty, Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever, all young adult novels published by HarperCollins, as well as the poetry collection Acquainted with the Cold from Bona Fide Books. Acquainted with the Cold was the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry and received the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in a variety of journals and collections including Best New Poets 2012, and she has received several honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both HarperCollins and Penguin, before founding Glasstown Entertainment along with New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter and their very skinny orange tree.