I love sticking with themes, so I couldn't help but suggest a guest post that was geared toward a big part of Alison's book: the color red. So, here are her...
Top Ten Things That Are Red
1. People who are celebrating Holi and La Tomatina
|By Steve McCurry|
|Via UK Daily Mail Online|
Holi, the festival of colors, is a Hindu religious holiday that celebrates the end of winter. It mainly involves lighting bonfires and throwing colored, scented powder at one another, which signifies the colors of spring. La Tomatina is a significantly less religious festival that takes place in Buñol, Spain. Apparently, nobody knows how this tradition began—it has no historical significance—but every August, 20,000 people gather and throw tomatoes at each other. The official Tomatina website suggests that participants wear goggles, as “tomato on your eye can be really acid!”
2. The Hogwarts Express
|Via Flickr user peter.brabham|
I’m guessing British people hate the Hogwarts Express—before the Harry Potter books, they could actually catch trains at King’s Cross Station without having to dodge hoards of tourists flinging themselves at the walls between platforms nine and ten.
3. British phone boxes
|Photo by Alison Cherry|
London is one of my favorite places, and I can’t think of anything more quintessentially British than these red phone boxes. (Well, okay, I can—if Queen Elizabeth sat in a red phone box flanked by Buckingham Palace guards in furry hats and watched Monty Python while eating fish and chips, that would be more quintessentially British.) Weirdly, I actually took this photo on a farm in upstate New York—the owners are Doctor Who fans, but they couldn’t get a blue police box, so they ordered the next best thing to decorate their field.
4. Red pandas
|Via Flickr user Mondmann|
I mean, COME ON. Look at this face. LOOK AT IT. My favorite thing about red pandas, aside from their awesome fluffy tails, is that they are also called “red cat-bears.” They clean their fur like cats, can stand on their hind legs, and like to sleep on branches with their adorable little paws dangling on either side. Cutest. Thing. Ever.
5. The Red Bridge in Oude Diemen
|Via Flickr user drooderfiets|
This bridge is in North Holland, and I can’t find any information about it that isn’t in Dutch. But how cool is it?? I love architectural structures that are unnecessarily complicated just for aesthetic reasons.
6. Cranberry bogs
Until I looked it up on Wikipedia just now, I was under the impression that cranberries grew in flooded areas. Apparently, they actually grow on vines in sand. When they’re ripe, the farmers artificially flood the bogs because the harvested cranberries float to the top and are easy to skim off. Who knew!
7. The light in black-and-white darkrooms
|Photo by Hannu Sinsisalo|
Black-and-white photo paper doesn’t respond to red light waves, so you can bring it out under a red safe light without exposing it. I was a photography major in college, so I find darkroom light very familiar and soothing. However, for some reason, nearly every novel I’ve read that involves darkroom printing gets the logistics of safe-lights wrong. You can’t develop film or print color photos if there’s any light at all, and I’m constantly reading scenes and cringing because in real life, the protagonist would’ve just ruined a $100 box of paper.
8. Red velvet cake
|Via Food Network|
This cake was originally red because of the pigments that were in cocoa before the advent of modern processing. Now red velvet cake gets its color from beetroot or food coloring. Perhaps my biggest baking failure was the time I tried to make red velvet cupcakes for my birthday and filled the muffin cups with too much batter. It resulted in one massive, monster cupcake that engulfed the entire baking tin and was impossible to separate. So I ate it with a fork. By myself. Don't judge me.
9. Florence, Italy, when seen from the air
Unfortunately, the only way to see this gorgeous view of the red roofs of Florence is to walk up 450 cramped, spiraling steps to the top of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and look down from the dome. NEVER AGAIN, my friends. It’s been fifteen years since I did it and I still get claustrophobic just thinking about it.
10. Lady Gaga’s meat dress
Author: Alison Cherry
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: October 8, 2013
Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.
Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:
I know your secret.
Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.
Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?
Alison grew up in Evanston, IL. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, opera, and dance. Now she lives in Brooklyn and writes young adult novels full time. Her debut, Red, is coming from Delacorte in October of 2013. She is represented by the lovely and amazing Holly Root of Waxman Leavell.
Website | Twitter
I'd like to thank YA Reads for letting me participate in the bash and Alison Cherry for letting me host her--it was a fun post! I hope you enjoyed it, readers, and now I have a question for you:
What's your favorite thing that is red?