Author Chat with Rachel Vincent

Author Chat with Rachel Vincent


Contributed by Samantha Randolph 

 

Our extraordinary staff reviewer Samantha Randolph says: "Hi YABCers! Today, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Rachel Vincent, author of the popular Soul Screamers series, The Stars Never Rise, and more. Her new book, Menagerie, is unlike anything I've read before. It's deep, dark, complex, and twisty, and even days after finishing the story, I still find myself thinking about it. Rachel was wonderful to answer some questions for us about Menagerie!"

 

But first we'd like to introduce you to this literary duo. 

 

 

 

Meet Rachel. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_rachel-vincent.jpg

A native of the dust bowl, Rachel Vincent is the oldest of five siblings, and arguably the most outspoken of the bunch. She loves cats, devours chocolate and lives on flavored coffee. Rachel’s older than she looks—seriously—and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.

 

 

Now meet Rachel's book, Menagerie.

 

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons, and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

 

 

With introductions in order, it's time to CHAT! 

 

 Samantha Randolph: Delilah's treatment, from the police station to the Menagerie, is so brutal and horrifying. While reading, I was absolutely amazed at how strongly you captured her emotions and her general state of being. How did it feel writing those crucial scenes? 

 

Rachel Vincent: Frustrating. Challenging. Your question has actually hit upon part of what makes this book different from what I've written in the past. Unlike most of my previous books, MENAGERIE is not urban fantasy, which means that it isn't driven by action and a quick-witted, spunky, butt-kicking character. Not that Delilah isn't all of those things. In her own way, she is. But because the point of the book wasn't "look how awesome/strong my heroine is," I had to dig deeper than my initial writing of her reactions, which tended to be all spitfire and much less fear and shock, until I was able to capture a more realistic reaction. More of the devastation and brutal dehumanization that would truly accompany the realization that you're no longer considered human, or worthy of any civil rights. It would have been much easier to have her smart off and kick ass from the very beginning, but that wasn't realistic for the pretty normal woman she actually is, in the beginning.

SR: Delilah and Gallagher have such a complex and unique relationship. It isn't particularly a romance, or even a friendship, but something a bit older, maybe even with a bit more bite to it. Did you have any inspiration for their relationship or any concepts you hoped to highlight with them? 

 

RV: (At the risk of spoiling anything...) Chivalry. Like, old-world chivalry, wherein the knight served a lady who was not his romantic interest. Who was, in fact, married to his lord. Only without the whole married-to-the-lord aspect. He sees their relationship as being noble and above the physical trappings of most human relationships.

 

SR: Your knowledge of mythological creatures is incredibly impressive. Did you have a favorite kind to write about?

 

RV: The oracles were fun, but complicated. But I've always been fascinated by the minotaur, because unlike most of the hybrids, his head is not human, which completely cuts him off from most verbal communication, trapping him inside his own mind. And he's smart, which makes that fact both a blessing and a curse.

SR: The detail in Menagerie is exceptional, from the lifestyle of the carnival workers to various legal proceedings in civil rights law and in animal treatment. What was the strangest and/or most exciting element you researched? 

 

RV: Thank you! Researching carnivals was my favorite part. I took some liberties to adapt the lifestyle--and equipment--to sentient captives, but I stayed as true as I could in the other aspects. 


SR: There are a wide variety of families in this novel. We see sisters who are oracles, a werewolf father and daughter, shifters of all kinds who have been separated from their parents or siblings, and, of course, Delilah and her mother. Do you see the family bonds as being the most powerful, or perhaps the strongest, driving force for many of the characters? 

 

RV: Yes, I hope so. And that's something that Delilah failed to realize, at first. Her original attempt to free her fellow captives is shortsighted in that respect. Also, it was important for me to show that even when the world took away everything Delilah had, she found a new family in her fellow captives and that bond, too, becomes very strong.

 

SR:  Delilah tells Genni stories a few times to help sooth her or help her sleep. Did you have a favorite bedtime story that inspired this? 

 

RV: I actually don't. I can't remember being told stories as a kid, but my mother used to sing to us at bedtime, when my sisters and I were very small. 

SR:  Can you give us a hint at what we might expect in the sequel? 

 

RV: Unless the revisions are...complicated, you'll see a new bad guy, a new setting--an aspect of the world building that has been mentioned, but not yet shown--and a plot that will both challenge and strengthen the characters' relationships.

 

 

A big thanks to both Rachel Vincent and Samantha Randolph for this enlightening interview! Now read on for the latest giveaway below!

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_menagerie.jpg

 

Menagerie

  1. By: Rachel Vincent

  2. Release Date: September 29, 2015 

  3.  

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

 

Two winners will receive a  copy of Menagerie, open to US and Canada.

 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. During this giveaway, Rachel has a question for readers. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What cryptid would you most want to be?

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_samantha-randolph-bio_20151015-144748_1.png

Samantha Randolph is a  Staff Reviewer for YABC. She absolutely loves children's, middle grade, and young adult literature. She currently attends a small university where she will soon graduate with a degree in English Literature. Samantha can also be found at The Forest of Words and Pages, Fresh Fiction, and most coffee shops that serve cinnamon roll lattes. 

 

Rate this blog entry:
It's live!! Cover Reveal: How It Feels To Fly by K...
It's live!! Cover Reveal: Traitor Angels by Anne B...

Related Posts

 

Comments 31

Guest - Amie Gaudet on Friday, 16 October 2015 03:17

I would choose to be a gryphon

0
I would choose to be a gryphon
Jennifer Lancaster on Sunday, 18 October 2015 17:27

A mermaid!

0
A mermaid!
Susan T. on Sunday, 18 October 2015 18:37

I'd be a Sasquatch. I live in their supposed territory and I think it would be kind of fun to live in the forest and pop out once in a while to scare people!

0
I'd be a Sasquatch. I live in their supposed territory and I think it would be kind of fun to live in the forest and pop out once in a while to scare people! :)
Liana Allgeyer on Monday, 19 October 2015 14:27

I've always wanted to be a mermaid.

0
I've always wanted to be a mermaid.
Megan Elaine Schuyler on Monday, 19 October 2015 22:57

Id love to be a siren!

0
Id love to be a siren!
Shannon Mizikoski on Tuesday, 20 October 2015 20:58

I think that being a mermaid would be the most fun

0
I think that being a mermaid would be the most fun :)
Alexis on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 09:07

A mermaid, so I could be able to experience a totally new environment

0
A mermaid, so I could be able to experience a totally new environment
Guest - bn100 on Friday, 23 October 2015 22:31

none

0
Guest - Kristen Burns on Saturday, 24 October 2015 16:28

I always wanted to be a mermaid when I was a kid! So, like many other commenters, I'd choose mermaid :-)

0
I always wanted to be a mermaid when I was a kid! So, like many other commenters, I'd choose mermaid :-)
Guest - Sharon Kaminski on Monday, 26 October 2015 13:03

The cryptid I want to be is a unicorn.

0
The cryptid I want to be is a unicorn.
Melissa Martin on Monday, 26 October 2015 15:21

I would want to be a werewolf

0
I would want to be a werewolf
Guest - Danielle D. on Wednesday, 28 October 2015 16:44

I'd love to be a mermaid!!

0
I'd love to be a mermaid!! :D
Guest - Sarah on Wednesday, 28 October 2015 21:50

I'd love to be able to be a shifter; from human to dragon! There's something amazing about being so majestic while keeping your humanity so you can do good with your strength!

0
I'd love to be able to be a shifter; from human to dragon! There's something amazing about being so majestic while keeping your humanity so you can do good with your strength!
Guest - Selena Stevens on Wednesday, 28 October 2015 22:53

A shifter for sure. My form would probably be a fox.

0
A shifter for sure. My form would probably be a fox. :)
Guest - Jenelle Riane on Thursday, 29 October 2015 05:31

A gryphon for sure, it sounds so cool! Can't wait to read this one, Rachel Vincent's one of my favourite authors!

0
A gryphon for sure, it sounds so cool! Can't wait to read this one, Rachel Vincent's one of my favourite authors!
Guest - danielle hammelef on Thursday, 29 October 2015 11:02

A mermaid

0
A mermaid
Kathryn on Thursday, 29 October 2015 11:36

A fairy or mermaid

0
A fairy or mermaid
Vivien on Friday, 30 October 2015 20:21

I would choose a Phoenix!

0
I would choose a Phoenix!
Stacy on Sunday, 01 November 2015 13:55

I love the water, so definitely a mermaid.

0
I love the water, so definitely a mermaid.
Emily Miller on Sunday, 01 November 2015 18:22

A gryphon

0
A gryphon

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Come Home, Angus
Angus woke up mad and knew today was not his...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rulers of the Playground
A stunning picture book about sharing, friendship, and kindness in...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny
June Sparrow and her best friend—a miniature pig named Indigo...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Story Sparks:  Finding Your Best Story Ideas & Turning Them into Compelling Fiction
Find rock-solid story ideas before you start writing ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Girl in the Tower
A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Coming Up For Air
Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework....
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Landscape with Invisible Hand
National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson returns to future...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
26091228.jpg
Follow-up to the New York Times bestselling novel, Forget Tomorrow!...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Me (Amateurs #2)
It was the perfect night for a party. That is,...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fireblood
Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Nothing
From Annie Barrows, the acclaimed #1 New York Times–bestselling...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome Home
Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Even the Darkest Stars
The first in a sweeping and action-packed debut fantasy...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)
In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright
Stephen Albie Bright leads a happy, normal life. Well, as...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

A Court of Wings and Ruin
 
5.0
"Alright warning time. As with most books that I read, this has been labeled problematic. Though this one is completely..."
Wintersong
 
1.0
"This is going to be more like a rant/review than just a review. I am honestly proud that I finished..."
Enshadowed (Nevermore #2)
 
5.0
"First off... that freaking cliffhanger!? I can't even... I could not imagine having read this the year it came out..."
Nevermore (Nevermore #1)
 
4.7
" It's great! What I love the most is how dark and gritty the world felt. It was so cool..."
House of Night: Hunted
 
3.3
"So the Nerd Herd is now underground and hiding away from Kalona. Aphrodite and Stevie-Rae have imprinted, Stark is an..."
House of Night: Untamed
 
3.3
"So this one picks up right where the other left off and don't worry if you haven't read the others..."
House of Night: Chosen
 
3.3
"Zoey now knows that her old mentor is not what she claims to be. She's hiding something and doing things..."
House of Night: Betrayed
 
3.3
"This one picks up not far where Marked left off. Zoey is now in charge of the Daughters of Darkness...."
Roar (Stormheart #1)
 
N/A
"DNF PAGE 133 - I hate DNFing a book. I hardly ever do it. I personally feel like I'm giving..."
Truthers
 
3.3
"So, I've said before that for some reason I love conspiracy theories. Do I believe any of them? No. I..."
Mask of Shadows
 
3.3
"Okay I loved the premise of this book and I love the fact that it features a Genderfluid MC but..."
Hunted
 
3.7
"What I love most about this book is the setting. Medieval Russia, like hell yeah sign me up! I love..."
Come Home, Angus
 
5.0
"Most of us have days when we just get mad. We don’t know why. We don’t know who is to..."
Rulers of the Playground
 
4.5
"Jonah wants to rule the playground. And he’s a good ruler. Except when he’s not. The problem is that Lennox..."
Plant the Tiny Seed
 
4.5
" This book relies on the interactive nature of read-alouds for young children. Beginning with a single zinnia seed, the..."
The Hanging Girl
 
4.0
"The Hanging Girl was a quick, suspenseful read. Author Eileen Cook has a great writing style. The story picked up..."
June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny
 
3.5
"In JUNE SPARROW AND THE MILLION DOLLAR PENNY, June Sparrow is a very rich pre-teen living in New York City..."
Princess Breeze
 
4.3
"This is the second book in a very adorable, fun series. This story starts with Breeze Brannigan's end of the..."
Story Sparks:  Finding Your Best Story Ideas & Turning Them into Compelling Fiction
 
4.0
"This is an easy to read reference book on how to take creative ideas and thoughts and turn them into..."
Coming Up For Air
 
4.3
"Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat. All of Maggie’s focus and free time..."