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

Mother Cary's Butter Knife (Shadows & Light)
The smallest of three brothers, Keenan Mowat had a priceless...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars
Did you know that the earth is covered in three...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Three Sides of A Heart: Stories About Love Triangles
You may think you know the love triangle, but...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The November Girl
I am Anda, and the lake is my mother....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Approximately Yours (North Pole, Minnesota)
Danny Garland is so out of Holly’s league. And...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Penny Lost
Penelope Grace, usually forgotten under the shadow of her...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Chasing Eveline
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel...
 
4.7
 
5.0 (2)
Good and Gone
When Lexi Green’s older brother, Charlie, starts plotting a...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Glow
When thrift-store aficionado Julie discovers a series of antique paintings...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stolen Secrets
After an abrupt move across the country to San Francisco,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Somebody's Baby
Ever since Sloan won a reality singing competition, her music...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
White Rabbit
Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving, delivers another spellbinding...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Temptation of Adam
Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, his mother left, his...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Undiscovered Country
In the aftermath of her mother's death, Cat recklessly...
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
Frazzled: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes
Things are looking up for Abbie Wu: this year...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Apex (Hunter Series #3)
Being a member of the Elite Hunter Command imperils...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Mother Cary's Butter Knife (Shadows & Light)
 
5.0
"I have never heard of this author or these books and I am so amazed that I haven’t. Not only..."
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars
 
4.7
"Honestly, I loved everything about this book. It’s filled to the brim with facts and numbers about the universe we..."
Dune (Dune Chronicles #1)
 
5.0
"Its a classic. Not much more I can add."
Sunshine at the Academy: Book 1 of the Sunshine Series
 
4.5
"I really enjoyed this book. It's a futuristic coming of age novel reminiscent of Harry Potter although no magic is..."
On A LARP
 
3.3
"In ON A LARP, Sid is known to be a hacker after a past school prank, and she's a good..."
Code Name Verity
 
4.3
"The year is 1943. The setting locations are England, and Nazi-occupied France. The book is told in a..."
Good and Gone
 
3.7
"Road tripping with a purpose, Good and Bad is a journey, the reader won't soon forget. Lexi's brother,..."
Glow
 
5.0
"'There's a certain kind of light that I should have been afraid of all along.' Radium was discovered..."
Blood Oath (The Darkest Drae Book 1)
 
5.0
"I’ve always enjoyed Kelly St. Clare’s series and I’ve always enjoyed Raye Wagner’s as well, but together, these authors are..."
Release
 
4.0
"Wildly original--and completely realistic--Release is a whirlwind of a tale, one that will leave you both completely confused, yet satiated...."
White (The Wings Trilogy, #1)
 
4.3
"With Claire's parents gone, she is uprooted and moves to Aurora with her sister. Here, she finds a new fascination..."
Stolen Secrets
 
4.3
"What worked: This is an amazing tale with an unique twist on the holocaust and the survivors. What I really..."
Somebody's Baby
 
4.3
"SOMEBODY’S BABY by Lurlene McDaniel is the perfect follow up to her novel LOSING GABRIEL, which I absolutely loved. I..."
White Rabbit
 
5.0
"Rufus just wants one day of semi-fun, something he hasn’t had since his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian, wrecked his heart. But then,..."
Goldeline
 
4.0
"Goldeline has found a rag tag family with Gruff and his bandits. They live in the forest and steal food..."
The Last Namsara
 
3.3
"Asha, daughter of the king, is feared and admired as the greatest dragon hunter. She is nicknamed the Iskari, after..."
The November Girl
 
4.0
"Anda lives on an island on Lake Superior. For most of the year, she’s there with her father, trying to..."
Approximately Yours (North Pole, Minnesota)
 
5.0
"It’s been years since Holly was in North Pole, Minnesota, the place she loved with her grandmother. But now with..."
It's Kind of a Funny Story
 
3.5
"A mature contemporary YA, set in New York City. The story is told in first-person present-tense, exclusively from the perspective..."
Daughter of the Burning City
 
5.0
"Daughter of the Burning City was an enticing, mysterious and compelling novel. It tells the story of Sorina, an illusion-worker..."