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. 

 

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

Already Registered? Login Here
Guest - Amie Gaudet (website) on Friday, 16 October 2015 03:17

I would choose to be a gryphon

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

A mermaid!

0
A mermaid!
Susan T. (website) 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 (website) 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 (website) on Monday, 19 October 2015 22:57

Id love to be a siren!

0
Id love to be a siren!
Shannon Mizikoski (website) 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 (website) 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 (website) 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.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Beautiful Ones
 
4.0
 
5.0 (1)
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites,...
Ember of Night
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
I am a weed. Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic...
Made in Korea
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good...
Perfectly Parvin
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fourteen-year-old Iranian-American Parvin Mohammadi sets out to win the...
Havoc (Haven, #2)
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
For the first time in his life, Rain Ryland...
Finding Junie Kim
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Junie Kim just wants to fit in. So she keeps...
Parachutes
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern...
The Bachmann Family Secret
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jaret Bachmann travels with his family to his beloved...
Sister of the Bollywood Bride
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Morgan Matson's Save the Date comes a...
Nosotros Means Us: Un cuento bilingüe
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving bilingual ode to the unshakeable bond between a...
Awakened Are the Starry-Eyed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A new city and unexpected freedom give Andrea the fresh...
A Brutal Justice
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Protect the weak. Safety for all. Power without virtue is...
A Tale of Ashes
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Across the country, human teens are going missing, and all...
The Captain's Daughters
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What would you do if you were abducted by aliens,...
The Hollow Inside
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Phoenix has spent much of her life drifting from...
Truth or Dare
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Summervale… One of the USA’s top vacation...

Latest Member Reviews

The Beautiful Ones
 
5.0
"I’d really like to advice all out there feeling depressed and broken hearted from relationship stress, there’s hope for dr..."
Rent a Boyfriend
 
5.0
"I'm not even sure where to begin with this review, to be honest, because I loved this book so much...."
Reclaimed
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
New Moon (Twilight #2)
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
Twilight (Twilight #1)
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
Finding Junie Kim
 
5.0
"Junie Kim faces racist comments from a school bully at her middle school. Along with that her school is vandalized..."
Parachutes
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Claire is a rich Chinese girl living the high life in Shanghai with both her parents even..."
Sister of the Bollywood Bride
 
4.0
"SISTER OF THE BOLLYWOOD BRIDE is an engaging YA contemporary read about sisterhood, family, and community with a dash of..."
Nosotros Means Us: Un cuento bilingüe
 
5.0
"NOSOTROS MEANS US is a beautiful bilingual picture book about the enduring and unconditional love between mother and child. The..."
On the Way to Birdland
 
5.0
"Reviewed By Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite A touching coming of age novel by Frank Morelli, On..."
The Hollow Inside
 
5.0
"THE HOLLOW INSIDE is a shocking and riveting YA thriller. Phoenix and her mother Nina have been living out of..."
The Promised Prince
 
5.0
"Hello viewers, I am Eva Joe, from the USA, i want to use this opportunity to thank Dr. DAVID ..."
Spells Trouble (Sisters of Salem, #1)
 
4.3
"SPELLS TROUBLE is a thrilling YA fantasy that takes the reader from Salem during the witch trials to the midwest..."
Secondhand Dogs
 
5.0
"Gus is the pack leader at Miss Lottie's house, and has kept the peace well with excitable Roo, loyal and..."
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Road Trip
 
4.0
"HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE SERIES: THE ROAD TRIP is a fun book that compliments the show by diving..."
The Promised Prince
 
4.3
"When Renna goes swimming in a pond, she never expects to meet a boy named Trev in the most unladylike..."
I'll Meet You in Your Dreams
 
5.0
"I'LL MEET YOU IN YOUR DREAMS is a gorgeously illustrated picture book about parental love that spans space and time...."