Author Of The Week: Author Chat with Kate Pentecost (Elysium Girls), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Kate Pentecost, YABC's Author of the Week!!
She holds an MFA in Writing for Children &Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was recently nominated for a Rhysling award for her poem "Small Town Witches."
Her debut novel, Elysium Girls, is forthcoming from Disney Hyperion in 2020 in print and audio formats.
She is obsessed with the Romantic Poets and can be identified by the enormous tattoo of Percy Bysshe Shelley on her arm. She lives in Houston (H-Town, Space City, etc.)
Meet Elysium Girls!
In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.
When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she's a liar, she knows she's a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn't shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa's exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.
Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium's favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I'd been watching a lot of classic Japanese cinema, like Seven Samurai, but had also been thinking a lot about Weird West as a little appreciated subgenre of Steampunk, and really wanted to mix the two. When I heard a song with sirens in it (I think it was a Sleigh Bells song) an image of witch cowgirls in a desert attacking a walled city just sprang into my mind and the story came shortly afterward.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Sal is the character who is most like me, but my favorites ended up being Susanah Mihecoby, Lucy Arbor, and Mr. Jameson. I love Susanah's resilience and sensitivity. Mr. Jameson is based on my dad, and Lucy just ended up being a really great character to explore, which is why she has two POV scenes in the book. I just really like her.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel itself came first, but the title came soon afterward, which is strange, because I'm usually horrible with titles. I wanted something simple and somehow evocative. Elysium Girls just worked.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I really enjoy the very first part of the book and first chapter. I love building atmosphere and I feel like I did a good job of setting it up in that scene. I like things to feel a bit biblical.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Really just to keep on with it. Sometimes it's very hard to not give in and become distracted by the dramas of life, but in order to be a successful writer you literally cannot. stop. trying. Also, I learned that inspiration comes when you make it a point to put yourself out there and try new things. I say yes to more and it helps both my writing and my appreciation of life on the day to day.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love all the small mechanical details in the horse, like the small bits around the eyes, but I also love the details in the back. All the other girls on horseback--and on the back cover at the top, you can see the artist's rendering of Asa on his own horse.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
Oh, so many. Sword in the Stars by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta, Blazewrath by Amparo Ortiz, The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann (already out!) Mayhem by Estelle Laure, and The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter are all on my list.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2019?
I really enjoyed The Witch Elm by Tana French! It was twisty and atmospheric and lovely and I just can't recommend it enough.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I have a two book deal, but Elysium Girls is a standalone, so I'll be working on one of two possible books as Book Two. One is a time travel piece featuring a lot of classic rock and crime, and the other is a dark fantasy/slow-burn romance. I'm very excited for the chance to work on either!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Oh, I love revising. Drafting is fun, but I love seeing the stories take shape during the revision process. It's like molding clay.
By: Kate Pentecost
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: April 14th, 2020
One winner will recieve a signed copy of Elysium Girls (Kate Pentecost) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The metal horse is so cool and I can't wait to see how it's written in the book. Also the Dust Bowl has always been interesting to me so I love the premise of the book.