November 7, 2012

Interview with Susan Dennard + Swag Giveaway

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)

Before we start, please excuse my excessive fandom. *Runs around counter, screaming like an idiot* I'm just so excited! I get to interview Susan Dennard! Yay! I am totally spazzing right now. Seriously. How could I not be? Did you see my decidedly fan-girlish review of Something Strange and Deadly? Really? Well, you can read it here, if you'd like to.

Title: Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: Yes--and I seriously can't wait!
Pages: 388
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 24, 2012
My final Rating: 4 Beautiful, shiny stars. :)

Susan Dennard
A little bit of author info:

I am a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I really like swoon-worthy rogues).

I live in Germany with my French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about my crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on my blog or twitter.

*The Interview*

Q: Ok, first question. You're another author with some seriously pretty covers. How do you feel about them?

A: I love them, of course! I'm especially thrilled with the cover for A Darkness Strange and Lovely. It really evokes the sinister vibe in book 2, as well as the Parisian flare!

Q: Have you always known that you were going to be an author, even when you were a marine biologist?

A: I always wanted to be a writer, and I always wrote for fun--even when I was doing marine science. I never really thought I had what it took, though, to get published. It wasn't until I was suddenly unemployed and dealing with a lot of time on my hands that I started to look at my writing as a viable profession. So, I went from hobby writing to actually studying craft and working 9-5 (usually longer, though!) at it every single day.

Q: M&M's or Skittles?

A: Skittles, for sure. I'm a sucker for fruit-flavored candy.

Q: I know that I totally dug the steampunk feel, but was it your intention to add steampunk elements, or did they just kind of root themselves into the story?

A: It was sort of planned--I love the aesthetic of steampunk, and once I had settled on Victorian times, I wanted to add a bit of that vibe to my story. But I also wanted the book to be very historically accurate while also being heavy on the magical/necromancy aspects. I decided that rather than go full-on steampunk, I'd just paint in a few aspects.

Q: As an author, how do you feel that you could better yourself?

A: I read a lot--not just books in YA. In fact, I have stopped reading a lot of YA because I find my writing improves more when I read things completely different: nonfiction essays, adult romance, 19th century mysteries, etc. I also think reading about craft and writing things that scare me--stories that seem too big or too hard to write--are great for honing my skills as a storyteller.

Q: Facebook or Twitter?

A: Twitter! I'm not very good at Facebook, and it keeps changing so I can never figure it out... Sigh. I sound like an old lady, I know.

Q: The zombies--what made you want to write about them? (Do you have an underlying obsession with zombie books too??)

A: I knew I wanted a dark, twisted element to my story. What I couldn't decide on was what element to add. I literally went through my shelves looking at book spines for the stories that scared me most. Pretty much any book with walking dead or hauntings was a guaranteed FREAK OUT. I figured if I was scared, I could transfer that fear onto the page!

Q: Are you one of those authors who needs absolute silence when you write, or do you listen to music? (If you have a playlist, we'd love to hear it!)

A: I don't need absolute silence, but it can't be noise that's related to me. Like, if my dog is whining or my husband is talking--that'll drive me CRAZY. Coffee house noises, though, or a playlist are fine. :)

As for playlists, pretty much the entire movie score to Pirates of the Caribbean is what I listen to when I write this series!

Q: Did you know how Something Strange and Deadly was going to end when you began writing it?

A: No! I never intended for it to be a trilogy, but as I wrote it, it became clear that I would need a second book to wrap things up. As I planned out that book, I realized I'd actually need a third book to really do the story justice. And of course, now that I'm writing book 3, I'm really wishing I could make it 4 books. ;) Luckily, I was able to do a novella (due out June 4th, 2013!) to help fill in some of the backstory I couldn't squeeze in the trilogy.

Q: Ok, last question. Is there anything that just makes your day as an author?

A: Meeting readers! Oh goodness, nothing is more wonderful than meeting people who have read and enjoyed Something Strange and Deadly. It warms my heart so much, and I love going to events for that very reason. My very, VERY favorite is book club visits--really discussing the story with fans is just amazing.

Okay guys, the author has generously offered to give away some swag to y'all. You gotta be from the US of A to win, but if you qualify, enter away, my peeps! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Yay, great interview! I loved Something Strange and Deadly. It's great to know that the cover for A Darkness Strange and Lovely fits the book so well. I can't wait to read it!

    Also, yay Skittles! Fruity candies are my preferred, too. :)

  2. Okay, so, if you realized that you needed another book for Book 1, and the you realized that you needed another book for Book2, does that mean that you'll need another book for Book 3!!! Hehehe I'm just messing with you, Ms. Dennard. Thank you for doing the interview and giveaway!!! It was great learning about an author and not just about the book :)

  3. Thank you for this interview, I find it easier to connect and or decide to read a book when there is some background about the author, like you being a Marine Biologist that is now a full time author, or why you picked zombies. Those little details are what end up drawing my into a story that I've been debating to read.
    Thank you Book Babe and Susan Dennard for sharing this with us :)
    Lil Berry @ Forget About TV, Grab a Book

  4. Ms. Dennard sounds like a lot of fun. I feel like I could be friends with her. I mean I love skittles and zombies too. I look forward to reading the book. Thanks for letting us find out more about the author.

  5. Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. Replies
    1. I'm sorry, girly. The author is the one mailing it. :( Be checking back for my blogoversary giveaways in January, though. At least one of those will be international!

  7. Such a great interview! You asked some awesome questions! I definitely need to read this book! I've heard such great thing about it! Thanks for the chance to win!


  8. This was a great book. Thanks for the interview. I loved the combination of zombies, steampunk, and the historical fiction setting in Philadelphia. Recommended! Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Thanks for the giveaway! Loved the interview. It is very interesting and fun learning about the authors behind the books. Loved the review... I enjoy reading historical fiction with a touch of the zombie horror and thrilling adventure Eleanor is thrusted in to. This is one of my favorite genres.

  10. I love this interview! Sooz is so lovely, and I would love to meet her one day! Thanks for the interview and

  11. I loved this book so so much, I cannot wait to read more by Susan!

  12. That is one of the most beautiful covers I've seen in a while. I will certainly be buying this. Zombies? Steampunk? And author who loves skittles (an important piece of information to have as a reader)? Yes please.

  13. I just bought this book because I saw Sarah J. Maas recommended it on her blog. The book is gorgeous!

    I love going to author events, but unfortunately have not been able to attend many. Interviews are the next best thing, though! She sounds like someone I would love to meet!

  14. I have had this book on my TBR list for a long time, but it is quickly moving up in priority, I have been reading so many good reviews of it!

    If being confused by the ever changing facebook means that you are old, then at 23 I am officially a senior citizen.

  15. this book looks so good! thanks for letting me know about it


  16. I love so many of the elements in this book and am looking forward to reading it. These are some great questions. I'm going to have to watch or at least listen to the score of Pirates of the Caribbean now to remember what it sounds like. I think that's a cool little tidbit and I completely understand unable to stand noise related to you.

    Am I the only one who doesn't 'get' twitter? I understand the point of Facebook, even if I can't figure out how to use it with all the changes. But twitter? Completely clueless.

  17. Thanks for the interview and chance to win! Excited to read this series!