I got the privilege to interview Brenna Yovanoff, and because I'm so nice I have decided to share the interview with you. (Such a good citizen, aren't I?) I read her book, The Replacement, recently and if you haven't read my review for it, simply scroll down. Brenna Yovanoff's book was great and I was simply giddy when she accepted my offer for an interview. Enough about how much I loved the interview, read it yourself.
1. Where did you get the idea for The Replacement? It's creepy setting? Creepy citizens? Mackie?
Honestly, I'm not exactly sure where the original idea came from. I'd wanted to write a changeling story for a long time, and I was kind of waiting for some indefinable thing to set the story in motion for me. I can't really explain it, but one day, it just seemed like a good day to start.
Where the town came from—that's easier to identify. For me, Gentry evolved out of reading "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, and finding it really, really disturbing. I knew I wanted that same feeling of willful ignorance/willingness to turn a blind eye. The underground world of Mayhem is kind of just a combination of things I like and things that scare me (I really like horror movies, so sometimes what I like and what scares me are really the same thing.)
2. Are any of the characters in The Replacement based on people you know? If so, what are their similarities?
Nope, all the characters in The Replacement are definitely their own people. I might have borrowed some here and there, but they are distinctly different from real-life. (However, Carlina's singing may or may not be based on a friend of mine.)
3. Why write a book that has a certain dark element like The Replacement? Are darker books just your thing?
I'm not sure exactly what it is about the dark stuff, but I've always loved the horror genre. As a kid, I was a huge Stephen King fan and I'll still watch the silliest horror movies as long as they're ominous and a little bit pretty. I just love a good atmosphere.
4. What was your favorite scene to write in The Replacement?
My favorite scenes were probably the conversations between Mackie and his sister Emma, and the scenes that take place underground. I liked being able to explore the relationship between siblings, and of course Mayhem is always a fun place to visit for awhile.
5. What is the best part of having a book published?
This is honestly a hard question because there are so many bests! I have to say, one of my favorite things is hearing from readers. There's something really amazing about being able to share something you've made with people you've never met and have them respond to it.
6. What character of your creation are you most alike?
I wouldn't say that anyone in The Replacement is particularly like me (although my critique partners like to tell people that I'm the Morrigan). Right now, I'm working on a couple different projects in various stages that seem to have characters who are more like me, but they aren't far enough along to say for sure, and it may change.
7. What are your top three YA books that you've read so far this year?
This year? Let's see . . . definitely Real Live Boyfriends, by E. Lockhart, and Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. (As you can see, I don't always read in my genre. Or, in the case of Anna and the French Kiss, right when the book comes out.) Also, this might be cheating because it hasn't been released yet, but I lovelovelove Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton, which will be hitting stores this May!
8. If you could take over the world using the power of books, how would you go about it?
I don't know if it qualifies as taking over, but I'd love to write books that make readers think about how they relate to the people around them. I think communicating, especially with friends and family, can be really hard, and I want my stories to explore that and maybe even help people feel better about themselves and about openly showing love and compassion.
9. Any random question that you wish people would ask you more often and it's answer.
Hmm, this is a tricky one. I'd say that I like being asked if I would survive the zombie apocalypse, because the answer is yes, and I have complex strategy that involves the mountains. Also, I was raised in a tent, so I'm very good at roughing it.
10. Can you give us a little preview of what your next book is about?
My next book is called The Space Between and it comes out this November. It's a love-story about a demon girl who leaves Hell to look for her brother, finds a dying boy on the way, and winds up trying to save him from himself. It's a story about complicated things like guilt and redemption, but also simpler things, like loyalty and love. I'm really excited about it, and I actually just shared the cover on my blog recently!
Wasn't that a good interview? I thought it was a good interview! Thanks so much to Brenna Yovanoff for gracing me (and you) with her interview presence! Go buy The Replacement right now, and keep an eye out for The Space Between!
P.S. If you like Brenna Yovanoff's style, or personality, or you want to know more about her, or whatever, go to her website: brennayovanoff.com