You can find Rachel
RR Hello Rachel and welcome to the Ravenous Reader Blog.
RV: Hi Nancy! It’s my pleasure to be here.
RR Your an accomplished author of an amazing adult paranormal series, what is it that drew you into YA fiction?
RV: Thank you, I’m glad you’re enjoying the Shifters books. ;-) As for what made me want to write YA, well… reading it. Over the past few years, I’ve been reading as much YA as adult fiction, and as with my adult urban fantasies, writing what I like to read felt natural.
RR Going from adult to YA paranormal, is the writing process different for you? Do you find it easier or more difficult? and why?
RV: Um… the actual writing process isn’t very different. I still brainstorm, and plot, and write the novel through from beginning to end. And because my YAs are shorter, they usually flow a bit faster than my Shifters books. The real difference is that as important as authenticity (of both voice and characterization) is in adult fiction, it’s even more important in YA. Vital. And that isn’t as simple as changing the vocabulary or setting. It’s an issue of perspective. Teenagers don’t interact or think like adults, and just throwing in some slang isn’t going to make your book sound “young.” Teenagers in fiction need to sound and feel like teenagers in life, and I agonize over the Soul Screamers books, trying to make sure they feel authentic. And I hope I improve on that with every book.
RR While you were writing MY SOUL TO TAKE, did you have a particular soundtrack in mind?
RV: Oh, that was a couple of years ago, now. I don’t think I had a list of specific songs at that point, but I often set the mood of whatever scene I’m writing with songs that capture the emotion I’m trying to convey.
RR I enjoyed MY SOUL TO TAKE because it is refreshingly unique and wicked good. What made you decide to write a story on Bean Sidhes? Was it because YA paranormal fiction seems over saturated with Vampires, Werewolves, Fairies and Witches? Or was the idea of Bean Sidhes (banshee) born from some other inspiration all together?
RV: When I started, I knew I wanted to write YA, and I knew I didn’t have much originality to add to the existing vampire/werewolf books. So I dug into research, reading everything I could found about all kinds of mythical creatures/stories, from cultures all over the world. The bean sidhe lore stuck out in my mind from the beginning, because the basics are familiar to most people, but I’d never read a book centered around them. And there were enough unanswered questions in the stories I read to allow me some freedom in my world-building. For me, that’s crucial. I need a little room to play. ;-)
RR How much research did you have to put into making the SOUL SCREAMER SERIES?
RV: I actually do a good bit of research, but always end up wishing I’d done more. So far, over the course of the 3 three completed novels and 1short story teaser, I’ve researched bean sidhes themselves, high school schedules and emergency procedures, psychiatric hospital policy and procedures, addiction and withdrawal symptoms, and the political geography of central Texas. And for a short story coming out in October, I researched more non-bean sidhe lore.
Honestly, sometimes the research is just as fun as the actual writing, and it will often spark new ideas that work better than what I was researching in the first place.
RR How many book are slated for the SOUL SCREAMER SERIES? What are their names and when are they due to grace book shelves everywhere?
RV: So far, there are three completed Soul Screamers novels, one ebook teaser, and one short story. My Soul to Lose (the green cover) is the ebook teaser, which was intended to introduce readers to Kaylee and make them curious about her world. It’s available right now for free, in several different formats, including PDF, Kindle, and Audible.
My Soul to Take (the red cover) is the first novel, and it’s already on the shelves in some places, though the official shelf date is July 28.
My Soul to Save (the blue cover) and My Soul to Keep (will have a purple cover) are the second and third novels, due out on Jan 1and June 1 2010, respectively. Because the titles are similar, I tend to think of them by the color of their covers, which I’ve included. ;-)
RR Who is your favorite character in MY SOUL TO TAKE? And why? I know that mine is Nash <3>
RV: Um… I like the chemistry between Kaylee and Nash, but right now, I think Tod is my favorite character. He’s sooo much fun to write. I also have a soft spot for Emma. But keep in mind, that I’ve read/written 3 novels and 1 short with most of the characters in it, so I’m kind of one up on you guys. ;-)
RR Which book of your SOUL SCREAMER series is your favorite?
RV: Usually, the book most recently written is my favorite, because I feel like I get better as a writer with each one. I’ll soon be digging into revisions for My Soul to Keep (purple cover), and I think that’ll wind up being my favorite. Though I also love, love, love the short story coming out in the re-release of a YA anthology called Immortal, this October.
RR Are you interested in writing any other YA novels?
RV: Yes, definitely. ;-)
RR I thought that is was a great Idea to have a prequel for the SOUL SCREAMER series. MY SOUL TO LOSE is being offered for a free audio download on audible and as an ebook on Harlequin until the end of this month. Was this the original intention or an afterthought?
RV: Actually, it’ll stay free. We’re not going to charge for that one at all. Ever. And there’s no DRM, so if you choose download it, rather than reading it online, it’ll be yours forever, and can be shared. It’s up in PDF format on my website, with no software download required. ;-)
As for the original intent, I’m not sure whether you mean the price (FREE!) or the story itself. It was always supposed to be free, but the idea to write it in the first place was Harlequin Teen’s, after I’d already turned in all three novels. Which made actually writing it pretty challenging. I was locked into several details mentioned in the first book, which had already gone to print by the time I started MSTLose. So the short story was actually harder to write than any of the novels so far.
RR Thank you Rachel, for being so kind and granting me this interview. It has been such an honor and a great pleasure to have you on my blog. I wish you the greatest success with your new series and hope that you return someday.
RV: Of course I will!
MY SOUL TO TAKE available tomorrow at book stores everywhere.
I have some serious cover love for this book :) So head on over to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of MY SOUL TO TAKE. It is a great start to a unique new series. ENJOY and happy reading.