Hello everyone! I am one of many tour hosts participating in Susan Dennard's Blog Tour, for her Debut Novel: Something Strange And Deadly! Thank you Shane @ Itching for Books, for letting me participate! Here you will read an Interview that I'm so glad to have had with Susan. You will also see my Review, the Book trailer and The Giveaway! Thank you for stopping by and Click Here To Check Out The Other Tour Stops!
Title: Something Strange And Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Release Date: July 24, 2012 (Available Now)
The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
Interview W/Author Susan Dennard
*Tell me a little about you*
I’m a 28-year-old writer turned marine biologist turned writer again. I have two dogs, two cats, and a French husband who cooks for me. ;) When I’m not writing, I’m reading, spending time outside, or daydreaming…
*What inspired you to write to Something Strange And Deadly?*
Something Strange and Deadly actually came from a dream—or the basic premise did. In the dream, my brother was missing, and the only people who could help me were a ragtag team of outcasts. This dream haunted me for days, so I finally sat down and fleshed it into a full story with a full cast of characters. It took me another few days to find a setting I liked—1876 Philadelphia—but once I had all those details worked out, I set to plotting the actual book!
*Did you have to research and if yes, how was that process like?*
I did a ton of research—both for book 1, book 2, book 3, and a possible novella. Each book demands ~1 month of research before I work—and I force myself to cap the research at 1 month! It’s so easy to get caught up in the research (oh my, who knew the history of Philadelphia’s Arch Street Theatre could be so fascinating?) that you don’t start writing the book. Fortunately the bulk of the “aura” research—i.e. details that set the tone and feel of 1876, such as etiquette rules or fashion or slang—were knocked out with book 1. Unfortunately, the bulk of my research time is actually spent just figuring out how each city was laid out and where I can set each scene. For book 1, I must have combed through every cemetery in Philadelphia before I finally settled on Laurel Hill as the perfect one! And getting a full grasp of the scale and scope of the Centennial Exhibition (the first American World’s Fair) was nigh impossible! I read at least 20 primary sources (guidebooks, diaries, newspaper articles) before I felt I had even the slightest sense of what the Exhibition was all about.
*What are you currently working on?*
I’m currently writing a novella set in the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY universe as well as the third, untitled book. It’s so odd to be wrapping up Eleanor’s trilogy when book 1 hasn’t even released yet!
*Who are your all time favorite authors?*
Robin Hobb, Ursula K. Le Guin, Lloyd Alexander, Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, Agatha Christie, and E.M. Forster. A whole bunch of fantasy writers and a few classics thrown in. ;) What can I say? I adore far off places, but solid prose and clever turns of phrase will get me too.
*What are you reading now?*
I’m currently reading SCARLET by Marissa Meyer—the sequel to CINDER. It is SO. GOOD. I don’t know how I’m ever going to wait for the third book, CRESS…
*Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?*
Dream big and don’t ever give up. It’s so cliché, but I actually think success is built on three things: setting your sights high, working hard, and never giving up. That last one—perseverance—can be the hardest, but it’s also the most important! You can’t let the world get you down. Things are so slow in publishing and criticism can be so hard to deal with…BUT, if you can power through that, you can power through anything!
Thank you so much for answering my questions and for your time!
Let me just say first, this was really well written! It felt like I was in the story, through the language, setting, described clothing, props/items; all of it gave me a glimpse of what it would be like to be in the 19th Century, the year 1876. The story itself was very creative and unpredictable, so you just never know where this story is going to turn. I really liked this story, the zombies; having it set in Philadelphia, in 1876; the mystery aspect, the characters, and a questionable Romance. Eleanor Fitt seems like a strong minded character and reading from her POV was just great; I liked that a lot, as we go along this uncertain journey with her. Other characters in the novel, including the mysterious Daniel Sheridan, was lovely to read, and he is one to watch out for :)
Throughout the story, there are unexpected turns of events, especially towards the end, oh my, towards the end! You will be shocked at what happens. Shocked. The ending immediately made me want to read the next book in this series, so I look forward to it!
My Rating: 4.5/5