The winner of the first copy of The Replacement is: EMILIE. Congrats!
And now, for an interview with the lovely Brenna Yovanoff–and a chance to win the second copy of the book. Please read on…
Brenna, welcome! Can you tell us the top five things you think we should know about you?
Thanks so much for having me, Ally! Hmmm, what to say about me . . . Well, here’s something you’d notice right away: I have a lot of very yellow hair that kind of makes me look like a small lion wearing a dress. Not as readily apparent: I like indoor-gardens, horror movies, cotton candy, and mittens.
The Replacement is a horror novel, but one of the most important themes is that of love. I really enjoyed seeing how the siblings in the story (Mackie/Emma, Tate/ Natalie) looked out for one another and cared for one another. Do you have brothers and sisters? Did that influence your writing of the book at all?
I absolutely love writing about family relationships. I think they’re so fascinating, and it’s really fun to see how they shape various characters. I do have one sister (younger than me), and I grew up with a lot of younger cousins, but strangely enough, all my main characters so far have been the youngest of the family, or else only-children, so I don’t know what that means!
Music is also very critical to the story–the use of music to orchestrate and create feelings in people, the use of music as release, etc. Are you a musician? What music do you find serves some of those purposes (release, etc.) for you?
Confession time: I’m awful at music. I mean, I’m so bad that I actually failed an introductory class in high school, even though I showed up every day and tried really hard. I just do not have what it takes. But I love listening to music, and I like to imagine what it would be like if I had that intuitive understanding that some people just seem to be born with. My favorites are almost always songs with clever lyrics, and I love songs that tell stories or have fascinating characters, so I’m definitely a writer at heart!
The Replacement is a book that reads very well on its own. The story arc certainly feels complete, and yet the town of Gentry (and what lies beneath!) also seem full of possibility for future books. Is The Replacement the beginning of a series? And, if not, what can we look for next from you?
As of right now, there aren’t any concrete plans for a sequel, which certainly doesn’t mean I won’t be coming back to The Replacement in the future. Currently, I’m working on a book that doesn’t quite have a title yet, but almost! It’s about demons, mortal peril, moral ambiguity and kissing, and should be out from Razorbill next fall.
Can you share with us one of your favorite paragraphs/passages from your book?
Well, I’ve always kind of liked this passage from near the beginning of the book, where Mackie is thinking about the town of Gentry, and his place in it:
“Gentry was two different things, and at night, I could always see that second thing better. The town was its green suburban lawns, sure, but it was also its secrets. The kind of place where people double-checked the locks at night or pulled their kids closer in the grocery store. They hung horseshoes over their front doors and put up bells instead of wind chimes. They wore crosses made from stainless steel instead of gold because gold couldn’t protect them from people like me.”
And, finally, what are you reading right now?
Right now, I’m reading The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, and Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I really, really, really can’t read just one book—I try and fail miserably, so I tend to read in pairs or fours. Next on the list, Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and your own Matched, which I’m so excited for! (I may have cheated and started reading it already—shh, don’t tell the other books in my TBR pile!)
Thanks so much for having me, Ally!
Thanks for stopping by, Brenna–and now that I’ve read your writing, it’s incredibly intimidating to have you read mine.
To win the second copy of The Replacement, please comment on this post. Contest open to US/Canada. You can enter until midnight Saturday night (MST) and I’ll post the winner on Monday! Good luck!