Thursday, July 2, 2009

Author Interview: Rachel Vincent

Today, I'm happy to be featuring one of my favorite authors Rachel Vincent. Her Shifters series is about a werecat named Faythe Sanders, who is learning to define her own role in her family and fighting to claim a place in her Pride. The latest book in this series Prey is in stores now! Rachel's debut YA novel My Soul To Take is scheduled to be released August 1, 2009.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Um... I've really always wanted to write. If you mean what prompted me to finally tackle a novel, it was my husband. He basically dared me to make good on my claim that I would someday.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I get my information from research.

I get my ideas from...everything. The idea for My Soul to Save was sparked by 15 seconds of a music video I saw as I was flipping through the television channels. Often my plot ideas grow out of my world building. Once I know what the world is like, what the characters/creatures can do, I get ideas about what could possibly to wrong, which usually becomes the basis for a plot.

For instance, once I knew that in her world, Faythe wouldn’t have many lifestyle choices, I knew I realized that chaos would result from her rejection of the acceptable choices. So I had to write about that.

How did you come up with the titles?
For my (adult) Shifters books, I wanted something short and punchy, so I went with one-word titles that relate to the plot. Most of them have dual meanings. Stray is about a bad guy stray, but the main character, Faythe, is also a stray of sorts. She's strayed from her family and her Pride. The same with Rogue. Faythe is hunting a rogue, but she's also unintentionally become one. Etc...

Originally, I wanted to call my first YA novel Soul Song, but there was already another paranormal (adult) novel out with that name. So I started brainstorming. I wanted something familiar, but eerie and evocative. Thus, My Soul to Take. The other titles evolved to match that.

What are your current projects and can you share a little of your current work with us?
Right now I'm working on a short e-prequel to my Soul Screamers series, which my publisher is going to release online for free shortly before the series debut. Unfortunately, I'm only a few hundred words in, so I can't share any of it yet. And trust me, you don’t want to read it in rough draft form. ;-)

**This is available now for free download. Click here to view**

What was the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing my books is always writing my books. ;-) Seriously, it's all hard. Don't get me wrong, this is a great job. But it is work. Before any book goes to my editor, it goes through at least three complete drafts. Sometimes more. Then it goes through revisions, line edits, copy edits, and galley proofs. Writing a book is an enormous amount of work, and all of it requires total concentration. Personally, I can't do any of it while I watch TV or talk to my family, and unlike a typical day job, I can't leave it at the office.

Fortunately, I love my job, which makes all the work worth it. ;-)

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes. When I wrote My Soul to Take, I had no idea I would later be writing a prequel. Now that I am, I'm finding myself locked into several world building elements I wish I could tweak. As it is, I'm having to work around them, which is much more difficult.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Um... I can't think of anything that surprised me about actually writing the books. As for the publishing business itself, well, that was one big surprise. I had no idea that it typically takes anywhere from 12-18 months for a book to be published after it sells. I didn't know that authors typically have little to no say in their cover art, and sometimes don't get to use their own titles. Just about everything about the business side of things was a surprise for me.

Which book is your favorite?
Which of my own books? Well, so far, my most recent book is always my favorite, because it best represents my current skill level, regarding both plotting, character development, and writing. In my Shifters series, I'm very proud of Prey right now. I'm expecting it to upset some people, but that only means that I've done my job well--that I've made them care about my characters as if they were real people.

In the Soul Screamers series, my favorite so far is the third, which doesn't have an official title yet. That book allowed me to take advantage of the world building elements and the character relationships I'd been building over the course of the two previous books, and I like how it's turned out. Though it still needs to be polished. That one won't be out until June of 2010, so there's some time. ;-)

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Frankly, I don't write my novels with a message in mind. I write to entertain. That said, I have noticed several recurring themes in my writing. In the Shifters books, those include seeking independence, gaining maturity, and the fight for both gender and class equality.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes! Thank you so much for reading!


Thanks Rachel!

For more information about Rachel Vincent and her Shifters & Soul Screamers series check out her website here.

40 comments:

  1. I had seen these books around but had no idea what they were about. And now I must read them, because I've always wished I could find a book/series about werecats! I also love the cover of My Soul To Take.

    Thanks for this great interview!

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  2. Great interview!! I'm so excited about Prey. I almost picked it up at Walmart a few days ago, but had to stop myself due to low funds, horrible. I'll be getting my hands on it after payday. Yay!

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  3. Love Rachel's books! Great interview!

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  4. I am really looking forward to My Soul to Take!

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  5. Hi Rachel, this is one of my favorite series and I am really looking forward to reading Prey.

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  6. Great interview. And I am really looking forward to starting this series.

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  7. Awesome interview! I've always wanted to pick up Stray and I think I will now.

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  8. Awesome interview! I really liked all the questions and answers. I smiled with the author's answer to "What inspired you to write your first book?"

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  9. Nice interview. She came up with a lot of good answers.

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  10. I think it's really interesting that she didn't realize she'd be writing the prequel until after she wrote the first one. I imagine that would make it more difficult. Great interview, I feel like I learned a lot and now I really want to get into this series!

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  11. I really enjoyed reading the interview! I have been seeing Prey all over the place but I had never taken the time to read about it....now I want the series!

    Cheers,
    julie.sherritt[at]gmail.com

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  12. Loved the interview. Getting to know an author better is always worth while. Have a great day.

    house_mouse88 at yahoo dot com

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  13. This was so interesting I love how her titles have double meanings, and how she finished her book was because her husband that was funny!

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  14. I just say a book from this series at Walmart today and it looked really interesting. I've always wondered if it was hard to write a prequel when the later books have already been written. It must be difficult to make sure all the facts and little detail match up to later books.

    Sara

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  15. I have been hearing a lot of people talking about this series and can't wait to read it myself. Great interview.

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  16. I am really looking forward to reading My Soul to take, so i think i might start reading her other series.

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  17. I've started following Rachel Vincent's blog. She's an amazing author. I look forward to getting to know her through her books. (Hugs)Indigo

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  18. Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

    I love getting to know the Author's and their works thru great reviews and interviews such as this - now I am eager to get my hands on this series of books (going on my list ASAP - especially Prey)

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  19. Nice interview, I never heard of these books before until now :)

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  20. It has to be tough to write a sequel for an already established book that wasn't framed for a sequel. But a challenge is good and must be met!

    Valorie
    morbidromantic@gmail.com

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  21. My soul to take sounds exciting! I'll definitely keep an eye out for it ;)

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  22. Interesting interview! I was unfamiliar with this author, but I'd really like to read this series.

    Thanks!

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  23. Fantastic interview. I really haven't heard much about these books before you. :)

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  24. This series sounds amazing. I can't wait to read them. And the author sounds so nice and creative. I love learning more about her and the series. I love the titles and her thoughts on the series. I want to say a Big thank you to her for writing them and to her husband for the encouragement.

    Thanks for the contest. I really want to read this series! Also I am a follower of this blog.

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  25. Hi Rachel!! I'm excited about the debut Teen Harlequin and that you're the first. I just started seeing more reviews coming up and they are making me more excited about your release. And too PREY! Congrats!

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  26. Great interview! Some great questions. =) I can't wait to read Rachel's books~

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  27. Great interview(:

    You asked some really good questions.

    I can't wait to start reading more of Rachel's books!

    They all sound so good(:

    -Lexi
    www.anotherpageisused.blogspot.com

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  28. Great interview, I really enjoy Rachel's books. She is a defintite auto buy for me.

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  29. Awesome interview! and you had some very good questions. I am looking forward to reading more of her books. Eagerly awaiting My Soul to Take.

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  30. I have had these on my TBR list for a while I am so intrigued I am going to have to jump in and read them.Thanks for the great interview.

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  31. This is a great interview. I'm really looking forward to her new YA book and her Shifters series has been on my to read list for a while.

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  32. I think dares might be highly underrated...and that I might need someone to dare me, I keep slacking off on my own writing or not getting as much done as I'd like (maybe I'll find someoen around here and push them the dare me...except I doubt it'd work then :P)

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  33. That's so random yet cool how she came up with the idea from a music video. Talk about imagination!

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  34. Really good interview. I bet she is so happy that her husband dared her to write a novel! I love shapeshifters, so this series is now on my TBR list.

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  35. I really enjoyed this interview. I recently acquired a copy of Prey. Can't read it yet, because I haven't read the rest of the series.

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  36. This was a really great interview! I've always wanted to read Rachel's series. I just don't have any of the books yet. The waiting list at the library for them is always so long too! So I know they must be awesome.

    My Soul to Take sounds really good. I think it's really crazy how she got the idea for that from 15 seconds of video! Or was that another book? Either way, it's still crazy!

    -Breanna

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  37. That's really neat how she came up with the titles -- I find those kinds of details fascinating!

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  38. Rachel always gives the best interviews!

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  39. Very nice interview. I've never heard of her books before but they sound good.

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  40. Rachel is awesome, now she has a Ya series coming out.YAY!!

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