Strange and Ever After
Release Date: July 22, 2014
If there is a summer book release that I am looking forward to, it would be Susan Dennard's Strange and Ever After. If you have not read the first two books of the series (Something Strange and Deadly and A Darkness Strange and Lovely), please pick them up and read them!!! I promise you, the books won't let you down. They are filled with mystery, surprises, and horror.
I had the great opportunity to talk with Susan Dennard about Strange and Ever After, the final and third book of her AWESOME trilogy. Hear is what she has to say about the conclusion of her trilogy!
1. If there is one thing that you want your readers to learn from the character Eleanor, what would it be?
Oooh, tough question! I guess I would like readers to learn (as Eleanor does) that there's always a choice--always. We choose not only what we do in life, but how we feel, how we face the future, and how we react to each other. All of the characters in the series struggle with this idea of choice--and this misconception that they don't have one.
So as Jie said in Something Strange and Deadly: "We always have a choice."
2. Ollie was one of my favorite characters in the series. Will readers learn more about Ollie’s background story in the third book?
We do learn more about Ollie! He is totally one of my favorites too, and the more I learned about his past (and all his angst! So much angst for our poor demon) then the more I loved him.
3. I enjoyed how historically accurate you made this series. How difficult was the researching process? Were there times where you thought, “I am never going to find anything?”
Oh my gosh, researching took SO much time! I spent more time researching than actually writing. BUT! I think it all paid off. :) I'm pretty pleased by how 1876 Philadelphia, Paris, Marseille, and Cairo came to life (not to mention 1873 New Orleans in A DAWN MOST WICKED). Though there were definitely times where I never could find an answer (like a setting description or a map of a city) so I would have to drop a setting entire in favor of something I could research. :)
4. How hard will it be to leave the story of Eleanor behind?
SO HARD! I cried a million tears when I finished the third book, and to console myself, I immediately started writing a spin-off series set a few years in the future. Maybe one day I'll write that spin-off series entirely and share it with fans of the Spirit-Hunters. ;)
5. You have a new book coming out in 2015 called TRUTHWITCH (Tor Books). Can you tell us a little about that book?
Sure! On a continent where magic is failing as people are corrupted by their own powers, only a mythical pair of witches can heal the taint in the land and bring balance. But the two young friends are yet to discover their fate, even as their world heads towards chaos.
Basically, TRUTHWITCH was born out of something I wanted to explore more of in SS&D but didn't have the time for: friendship. The loyalty between Daniel, Joseph, and Jie, the friendship between Jie and Eleanor (and between Eleanor and Oliver) really propels the plot in that series. But I didn't have enough page space to delve into all those key relationships.
In TRUTHWITCH, the heroines are best friends ("Threadsisters" is the word in their world), and the strength of their relationship is a huge driving factor in everything that they do. So even though there's lots of romance (I can't resist steamy romance!), the friendship between Noelle and Safiya (as well as friendships between secondary characters) is more important than anything else.
Susan, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with me. I really appreciate it. I loved Strange and Ever After and look forward to talking about the book with everyone when it officially comes out. I am so excited about receiving my pre-ordered hardback in the mail. I also can't wait for TRUTHWITCH to be released!!!
To everyone reading this post, please pick up Strange and Ever After. It is such a great read and a fine conclusion of an excellent YA trilogy!