Thursday, December 20, 2012

Celebrating Debutantes: Author Susan Dennard (Interview + Giveaway)

Today, let's welcome the author who's got gorgeous covers on her books!

Author Susan Dennard

"The whole reason I ever wrote SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY was so other people could read it and share in the story I've got trapped in my heart."

- SUSAN DENNARD, debut author of 2012

How was the feeling of being a published author, at last?

Oh wow, people probably aren't going to like this answer, but my release day very anticlimactic. The most exciting part of the whole publishing process was first getting my agent and then getting a book deal--THOSE were the most exhilarating moments of my life. But then there's this 2 year wait before the book is actually in stores, and even though you're editing and editing some more, it's a really, REALLY long time to wait...

Then you have ARCs which people read, and it's kind of like having your book out there already. THEN, you finally hit your release day, but so many people have already read your book, you've been waiting so long, and you put a lot of pressure on it to be this Very Big Day...but it isn't. It's just another day in your life, but now you can see your book on a shelf (which I WILL say was an awesome feeling). :) But then it's right back to deadlines and writing sequels and your life really hasn't changed... 

I've heard a lot of authors feel this way--kind of let down by the release day--so I actually knew what to expect. Thus, rather than stress about my book or how sales were, I spent my launch day with my husband at the beach. ;)

(Sidenote: A lot of debut authors would agree with you. I've interviewed several already, saying that their book's release was just like a normal day. But it's always amazing to see your name printed on the books on the shelves, finally(!).)

What is/are the best thing/s that happened after your book was published?

Goodness, the best thing BY FAR is fan mail and meeting fans. I just love-love-LOVE meeting readers or getting their emails/fan art/letters. The whole reason I ever wrote SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY was so other people could read it and share in the story I've got trapped in my heart. When people do share and do love, it brings me so much joy and satisfaction.

Are you interested in writing with different genre or audience?

Absolutely. I am a big adult fantasy/sci-fi/romance reader, and I would love to dabble in those genres. I have an adult epic fantasy project currently in the works as well as an adult space opera (coauthored with Sarah J. Maas, THRONE OF GLASS).

I would also love to write middle grade one day too...and of course, I'll always write YA. It still takes up a huge piece of my heart. 

Fave character from a book (not yours)?

Eugenides from Megan Whalen Turner's QUEEN'S THIEF series. I. Am. In Love. WITH HIM. He is such an amazing character, and the books in that series are so rich and so complex. KING OF ATTOLIA is one of my all-time favorite books.

Tell us about your next project. 

Right now, I'm revising a novella in the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY universe and also drafting the final book in the trilogy. When I'm not working on that, I've got my adult fantasy series (SCREECHERS) and a YA contemporary I'm writing for the sheer love of writing.

(Sidenote: Wow. You've got lots of projects for us to check out! :)

What's the recent thing that made you cry?

I heard a story on NPR about suicide dogs in WWII. These dogs were trained to go into situations with explosive vests...and once they had reached the location, their vests were detonated. I just sobbed and sobbed thinking about those dogs who were just doing as their masters ordered with no idea what was coming--and I then I sobbed some more thinking about the poor masters who had to send their dogs to death.

Phew. Lots of sobbing...and I was driving the whole time. Oops. ;)

When's your birthday?

I was born February 25th--which makes me a Pisces. I am SUCH a Pisces, it's ridiculous...and, as my horoscope predicts, my best friend is ALSO a Pisces.

(Sidenote: Horoscopes are good at predicting. That sometimes..I believe in them.)


Know more about Susan!

"I’m a 28-year-old reader, writer, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I really like swoon-worthy rogues).

I live in the Midwestern US with my French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about my crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on twitter, facebook, or Goodreads.

My debut, Something Strange and Deadly,  is now available from HarperTeen, and you will never believe how happy this makes me!"

Check also out her website and blog!

The debut

Something Strange and Deadly
by Susan Dennard
(Something Strange and Deadly #1)

Published: July 24th 2012 by HarperTeen

Summary (Goodreads):

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.


Praises for Something Strange and Deadly

"This debut novel is quite compelling and features a plot that moves at breakneck speed. The plot is full of action, betrayal, and romance." - Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) 

"Thrilling, charming, and dark, Something Strange and Deadly is a delicious sandwich of harmonious flavors. I fell for Daniel, I soaked in the zombie mayhem with glee, I delighted in the steampunk fashion and gadgetry. If you enjoyed The Clockwork Angel, you’ll love this. Fantastical fun. " - Marie Lu, author of the LEGEND trilogy

"Mystery, romance, humor, action, a sure-fire setting: Dennard delivers." - Kirkus Reviews 

“Debut author Dennard deftly weaves together a vast plot blending historical fiction, horror, romance, and mystery. A roaring-and addictive-gothic world.” - Publishers Weekly 

"From the first page, readers will be awakened to an 1876 Philadelphia replete with animated corpses, irresistible romance and a game of intrigue. Those who enjoy Cassandra Clare’s the Infernal Devices series will be spellbound by Dennard’s macabre and impressive debut"- Shelf Awareness

"A wonderfully brisk pace sweeps readers into an intriguing mystery. Eleanor serves as a highly entertaining guide and readers will find themselves settling in among the undead just fine." - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 

Buy Something Strange and Deadly now!
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

The sequel

A Darkness Strange and Lovely
by Susan Dennard
(Something Strange and Deadly #2)

Expected publication: July 23rd 2013
by HarperTeen

Summary (Goodreads):

Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.


Pre-order A Darkness Strange and Lovely now!
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

(Please READ these important details before jumping to the Rafflecopter! :)
- win SIGNED swag (bookmark, character trading cards and stickers)!
- open to US and Canada only.
- one winner will be picked via Rafflecopter entries.
- the winning entry will be CHECKED. So please be honest in entering each one of them--you never know, it might be the winning entry.
- if the winner has not responded within 48 hours, another winner will be picked.
- all personal details will be kept privately and deleted after.
- Susan and I are not responsible for any lost or damaged packages.
- ends January 4th

* Thanks a lot Susan for taking time in responding to my email even if Celebrating Debutantes has started. Thanks also for your donation of signed swag for the giveaway! :)

Previous author (Dec. 18th): C.J Redwine (Defiance)
Next author (Dec. 22nd): Aimee Agresti (Illuminate)
Intro post/CD page

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm reading Something Strange and Deadly right now! I love it!! <3 I will definitely pre-order the next :D

  2. OOoh zombies. Love a good love story with zombies.

  3. I think the cover looks amazing, this one is definitely on my TBR list.

  4. I LOVED Something Strange & Deadly! I can't wait for A Darkness Strange & Lovely to come out!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. OOOOO!!!! I have this book!!!! But I haven't read it yet. School has taken over and I have yet to emerge from the deep, dark cave. But, it's officially the start of winter break today! So I should read it, right? *crosses fingers*

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  6. Sounds very interesting and it has an awesome cover!

  7. Would love to read this series. They have such nice covers.

  8. I would love to finally read this book! The cover is just totally awesome, can`t wait to get this book in my hands :)

  9. I am looking forward to reading both books!!!!

  10. I totally understand the cookie addiction.

  11. I love reading interviews...they let me know more about my favourite authors!

  12. I really like these books!Thanks for this giveaway!

  13. Really enjoyed reading this interview. Congrats on your debut novel!! I have been wanting to read this book for quite sometime now. The cover really caught my eye! The second book looks fantastic as well. Thank you for sharing!!

  14. Loved the interview, really interesting! This book looks really good, and I love the cover!

  15. I love the covers for the books, they are stunning.

  16. GAHHHH cannot WAIT for A Darkness Strange and Lovely! LOVED the first book, so the second should be pretty awesome :D Thanks for the amazing giveaway!


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