Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Susan Dennard Author Interview

Photo Content from Susan Dennard

Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. Working in marine biology, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to you yet, Asia!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.

She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, as well as the New York Times bestselling Witchlands series, and she also hosts the popular newsletter for writers, the Misfits & Daydreamers. When not writing, she is slaying darkspawn (on her PS4) or earning bruises at the dojo.

She lives in the Midwestern US with her French husband, two spoiled dogs, and two grouchy cats. Learn more about her on her twitter, instagram, or newsletter.


Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not sure I can choose a single moment from my you—I honestly can’t tell you exactly when I sat at my computer and tried to write my first story. I remember the story was a fan fiction, and I remember it was a culmination of years of reading and daydreaming. I know I was thirteen years old, and I know I didn’t share it with anyone. For years and years, I wrote in private—some of it fan fiction, some of it original. And then in high school, I joined a well-known online writing community called Fictionpress. I started reading other people’s work, offering feedback, and taking their feedback. For five years, I worked (very anonymously! My family didn’t even realize I was writing!) on Fictionpress. But then, graduate school came along and my writing tapered off to mere hobby-writing when I had the time. I finally picked it back up again seriously when I was twenty-five. And now here I am!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in Eleanor?
I really do always have a choice! Ha! That was a theme that I never expected to be in the story, but as I wrote and revised the book, I really saw it unfurl from the various characters—and saw how Eleanor learned that she didn’t have to be a victim. It’s such a good lesson, and one I really try to apply to my everyday life. I feel grumpy today? Well, it’s time to choose to feel upbeat! Amazingly, that works most of the time! ;)

For those who are unfamiliar with Daniel, how would you introduce him?
Daniel is…a scalawag. He’s made a few bad choices in life, and he’s not a particularly classy guy. But, he’s determined, hard-working, and absolutely loyal—which makes him a great love interest and even a role model for Eleanor.

If you could introduce Eleanor to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oh gosh, I think she would kill to meet Rosalind from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Rosalind is such a strong heroine—always my favorite growing up. She sets out to get Orlando, and by golly, nothing is gonna stop her!

What’s your most missed memory?
Uh…tough question! I definitely miss being a kid. I remember when I was in fifth grade, we went to see the space shuttle Discovery launch. My mom’s cousin was an astronaut, so we were able to sit with all the other family members watching the launch—meaning way closer than the general public. It was in the middle of the night, and when the rockets started, it was SO LOUD and SO BRIGHT—it was literally like it became daytime all of a sudden and—and the earth just shook and shook. It was the most amazing thing, and I still remember it so very vividly.

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.

Janet Gurtler’s Who I Kissed is the remarkable story of Samantha who accidently kills a boy by kissing him. When Samantha wanted to make another boy jealous, she kisses Alex. He is highly allergic to peanuts and it just happened that Samantha just ate a peanut butter sandwich. Alex’s allergic reaction went into full blast that ultimately took his life while he was on his way to the hospital. Living with this tragic event, she must face all of her peers in shame for accidently killing Alex, a well-liked boy in school.

The story is more than about a boy who dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts, Samantha’s story about having to deal with its aftermath is the other part. Readers witness the reactions of her peers and how she deals with it and how her life did a full 360.

The writing style in this book is simply incredible. Janet has a way of putting words together that just clicks to her readers. Not only was Samantha likable and relatable, she felt authentically real. The story may sound far-fetched, but allergies to peanuts are very common. Not only is the story highly gripping and intriguing, it is also informative. Peanut allergies are on the rise and there is a research on ways to fight it. Who I Kissed is like three stories into one. There’s Alex’s story, how one single event can totally change your life, and the awareness of peanut allergies.

You can purchase Something Strange and Deadly at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SUSAN DENNARD for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard.


  1. Thank you so much Susan for this opportunity!

  2. Thank you so much Susan & Jean for this awesome giveaway!!!

  3. thank you for this awesome giveaway been wanting to read this book!!!

  4. Thank you for the awesome giveaway

  5. Great giveaway!Excited to win :)

  6. Your book covers are breathtakingly beautiful.

  7. Thanks so much for the giveaway Jean. I'm intrigued by how she described the male character.
    I am not a fan of historical-set books but this one sounds absolutely dark and that's definitely a plus!

  8. Thank you for the opportunity. Susan and Jean you make me happy and excited!!!

  9. thank you sooo much for the giveaway!

  10. OMG thank you for the giveaway!! :D Hear many great things about this book.
    Little Book Star

  11. Thanks Susan looks like an awesome story and epic cover!

  12. Thanks for your awesome novel! Can't wait to read this! :D

  13. Thank you Susan for the donation!

  14. thanks so much for the giveaway!!

  15. Thank you for this chance to Win,I'v been wanting this book and Just not had the money.Good luck to everyone and Happy Thanksgiving BookNerd! :)

  16. What a great giveaway! This book sounds like an awesome read!

    Julie K