Rachel Vincent is known for giving us “throw the book” moments. It’s why we love her. She, like many of our favorite authors, knows how to make us fall in love with her characters to the point of being frustrated by their bad decisions. While her adult paranormal Shifters series ended earlier this year, we still have a bit more time to revel in the drama of her Soul Screamers series. The YA series straddles the line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy …and we love that.
We posted an early review of My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers #4) yesterday, but today we have Rachel Vincent answering our questions and kindly giving up Soul Screamer goodies to a lucky winner.
Rachel Vincent: Soul Screamers is about teen bean sidhe (banshee) Kaylee Cavanaugh and her friends and family and their struggles to keep Netherworld elements out of the human world. They fight to save lives and souls on a daily basis, all while trying to keep teen hormones in check and maintain a decent GPA. The books are dark and gritty (especially after the first two), with some humor to balance all that out. And they’re great fun to write!
Vampire Book Club: We were fans of your Shifters series before Soul Screamers. What brought you to writing YA?
Rachel Vincent: I started writing YA when I found myself reading a bunch of YA and realized how much I truly loved it.
Vampire Book Club: After the events of My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers #3), Kaylee is having a hard time forgiving Nash for nasty addiction to Demon’s Breath and its consequences. The teen heartbreak is palpable when reading. What’s your writing process like for a book so emotionally taxing?
Rachel Vincent: Um…I’m kind of known (or so I’m told) for breaking both skulls and hearts in my books, and I don’t pull punches, so…most books are emotionally taxing for me. I’ve been known to cry during the rough drafts, but I just power through and assume that if I cry, so will readers, and that means I’m probably getting it at least partly right.
Vampire Book Club: One of the characters in My Soul to Steal is a living Nightmare. What made her the perfect fit? (And was she inspired by anyone? You can tell us. Really.)
Rachel Vincent: Sabine is a perfect foil for Kaylee. Kaylee is a very nice, very conscientious girl whose life is built on lies (both those told to her, and those she has to tell, to hide what she is). Sabine is tough girl (for real—she’s been arrested twice) who tells the truth at all costs. At least, the truth as she sees it. And one truth she sees with absolute clarity (at least, from her perspective) is that she and Nash are meant for each other. Kaylee and Sabine are opposites, yet at heart, they’re very much the same. Both grew up isolated from the rest of the world, emotionally. That made Kaylee kind of shy and gave her trust issues. It made Sabine hard on the outside and absolutely fearless—she has nothing to lose. And she shakes up Kaylee’s world like nothing else ever could have.
Was Sabine based on anyone real? Yes, and no. Her name is VERY similar to a girl from my highschool who was rumored to have…been with my boyfriend. While we were still together. But that’s it. Really.
Vampire Book Club: Sabine is trying to be a boyfriend stealer. Of course, like Kaylee, readers will hate her. But do you? Will we one day like her?
Rachel Vincent: I think you will like her. Most of the reviewers I’ve heard from already do. And yes, I love her. The thing about Sabine is that she really, truly loves Nash, and she’d do whatever it takes to make him happy. Right now, she truly believes that the two of them together would make Nash happy—even if he doesn’t know it. But if she ever comes to believe that Kaylee is best for Nash, she would probably bow out, even if that extinguishes every single point of light in her life. But she hasn’t come to that conclusion yet.
Sabine has had a very, very hard life. She’s literally never had a friend, other than Nash. She’s been forced to fight for herself her whole life, and the only way she knows how to do that—other than literally fighting—is to take advantage of people’s fears. And Kaylee has a lot of fears. So, naturally she’s going to hate Sabine. But Kaylee’s a big enough person to see where Sabine’s coming from—even if she doesn’t want to.
Vampire Book Club: Right now, while everyone waits for the release of MSTSteal, readers can download a free copy of the new Soul Screamers novella Reaper. Can you tell us what readers can expect from this slice of Tod’s life?
Rachel Vincent: You can expect some insight into what made him the reaper he is today. You can see what life was like for Tod and Nash before Tod died (their pre-death relationship) and at the very end, you’ll get a teeny glimpse into the start of the Soul Screamers series, from a different point of view.
Rachel Vincent: None! They’re lives are hard! I’d rather sit in my office chair and write about them.
Vampire Book Club: With Shifters at a close, and the final Soul Screamers If I Die not too far away, what will we get next from you?
Rachel Vincent: I have a new adult series debuting next fall. In fact, I should probably be working on that now!
Vampire Book Club: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Rachel! You can always get the latest on what’s next for Rachel on her website.
SOUL SCREAMERS GIVEAWAY
Rachel, in her infinite awesomeness, was kind enough to offer up a copy of My Soul to Steal and a Soul Screamers shirt to one lucky Vampire Book Club reader. Head to the review post for all the details and to enter.