Giveaway & Interview with Megan Shepherd, author of HER DARK CURIOSITY

Week One:
1/20/2014- A Backwards StoryInterview [You are here!]
1/21/2014- Crossroad ReviewsReview
1/22/2014- Step Into FictionInterview
1/23/2014- Chapter by ChapterReview
1/24/2014- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview
Week Two:
1/27/2014- Mundie MomsGuest Post
1/28/2014- All Things Urban FantasyGuest Post
1/29/2014- Bookhounds yaReview
1/30/2014- Confessions of a ReadaholicReview
1/31/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

A Backwards Story is excited to launch the tour for
HER DARK CURIOSITY by Megan Shepherd!
Check out the other tour stops throughout January!
~*~
Check out today's review of
THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER
by Megan Shepherd,
and stop back before the tour ends
for my review of HER DARK CURIOSITY!
~*~
Today is the LAST DAY to buy THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER
for $1.99...
...unless Amazon/B&N/etc. extend the sale!


An interview with 
Megan Shepherd

Author Photo by
Kristi Hedberg Photography
About Megan: 

Hello! 

I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer. 

I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious, here are the dirty details


Megan Shepherd's parents' bookstore
It wasn't until a chance acquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing. 

When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line! I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary



I love that you based the first book around The Island of Dr. Moreau and the second one on The Strange Case Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Will the third book be based on a classic novel as well? (My guess is Frankenstein, lol)


You made an excellent guess! Yes, the third book is based on Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN. For the final book, I was dying to explore FRANKENSTEIN because it is just so epically creepy, and also a book more readers are familiar with. I think readers will find it touches on all the great FRANKENSTEIN tropes from the original book and also from later Frankenstein culture, like Igor the laboratory assistant, and lightning rods, and grave robbing.

What lies in store for poor Juliet in HER DARK CURIOSITY? (I *love* that title, btw! So perfect... AND foreboding!)

Thank you! I wish I could take credit for the title. That came from my brilliant editor Kristin Rens and the HarperCollins marketing team. We toyed around with so many different titles, but I think this one perfectly captures the mood and theme of the book. In HER DARK CURIOSITY, Juliet is back in London and has had a change in fortune—she’s now ward to a wealthy professor and once more living in luxury. But she soon learns that luxury masks a lot of darkness, and that money can’t protect her from dangers—especially dangers that have followed her back from the island.

I read this alongside another blogger, Stephanie from Chasm of Books, and you had us going with all sorts of theories and possibilities. You managed to surprise us both! How did you go about creating the suspense and laying down the groundwork for such a complex novel with so many twists and turns?

As a reader, I adore books with surprises and twists. So it’s natural that those are the kinds of books I want to write too. It involves a lot of outlining. It’s like building a puzzle: you don’t want to give away too many clues, but you don't want twists to drop out of the blue, either. I try to make some twists easier to guess to throw people off, and then hit them with something else they never saw coming! Mostly it involves laying a lot of groundwork in the beginning of the book: introducing pivotal characters and plot lines that might not seem important early on, but build to something significant in the end.

What are some other great novels full of creepy atmosphere and twisty happenings that you would recommend to readers looking for something else after devouring THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER and HER DARK CURIOSITY while awaiting the final book?

In the YA world, Cat Winters’ IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS has a wonderful atmospheric feel and is great for those who love their books well researched. April Tucholke’s BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA is full of delicious angst and timeless creepy elements. Kendare Blake’s ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is one of my favorite ghost stories, both funny and frightening. 

In the adult fiction world, Neil Gaiman is the master of fantasy horrors, with books like THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE and my favorite short story collection, SMOKE AND MIRRORS. I love the twists in GONE GIRL and NIGHT FILM. And THE THIRTEENTH TALE and THE NIGHT CIRCUS have atmosphere that totally swept me up and drew me into their beautiful worlds.

If you yourself could be a character from any classic novel, whose life would you want... and why?

The problem with classic novels is that they usually end tragically. I love the atmosphere in books like WUTHERING HEIGHTS and JANE EYRE but they’re just so bleak. It’s a modern classic, but I might chose Claire from Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series. She’s a nurse in the 1940s who falls back in time to Highlander Scotland and is swept up in a dashing romance. There are parts that are still pretty bleak, but I would so love to travel back in time, and Scotland is one of my favorite places.

Thank you so much, Megan! 
I'm so excited to catch up with Juliet this month and dive into HER DARK CURIOSITY, even more than I already was after finishing THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER! 
I also love so many of the books you recommended. IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS has been pretty high up my TBR list for a while, THE THIRTEENTH TALE is my third all-time favorite book by anyone, and THE NIGHT CIRCUS is pretty up there on my favorites list, too! Some other great choices as well, but especially those!
  ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  HER DARK CURIOSITY
Author: Megan Shepherd
Release Date: Jan. 28, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Buy: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO
SUMMARY:

To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it. 

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her. 

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again. 

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive. 

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.


~*~
****Giveaway*****


1 Grand Prize Pack:
A paperback of THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER, hardcover of HER DARK CURIOSITY, a tea canister for both books, and bookmarks.
US/Canada Only

5 Tea Prize Packs...
 that will include individual custom book tea bags and bookmarks!
US/Canada Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. I just finished The Madman's Daughter a week ago and absolutely loved it. The suspense of what happens next was what made me continue reading and that ending was such a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. I can't believe he would stay on the island and just push the boat that Juliet was in out despite her protests when she realized Montgomery had no intention on leaving with her. Just, gah! I'm looking forward to Her Dark Curiosity even more so!

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  2. I read Her Dark Curiosity and can't choose which is better, The Madman's Daughter or Her Dark Curiosity! I pray that the 3rd book fascinates me even more. And I truly hope there will be more books after that!

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  3. I can. not. wait. to get my hands on this book!

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  4. I just got the madman's daughter on that $1.99 sale! So far its amaaaazing!

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  5. I'm so excited for this!
    Wonderful interview, I love how each book is based on a different story!

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  6. Been waiting forever for Her dark Curiosity

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  7. When I initially read Madman's Daughter I had no idea there would be a sequel. I was so impressed with the book and it really stood alone well - the ending was phenomenal! I am very much looking forward to Her Dark Curiosity and to see how the author can transform the classic Jekyll & Hyde story into something completely her own.

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  8. I adored MADMAN'S DAUGHTER! It was dark and creepy and a great homage to ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU. Can't wait to read HER DARK CURIOSITY and see what's in store!

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  9. I love love loved Madman's Daughter, so I'm super excited to read Her Dark Curiousity!!

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  10. Megan Shepherd is awesome! And I loved The Madman's Daughter! That ending just left me wanting more and thankfully Her Dark Curiosity will be out soon. Cannot wait to get my hands on it! ^_^

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  11. I am totes in love with Megan's book, The Madman's Daughter and SO looking forward to seeing what happens next. Very nice interview. I learn a lot about the author. Thanks for the giveaway!

    - Beckie

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  12. I'm about to start reading a copy of The Madman's Daughter that I picked up from the library. I can't wait to start reading it! I also really loved Anna Dressed in Blood! It was really creepy and funny.

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  13. The ending of The Madman's Daughter was so sad, so I can't wait to find out what happens next. Congrats on the upcoming release, Megan!

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  14. I was really surprised by The Madman' Daughter. I ended up really liking it! I've been so anxious to read the sequel for months!

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  15. Thanks for the giveaway. I already have the madman's daughter and would love to win the sequel and read that.

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  16. I just read The Madman's Daughter last week. I really liked it and I am really looking forward to the next books! :D

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  17. YES! I CAN NOT wait for Her Dark Curiosity! You know I preordered this book!! I'd love to win either prize plus I love tea! :D Thanks for the giveaway! High five to Megan!

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  18. I love author interviews, it makes the reading process so much more personable I think. Thank you for taking the time to do a blog tour!

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  19. So excited for Her Dark Curiosity!

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  20. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE what Megan said that plotting something with twists is like a puzzle.

    How awesome to have Frankenstein next!! It's so cool that they're retellings but with the same characters in the whole series:) Difficult to do well, but she does it excellently:)

    Thank you:)

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  21. I'm excited to read this. I always love hearing an authors insight to their writing

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  22. I'm so excited to read this, plus it's releasing on my birthday yay me ^_^

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  23. I'm so excited about Her Dark Curiosity because Juliet evolves as a character.I honestly feel like I can identify with her.I hardly ever buy novels because I believe I should only buy them when I know I will want to re-read them in the future.This is a series I'm more than happy to buy.If I have any daughters, I'll make sure they read this series too. (:-])

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  25. Really want to read this! Had it on my TBR for the longest time!-.- I'm ashamed.

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  26. Thanks for the great giveaway!!
    Good luck to everyone :)

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  27. Love the interview! :) I can't wait for the third book- wow, Frankenstein! And I have to say that the cover for Her Dark Curiosity is soo beautiful!

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  28. I just began reading The Madman's Daughter. It is so dark and creepy, but I love it. It's my type of book.

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  29. Thanks for the great giveaway! Can't wait to read this book!

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  30. Oh, I absolutely LOVED The Madman's Daughter! I can't wait to read the sequel. It's one that's at the top of my TBR list. :)

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