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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Author Intervew & Contest with Rachel Vincent

This week on Amberkatze's Book Blog my guest is author Rachel Vincent. Her shifter series is one of my favourite reads and the fourth book in the series, Prey, is due out next week. I was lucky enough to win a copy so you can read my review if you want to know more. However if you are already a reader of the series you won't need a review to entice you to buy the newest book in the series.

Rachel also has a new Young Adult series coming out this year so make sure to keep your eyes open for that. Until then you can see what Rachel has to say in the interview and then enter the contest at the end to win a book of your choice!


Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! I love your books so I am really happy you are here! I know a lot of my blog readers know your Shifters series but I am sure there are a few who haven't. Maybe you can start things off by telling us about the series so far?

Rachel – Hi Amber, and thanks! It’s great to be here!

My Shifters series is set in a closed world, which means humans don’t know they’re not the only things out there. But there are no vampires, witches, demons, or any of the other kinds of mythical creatures typically found in urban fantasy. There are just humans and Shifters, dealing with both real life issues and some really tense political turmoil. (Shifters politics, of course.) And I should probably say that there are no werewolves in my world either. They were hunted to extinction way before the series starts, because they couldn’t stop howling at everything that moved. ;-)

The series is about a 23 yr. old female werecat named Faythe Sanders and her efforts to carve out a life for herself, and for her fellow tabbycats. Because tabbies are rare, they usually have few choices beyond marrying an Alpha and giving birth to the next generation of werecats. But Faythe wants more than that. She starts out kind of indulged, because of the way she was raised, but then matures over the course of the series and learns some pretty tough lessons. And by the third book, Pride, she’s a force to be reckoned with. I’ve loved watching her grow, and take on more and more responsibility for her Pride, and those it protects.

Amber - How was the idea for the series born? Was it a long process or something that just came to you?

Rachel – Well, I knew I wanted to write urban fantasy, and that I didn’t want to do vampires, witches, or werewolves. I wanted to do something I hadn’t seen much of. And I love cats, so werecats seemed a natural choice. The overarching story line developed from the world-building, and it’s all been building toward civil war since Rogue, the second book.

Amber - How much and what kind of research did you have to for the books? Spend a lot of time with cats?

Rachel – Well, I spend a lot of time with my cats anyway. ;-) But yes, I studied large cat biology and lion social structure, then reversed the social structure for my own Pride cats. Instead of having lots of females and one male per group, the werecat Prides each have lots of men and only one female (of childbearing age). That particular social structure comes with a ton of conflict built in.

I also studied the way large cats move, both at the zoo and on nature programs on television. I’ve taken liberties, of course, most notably with the fact that my werecats have vertical pupils, while real life large cats don’t. But you have to know how things really work, in able to change them to suit your purposes. ;-)

Amber - The fourth book in the series is due out in July. How far do you want it to keep going? Do you have an ending all thought out?

Rachel – Faythe’s story ends in book six: Alpha. That’s the only one in the series I haven’t written yet, and I’m really nervous about starting it. Everything’s been building toward this one, and I hope I can do it justice. ;-)

Amber - You have a new YA series coming out soon. Can you tell us a little about that?

Rachel – Yes, of course! My Soul to Take (August 1) is the first in my Soul Screamers series, and my young adult debut. It’s about a high school junior named Kaylee Cavanaugh who thinks she’s losing her mind because she gets panic attacks—in the form of uncontrollable screaming fits—when she thinks someone near her is going to die. But it turns out that she’s not crazy, and people are dying. She’s actually a bean sidhe (banshee), who becomes determined to stop a series of unexplained deaths in her school.

This series is my take on the old Irish bean sidhe legends, and I’ve tried to really make them my own. I’ve added to the lore, and explained my theory on what all that screaming is really about. I can’t wait to show off Kaylee and her world!

Amber - Are there any other projects you are working on? Or are you busy enough? :)

Rachel – Right now, I’m pretty busy. But I try to keep an idea or two on the back burner, for when I (eventually) get a pause in the action.

Amber - How did you end up being a writer? Was it something you always wanted to do?

Rachel – Yes, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. But I never even thought about writing for a living until a few years ago. I haven’t looked back since. ;-)

Amber - What did you do before you became an author? Would you ever give up writing and go back to working in a 'normal' job?

Rachel – Well, in high school I worked at fast food restaurants. In college, I waited tables, worked in retail (selling first clothes, then jewelry), and tutored college level math and English. After college, I taught ninth grade English for a short while. But writing is really where I belong. I’d never give it up willingly.

Amber - What books do you like to read when you have time? Do you have any must read authors/series?

Rachel – I read both adult and YA, but mostly urban fantasy in both cases. I love Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, and most people know I’m a huge Stephen King fan. In YA, I love Scott Westerfeld, Melissa Marr, Simon Holt, Laurie Halse Anderson, and I loved Carrie Ryan’s debut.

Amber - What TV series/films have you been watching recently? Does any of the shows/films you watch influence your writing?

Rachel – I’ve recently discovered several HBO series, and I’ve been devouring the DVDs on my rare days off. Big Love, True Blood, and Carnivale. I also DVR Lost, Heroes, and Dollhouse. But I’ve been so busy lately that it takes me a while to get caught up, watching one a day on my lunch break, while I answer email. ;-)

As for things I watch influencing my writing…. Well, not plotlines or characters. But the effects, makeup, and rich cinematic style of movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and Hell Boy 2 put me in the mood to write my Soul Screamers series. The Netherworld (an element of Kaylee’s world) is very eerie and creepy, like parts of those movies.

Amber - If your Werecat series was going to be adapted for TV/Film who could you imagine playing the main roles?

Rachel – I think Megan Fox would be good as Faythe. But I haven’t had much luck dream-casting most of the guys. No one seems quite good enough to be Marc, Jace, or Ethan. ;-)

Amber - Lots of authors have playlists for their books. What music or bands would find their place on a playlist for the Werecat series? and the new YA series?

Rachel – For the Shifters books, I picture a lot of Disturbed, for the fractured politics, and some Drowning Pool. A little NIN. For the Soul Screamers, it would have to be a little softer, but creepy. Marilyn Manson. Massive Attack. Stuff like that.

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature what would you be and why?

Rachel – I’d want to be something that could read minds. But that seems pretty self-indulgent and self-destructive, so I’m sure I’d be the means to my own end. What can I say? Who wants to live forever?

Amber - You are stranded on a desert island. What 5 things do you hope to have with you?

Rachel – Matches. Books. A machete. A hammer. And #1, for company, and heavy labor. ;-)

Amber - Thank you so much for being my guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog. I hope you will pop by again sometime!

Rachel - Thanks, Amber!


Contest Time!

This week you can win your choice of book! But not just any book...one of Rachel's books! That includes 'My Soul To Take' (which would be pre-ordered for you and arrive when it is released).

There is only one prize but if you all use the Amazon links around the page and order stuff this week there maybe enough money in the Amberkatze Book Fund (just made that one up) to have some more prizes! So use the links!!!

To enter the contest tell us which kind of cat you would like to be!! (if you aren't a cat person you can choose another animal)

No Cat = No entry!

The usual rules apply!

Earn another entry for each place you link this contest on the net. Make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

The contest will stay open until Sunday 5th of July 2009 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.

If you are claiming a prize, have emailed me and have not heard back before the 7 day limit is up then post a comment here on the blog. Your email may get sucked into my spam filter.



Chris said...

I have two black cats (Chaos and Mayhem), so I'd like to be a black cat - or a black panther!

Jo said...

I'd like to be a black panther, of any variant, couger, leopard or jaguar. As long as I'm black, I'm happy. It's my favourite colour, and they just look so gorgeous. Scarier than the other cats too, in my opinion - something to do with the black. They're gorgeous!

I have tweeted this contest:

I have linked to this contest in my contest section, right sidebar:

Email: joannestapley[at]googlemail[dot]

Sarah said...

OOoh I would love to be a siamese - they always look so haughty - so not me.

I ♥ Book Gossip said...

I would be a lion or a cheetah.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to be a bobcat--the only big cat that can still purr

Sara M said...

I'm a very lazy person, so I would definitely be a house cat. Out of all of the breeds available, I think I'd be an orange tabby with no tail.

Aliens said...

I would be a Black Panther.

chey said...

If I had to be a cat I'd be a panther. If I could be any animal, I'd be a timber wolf.

I ♥ Book Gossip said...

I will post this on my site.

I ♥ Book Gossip said...

Emailed you my extra entry. Thanks!

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

I think Snow Leopards are gorgeous so that's definitely my wild cat choice. If I had to be a house cat I'd totally go with an Egyptian Mau. They have a rich history and are a beautiful breed!!

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

I also posted a link to this contest on my sidebar =)


mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

Blodeuedd said...

I love cats, they are the cutest and friendliest.
But which cat...hm, i think I would like to be a snow leopard. Must be in my nature since I am from a cold climate

Patricia Altner said...

Loved the interview

I would like to be a small black cat with a touch of Siamese in my ancestry. Just like the kitty I loved so much, Kali.

Heather B. said...

I would want to be a white tiger - they're cats, do they count?

Vickie said...

I would love to be Ragdoll if I were going to be a purebred. Sweet and huggable...yep, that's me...
= D


Belinda M said...

I would be a grey and white tabby cat..lazy and finicky

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at CoolCanucks.ca


housemouse88 said...

We have 3 cats inside and way to many cats outside. My hubby doesn't like mice. If I could be any type of cat, I'd say a cougar/mountain lion. Thanks for the contest. Have a great day.

house_mouse88 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Great interview! A jaguar.

Tez Miller said...

I'd like to be a housecat, an indoor one, in a home without children. Lot of lazing and sleeping about - it seems awesome :-)

LuAnn said...

Definitely, a black leopard! Very sleek.

Anonymous said...

i'm not the adventurous type, lets say i'd probably be a House tabby cat. I fat white cat....with long hair, maybe an Angora. And i'll lose my hair everywhere, juste like i do right now ahah

Pissenlit said...

I'd like to be a hypoallergenic cat so I wouldn't be allergic to myself! :D

I linked to this here:

Anonymous said...

A bengal cat! Small enough to pass as a house cat but strong and water loving and still wild!

tetewa said...

I'd be a dolphin since they are my favorite animal and I love the water!

Suzana said...

I think my choise would be african wild cat.

buddyt said...

I love all cats but the one that has always fascinated me and that I have been lucky enough to see in the wild a number of times is the LEOPARD.

They are such fascinating animals, strong, silent and really good hunters.

If I had to be a cat, I would be one of them !


CrystalGB said...

Great interview. I would want to be a leopard.

shal said...

I am a biiig cat person,and I love the contrast of black and white so i'd most likely be a snow leopard.
I have posted this contest on my facebook-http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/shaliesha.k.hinds?ref=name
and i tweeted-http://twitter.com/shalhinds

DrkCherry said...

I would definitely choose a black panther. There is just something sleek, sexy and mysterious about them.

Jamie said...

I want to be a black panter!! I just love shifting books with panthers in them. Yumm!!

Maija said...

I would like to be leopard!

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

Hmm..I think I agree with the others and say black panther. They remind me of the werecats and they can be very sleek and beautiful, sinister, and even deadly. A great beauty that can also be very dangerous!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to be a leopard. I like it's elegance and speed.

Tynga said...

I'd like to be a black panther, does that count for a cat?
I posted about the contest on my blog: http://tyngasreviews.blogspot.com/2009/06/giveaways.html

emmad said...

I'm not a cat person so would be a dog :) I have a german shepherd which I adore and would love to be a german shepherd. Very loyal and intelligent hehe

Margay Leah Justice said...

Well, my name - Margay - also happens to be the name of a cat from South America (similar to an ocelot), so I could say I already am a cat!


donnas said...

I would want to be a Maine Coon. They are so cute and furry and ever so sweet and friendly.

spgirls said...

I'd either be a black housecat with white paws or a lion!!

budletsmom said...

I just found out about bengal cats and I love their coloring so I think I would choose to be one of them.


Llehn said...

If I were a cat I would love to be a jaguar because I love speed!

Alexia561 said...

I think I'd like to be one of the big cats - a panther. They are so elegant looking, but strong and deadly. If I ever got a tattoo, it would be a panther!

Chris J. said...

I love your books Rachel! and the cover goddess loves you! :)
Your new YA series sounds really intriguing and I am looking forward to reading it! I always like reading new stories and especially when it takes a different course you know. Like you did with your shapeshifters.
As to animals, cats...I would be a black panther with bright Green eyes. I have always loved them in particular and can watch them for hours. They are ever so patient and just well...Beautiful. :)
Great interview!
Thank you Amber and Rachel!
Have a Cat-fabulous Day!

Chris J. said...

oh and I emailed all my buds and told them about the contest and cc'd you Amber! Thanks!

Kathy said...

My totem animal is the Lioness, so that is what sort of cat I'd be.

I listed the contest on my blog at http://kathyschaos.blogspot.com/2009/06/interview-contest-at-amberkatzes_30.html


- said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- said...

If I could be a cat, I would definitely be a Siamese Cat. They look cool, are really slinky (in all senses), and, on a fun note, have an awesome song--as provided by Disney :)

And please look for my email for extra entries!
I'm so excited!

I also linked this contest to my blog:


I also emailed this contest to 3 others (and you. My email is f22bdu@gmail.com)


SiNn said...

id chose a ligar because i lone tigers and lions and those cats combined r beautiful

Nancy said...

Rachel, though i'm behind in reading your books, I'm excited about your upcoming releases. You're one of the authors I talk about at booksignings. (Hey, come on. Can't talk about my books all the time!)

Were I a cat, I'd want to be a puma / cougar/ panther. I love the colorings of these cats, and their habitats.

Keep rockin', Rachel!

Nancy Haddock

cheesygiraffe said...

It's obvious that I don't want to be a cat. Although I love them my son is allergic. I would love to be a giraffe. :D

Pam P said...

I'd be a black panther, so sleek and cunning.

Anonymous said...

very pretty and innocent

Unknown said...

If I were a cat, I think I'd like to be a snow leopard.

These look like good books, please enter me into this drawing.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I would love to be a bobcat. Their small, powerful and feisty they remind me of myself.

Unknown said...

I would like to be a Panther. They are beautiful yet deadly!

Cathy M said...

Would love to be a big cat, leopard, panther or jaguar. They are so sleek and powerful and totally gorgeous in the wild.

Karen W. said...

I would like to be one of my spoiled house cats. :)

StyleVamp said...

I would love t be a Panther...Their sleek, sexy , elegant and dangerous..

Nicole H. said...

Any cat huh? Hmmm a Fishing Cat! Just to be different, I love them!
posted it here
and here-

Unknown said...

I'm not a cat person. I'd love to be a husky! They're so pretty.

Unknown said...

Shared on Facebook


Unknown said...



Anonymous said...

I shamefacedly admit that I haven't read any of your books yet, Rachel, but I want to! I'm glad that Amber got to interview you, because it's always great to hear straight from authors. I'm really keen on your take on Paranormal Urban Fantasy, too -- You're brave to have decided to write vampires out of existence in your world!

If I were a cat, I'd probably be a bengal tiger. axisor said "bobcat" because they can purr, so I figured that really special "chuffing" sound that Tigers make could be a good enough excuse to be one. Besides: Orange is my all-time favourite colour. As much as I like housecats (I share my home with several), I would love to be lithe and muscular and strong like a big cat!

I borrowed Jo_Scrawls' bit.ly addy and twittered, too https://twitter.com/GateGypsy/status/2434202774
as well as posted it to my LJ

Thanks for the contest, Amberkatze! I have to buy some books for work this month, so I promise to click-through your amazon links at least once!

~ GateGypsy

drey said...

Tiger, definitely. LOVE them. My allergies won't but oh well. It's not like I'll have them in the house anyway. =)

Thanks for the contest!

Cheryl McInnis said...

As a Canadian, I'm used to the cold and hot, tropical weather doesn't really appeal to me...so I'd kind of like to be a Lynx. Big and powerful enough to kill my prey, but graceful and agile enough to climb trees and cliffs too. Plus I'd have a really beautiful coat and cute little tufted ears as well, LOL


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Oh, I have to be entered. I'm soo ready for Rachel's YA series. It sounds amazing.

Let's see...if I could be a cat? I'll be boring and say a regular old house cat, b/c they are so adorable and it's fun to snuggle with them. Sigh, if I only had a cat...


L said...

I would be a Abyssinian because I used to have one and she was the best.


sscout said...

I shared here: http://sscout.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/another-book-giveaway/
and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rodrigosz?ref=nf

I love shifters since I discovered Christine Feehan a while ago.

I think I'd like to be a Tiger, then again, I'm a Thundercats fan.

I'd love to read some of her books, I've heard good stuff about her series.


Christy Turney said...

I would be a Siemese Cat I love their no fear personalities!

Christy Turney

Anonymous said...

I'd be a were-tiger! Hmmm...What a great idea...*leaves to possibly begin a short story on the topic*

-Lisa B.

-.- said...

Great giveaway! I'd have to go with Snow Leopard also. They're so beautiful, rare, and overall such fascinating creatures. :)

~ Popin

Book Sp(l)ot said...

Okay, I'm not really a cat person (love my doggies) but if I were a cat, I'd want to be this cat I saw on Animal Planet this week that's a housecat but has the spots just like a leopard...I don't know what kind it is but it was awesome enough looking that I thought about having a cat again!

Kytaira said...

I'd love to be a big cat. Maybe a panther or a jaguar. They are so sleek yet have such surpressed power.

I'm also a follower

lynda98662 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

I would be a panther, sleek and fast!

Please enter me!

Dottie :)


A.L.C. said...

I would love to be an Egyptian Mau because they are the epitome of what makes cats cool and mysterious.