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09 November 2010 @ 09:15 pm
Interview with Brenna Yovanoff  
Today we have with us the incredible Brenna Yovanoff. Brenna’s book, THE REPLACEMENT, debuted on the New York Times Best Seller List and has received outstanding reviews.

Kirkus called it “…a fast paced, dark delicacy.” And I’d have to agree. I was gripped from page one, and am extremely pleased to be able to speak to Brenna about her writing.

Welcome to the Enchanted Inkpot, Brenna! Let’s jump right in. Every writer's story is different. Can you tell me about your own path?

One word: revision. I wrote a really slow, really shaky first draft, and then I revised it. And revised it. And . . . well, you get the idea. I revised it for myself, and for my critique partners, and when I got an agent, I revised it for my agent. Then it sold and there was more revising. And I could have kept revising, if I hadn't had to turn it in for type-setting!

I absolutely loved the book. To me, Mackie's character was what made it truly special - beyond even the very original plot. Which came first, Mackie or the plot?

Aw, thanks! I'm usually a very character-driven writer, but I think I'd say that for The Replacement, the situation came first and both the plot and Mackie's character evolved out of that very bizarre situation. I spent a lot of time figuring out what type of person Mackie would be, having grown up under such difficult circumstances.

Tell me about writing from a male POV? Was it difficult for you?

At first it felt very totally unnatural and I kept wondering, “Why did I pick a boy's POV again?” But then I realized that a big part of my problem was thinking of Mackie as being a “boy's POV,” rather than thinking of him a very specific person whose voice is his own and no one else's. Once I started listening for him, it all came together much more easily.

I LOVE that answer!! What was the most challenging part of writing The Replacement?

The world-building, for sure. The world in my head was very textured and strange and I wanted to convey it as accurately as possible. Which meant writing out certain scenes over and over until they were doing what I wanted.

Were there any surprises along the way?

Well, publishing is one of those businesses that's just full of surprises. It moves slowly for months, and then all of a sudden things start streaking along and you just have to keep up. I'd say that for me, the absolute biggest surprise was debuting on the NYT Bestseller List. It was just so far beyond my scope of expectations!

Not a bad surprise at all! What's next for you?

I'm currently working on my next book, which is about demons, dreams, true love, and monsters. Like The Replacement, it's being published by Razorbill/Penguin, and it should be out sometime next fall.

Thanks for having me!

Thank YOU for visiting!! I can’t wait to read more.
Current Mood: cheerful
Jenny Gordonjennygordon on November 10th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
I love the lyrical, Burtonesque style of Brenna's short fiction, and can't wait to get my hands on 'The Replacement' - sadly it's not out until early next year over here in the UK. *Sigh*.
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
So sorry! But it will be worth the wait!
A View of My Roomjenny_moss on November 10th, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
Great interview, Lisa. I also loved Brenna's answer to your male POV question.

Brenna, I really enjoyed THE REPLACEMENT - Kirkus has it right: "a dark delicacy." :)
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think she really hit the nail on the head - and it shows too!
annastanannastan on November 10th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
Great interview. I loved how dark and gritty the world was in THE REPLACEMENT -- and creepy!!
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
It was great. She said world building was her weakness (which is mine as well) but she obviously worked it out in revisions because it rocked.
mguibordmguibord on November 10th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
Terrific interview- I really like Brenna's comment re writing a boy's POV.
Can't wait to read this one!
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
Hope you like it as much as I did.
Lena Goldfinchlena_writes on November 10th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the great interview, Lisa & Brenna!

I love your answer about your writer's path: revision. How true is that?? A willingness to revise (and revise and revise...) has to be one of those make you or break you qualites on the road to publication. Glad you made it! :)
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
So true.
Karen StrongKarenMusings on November 10th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
I've started reading the REPLACEMENT and love this story so far.

I also loved when Brenna said that she's stopped thinking of Mackie as "male POV" and started thinking of him as a specific person.

Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Karen - That was so cool wasn't it? Enjoy the story.
dawn_metcalfdawn_metcalf on November 10th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
I adored this book for having all the dark feeling of original Grimms and fairy tales of old while being completely real and relatable *now*. I love my copy and loan it out often!
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Great assessment. I'd have to agree.
kikihamiltonkikihamilton on November 10th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
Congrats to Brenna for debuting on the NYT list! I can't wait to get my hands on The Replacement - everything I've read about it sounds wonderful! Also, enjoyed the insight into writing a male POV. Thanks for a great interview, Lisa!
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for visiting, Kiki!
ext_138850 on November 10th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
I just bought the Replacement the other day and will read as soon as I can. Love the premise. Thanks for the interview!
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 10th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
Really hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
readwriterockreadwriterock on November 10th, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
I am usually an enormous wuss when it comes to scary/creepy books, but I really enjoyed The Replacement. Also, based on what is mentioned in the book, Brenna seems to have great taste in music. :)
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 11th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Good point! She had some great music in there. I liked that side of Mackie's personality.
(Deleted comment)
Lisa Greenlisagailgreen on November 11th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
Thanks, Cindy! And yes - it had a great balance to it. Just the right amounts of darkness, beauty, and humor.