July 10, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: Brenna Yovanoff author of The space between

1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
The main inspiration was a class I took in college called Mythical and Biblical Backgrounds, which talked a lot about story parallels between different cultures. We had a whole unit of stories about different kinds of journeys to underworld, and one day, I just started thinking about what it would mean to journey to the underworld if that was already your home. I got this idea about a girl traveling from hell to earth to save someone, and that was the first little seed of The Space Between.

2.How did you come up with the names for the characters?
I really liked the story associated with the name Daphne—a girl whose father turns her into a tree in order to protect her. To me, the heart of that myth is this idea of being so anxious to keep your daughter safe that it means she misses out on all the weird, messy stuff in life, and never gets to fall in love or take chances or feel anything. I wanted to start with a character like that, and then take her someplace where she would unlearn all the numbness and the self-control.
For Truman, I picked that name because I felt like I was dealing with someone who was just so utterly, completely human and I wanted to underline that, but there’s also a little bit of irony to it, considering that he’s got a fairly complicated heritage.

3.How much are you and the characters alike?
I’d have to say that most of time, my characters and I don’t have an awful lot in common, because I really like writing about people who are different from me. However, Daphne is probably the character I’ve written who’s the most like me. She has a certain matter-of-factness and a very practical way of looking at the world, and in spite of all that, she still loves whimsy and is kind of a daydreamer—just like me!

4. Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
I read all the time—as much as possible. I think that being a writer, especially, it’s very important to read a lot of different kinds of books, and during the times when I’m too busy to read, I start to feel like something’s missing. I’m SO bad about always reading a lot of books at once. Right now, I’m reading a beautiful love-story told partly in pictures, called Chopsticks, a book of Shirley Jackson short stories, a manuscript by one of my critique partners, and I’m rereading Firestarter by Stephen King.

5. What made you decide to go demons?
I wanted to write about demons because I was very interested in the idea of a person’s actions meaning more than their personal history or their “nature,” and demons are the kind of creature that we mostly just automatically understand as being bad. I wanted to write about people who had a bad history or did bad things, but when you looked below the surface, it turned out that there was a lot more to them than that.

6. How did the cover come about?
The cover for The Space Between is done by an artist named Nekro, who my publisher, Razorbill, contracted with and I absolutely love it!

7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
My next book is called Paper Valentine. It’s a serial killer story involving ghosts, and will be out in January.

8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
Currently I’m lucky enough to write full-time, which is awesome, because I get to have my absolute dream job! Before that, I worked in a color-process photo lab all through college.

9. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
I think I always knew that I wanted to write, but for a long time, it was something I did in my spare time. When I was in early twenties, I started taking it very seriously and working toward getting published, but it definitely took a few years. I’ve never worried too much about people’s reactions. I think the most important thing to remember is that every story is not for every person, so it’s natural for one person to love a book that another might hate.

10. One last thing do you collect anything personally?
Oh, I’m a terrible packrat! I keep a lot of receipts and notes and birthday cards that I probably shouldn’t, and all kinds of ticket stubs and flyers, and I love foreign coins and little dolls and seashells and pretty rocks. I don’t have any special, dedicated collections, though. Mostly, I like things that are strange and colorful and a little morbid.

Thanks so much for having me!
Where you can find Brenna:
                                   ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE!


  1. I really liked this book! I won't enter the giveaway since I already own the book. Great interview! I'm glad to hear about the next book, I'll add it to my TBR list!

  2. This book sounds really awesome. It's already in my TBR and wish list book. Must order a copy of it :)


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