Mundie Moms

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Interview with UNSPOKEN author Sarah Rees Brennan

You guys, I am so excited about today's author interview! Not only am I celebrating the release of Sarah Rees Brennan's newest release UNSPOKEN, but she's here on the blog!!!! Sophie and I adore Sarah, and we loved her Demon boys. As much as I loved Nick and Alan, I am head over heels in love with UNSPOKEN! Seriously, this book is full of awesomeness and has been added to my shelf of favorites. You'll be able to read my review for UNSPOKEN later this morning. Right now there's more important things to talk about with Sarah.....

Hi Sarah! Welcome back to Mundie Moms! I'm so thrilled to have you on the blog today Congratulations on TODAY's release of your newest book, UNSPOKEN! I am so excited for people to read this book. What's one thing you and Kami have in common?

Why thank you, thank you. I am pretty anxious for people to read it myself. I can frequently be found hanging upside down over sofas, chewing something (a power cord, someone else's purse, that kind of thing) and wailing in a muffled voice 'When will people read my book?'

Kami does not chew on unfortunate things. But she is, actually, quite a lot like me: I wanted to write a book full of goofy humour, one where I could relax a little and let my voice out more, and my voice is a TERRIBLE GOOFBALL. So the narrator of the book had to be like me in that way: we had to have similar senses of humour.

We also share a love for words and a similar dress sense: I like for a girl to be cool and wear very girly vintage frocks, or sparkly scarfs: to have fun with clothes and remain awesome and not be characterised as shallow for thinking about clothes sometimes. 

Still, Kami's much more energetic and dedicated to news reporting than me. She's a little me, a little Lois Lane and Nancy Drew, mostly her own. ;)

I love the way your write relationships. They're flawed, beautiful, romantic, heartbreaking, and always leaving me wanting more. How would you describe the relationship Kami and Jared have?

Aw, thank you! *blushes delicately, hides face* Well. I'm going to talk about this using the snippets of poems I use in Unspoken, if that's cool!

I think we all long for someone who will innately understand us, the idea of something like a soulmate --'Somewhere or other there must surely be, the face not seen, the voice not heard'--Christina Rossetti--and your imaginary friend would be that to you, and more: someone you could utterly trust without ever seeing them.

But then there's the flip side of relationships, the worry about losing your own independence, your individuality, that letting someone in THAT MUCH would be scary-- I feel that I shall stand/Henceforth in thy shadow. Nevermore/Alone upon the threshold of my door - Elizabeth Barrett Browning--and how much more scary if they were in your mind? If they were in your mind and suddenly a real person, capable of making real demands?

Theirs is a complicated relationship, in which they have to negotiate trust, in which they depend on each other, in which they sass each other while fighting crime, in which they balance need and want. So, and now I'm going to quote YOU: flawed, but hopefully beautiful. That's what I was going for.

* I seriously love the character sketches of Sarah's characters. Here's one of both Jared & Kami (images taken from Sarah Rees Brennan's site here)

You always have this perfect balance of romance, action, fun, suspense, and snark in your books, which I love. Which of these elements do you find the easiest to write/create?

Aw, thank you again! *blushes more, becomes dizzy from rush of blood to head, falls down on floor*  

The humour in my books is the easiest thing. Oh, I always have to cut down on it a lot, I could write forty pages of characters sassing each other and be perfectly happy. I have a sickness. That said, I find it easy to write, but reading back over it I always have the sinking sensation that I am not funny at all and have made a complete fool of myself!

I do love having a mix, though. I'd be bored with all action or all romance, but I always want plenty of both. I'd even be bored with sass all the time (I mean, like ninety per cent of the time is cool...) so I'm going to keep on mixing and hope you keep on liking!

What was one of your favorite scenes or chapters to write? Why?

Oh well. There are quite a few. I love several of the scenes where everyone is just being really weird, in all the different ways the characters are weird: when our heroine pulls her best friend into a cupboard, or two of the characters who aren't dating stage a dramatic break-up.

And I like most of the scenes with property damage.

There is one scene I pretty much lifted from life, though. Maureen Johnson and I once broke into a darkened gym and swimming pool. It was a crime. We were not properly dressed. We are bad people: it was my idea. I put it in the book, but I gave them a better reason for doing it than we had...

Can you can tell us, what does one do to celebrate their book's release?

It all depends on where you are and who you're with! I've had dinners out, been on tour, dinners in with special cupcakes... This time, I'm in France with Cassie Clare and Josh Lewis, Holly Black and Theo Black, Robin Wasserman and Maureen Johnson, and we're going to go out to dinner. They offered to take me to the seaside but I told them I might be too overcome. I shall sit in the herb garden and play with our French kitten and murmur wanly 'I hope people like my book' as the others come and sprinkle me with lavender water. (I should probably tell them that's what I want them to do...)

They're cruel people. They may throw me in the pool after half an hour of this carry-on. 

Many of us MM's love the tweets/posts that happen during the writing retreats you, Cassie (Cassandra Clare) and Holly (Holly Black) go on. Inquiring minds really (really) want to know, how much writing really gets done when are on your writing retreats?

We really do get crazy amounts of writing done. Way more than I get done at home, when there will not be people around me working, or saying 'ice cream in a thousand words' or discussing what they've done over dinner and shaming you. Cassie especially is a machine: you hear her keyboard going off like constant gunshots while the rest of us are flopping about like fish on the shore, talking about Jeanette Winterson or our favourite sorbet. And whenever you're stuck, you have a team to help you out, so you flap your hands about and go 'My characters make no sense!' or 'Help I just set a building on fire and I don't know why' and there is someone to help you: usually I just wail to my uncaring toaster.

Occasionally we'll hand one of our computers over to another, and that person will type stuff in real quick. (Usually that person is me. I'm in your computers violating your writing boundaries: now if you think you spy an SRB sentence in a book not by me, you MAY BE RIGHT.)

Last year in Mexico I was writing Untold, the sequel to Unspoken, and Cassie was writing City of Lost Souls (this information will also tell you how much crazier Cassie's publishing schedule is than anyone else's!) and we got stuck in a crazed cycle of competition, both trying to write ten thousand words a day. She can do faster, more consistently, but I have strange bursts of speed. Came the day when I was like 'SOUNDLY DEFEATED, MADAM, I have done it!' 'Jesus,' she said. 'When's your deadline?' 'Deadline?' I said innocently. 'I don't have a deadline yet for this book. I just wanted to win.'

I think she tried to throw me in a fountain, but she's tiny small, so she did not succeed...

Are you able to tell us a little about what we can except in the book second installment in The Lynburn Legacy?

Well, you guys may know my trilogy rule: book 1, set up, book 2, make out, book 3, defeat evil! I really do mean it, so that's a hint. I don't just mean making out--first book is where we meet most of the characters, see their situation and how it develops, see who they are and how they feel, and then book two is where you take those characters, their relationships, their situations, and change them--shake them up--take it a step up. Intensify everything and bring irrevocable change. And then in book three, tie everything up and do something nobody expects as well...

So book 2: kissing! Change! And as the theme of Unspoken and its cover is autumn, the theme of Untold is winter: the winter of our discontent, a time of cold and loneliness and wishing for warmth, the fear that it will be always winter (and never Christmas). Learning the secret of despair, and the secret of independence, and the secret of what you really want, at the end of everything.

Also my main characters go on a crime spree!


* Where's your favorite place to write? --A place with my friends. ;)

* If you could take a writing trip anywhere in the world, where it you go? --France is pretty good. But I'd love to go to Tuscany!

* What's one upcoming YA release you're looking forward to reading? --The Diviners by Libba Bray! She's a genius and a creepy-crawly horror in the roaring twenties... what's not to love?

* Are you team ShadowHunter or team Hot Boys With Swords? --Team Hot Boys With Swords! Hey, I love Cassie and Shadowhunters, but Hot Boys With Swords is my team, and the team of the Princess Bride, and many Very Handsome Historical Dramas Including That One Pride And Prejudice Scene and Pirates of the Caribbean! It's like a hot guy army with swords. None can resist.

* Happy Endings or Cliff Hangers? -- Happy endings for the last book, cliffhangers for the others. ;) The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last!

* Summer or Fall? -- Summer! I love the friendly yellow eye of the sun and like to sit out sunning myself to the dismay of my friends. Jennifer Lynn Barnes, author extraordinaire,'s father met me and was like 'Aren't the Irish meant to be pale?' and she was like 'Not if she NEVER COMES INSIDE or WEARS SUNSCREEN.' (Kids, always wear sunscreen! I am very silly.)

* What's one must have item you need when writing? -- Well, my computer's pretty important. And a cup of tea! I can occasionally substitute with another beverage, like raspberry or pomegranate juice, but only when there isn't too much blood in my caffeine system...


Thank you Sarah for visiting with us today! Now you guys can see why Sarah isn't just one of my favorite authors, she's one of my favorite people! If you ever get the chance to meet her in person I HIGHLY recommend that you do. IF by chance you're planning on attending the Austin Teen Book Festival, than you'll get your chance to meet her! 

I also HIGHLY recommend that you go pick up UNSPOKEN!

About the Book:

Published by: Random House
Released on: September 11th, 2012 TODAY
Purchase from: Random House | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him? - quoted from Goodreads

You can find out more about The World of the Lynburn here, and the Characters here.

About The Author:

Sarah Rees Brennan was born and raised in Ireland by the sea, where her teachers valiantly tried to make her fluent in Irish (she wants you to know it’s not called Gaelic) but she chose to read books under her desk in class instead. The books most often found under her desk were Jane Austen, Margaret Mahy, Anthony Trollope, Robin McKinley and Diana Wynne Jones, and she still loves them all today.

After college she lived briefly in New York and somehow survived in spite of her habit of hitching lifts in fire engines. She began working on The Demon’s Lexicon while doing a Creative Writing MA and library work in Surrey, England. Since then she has returned to Ireland to write and use as a home base for future adventures. Her Irish is still woeful, but she feels the books under the desk were worth it.

Sarah’s newest book is Unspoken, a romantic Gothic mystery about a girl named Kami Glass, who discovers her imaginary friend is Jared Lynburn. He is one of the mysterious Lynburn family who have returned to the sinister manor on the hill that looms over her town, and who may or may not be involved in dark deeds in the woods. It’s lucky that she’s a sassy girl reporter determined to discover all the secrets that have been kept from her by the town, Jared, and her own family.

Follow Sarah via her Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook 


  1. I loved, LOVED Unspoken, but I am still mad about the traumatizing cliffhanger at the end! Traumatized, I tell you!

  2. I want to read Unspoken very badly! But I'm a bit scared of this cliffhanger everyone is talking about... >.<