Interview with Mackenzi Lee, Author of “This Monstrous Thing”

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There’s something exciting about finding writers who live in your local area, especially if they write one of your favorite fiction genres. That happened earlier this year when I heard about Mackenzi Lee and her debut YA novel This Monstrous Thing. We both live in the Boston area, and her story melds historical fiction with steampunk – with the added bonus of Frankenstein. I wouldn’t say I’m not a fan of Frankenstein, but it’s also not something I’ve read much about. That said, when I read the blurb for This Monstrous Thing, the first three words that entered my mind were, “MUST READ THIS!”

This Monstrous Thing officially comes into the world next Tuesday, September 22nd. Which means it’s the perfect time to invite Mackenzi for an author interview! Today you’ll learn more about her novel and her path to becoming published, as well as her writing influences and her thoughts on the importance of sibling relationships. There might also be some bits about Mary Shelley, Tulipomania, and Jonah Hill gifs. Enjoy!

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Waiting On Wednesday, Vol. 10: “This Monstrous Thing” by Mackenzi Lee

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases that I’m looking forward to. My WOW postings won’t be weekly, but they’ll come on Wednesdays when my blogging schedule is open and when I add a yet-to-be-published book to my wishlist. 

This Wednesday, I’m waiting on This Monstrous Thingthe debut novel by Mackenzi LeeFrankenstein-ish stories usually don’t appeal to me, but that was before I read Mackenzi’s recent interview at EM Castellan’s blog. Her answers sing with intelligence, passion, and personality; and I was immediately drawn to her blended love of historical fiction and fantasy. You know what really seized my attention, though? Mackenzi lives in Boston, and works at Porter Square Books in Cambridge! So I’m happy to support a writer who lives near me. And between the suspenseful blurb and the brilliant, ominous cover, I’m excited to see what This Monstrous Thing is all about when it’s released next month.

This Monstrous Thing cover

This Monstrous Thing
Mackenzi Lee
Historical Fantasy / Steampunk / Young Adult
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis:

In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

What book(s) are you waiting on this Wednesday? Are you also looking forward to This Monstrous Thing?

Recent Reads: July 2015 (Plus, I’m Back from #WDC15!)

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Back from my blogging hiatus! 🙂 And WOW, Writer’s Digest Conference was AWESOME! I don’t even know where to begin with describing what an invaluable experience it was. So, all I’ll say for now is that I’ll be writing two articles’ worth (possibly three) of conference coverage for DIY MFA.  It sounds like a lot, but I’ve been so “in the zone” that each piece seemed to write itself in a fingersnap. Unfortunately, this means I won’t have time for a Field Trip post here at the blog – but I’ll do a special edition of Stacking The Shelves instead.  Stay tuned for that on Saturday!

Now, Recent Reads. Last month’s debut of the new format went amazingly well. I’m so glad that readers enjoyed the shorter reviews, and that you’ve been understanding of the change in format. Today I’d like to add one more feature that takes advantage of the shorter reviews: Read of the Month, which highlights my favorite book from the past month. That way, you won’t have to search for the highest rating or most positive review. 😉

So, what did I choose as my Read of the Month? What other books did I devour, figuratively speaking? Find out below!

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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 11: Of Fairies And A Female Knight

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

*Please note that, starting with today’s edition, Stacking The Shelves will feature links to each book’s Goodreads page instead of their Amazon pages. That way, if you’re on Goodreads, you can any of the featured books to your Goodreads shelves.*

Some of you might remember that last fall, I was looking for recommendations for fantasy novels with fairy characters. I’ve been meaning to do some “market research” on such books because the protagonist and other characters from my WIP, The Keeper’s Curse, are Faeries. Something I should have done a lot sooner than Draft #2, but better late than never, right?

So, I finally bought my first batch of fairy novels for market research, as well as another YA fantasy classic I’ve been meaning to get a hold of. And they are…

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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 7: The Lucky Number Seven

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves. 

First of all, a quick apology for the recent inactivity here.  Life offline has been hectic lately, so I’ve had to re-prioritize things to focus on the WIP, a couple outside articles that have deadlines, and necessary relaxation. Posts for this blog have slipped as a result. I hope to catch up over the next couple weeks, so bear with me for a little bit.

Now – more books. Yes, I’ve gotten heaps of books for Christmas and from Barnes & Noble recently, but certain titles I was looking for at B&N weren’t in stock. *gasps* So, I promptly decided not to wait to get them. *lol* Today’s Stacking The Shelves therefore includes my latest Amazon haul, as well as a book gifted by its author. And if you noticed the title, this blog’s seventh edition of STS will feature seven books! How about that? Continue reading