Interview with Devon Taylor, Author of:The Sour Keepers. ***Giveaway***
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 28th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
“A fantastic high-stakes adventure on a ghost ship sailing forever into eternity, where every soul is (literally) worth fighting for—what’s not to love? Devon Taylor weaves an endearing tale of friendship and loss with heart-stopping action and a whole lot of terrifying monsters. You’ll root for Rhett and his fellow reapers through every twist and turn!” —Rin Chupeco, author of The Bone Witch and The Girl from the Well
Full of danger, stormy otherworld seas, ghost ships, and terrifying monsters, this thrilling debut novel is perfect for fans of Taran Matharu and Neal Shusterman.
Death is just the beginning.
After dying in a terrible car accident, Rhett awakens in the afterlife and is recruited to join the crew of theHarbinger, a colossal seafaring vessel tasked with ferrying the souls of the dead. To where exactly, no one knows. But the crew must get the souls there, and along the way protect them from vicious soul-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to take the ship and all of its occupants.
Rhett and his new friends have a hard enough time fighting back the monsters that grow bolder and more ferocious every day. But then a new threat emerges, a demon who wants something that Rhett has. And if she gets it, it could mean the end of everything… for both the living and the dead.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Soul Keepers is a pulse-pounding, cinematic adventure by debut author Devon Taylor.
An Interview with Devon Taylor
Welcome to Character Madness and Musings. Tell us a little about yourself.Hi! I’m Devon! I’m the author of The Soul Keepers! I grew up in Las Vegas and currently live in PA with my wife and two daughters. I used to work in health insurance sales until I quit my day job to be a stay-at-home dad. I spend my early mornings working on writing, and the rest of my day is spent hanging out with my kids. It’s pretty much the best gig I’ve ever had.
Tell us about your newest book.
So far it’s my only book. Haha. But it’s called The Soul Keepers, and here’s the official synopsis:
After dying in a terrible car accident, Rhett awakens in the afterlife and is recruited to join the crew of the Harbinger, a colossal seafaring vessel tasked with ferrying the souls of the dead. To where exactly, no one knows. But the crew must get the souls there, and along the way protect them from vicious soul-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to take the ship and all of its occupants.
Rhett and his new friends have a hard enough time fighting back the monsters that grow bolder and more ferocious every day. But then a new threat emerges, a demon who wants something that Rhett has. And if she gets it, it could mean the end of everything... for both the living and the dead.
Is it available now?
As of 8/28/18 it is!
Have you published any others?
Not yet! But the sequel to TSK is due out next year!
How long have you been writing?
For as long as I can remember. There’s never been anything else that I’ve wanted to do.
What inspires your stories?
I can find inspiration from pretty much anything, but the specific inspirations for The Soul Keepers are Greek mythology (in particular, the story of Charon ferrying souls across the River Styx) and the novel The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers. I talk a lot about both of those things because they’re both freaking great.
Titles are tough. How did you come up with your title?
Titles are tough! So much so that the original title I came up with for The Soul Keepers didn’t work out. Luckily, I have a pretty incredible team on my side at my publisher, Swoon Reads, who helped me settle on the final title, which is also freaking great.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I had a very literal ah-ha moment when I was in second grade, sitting on the floor of my school’s library, reading a Magic Tree House book. I was so invested in those stories and those characters and I started thinking about Mary Pope Osborne, who writes those incredible books, and how awesome it would be to have her job, writing and creating something that had that kind of effect on a reader. And boom—the rest is proverbial history. I latched onto that dream and never looked back.
Is theme an important concept in your stories? If so, is it personal for you, or something you feel strongly about?
Theme is super important to me when I’m writing. It helps to inform everything, especially character arcs. I can’t say that it’s the absolute most important thing, but it’s definitely at the top of the list. If I can’t fully understand the theme that I’m aiming for, then it’s hard to feel like I can fully understand the story.
What do you look for most in a book when you’re reading, and how do you incorporate that into your own writing?
I’m always looking for those things that really help pull you into a story. For me, that includes really fantastic, rhythm-y prose, realistic dialogue, and a premise that might seem a little bit outlandish but is told in a realistic way. Those are the characteristics that I strive for in my own writing. Sometimes I try a little too hard, and that becomes really apparent (just ask my editor). But whether you’re reading or writing it, if you can hit that sweet spot where it all feels natural and flows nicely and sounds real, it’s just amazing.
What can we expect to see from you in the future, any books on the backburner?
Well, I’ve got the sequel to The Soul Keepers slated for next year—we’re just about finished with the major edits on that. And I’m still mid-draft on what will hopefully be my next book after that. I’m not really prepared to talk too much about it just yet (I’m a smidge superstitious), but I will say that it’s set in my hometown, which has been a lot of fun to write.
Is there anything you want to add before we close our interview?
I just want to thank anyone who gets their hands on a copy of The Soul Keepers, and I hope they enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!!
Thank you for being with us today. Good luck with your new book.
Thanks so much! This was great!
Devon Taylor was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters. His day job consists of sneaking around the house with ninja-like stealth to avoid waking up his kids. When not writing, reading, or tediously typing out text messages with all the correct spelling and punctuation, he spends his time with his family. THE SOUL KEEPERS is his debut novel.
GIVEAWAY!a Rafflecopter giveaway