Susan Dennard is a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. She used to be a marine biologist, but now she writes novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (she really likes swoon-worthy rogues).
She lives in the Midwest with her French husband and Irish setter, and her debut, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, is now available from HarperTeen.
Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.
1. Taran and Princess Eilonwy from The Book of Three
Taran and Eilonwy from were the first characters I REALLY got behind as a reader—and Eilonwy was the very, very first heroine I’d ever seen who could not only hold her own with the guys but who could dominate-the-crap-out-of-them. Her personality just exploded off the page, and I LOVED that. Plus, I loved how her relationship with Taran developed.
Actually, when I wrote Something Strange and Deadly, I really wanted Eleanor to have some of Eilonwy’s spunk. ;)
2. Sophie & Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle
Sophie is SO strong, and Howl…mmmm. So swoon-worthy. I read this book long before the movie ever came out, so the book characters are the ones I hold near-and-dear to my heart. These two were the first characters I read about in which their romance TOTALLY blindsided me. I mean, at age 10, of course I was going to think Howl was the bad guy for most of the book, and it amazed me to find that my heart was softening more and more toward him. Oh, I was so happy at the end when they got together—two very strong, very quirky leads.
Actually, a character in A Darkness Strange and Lovely is very similar to Howl. I didn’t do that on purpose, but I have no doubt that Howl’s “dramatic side” is what subconsciously drove me to write my character that way too.
3. Lirael from Lirael
Lirael’s whole character arc—growing from a place of utter self-doubt and shame into a full kick-butt heroine—was something that really resonated with me as a teen. I could just identify with Lirael so much, and I so desperately wanted to have the Disreputable Dog as my companion.
Also, a lot of the spark for necromancy and walking dead in MY series stemmed from this series. I just LOVED how creepy Nix made it all, and I knew I wanted to evoke a similar atmosphere in my alternate Philadelphia.
4. Attolia & Gen from The Queen of Attolia
I read this series as an adult, and while Eugenides (Gen) REALLY hooked me with his swaggering, rogueish heroics, it was Attolia’s quiet, unwavering strength that really blew me away. Basically, everything about this series blindsided me. I HIGHLY recommend it.
5. Anastatia & Dimitri from the cartoon Anastasia
Okay, okay, so they aren’t from a BOOK, but Anastasia is one of my all-time favorite heroines. She’s tough, she’s snarky, she’s not afraid to do what’s right, and she fights for the people she cares about. That’s everything I want in a heroine, and I’m pretty sure she was a BIG influence on how ultimately wrote Eleanor Fitt in Something Strange and Deadly.
And then Dimitri…Dimitri. SWOON. He’s one hot cartoon. Plus, his whole shady past—that he’s clearly trying to overcome—and his angsty longing for Anastasia…UNGH. A certain hero in my own series might have also been influenced by my love for this Russian scalawag.
7/15/2013 Bookcase to Heaven - Interview
7/16/2013 Magical Urban Fantasy Reads - Guest Post
7/17/2013 Tynga's Reviews - Review
7/18/2013 Supernatural Snark - Interview
7/19/2013 The Book Cellar - Guest Post
7/22/2013 Read-A-holicZ - Review
7/23/2013 IceyBooks - Interview
7/24/2013 Working for the Mandroid - Review
7/25/2013 The Reader's Antidote - Review
7/26/2013 Two Chicks on Books - Guest Post ideas
There will be 10 winners total and the prizes are…..
5 Winners will receive A Hardcovers of A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY and a paperback of SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, and signed swag US ONLY.
5 winners will receive an e-novella of A DAWN MOST WICKED and signed swag INTERNATIONAL.
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