We were SUPER excited to be part of a small group of bloggers who got to interview Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl, the authors of the Caster Chronicles. Book 3 in the series, Beautiful Chaos, is out this October, but you don’t have to wait till then to enjoy more of this great story, check the exclusive ebook short story, Dream Dark, out now!
This all-new original e-book story stars Link, who undergoes a heart-racing transformation after the climactic battle in Beautiful Darkness. Dream Dark also includes an exclusive sneak peek at the first five chapters of Beautiful Chaos, the third book in the bestselling Beautiful Creatures series.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
Together Ethan Wates and Lena Duchannes can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan’s eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there’s no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town’s tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
Sometimes there isn’t just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there’s no going back. And this time there won’t be a happy ending. Ethan and Lena’s mesmerizing romance continues in the highly anticipated new Beautiful Creatures novel, coming October 18th.
Margaret Stohl: The Beautiful Creatures novels are by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Beautiful Creatures was our debut novel followed by Beautiful Darkness. Beautiful Chaos will be out October 18th. The series is in–is it 27 languages and 30 countries?
Kami Garcia: Thirty-nine countries and 28 languages.
Margaret Stohl: So, we’ve had the positive global reception to fantasy that our predecessors have enjoyed before us.
It’s a Southern Gothic novel set outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston has become our adopted literary home in the United States. It has a boy narrator, Ethan, who tells a story of a mysterious girl, Lena, coming to town, who’s a misfit and upsets the status quo of the very small town of Gatlin where everything is hidden in plain sight and nothing is as it seems.
Lena’s from a family of cursed Supernaturals called Casters dating back to the Civil War. And she, on her 16th birthday, will turn good or evil with no control or no say in the matter, depending on whether or not Ethan and Lena can do anything to stop it.
So, that’s sort of the Southern Gothic, many kinds of Supernaturals, small town, boy meets girl, told from the perspective of the boy that is our series.
How did I do?
Kami Garcia: Well done, Marg.
Margaret Stohl: Thanks.
Stacey: Hi, guys. It’s Stacey from PageTurners blog.
Kami Garcia: Hi.
Margaret Stohl: Hi, Stacey.
Stacey: Hi. It’s great talking to you guys again. I miss hanging out.
Margaret Stohl: I know.
Kami Garcia: Invite us to come back to Chicago for pizza.
Stacey: I know. We didn’t get to go out the last time.
Kami Garcia: I know.
Stacey: Anyhow, okay. So, my first question is was Dream Dark originally part of Beautiful Chaos that you guys broke off, or was that something you guys went and just wrote separately? And as–I didn’t go on and, like, listen to the Beautiful Chaos excerpt that was on the Audible download, but Amber, my blog partner, did.
Kami Garcia: Um-hmm.
Stacey: And she said it was kind of–you would have had to have read Dream Dark to kind of get what was going on in Beautiful Chaos. Did you intentionally do that?
Kami Garcia: It wasn’t part of Chaos at all. We wrote it totally on the side. When the idea came up to write a little e-book story, we wanted to have kind of a gift for the readers, the fans. And when we thought about who the fans would want to know more about, Margie said “Of course they want to know more about Link, because they all love Link.”
So, we felt like we wanted to be able to give everyone kind of like a treat to find out more about a character that they loved. There are definitely things we wove in for the people who have read Dream Dark. But, the beginning of Chaos was actually written way before Dream Dark, wasn’t it, Marg?
Margaret Stohl: Yeah.
Kami Garcia: Yeah.
So, it does lead in in the sense that you can read them in order, but you don’t have to read Dream Dark to read Chaos.
Stacey: Oh, okay.
Yeah, I was trying–like, I’m not going to listen. I’m just going to get to the end of those five chapters and want more and I can’t have it. So, I’m not even going to tempt myself.
Kami Garcia: That’s so self-disciplined. I don’t have that kind of self-discipline.
Stacey: Oh, I’m so bad. I just get so disappointed when I get to the end of those little spoilers now that I just don’t read them.
Kami Garcia: Yeah, that’s true.
Margaret Stohl: We just had to make sure that you didn’t have to read them because not all countries are as committed to e-books. So, there are several countries that will never have access to Dream Dark, although other countries are selling it as a tiny print excerpt in a few places. So we couldn’t include anything too critical that you had to know.
Stacey: Okay. My question is about the titles. Beautiful Chaos – talk about perfect title. How do y’all go about picking the title – are they pre- planned or do you write the book then throw around a ideas until something clicks?
Kami Garcia: We definitely didn’t know what the titles were going to be. The original title for Beautiful Creatures was Sixteen Moons, which is what it’s called in France and a couple other countries. And Little, Brown wanted us to come up with something different because in America there are apparently a lot of books from astrology and astronomy to American Indian nonfiction that have the word moon in the title.
So, Beautiful Creatures is a line from the book. And it was really, really hard for us to come up that title, because it was always Sixteen Moons to us. So, all of a sudden we had to come up with a new title. And we literally were reading lines of the book out loud to each other.
Margaret Stohl: That’s right.
Kami Garcia: And then, once we came up with Beautiful Creatures and they liked the idea of using “Beautiful” again for each book, it’s not as hard ’cause then you’re only coming up with one word that encapsulates what’s going on in the book.
Margaret Stohl: Yeah.
Kami Garcia: But, the first one was so hard.
Margaret Stohl: Yeah. We came skidding in under the deadline. I think it was the day before the font had to be built.
Usually we call the books something while we’re working on them. And it almost never ends up being the thing we ultimately call it, although–.
Kami Garcia: –Except Chaos–.
Margaret Stohl: –Yeah, it was Chaos from the beginning–.
Kami Garcia: It’d the only one that right from the beginning we knew what it was called and that actually ended up being the title.
Stacey: Oh, wow.
Kami Garcia: Sometimes they’re just Book Two or whatever.
Stacey: Yeah, Book Two would not be an exciting title for a book.
Kami Garcia: Didn’t Chandra say that we should call book four Beautiful Ethan? She said that’s her official title for book four. No matter what we choose to call it, that’s what she’s going to call it. I thought that was kind of funny.
Margaret Stohl: We even have some loyal followers and–when Lena was going through a hard time in our second book, a lot of people were ready to just sort of toss her off the side of a building. So, Ethan has a very secure fan base.
Kami Garcia: Well, he is a good guy.
Stacey: That is–he’s always a good guy in a way that make sense. I appreciate that.
Kami Garcia: We worked on that. Margie’s daughters obviously weren’t dating dating, but they were thinking about it and my sister, who we wrote the book for, too, was a teenager.
When you’re writing for teens that age, it’s kind of hard not to imagine what kind of boy you’d want to see them with, what kind of boy we wish we’d dated in high school and obviously never did. Sorry to all of our ex-boyfriends.
Stacey: All right. I have a two-part question to get my last two questions in. Are the gardening shears Link’s new, like, weapon of choice? I love that he has–he started off in Beautiful Dark with them, and then now he carried through into Dream Dark. And he’s cracking me up with the garden shears. And then also, what’s your favorite international cover you’ve seen so far?
Kami Garcia: I think the shears are definitely going to be a reoccurring theme. I equate the shears now to Indiana Jones’s whip. They’re Link’s Indy whip. How could he be without them?
Margaret Stohl: I think that he got them from failing bio. If he wasn’t in bio summer school, he wouldn’t have had those.
Kami Garcia: Right. So there is something to be said for having to take summer school.
Margaret Stohl: I think those shears are important. That’s Link’s mortality. It kind of prevails in his own mortal clod clumsiness. I love Link.
Kami Garcia: I do too.
Margaret Stohl: I love a good anti superpower, you know?
Kami Garcia: Yeah, exactly.
Margaret Stohl: And I like someone whose sole magic is just being a really good best friend.
Kami Garcia: Yeah. That’s one reason why Batman’s always been one of my favorite superheroes is because he doesn’t really have any powers. He just has a lot of stuff. So, that’s Link’s stuff gadget. Only anyone can own a pair.
Margaret Stohl: Right.
I don’t know what my favorite international cover is. I like all of them. I like looking at them all and seeing how different they all are.
Kami Garcia: I know. I agree.
I really like Germany for Sixteen Moons, just ’cause it was so different. I also love the French cover and the ones that kind of use the French inspiration for the little vine.
But the coolest thing ever is that, no matter what they put on the cover, so many of them have done their
version of the font. And it’s so cool to see the way the font turns out in another language, with different letters and characters.
Margaret Stohl: It’s weird to see our own names translated into different names.
Kami Garcia: Yeah, I wasn’t prepared for that. Alex said, “They spelled your name wrong.” And I said, “But they spelled Margie’s wrong, too.”
GIVEAWAY TIME!Contest Info:
- One winner will win signed copies of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness
- US Only – NO PO Boxes
- Fill out form to enter
- Contest Ends 9/1at Noon