Saturday, September 13, 2014

EgmontUSA Blog Tour & Interview: Of Monsters and Madness (Jessica Verday)

Of Monsters and MadnessHardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: September 9th 2014 by EgmontUSA

A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author.
Summoned to her father's home in 1820's Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father's assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they're letting on. 

Jessica Verday

Jessica Verday is the New York Times bestselling author of The Hollow Trilogy, published by Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse. She wrote the first draft of THE HOLLOW by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. The first draft of THE HAUNTED took fifteen spiral-bound notebooks and twenty black pens. THE HIDDEN took too many notebooks and too many pens to count. Find out more at

1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book? 
 I had the idea for this book one day when I was thinking about the dark themes that run throughout almost all of Edgar Allan Poe’s works, and I thought -- what if he was inspired by real life events? I saw a scene in my head of a girl (Annabel) confessing to a priest that someone she knew was doing horrible things, and she was the only one who could stop him. Although that early scene never made it into the final version of the book, it prompted me to go further with it and the story kind of just took off from there.

2. Who is your favorite character in the book? 
While I adore Maddy and Cook and Johanna, I have to say that Annabel is my favorite character hands down. I love giving all of the main female characters I write about interesting hobbies or backgrounds, and Annabel’s dream of wanting to become a surgeon was absolutely fascinating to research. Although some of the pictures and diagrams I looked at (like the inside of a cow’s heart) were a bit hard to stomach, I loved digging into it all!

3. Which came first, the title or the novel? 
Technically, the prologue came first. (Although what’s in the book now is completely different from what I first wrote.) So in that sense, I’d have to say the book came first. After I wrote the prologue, I titled it EDGAR & ALLAN. That title later changed to OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS.

4. What do you like most about the cover of the book? 
 I LOVE the dark, moody atmosphere that pops off the page right away as you look at the cover. The swirling, mist-like colors of the background make you think of something mysterious and creepy. But I also love the delicate filigree on the top and bottom of the title. It makes me think of a beautifully spun spider web, and the fact that this story takes place in an old house is just perfect for that!

5. What new release are you looking most forward to in 2015? 
I’m not sure if it’s scheduled for a 2015 release date or not, but I’m really looking forward to the YA book Gillian Flynn is rumored to be writing. GONE GIRL and DARK PLACES were both great, but SHARP OBJECTS was AMAZING. It’s haunted my thoughts ever since I read it.

6. What was your favorite book in 2014? 
 I picked up FALLING INTO PLACE by Amy Zhang at BEA this year, and so far I can’t put it down. It’s utterly gorgeous and the prose makes me think about everything. So far, I’m calling this my pick of 2014!

7. What’s up next for you? 
Up next is the sequel to OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS, coming out in September 2015. It’s titled OF PHANTOMS AND FURY and it’s been so much fun to write! Not only does Annabel learn more about her background and who she truly is, but she meets the mysterious and enigmatic Dorian Gray...


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