I am a big Rhiannon Frater fan so I was super excited to take part in this tour. On my stop today I have my review of the book and a great interview with both Rhiannon Frater and Kody Boye!! I also have a giveaway for an ebook copy of the book and there's a tour wide giveaway that's pretty awesome! For the full tour schedule click on the banner above to be taken to the tour page.
- Publish Date: February 26th 2013
- Genre: YA Paranormal
- Souce: eARC provided by Xpresso Book Tours for review
Adam and Christy have been best friends since kindergarten. Always the perpetual outsiders in their small town in Texas, they’ve always had to deal with nasty comments from their classmates. Adam is called “gay” while Christy is called “witch.”
On both counts the bullies are right.
Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. The next day an alluring and mysterious new boy enrolls at school and sets hearts a flutter, including Adam’s. Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome Ian seems to be going nowhere fast. Struggling to capture the heart of Ian while trying to come into her full witch powers is tough enough, but when a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, she realizes that finding a boyfriend is the least of her and Adam’s worries.
Soon Adam, Christy, their potential love interests, and their good friends Drifter and Olivia, will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed in their town before and will again.
I love books about witches, and I love myself a good scary book. Combine them and I'm all in!! I know that Rhiannon Frater knows how to write scary well, so I had no doubt this book would totally creep me out at some point. Now not only is it about witches, but there are other paranormal elements to it too. By far my favorite part was the characters and their relationships. This book is based very strong on friendship and family and I think that there really should be more of that in YA. Also notable is the awesome humor in it. I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times!
The main characters are Cristy and Adam and I really loved them both. They have both been social outcasts since elementary school and have been best friends since kindergarten. They call Cristy a witch, and Adam gay. Both true, but it gets them picked on. They are always there for each other no matter what though and will do anything for the other. I loved how loyal they were and you could tell that they had been friends since they were kids. I could really feel the connection between them. They seemed to balance each other well. Adam is more quiet and reserved, while Cristy says what is on her mind. I thought they were both well developed and I loved their alternating POV's
The other characters were equally awesome. Olivia was so fun!! She was like a ray of sunshine. She is super friendly and unique. Best is she is comfortable with who she is and will stand up for her friends in a heartbeat. Then there's Drifter who although he is friends with everyone, he tends to hang out with Adam and Cristy. Mark was charming and sweet, though a bit possessive of Adam, and Ian was so nice and I almost felt bad that Cristy kept shooting him down after crushing on him for so long. She really judges him too harshly. Mostly I loved Adam's mom, Ashley. She was so awesome!! She was funny, tough, and I just adored her. (She is based on Ashley from The Bookish Brunette and I think they did a fantastic job capturing her personality!) Cristy's parents are also really fun, and totally embarrassing. Best for me were "broom" and Callie. Some of my favorite scenes were with them.
This story captured me right from the start. I was invested in the characters and interested in where the story was going. It was funny, scary, and had some great action. I loved the friendships and the bonds that were already there and the ones that formed. No matter what craziness was going on around them, they would do what they needed for each other with no questions asked. And I mention again, the family aspect. I could not have loved the parents involvement more. Cristy's parents and Adam's mom were such great additions to the story and it really rounded out everything well. I was very wrapped up in the story and I felt at times like I was there with them. This book was really fun to read and I can only hope for a sequel!!
Interview with Rhiannon and Kody!!
Hi Rhiannon and Kody! Thanks so much for doing this interview.
What was it like writing a book together? How different was it from writing a book on your own?
Rhiannon: Well, it took a lot more planning than I usually do with my own writing. We had to fully discuss all the characters and the plot points before writing. I’m an organic writer, so I usually jump into a novel with an idea and a general concept of where it’s going to go then allow things to develop naturally.
But even though we had a character bible and full outline, THE MIDNIGHT SPELL still developed organically. I remember at one point we just looked at each other and tossed out the whole last part of our outline because we realized it wouldn’t fit what we had already written.
Kody: Like any book, it takes a bit of planning. Some are more seed writers (I.e, Stephen King’s plant a seed, let a tree grow); others are plotters. With two people, you had to plot. For something like this, it wasn’t hard. It was basically following an A - B - C pattern. There weren’t too many major subplots to interfere with what we had plotted, but as Rhiannon said, near the last fourth of the book, we just said, ‘Screw the outline,’ and tossed it. The pacing wouldn’t have worked. So we pretty much just rewrote it and went from there.
How did you come up with the idea for The Midnight Spell? I am a big fan of witch books.
Rhiannon: Well, Kody had said he wanted to write a YA vampire novel, but had no firm idea. So I helped him brainstorm and at some point Christy just popped into being. We loved the idea of both of them having secrets while growing up together. Adam is gay, Christy is a refugee from another dimension where magic was real. They both get picked on growing up, but have each other. When Adam comes out of the closet to Christy, Christy comes out of the broom closet.
What is the process like when writing a book together? Did it ever get confusing?
Rhiannon: Well, we wrote the book in Google Docs so we could both write on the novel at the same time. We also sat at my dining room table with our laptops open so we could discuss as we wrote. Sometimes we would wait for the other person to finish before moving on. There were a few times I got confused and Kody helped me muddle through it. I mostly struggled with the fear that I wasn’t picking up all the plot threads. I remember one big discussion we had where I wasn’t sure we were clear on a plot point and Kody had to show me that we had. But it was also nice to have the other half of the team saying “No, no. We’re not screwing up.”
Kody: That’s the thing, though--I think it’s natural for any artist to have self-doubt because there’s always that, ‘Am I good enough?’ thing running through your head. (Which also translates to, ‘Am I doing this right?’) I have the same thing as well and it’s incredibly helpful to have a second person on board, even if it’s just to look at it.
Is this book a stand alone, or will it be part of a series?
Rhiannon: We wrote the novel with the intention of it being able to stand on its own. We’re aware that we broke a lot of YA rules. The book isn’t a romance. It’s not a social commentary on bullying. Even our protagonists are not the norm. We have the short redhead gay boy and his slightly overweight outcast friend who happens to be a real witch. At the story’s heart , it’s just about two kids who are very best friends and are awkwardly trying to find love and acceptance while attending high school in a small Texas town. Also, it’s a pretty funny and yet scary novel. We have an idea for a sequel, but we’ll have to see how the sales for the first one are. It is expensive to indie publish and writing a book is a time-consuming endeavor.
Fingers crossed for a sequel!!
What other projects are each of you working on that you are allowed to share with us?
Kody: I’m writing the last book in my Brotherhood saga. Other than that and The Midnight Spell, I haven’t been doing too much the past few months.
Rhiannon: I’m writing the final AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES short story collection, then I’ll be writing PRETTY WHEN SHE DESTROYS, the final book in the PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES trilogy.
Is collaborating a thing you would consider doing again either with each other or another author?
Rhiannon: I probably won’t do this sort of thing with anyone else. The fact we were sitting across from each other during most of the writing of the book and that we could discuss it in detail at anytime was really great. I would definitely write another Midnight Spell novel with Kody.
Kody: This face-to-face collaboration process has ruined any other form of collaboration for me. I know it. I could see myself doing something like this on Skype, but even discussing details such as the layout of a house or a backyard, where we could draw and coordinate it, was so much easier in person.
Thank you both so much for answering some questions for me.
Fingers crossed for a sequel!!
Kody Boye was born and raised in Southeastern Idaho. Since his initial publication in the Yellow Mama Webzine in 2007, he has gone on to sell nearly three-dozen stories to various markets. He is the author of the short story collection Amorous Things, the novella The Diary of Dakota Hammell, the zombie novel Sunrise and the dark fantasy novel Blood. His fiction has been described as ‘Surreal, beautiful and harrowing’ (Fantastic Horror,) while he himself has been heralded as a writer beyond his years(Bitten by Books.) He currently lives and writes in the Austin, Texas area.
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