Raincoast invited River and I to join in on the Delicate Monsters and Devoted blog tour. Each member of the tour was given an opportunity to ask each author a question related to their novels. I am honoured to share what information I’ve learned from both Stephanie Kuehn and Jennifer Mathieu. Without further ado, let’s see what they had to say about their works, shall we?
Published June 9th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Preamble: If you read my review above, then you are aware of how smitten I was with Delicate Monsters. It’s an eerie novel that keeps you guessing and shows you just how messed up people can really be. I’d love to see this book as movie some day, because I feel like a director would have a complete field day. Now, one with the question!
Sam: The title of your book, Delicate Monsters is quite the oxymoron. Can you tell us a bit about your choice of title in regards to the story?
Stephanie Kuehn: Well, it’s a reference to Baudelaire’s line about “ce monstre délicat,” in Les
Fleurs du Mal. But the phrase also captures both the monstrousness and genuine humanity
of the characters in the story.
About Stephanie Kuehn:
Stephanie Kuehn holds degrees in linguistics and sport psychology, and is currently working toward a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her debut young adult novel, CHARM & STRANGE, was the winner of the 2014 William C. Morris Award, and her second novel for teens, COMPLICIT, was named to YALSA’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Stephanie was also awarded the 2015 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship for her forthcoming novel, THE PRAGMATIST, and her most recent book, DELICATE MONSTERS, has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Stephanie lives in Northern California with her husband, their three children, and a joyful abundance of pets.
Published June 2nd 2015 by Roaring Brook Press
Preamble: Devoted was such a wonderful and refreshing read for me. It taught me about a perspective I never considered and showed me a lifestyle I don’t think I could have ever grown up in. Rachel’s Christian upbringing is one that leaves quite the impression, but also teaches a valuable lesson in being sympathetic to others.
Sam: Devoted looks at issues of being confined by beliefs. Can you explain where the inspiration for the novel came from? Why do you feel Rachel’s story is so important to tell?
Jennifer Mathieu: Well, the inspiration for the novel came from my interest in the TLC reality
show 19 Kids and Counting. I started watching it because I was curious about how a family with nineteen kids lives life day to day. When I realized the family had a very obvious and specific
way of living their faith, I started doing all this research into the Quiverfull movement, which is sometimes called the Christian Patriarchy movement. I managed to meet some women who had been raised in this lifestyle and shared their stories with me.
I feel Rachel’s story is important to tell because in extreme faith traditions, women and
girls often have their voices silenced. I felt by telling Rachel’s story, I was giving
a voice to many of the young women who have been raised Quiverfull and want to share
their experiences, which are often quite painful. I also feel Rachel’s story is
important to tell because all of us – no matter how we are raised – ask ourselves the Big
Questions. I hope Rachel’s drive to figure out who she is and what she believes in
motivates readers to live authentic lives themselves.
About Jennifer Mathieu:
I’m an English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My debut novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, was published by Roaring Brook Press on June 3, and my second book, DEVOTED, will be out June 2, 2015.
My favorite things include chocolate, pepperoni pizza, and this super hilarious 1980s sitcom about four retired women called The Golden Girls. I can basically quote every episode.
I live with my husband, son, one rescue dog, one fat cat, and another cat that is even fatter than the fat cat.
We hope you enjoyed reading what Stephanie and Jennifer had to say about their novels. Delicate Monsters and Devoted are both out now and can be purchased at your favourite book retail outlet. To see the duo answer more questions, check out the rest of the tour schedule below!