EXCLUSIVE: Heather Brewer Interview + Cover Reveal #TheCemeteryBoys

Some of my go-to reads for students who haven’t quite discovered the joys of reading but want to… are Heather Brewer’s Vladimir Tod series… The ones with the fang-y smiley faces on the covers and the great titles. Easy to get through, fun to read and twisty and sarcastic with just enough self-awareness that the newest of readers will not feel overwhelmed but get totally hooked. (Seriously! If you’re looking for something for a hesitant reader… check them out!)

However, lately her social media feed has been full of #thecemeteryboys and that’s because she’s been creating and loving it!

The Cemetery Boys is her newest book, due out March 30th of 2015 and something with this book just clicked. Something personal and well… let’s hear her talk about it in her own words:

So you keep talking about how special The Cemetery Boys is to you. Why do you think this novel out of all you have written has captured your heart so thoroughly?

I love each of the books I’ve written, but I feel like I’ve always held back just a little bit on my opinions about certain things in those books, about the way that closed minds really make me feel. In THE CEMETERY BOYS, I let it all hang out. It’s the book that feels the most “me”. Plus, this is a horror book, of sorts…and my heart lives for horror. But no worries if you’re not into that sort of thing – it’s also a Hitchcock kind of mystery, a small punk exploration of the town I grew up in and how far people are willing to go for their beliefs.

Spencer, Michigan. Is this a real place? Why this town? Should your fans know why you picked this town for the setting? (Personal note: I adore Spencer Smith of Panic! at the Disco and in my mind, I’m like of course she chose Spencer because he is precious and who wouldn’t name a city after him?)

Spencer is indeed a real place. Though you won’t find it on any map. I based Spencer, street for street, on the town where I grew up: Columbiaville, Michigan. (Side note: Panic! at the Disco makes me SQUEE.)

Stephen is hanging out with twins… hmmm… twins are always fascinating because of two persons with unique identities but really similar in looks. Have you ever been friends/enemies with twins and did this relationship shape your choice of characters for The Cemetery Boys?

I’ve always been fascinated with twins. I’ve known a few, but never had a close relationship with them. But the fascination has always been there. Cara and Devon are definitely of the Yin and Yang set. So different, yet smaller parts of the same whole. (Dibs on Devon)

What is your favorite part of the cover? There’s a lot of hidden detail in it that you have to look closely to catch.

My favorite part of the cover is actually the incredible support of HarperTeen in finding it. I had sent a pic of a painting on my bedroom wall that really inspired me in writing this book. When I sent the pic to my amazing editor, Andrew Harwell, he loved it and shared it with his team. They actually hunted down the artist (Alex Cherry) and found another piece of Alex’s work to act as my cover. That meant so much to me, because it made me feel respected and supported by my publisher. Not to mention that Alex is a genius and I am a huge fan of his work on DeviantArt.

The ominous feeling of the cover perfectly captures the tone of the book. I can’t wait until it’s out in the world! But we’ll have to wait until March 30, 2015, I’m afraid.

Tell Fangirlish how you would describe The Cemetery Boys. Creepy and awesome has been thrown around, but we want to hear from someone who actually knows the story. And who better than you?!

I think my editor summed it up perfectly when he described it this way:
Part Hitchcock, part Hinton, this first ever standalone novel from New York Times bestselling author Heather Brewer uses classic horror elements to tell a darkly funny coming-of-age story about the dangerous power of belief and the cost of blind loyalty.

When Stephen’s dad says they’re moving, Stephen knows it’s pointless to argue. They’re broke from paying Mom’s hospital bills, and now the only option left is to live with Stephen’s grandmother in a backwards small town that’s like something out of the The Twilight Zone.

Stephen’s summer starts looking up when he meets punk girl Cara and her charismatic twin brother, Devon. With Cara, he feels safe and understood—and yeah, okay, she’s totally hot. In Devon and his group, he sees a chance at making real friends. Only, as the summer presses on, and harmless nights hanging out in the cemetery take a darker turn, Stephen starts to suspect that Devon is less a friend than a leader. And he might be leading them to a very sinister end…

If you’re excited as I am about The Cemetery Boys, you should check out Heather’s new site. There’s lots of information on what’s coming up for her and how to go about seeing her in person. She’s quite the talker and will be attending loads of festivals and writer-ly events that will be fang-tastic and if you haven’t discovered it yet… Auntie Heather is always happy to meet her minions.

 

Beth

Aesthete, Bibliophile, Music Lover, Mad TV Watcher -- World Traveler and Perpetual New Girl. Oh! And nearly forgot -- Fangirl who is irrepressibly fond of all things Sherlock. Feel free to chat with me at beth@fangirlish.com.

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