Saturday, 30 April 2016

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier

The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Release Date: March 8th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction


A lush new fantasy about finding the will to lead against all odds, perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.

Keri has been struggling to run her family bakery since her mother passed away. Now the father she barely knew—the Lord of Nimmira—has died, and ancient magic has decreed that she will take his place as the new Lady. The position has never been so dangerous: the mists that hide Nimmira from its vicious, land-hungry neighbors have failed, and Keri’s people are visible to strangers for the first time since the mists were put in place generations ago. At the same time, three half-brothers will their own eyes on the crown make life within the House just as dangerous as the world outside.

But Keri has three people to guide her: her mysterious Timekeeper, clever Bookkeeper, and steadfast Doorkeeper. Together they must find a way to repair the boundary before her neighbors realize just how vulnerable Nimmira is.

With a spunky main character, lyrical storytelling, and hidden romance, The Keeper of the Mist is an engrossing story that is full of adventure.

Hi – thanks for inviting me to A Book Addict’s Bookshelves!  I have to say, I certainly think I qualify as a book addict, given the size of my TBR pile.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always made up stories in my head . . . doesn’t everyone do that when they’re stuck in boring clases?  But I didn’t actually write much of anything other than assigned papers and so on until I was in graduate school, when I wanted to improve my typing speed and also needed a hobby that wasn’t related to my research.  I skipped straight over short stories and wrote (eventually) a massive fantasy trilogy, which in fact I’m cannibalizing now in my current writing projects.  There’s no trace of that trilogy in The Keeper of the Mist, though!

What makes you want to write?

You know how when you’re reading a really good book, sometimes you fall into the story and the real world seems to disappear? How if the phone rings, you feel an almost physical jerk at the interruption?

When I’m writing a great scene and the story is flowing, it’s like that, but more intense.  That’s a pretty powerful motivator.  It’s not enough to build a novel on, though, because in between the scenes I love writing, there are a good many transitional bits that are just painful to slog through.  So . . . you know how it feels when you finally finish a big project and can kind of tie a bow around it:  There!  Done!  There’s that kind of feeling when I finish a rough draft, too.  And again when I finish the final draft.  And again when I see the book on the shelf.  All that is pretty powerful, too.

But the intrinsic motivation of having the story come to life, though that’s very important, actually pales compared to the great pleasure of having readers love a book I’ve written.  I’ve seen other authors declare that they avoid reading reviews, and that’s great for them, I guess.  I personally would never give up reading reviews…at least the four- and five-star reviews!  I avoid anything below four stars, but nothing motivates me to work on a new project like great reviews for a book that’s already out.

Who is your favourite character in Keeper of the Mist?

I must admit that my favorite is Lucas.  I have a great fondness for rascals. 

How did you get the idea for Keeper of the Mist?

By Reading Chalice by Robin McKinley.  Almost nothing of my original ideas for the story are still discernable in the finished story, but you can see an echo of Chalice in the isolation of Nimmira.

What are your hobbies? 

Reading!  But it’s hard for me to read other writers’ fiction while I’m working on a manuscript – too distracting, too hard to put down so I can get work done on my own work-in-progress – so I don’t read quite as much as I used to.  About 100 books last year.

I have, at the moment, seven Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (and one very tolerant cat).  I show in the breed ring and in rally obedience, and of course I take them hiking or to the park or whatever.  The spaniels do keep me busy.

I garden, so there’s always waaaay too much weeding, if that counts as a hobby.  I need to take cuttings of the viburnums and buddleias and magnolias soon.  I have a wonderful new baby magnola called ‘Woodsman’ that I would particularly like to propogate if it gives me enough new greenwood shoots in May that I think it can spare a couple

And I cook.  I have about 100 cookbooks, including seven or eight Indian cookbooks because I particularly love Indian food.  We don’t have many restaurants near where I live – I live basically in the middle of the woods – so if I want potato samosas or whatever, I make them myself.  And if I sudden decide I really want a hamburger, I will literally make hamburger buns myself rather than bother driving ten miles to town to buy some.

What is your favourite film and TV show?

So…back six or seven years ago, when I suddenly needed to write two books in six months, I basically gave up watching TV.  And I never really started again because when it comes right down to it, I’d usually rather read a book than watch a show.  So I can pick a favorite, but not anything current.  Having said that:  Firefly, hands down.  I loved Firefly and I still can’t believe the network canceled it.
And my all-time favorite movies might be The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Peter Jackson did a great job with those.  I still love the books better, though.

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Rachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student and needed a hobby unrelated to her research. Prior to selling her first fantasy novel, she had published only a few articles in venues such as The American Journal of Botany. However, finding that her interests did not lie in research, Rachel left academia and began to let her hobbies take over her life instead.

She now raises and shows dogs, gardens, cooks, and occasionally finds time to read. She works part-time for a tutoring program, though she tutors far more students in Math and Chemistry than in English Composition.

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