Summer of Series: Susan Dennard Interview & Giveaway

Can we take a moment to acknowledge how excited I am to have Susan on the blog today? It's Susan Dennard people! If you haven't read any of her books, you are seriously missing out.

Strange and Ever After
third book in the Something Strange and Deadly series
Published July 22, 2014
Add to Goodreads 
In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.
Describe your new series, The Witchlands, in a tweet! 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter Gods are going to get you.
Six elemental magics, three war-hungry empires, and two best friends who must save it all. ;)

What has been your favorite part of writing The Witchlands?
My favorite part of exploring the Witchlands has been the HUGE scale. With four point of view characters in book one (and more to come later!), with three empires and more kinds of magic than I can count, and with so many histories and backstories and relationships -- gah! There's just so much to share and dig into! Of course...all that scale and size also makes writing it a whole new kind of challenge for me.

How did the writing process for The Witchlands differ from your debut series Something Strange and Deadly?
Well, because the world is so much bigger and I'm dealing with SO many more characters and arcs, I needed more time to write and revise.

How did the idea for The Witchlands come to you? It is freaking awesome!
The idea for the Witchlands was sort of a one-two combo. I heard "El Dorado" by Two Steps from Hell right around the time I was toying with two words: Threadwitch and Truthwitch. Somehow, the combination of those words and that music just...KAPOW! Ideas! World! Characters! IT all burst forth, and as I wrote, I realized the two leading ladies--the Threadwitch and the Truthwitch--were EPIC best friends just like my best friend and I are. ;)

What is your favorite line from The Witchlands?
Oh gosh! While this isn't necessarily my favorite line, it's one that I think so perfectly summarizes the first book: "Everything had gone horribly wrong." It's also the opening line of the book, and as readers will see, things don't really get better for my poor heroines as the book progresses. ;)

You made me bawl at the end of the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy, so I need it in writing that you won’t do it to me again at the new of this new series. This isn’t a question, but it’s entirely necessary to my sanity.
I promise not to make you bawl unnecessarily at the end of this new quartet. Does that work? ;)

You have a third series under your belt, kind of, with the online publication of The Starkillers Cycle that you co-publish with the amazing Sarah J. Maas. What is it like co-publishing a story with your best friend while simultaneously spending years on stories you have sole creative control over? How do these experiences differ?
The Starkillers is SO FUN. It helps Sarah and I relax, and I also think it pushes us as writers. We write characters very different from those in our books, and the world is SO huge -- we really get to flex our muscles and try new things. It's also just nice to have no editorial process. One day, when we finish this mondo tale, we'll of course hire a professional editor...but until then, it's just us and our muses!

Truthwitch ARCs are in the world, which means edits are done! So, what’s next for you? Anything you produce is amazing, so I have to start mentally preparing myself now.
I'm working on the second book in the Witchlands series, Windwitch. It has been tough because -- as mentioned -- this world is HUGE and I'm working with a vast cast of very different characters. I'm definitely pushing my own skills to the limit, but hopefully I'll reach this challenge and rise above!

What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
The most interesting thing I've googled in the name of research is how to make dynamite!! I feel certain that dynamite + my googling how to make EMPs has put me on every FBI watchlist out there...

What is one series you would recommend to readers?
Oh. Wow. That's an incredibly tough question....I think, probably, the ONE series I'd recommend to readers (at least teens) is the Abhorsen trilogy from Garth Nix. There is still no world or cast of strong women quite like his.

Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
Captain America for face. Thor for body. And Iron Man for brain. Does that count? ;)

Meet the author!

Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. As a marine biologist, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.
She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series as well as the forthcoming Witchlands series (Tor, 2015), and when not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, exploring tidal pools, or earning bruises at the dojo.
She lives in the Midwestern US with her French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about her crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on her blog, newsletterTwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.



Susan has an awesome giveaway for everyone! She is going to share a copy of her first book, Something Strange and Deadly, with one winner! If the winner is in the US it will be a paperback, but if the winner lives outside of the US it will be an eBook.

All entrants must be 13 years or older and this contest is open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! Alyxandra Harvey has a US/CAN giveaway going on today!


  1. Love the Summer of Series thing. I need to get organized and plan a series to read. I've been meaning to do Secret Society Girl since forever...
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    PS I'm hosting a stop on The Fixer blog tour today :)

    1. I'm happy you like it, Jen!

      And ahhh yay!!!!

  2. Oh man. If that didn't motivate me to move Truthwitch up on my TBR, I don't know what will! Haha. I'm super excited to dive into this world! Great interview Lili!

    1. Seriously though! Thank you for stopping by, girl ;) <3

  3. I always like hearing what authors favorite books are to read. I have had this series on my TBR list for a long time. I own the first two books but didn't want to start it until I have the third one because I know I'm going to speed read through them all. Thank you so much!

    1. Just to clarify, this giveaway is for book one which you already own, not book 3! I think you may be getting the titles mixed up. :(

  4. Everything, I really but I like more the part of "The Witchlands, in a tweet! 140 characters or less.". Thank you for the giveaway

  5. I didn't read her first series because of that ending you bawled for, so I'm very glad you extracted this promise from Susan. :D


      (but you should read the first series even with the bawling because it's so so so worth it)

  6. I love that the inspiration come from El Dorado!

    Awesome post and interview. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

    1. Right?! I got really excited when I saw that because it's so unique!

      Thank you for stopping by!

  7. I'm excited to hear that it is bigger than her other series and has more characters! Great post! Excited to read both of these series!

    1. I wish SS&D never ended :( but hey...if this one is slightly longer I will totally take it ;)