VE Schwab’s brand new novel, VICIOUS, just came out, and not only did she stop by to chat about it, but we’ve got a copy to give away to one lucky winner!
Please welcome VE to the blog!
You’ve got a few YA books under your belt, and your first adult novel, VICIOUS, just came out (and frankly, looks awesome)! Will you tell us a little about it and what inspired you to write it?
Why thank you! It’s quite surreal how fast things are moving now, considering it took 2 years for my first book to hit shelves, and more than a year and a half for my next, but VICIOUS marks the start of a marathon of releases, and I’m so, so excited that it’s finally out (I wrote it over the course of nearly three years, so it’s been a long time in the works).
VICIOUS follows two brilliant, disturbed pre-med students who discover that the key to superpowers is near-death experiences. They set out to create their own abilities by controlling their own suicides and resurrections. Needless to say, it does not go well.
I wanted to write a book in which the terms “hero” and “villain” became meaningless, and then ask the reader, “Who do you root for?” I wanted to explore the IDEA of villainy, and I wanted to write a card-carrying sociopath as a lead. And I wanted to write a supervillain origin story.
What did you enjoy most about writing your main characters, Victor and Eli? Why do you think readers will connect with them?
I loved writing Victor’s detachment—he analyzes everything in a very cold, calculating way that you might think would increase psychic distance, but people still love him—or at least root for him—and it’s been a blast creating that uncertainty in my readers, the knowledge that something/someone is wrong, but wanting them to win anyway 😉 I also loved writing the origins of all four characters’ superpowers. In VICIOUS, the nature of the near-death experience, and the mental state at the time, play such an important role in shaping the power, and it was a lot of fun to figure out which powers the characters would intuitively develop.
What made you decide to write about people with superpowers, as opposed to other supernatural baddies or creatures?
I have always been a huge fan of comic books, and studied archetypes quite a bit in college, so I was chomping at the bit to play with the hero/villain model. Also, I wanted the challenge of coming up with a new superpower mythos in a world where everything feels done.
What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a connect-the-dots-er. I have 5-10 plot points my story must have to be my story, and then I find my way from dot to dot. It gives me the freedom to discover, without the risk of going too far off-course.
Have there been any writers or novels that have particularly influenced you in your writing, or your life?
I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, not only his work but his kindness and generosity as well as his ability to stay genuine and humble at this point in his amazing career.
If you could experience one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
I read that you like to bake cookies…what is your favorite kind?
Chocolate chip with sea salt.
What’s next for you, this year and beyond?
Oh, man. I said this was the beginning of a marathon, and I wasn’t joking. Up next, I have THE UNBOUND (the sequel to THE ARCHIVED) hitting shelves in January, followed by the start of a MG series called EVERYDAY ANGEL in May, a second installment in September, and a new book I haven’t been allowed to announce yet in October.
2.) Giveaway is for 1 copy of VICIOUS by VE Schwab to 1 winner
3.) Giveaway is open US residents (or those with a US mailing address)
4.) You must enter before 11/1/13
5.) Giveaway book courtesy of Tor
6.) Please see my Giveaway Policy.
A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
About VE Schwab:
V. E. Schwab is the author of The Near Witch, a YA fantasy from Disney Hyperion, as well as The Archived, the first book in a YA supernatural series, also from Disney Hyperion. The product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a Southern upbringing, Victoria has a penchant for tea and BBC shows, and a serious and well-documented case of wanderlust. This is her first adult book. Find her online at veschwab.wordpress.com