Debut '19 Interview: Christine Lynn Herman & The Devouring Gray

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, twitter chats and more! 

Over the summer of 2018 we had tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books and Christine responded with her novel THE DEVOURING GRAY and we have been obsessed with it since. We are so excited to have Christine on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

About Christine! 
Born in New York City but raised in Japan and Hong Kong, Christine Lynn Herman subscribes to the firm philosophy that home is where her books are. She returned to the United States to study at the University of Rochester, where she received the Dean's Prize in fiction and an Honors English degree. Currently, Christine and her books reside in a Brooklyn apartment, along with her partner, many plants, and their extremely spoiled cat. Her debut YA novel, THE DEVOURING GRAY, will release from Disney-Hyperion on April 2, 2019, with a sequel to come the following year. She is represented by Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and can be found on Twitter and Instagram @christineexists or at

Keep up with Christine: Website / Twitter / Goodreads 


The Book Bratz: How does it feel that THE DEVOURING GRAY is debuting this year?
Christine: Honestly, it feels like it's all happening to someone else. I know this is a common feeling, but it just hasn’t sunk in yet--that a story that lived entirely in my head for so long is now printed on paper (or in ebook format!) for public consumption. It’s exciting, but nerve-wracking, too. Ultimately, though, I’m very proud of the story I set out to tell, and I can’t wait to see the final versions of THE DEVOURING GRAY in the wild!

The Book Bratz: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of THE DEVOURING GRAY?
Christine: Riverdale meets Stranger Things in THE DEVOURING GRAY, where five very tired teenagers are responsible for protecting their upstate NY town from the monster that lurks in the forest. Dark rituals! Disaster bisexuals! Creepy woods! Familial guilt!

The Book Bratz: Where did your inspiration for THE DEVOURING GRAY come from?
Christine: I went to college at the University of Rochester, in the exact region of upstate New York where THE DEVOURING GRAY is set. I’d spent my entire life before that moving every couple of years, so college was where I learned to put down roots for the first time. It’s where I met my partner--who is a Rochester local--where I made lifelong friends, and where I decided once and for all that writing was the path I wanted to follow. This story grew organically out of my time there; I began the first draft when I was in my junior year of college, and have been working on it ever since.

The Book Bratz: Is there anything from your personal life that you used as inspiration in THE DEVOURING GRAY?
Christine: THE DEVOURING GRAY is an incredibly personal book for me. The speculative elements are purely fictionalized--luckily; I wouldn’t wish going into the Gray on anybody--but the trauma, grief, and recovery each character is dealing with were drawn from my own life, and because of that, certain scenes were very tough but cathartic to write. That being said, I’m glad I got personal. I don’t think the book would be right if I’d held back.

The Book Bratz: Can you share a secret about THE DEVOURING GRAY that not many people know yet?
Christine: In the first draft, all the characters were in a band together. No one is EVER allowed to read those scenes :).

The Book Bratz: If you had to create Twitter or Instagram handles for your characters, what would they be?
Christine: THE DEVOURING GRAY is a contemp fantasy, set in modern times, so the teenagers would totally have social media. (well, most of them.)

Justin: @idratherberunning

Violet: @indigogirl

Isaac: @lostineverybook

May: @itsmaygoaway

Harper wouldn’t have any social media. She doesn’t care. Violet would comment on their selfies together complaining about how off the grid she is.

The Book Bratz: Do you have any ideas you plan to visit after THE DEVOURING GRAY?
Christine: Right now, I’m in the midst of revisions on THE DEVOURING GRAY’s sequel, which is slated for a Spring 2020 release. It’s intense but exciting to be giving these characters that have lived in my head for so long an ending--I just want to make sure it’s the ending they all deserve. As for any other ideas...I can’t talk about them yet, but hopefully that changes soon!

Title: The Devouring Gray
Author: Christine Lynn Herman 
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Buy THE DEVOURING GRAY: Amazon / B&N / Indie Bound / Book Depository 
Summary: On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening… Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid. When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

Thank you so much Christine for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about THE DEVOURING GRAY and wait for it to be out in the world on April 2nd! 

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