Debut '19 Interview: Amelinda Bérubé & Here There Are Monsters

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! 

Technically HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS is not Amelinda's debut novel. Her debut was THE DARK BENEATH THE ICE (8/7/18) which was fabulous and super spooky. Regardless, we are super excited to have Amelinda on the blog today answering some of our burning questions about HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS! *Amber is still obsessing over the cover*

About Amelinda!

I write about ghosts and monsters and other things that go bump in the night with a liberal sprinkling of weird Canadiana - my favorite source of inspiration - and the occasional zombie metaphor. ​My first YA novel, The Dark Beneath the Ice, is out now from Sourcebooks Fire;  Here There Are Monsters​ will follow in 2019. I am an eternal fangirl for YA and SFF, including horror, but any book that makes me laugh, makes me cry, or creeps me out will have my heart forever. My very favorites tend to have a thinky, supernatural flavor and don't explain too much. Subscribe to my newsletter so I can foist recommendations upon you! In my other lives I'm a public service editor, a mother of two, and a passionate gardener. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, in a perpetual whirlwind of unfinished projects and cat hair.

Keep up with Amelinda: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram


The Book Bratz: How does it feel that HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS is debuting this year?
Amelinda: Pretty amazing! I loved everything about the experience of launching my first book, The Dark Beneath the Ice; afterwards I basically staggered off the roller coaster and gasped “again!” So I’m thrilled to be hopping back on for another ride.

The Book Bratz: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS?
Amelinda: Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister. But when Deirdre disappears in the swampy woods behind their home, something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window: she’s the only one who can bring Deirdre home.
The Book Bratz: Where did your inspiration for HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS come from?
Amelinda: First and foremost, this story came from the creepy forest that surrounded my family’s home when I was a teenager. I’ve always known I had to write something about those woods. They were magical, but also wild, forbidding – downright hostile, actually – and a little dangerous: total monster habitat. I was really fascinated by the idea of “Canadian gothic,” and when I thought about what I could use as a suitably haunted landscape, those woods were a natural fit. Another source of inspiration was a collection of photos by Charles Fréger called Wilder Mann, which captures masks and costumes depicting a whole menagerie of monsters that haunt the midwinters of Northern Europe. My monsters owe a lot to some of the bonier creatures in that series.

The Book Bratz: Is there anything from your personal life that you used as inspiration in HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS?
Amelinda: There’s actually a fair bit of my personal life woven into this story, though it’s been broken up and rearranged and embroidered on quite a bit. Like my characters, I moved across the country at 13, and the valley Skye talks about is a real place I used to explore. I’m also the oldest of three siblings, though Skye and Deirdre are more pieces of myself at different ages than any reflections of people in my family. More generally, I think this story has its roots in how powerless – and angry and isolated – I felt as a teenager, though I was too invisible to be much of a target. Looking back on it, if I’d had more power, I doubt I’d have used it for good. We talk a lot about giving girls power and agency in stories, but we tend to want to see them wield it justly, as heroes; I wanted to talk about a girl who has power and misuses it.
The Book Bratz: If you had to create Twitter or Instagram handles for your characters, what would they be?
Amelinda: Skye has carefully erased any trace of herself on social media at the beginning of this book, but she creates an account in the course of the story, and her handle is @NightSkye. Deirdre is too preoccupied with her own imaginary worlds to bother with the internet, but if she did fall down that particular rabbit hole, she’d probably use something particularly dramatic from her game: @QueenOfBones, maybe.
The Book Bratz: Do you have any ideas you plan to visit after HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS?
Amelinda: I’m currently beating the bushes for my next spooky story – I am particularly fascinated by haunted houses, New England vampires, and midwinter traditions at the moment, and I have a couple of seeds of fantasy stories crying for my attention too. We’ll see what crystallizes!

Title: Here There Are Monsters 
Author: Amelinda Bérubé
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 2019
Buy HERE THERE ARE MONSTERSAmazon / B&N / Book Depository
Summary: The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over. In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones. Then Deirdre disappears. And when something awful comes scratching at Skye's window in the middle of the night, claiming she's the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Thank you so much Amelinda for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS and wait for it to be out in the world in August! 

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