Brenna Yovanoff Interview

So today I'm so happy to have the ever-so-wonderful Brenna Yovanoff stopping by. Her debut novel The Replacement is making all kinds of waves and trust me, I was so happy to have a chance to find out more about her. Her blog is one of my top must-check stops every day because the woman is hilarious (which surprised me at first, because have you seen that shiverriffic cover?!?) The Replacement is out now, so make sure you check it out.

Okay, for starters what was it like for you, upon seeing The Replacement as a…wait for it… published and printed book for the very first time? Mainly I want to know if any squealing was involved.
There was no actual squealing because I have this weird thing where when I'm scared or excited, I can't make any noise—even on roller coasters.  However, there was a lot of sitting on the couch, staring blankly at the cover.  And on release-day, I went and visited it in the bookstore for something like 20 minutes . . . just hanging out . . . looking at it.
From the eerily fantastic cover, even your I-purchased-this-book-based-on-the-cover-alone-without-even-glancing-at-the-synopsis readers will immediately know that The Replacement is not your average happy, friendly fairy story. What led you to create a book about such menacing creatures who never feel the need to apologize for their behavior?
Honestly, I think the menace is something they evolved into.  It really took me a few drafts before they started to take on a life of their own, and believe me, they just got worse and worse.  And the thing is, they're never going to apologize because they don't even think they're doing anything wrong.

How are you planning to celebrate The Replacement’s release day?
Well, as I mentioned above, the first thing I did was head out to visit The Replacement in person at the bookstore.  After that, every celebratory activity revolved around food and hanging out with my friends, because I love both those things!

Every time I stop by your blog it seems like you are always talking about making a pie complete with delicious homemade piecrust. Seeing as I am all about pie working as an instant step towards instantaneous happiness, is this a super-secret piecrust recipe or one you’d be willing to pass on to your readers? Inquiring minds would like to know?
I am absolutely willing to share my recipe!  It's very simple—so non-bakers out there, don't be intimidated.  All you need is:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
6 Tablespoons cold water
Whisk the flour and salt together in a big bowl, then cut the shortening into the flour mixture using a pair of butter knives (you just drag them through the bowl in opposite directions, cutting the shortening into smaller and smaller pieces and letting it get caked with flour).
After the mixture starts to look like coarse crumbs with some pea-sized lumps in it, add the cold water and blend with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape all the drier stuff off the sides of the bowl and into the mix.  After it's blended, gather it into a big ball, wrap it in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least half an hour before rolling it out and making your favorite pie!
The secret is to have the water *very cold* and to cut the ingredients together using knives in place of a pastry-cutter or a fork.  It takes a little longer, but the finished texture is super-flaky because the flour doesn't get over-mixed.

What book do you find yourself recommending over and over (and over) again?
Jellicoe Road, for sure.  Melina Marchetta is an incredible storyteller and her characters are so vivid and so raw.  I just love everything about the world and the story and the structure.  Also, I love Jonah Griggs.  But that's neither here nor there.

Thanks again for stopping buy Brenna! The Replacement is out now.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Have you read this Michelle? I definitely want to pick it up sometime

Fun interview! Love the photo of Brenna too. Very beautiful.