Friday, 7 October 2011

{Guest Post} Brenna Yovanoff

Hi, I’m Brenna Yovanoff. I write young adult and speculative fiction.

My YA fantasy The Replacement is now available from Razorbill/Penguin Group. My second novel, The Space Between, will be available November, 2011.Here are some things about me (not book-related): I’m good at soccer, violent video games, and making very flaky pie pastry. I’m bad at dancing, making decisions, and inspiring confidence as an authority figure. I suspect this is because I am short, and also terrible at sounding as though I have any idea what I’m talking about. I was homeschooled until I was fifteen, which has probably affected my world view in ways I can’t fathom. Also, I really, really like parentheses. (Really.) On this site, you’ll find information about my books, answers to questions, and links to things I like. If you want to know more, you can check out my blog, where I frequently talk about zombies, high school, and dessert.
Brenna Talks About Setting
Hi, everyone! Today, Keegan has asked me to stop by and talk a little bit about setting as character, which is something I find really fascinating. I absolutely love the idea that where a story takes place can influence the way it’s told. 

In my writing, setting almost always plays an important role. Even though it spends most of its time sitting in the background, it can have so much influence over the tone and direction of a story.  

My first book, THE REPLACEMENT, is set in a small, dismal town with a lot of folklore and traditions, and a lot of ugly, secret things happening just under the surface.  The town was one of the first things that really came together for me, and once that framework was in place, it shaped what happens over the course of the story, because all the subsequent events are tied directly to the town. 

In THE SPACE BETWEEN, I really wanted to take advantage of what kinds of settings we tend to think of when we think about Hell.  

I thought it would be interesting if the main character, Daphne, were to come from this very clean, structured place, so I gave her a world that’s ornate and glossy and kind of beautiful. Just beyond the edges, there’s a lot of evidence that this is still Hell—filled with noise and fire and pain—but for Daphne, all that is mostly in the periphery. Even though it’s something she sees on a regular basis, it can’t actually touch her.

I did it this way because I wanted Daphne’s home environment to be one that would contrast sharply with what she discovers when she gets to Earth. Her attempts to find her brother are complicated by all the crazy, dangerous things that she’s never had to deal with, because the place she’s grown up in has always been uneventful and very, very safe. 

The manuscript I’m working on now has a much more real-worldly setting than either of my earlier books, but I’m still finding that details of place keep slipping in, contributing to the story just like any other character, and even though it’s completely mundane and factual, it still has these surprising times where it feels almost magical.

Thanks for having me, Keegan!
Thanks for stopping by Brenna!

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