Do you ever buy the whole book series because you are sure that you will love it but never get around to reading it? No? Just me? Okay then.
I have an embarrassing story to tell. I bought Caraval when it first came out because I had a feeling I would love it, but never got around to reading it. Last year I wound up pre-ordering a UK secret cover edition of Legendary because despite not reading the first book I just had a feeling in my bones I would love it. I think you see the pattern and can guess what happened with Finale.
Fast forward to Monday morning (yes, three days ago). I see Stephanie Garber’s tour schedule for at least the tenth time and finally saw that on release day she was going to be about an hour away from me. So I hatched a plan: read the first two books (totaling 839 pages) before 6 p.m. on Tuesday and drive to attend. So that is what I did, and I am here to tell you about it.
A conversation with Stephanie Garber and Adrienne Young about Caraval
Originally the series was sold as two books, but as she was writing Legendary she realized that the characters weren’t finished and there was still a story to tell. She wrote the book hoping there would be a third and feels fortunate and satisfied that she could finish writing the series.
Adrienne asked about her feelings now that the series has come to an end: Stephanie replied that it is kind of like going to Disneyland. “It’s awesome and so much fun but after a couple of days it is still awesome but you are tired and excited to move on.”
On villains: Stephanie wanted to make sure that Julian, Dante, and Jacks were distinct from one another… and she actually consulted her psychologist neighbor about her characters to find out how people with these specific traits would evolve. “This one is a sociopath, how would he change?” “He wouldn’t change.” “Well he needs to, so what needs to happen?” She wanted to make sure that each of them had complete arcs and that they had journeys that made sense for who they were.
Adrienne: “I’ve never known an author to consult a psychologist about their characters!”
This is a story about sisters. Stephanie wanted them to love each other and not fall into hate; Finale was the most fun to write for the sisters. (Kal note: YAS I AM EXCITE!) “The sisters earned their true endings.”
You are the queen of writing romance. Did you plan for it? Stephanie wrote Caraval without the intention of a romance, she wanted it to happen organically. She said that she actually tried to set up her and Dante but they had no chemistry and it didn’t work!
Favorite villain from a story: The villains, especially Klaus, in The Vampire Diaries (mainly because she has been on a marathon rewatch). “I realize that Klaus and Jacks have a lot in common.”
On how she can write so many different kinds of villains: She likes villains when they aren’t black and white (me too!). She advises making sure that the villains are in the story a lot and ask things like “what kind of good advice would your villain give to your main character?”
Which villain from Caraval would she like with her during the zombie apocalypse: Julian because even though they would both die she would at least have fun along the way.
Color plays an important role in the series. What color would you give to each of your characters? Scarlett would be red, Dante is black, Julian is crimson (aw), Tella is blue, and Jacks is gray.
When did you know who Legend was? The characters told her, and in fact in the first draft of Legendary a different character was Legend. It didn’t work and she had to go back and follow the clues.
On developing the magic system: She actually got the idea from religious faith and how it means something different to different people. “What if magic was kind of like that?”
Meeting Stephanie Garber!
The line was incredibly long but I was fortunate enough to choose the right side so I wasn’t too far back. I chatted a bit with the lady ahead of me and the girl behind me while we waited for the line to move. I only had to wait a little over an hour to get my books signed and have a brief chat.
Stephanie is local to the area so her family was there for the event. Stephanie’s mother and sister were handing out baked cookies and cupcakes to us in line, and they were so incredibly sweet to talk to. You can tell that they are so incredibly close!
Meeting Stephanie was an incredible experience. She is so warm and kind, and you can tell how much she loves meeting her fans. I told her about how the stars seemed to align just right to bring me there that night and she was enthused that I made it out and adored her books. She takes the time to chat with everyone a bit while signing, and she makes you feel very important during that time.
This was my first time attending an author event and signing, by the time I got into reading not-the-classics I had relocated to Northern California and I feel like everyone goes to my local indie bookstore back in San Diego. I will definitely be back in September when Adrienne’s sequel to Sky in the Deep launches!