Alpha, the sixth and final Shifters book by Rachel Vincent will be out October 1, 2010. This is one of my favorite shapeshifter series,and though I'm sad it's ending, I'm also excited to see what Rachel has come up for us in this final kick ass book. For those of you not familiar with the author or the series, below is a blurb in Faythe's words:
YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE FAYTHE…
The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc, and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder, and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.
It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can—that will—change everything forever.
Alpha is available in paperback and in digital format.
I was given the chance to interview Rachel for her Alpha Blog tour, which was such a fangirl moment for me. I hope you enjoy our chat.
Brenda: I've noticed that fans are VERY vocal about Marc and Jace. Does this play a part in how you look at things as you are writing, or did you have the ending of the series in your head all along?
Rachel: I love that people are so emotionally attached to the characters and so vehement about their “teams.” But no, that doesn’t affect anything I write. It couldn’t, because by the time readers get their hands on one book, I’ve already written at least the next in the series, and sometimes the next two. So, events they won’t see for another year are already set in stone.
Brenda: What was the hardest scene to write in the series (without giving a spoiler of course)?
Rachel: The hardest scenes for me are usually the ones I’m least emotionally invested in. The reverse of that is also usually true—the scenes people think would be the hardest (death scenes, breakup scenes, etc…) usually come the easiest for me. Dialogue flows very quickly for me when I’m writing an argument. Description flows very quickly for me when the setting is vivid. So the hardest things for me to write are usually the “Scooby Doo” scenes, as I call them. The big reveal. Those scenes during which all the pieces have to come together to show what’s happened, without resorting to ripping off rubber masks, either figurative or literal.
Oh, and fight scenes. Those are always hard. Particularly, the ambush scene at the beginning of Prey, and the final fight sequence at the end of Alpha.
Brenda: Do you have a hidden love of something that would surprise your readers, be it food, a special book, a hobby, etc?
Rachel: I’m a huge dork. Seriously. I love Rock Band, and wasabi peas, and Netflix instant downloads. I love B horror movies and tearjerkers equally. I like ponytail holders and jeans, and I almost NEVER carry a purse.
Brenda: I read your post on Deadline Dames about saying goodbye to the Shifters series, but noticed you mentioned a short story coming in the spring from Tor. Do you think that will be goodbye?
Rachel: Um… Probably. I’m willing to write more Shifters short stories if the opportunity arises, but so far, that’s the only one I’m contracted for.
Brenda: Is there one thing that you would NEVER put in a book, no matter what? (Either something too horrible or a pet peeve.)
Rachel: I doubt there’s anything too horrible (too gross, or scary, or gruesome) for me to write about. I actually come to urban fantasy by way of horror, not via romance, and though at this point I can’t imagine myself writing a full novel with no romance at all (nothing adds depth to a character like the possibility of finding and keeping real love), you’re probably never going to find a Rachel Vincent book that doesn’t have something creepy in it at the least, and outright gory/painful/uncomfortable at the most. I’ve had characters stabbed, beaten, gored, broken, raped, shot, kidnapped, disfigured, and cannibalized. Not necessarily in that order. I’ve discussed patricide, fratricide, infanticide, drug abuse, mental illness, and literal torture. So, no. Nothing’s off the table for me, but I will not put anything disturbing in a book just for the sake of shock value. That just doesn’t work. If it doesn’t propel the plot or explore character depth, it won’t go in the book.
However…I won’t write erotica. At this point in my career, I’m not comfortable writing more than one sex scene per book (in my adult series), and I can’t imagine I’d ever stray past an R rating and into X territory.
The "Alpha Bite" from Rachel:
"You don't have to marry an Alpha, Faythe. You're going to be an Alpha." -from pg. 62 of Alpha
About Rachel: A resident of San Antonio, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her office with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks—seriously—and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.
Where You Can Find Rachel:
Her Website: http://rachelvincent.com/
Her Blog: http://www.urbanfantasy.blogspot.com/
Click here for Rachel's Facebook Page
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/rachelkvincent
The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour
Rachel is participating in the Smart Chicks book signing tour. She'll be at the following locations to sign books and meet fans. If you're going to be attending one or more of the stops, check out these downloadable posters you can print and have signed by the authors at Melissa Marr's website: http://www.melissa-marr.com/_SCKI/
September 14th, 2010 7 PM @ B&N THE WOODLANDS, Houston, TX
Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Kami Garcia & Rachel Vincent.
September 20th, 2010 6 PM @ VROMAN'S, Pasadena, CA
Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, Melissa de la Cruz, Rachel Vincent, Margaret Stohl & Mary Pearson
September 21st, 2010 6 PM @ Encinitas County Library, San Diego, CA
Hosted by MYSTERIOUS GALAXY
Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Pearson, Rachel Caine, Rachel Vincent, Carrie Ryan, Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia.