I am so excited for this post! I absolutely loved April Tucholke's Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. It was so richly written--the words just tasted beautiful on your tongue, if you know what I mean. And the plot was so elusive, you had to wonder what was real and what was an illusion. Have you read this book? Share in the comments! Will you read this book? Let us know!
Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world. But then, the Devil once told me that it's easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.
The problem with River West Redding was that he'd done both to me.
The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet's life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River's other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn't long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.
Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?
Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back.
Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.
April Genevieve Tucholke is a full-time writer who digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband—a librarian, former rare-book dealer, and journalist—live in Oregon.
Find her here:
1) What was your favorite part of creating Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea? What was the hardest?
My favorite parts to write? The violence and the steam. I can’t help it. The words fly out my fingers.
The hardest parts are everything else. The subtle things. Weaving in backgrounds and settings and atmosphere and motivations and history and world and voice. They take a lot more time. Especially the voice. I had to write DEVIL once, and then write it all over again in Violet’s voice. She never uses clichés. She’s an original thinker. It’s delicate and cunning.
2) Who do you think Violet’s favorite authors and artists are?
Authors: The Bronte sisters. Daphne Du Maurier. Susanna Clarke. Stephen King. Dickens. Poe. Hawthorne. Agatha Christie.
Artists: Chagall. Rodin. John William Waterhouse. Caspar David Friedrich. Caravaggio. Artemisia Gentileschi.
3) Describe River in the three words.
Charming. Byronic. Wounded.
4) Describe Violet in three words.
Lonely. Eccentric. Hopeful.
5) Describe Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in three words.
Atmospheric. Eerie. Unexpected.
6) Describe Between the Spark and the Burn in three words.
Lovecraftian. Bittersweet. Insidious.
7) If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
A painter. I want to stare at colors all day. I want the inside of my fingernails to be crusted with dried acrylic. No more words from now on, just images, images.
8) What can we look forward to in book two, Between the Spark and the Burn? Any hints?
River has gone missing. There are Bright Young Things. Someone goes mad. Someone goes sane. There are islands. Forests. Creepy small towns. Cemeteries. A girl named Pine. A boy named Finch. Wild horses. A frozen lake. Red hair. Violet finds her grandmother’s diary, and it’s full of scandal and sex and secrets. River’s apple doesn’t fall far from the Redding tree.
9) What are your plans for after Between the Spark and Burn? Are you working on any new projects?
I’m part of an upcoming YA horror anthology, along with authors Kendare Blake, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, and Carrie Ryan, among others. It will be published by Penguin in 2015. The title is Slasher Girls and Monster Boys and the stories are inspired by horror films, past and present.
I’m also working on a Lord of the Flies-ish post-apocalyptic book called The Scarecrow, and a dark, contemporary, voice-driven mystery called Wink, Poppy, Midnight.
10) What books, movies or TV shows would you recommend for readers who enjoyed Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea?
Books: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. Splintered by AG Howard. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
TV: Twin Peaks. The BBC adaptation of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. The blood-tastic Penny Dreadful. The third season of American Horror Story (I recommend this with reservations. It’s almost unforgivably disturbing.)
Movies: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Brief Encounter. The Illusionist. The Toby Stephens Jane Eyre adaptation. Hitchcock’s Rebecca. The Woman in Black. The Awakening. Interview With a Vampire. The Skeleton Key. The Night of the Hunter. The Lost Boys. The Others.
And because I enjoy these novels so much, we are hosting a giveaway that will hopefully inspire and prepare you for the upcoming August release of Between the Spark and the Burn. Here's a bit of horror for those dark summer nights ahead of us:
The Prize: DVD's of The Woman in Black and The Others. Paperbacks of Splintered and Anna Dressed in Blood. All of which were recommended for fans of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Ms. Tucholke herself!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Big thanks to April Tucholke for taking the time to answer our questions! We can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
The (YA) Bookcase Team