Title: Revenge and the Wild
Author: Michelle Modesto
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Western
Published By: Balzer + Bray on February 2, 2016
Where To Get:
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.
Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.
But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.
This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.
1) Were there any funny stories while you worked on Revenge and the Wild? Or maybe, at that time, the book had a different name, which now makes you smile?
When I first started writing Revenge and the Wild—initially called Animus, then changed to Machine and the Wild, and so on—a friend and I decided to take a drive over to the nearby town of Truckee where the Donner Party became stranded. It had been pouring down rain all day and while driving near Donner Lake, my truck got stuck in the mud. It was eerie, feeling trapped the way the Donner Party had. Luckily I had four-wheel-drive, and my friend had cell service, or I totally would’ve eaten him.
2) What inspired and/or helped you in the process of writing?
Reading good books always inspires my own writing. It gets me pumped up, and pushes me to be more creative and take risks with my stories.
3) Can you share your most favorite quote from your book?
Westie sat in Alistair’s room, in his closet where they used to build forts. It had once been their sanctuary, a place to escape a world not ready—or not willing, as it often seemed—to accept metal children with missing parts.
I think this is one of my favorite lines because it’s so true to real life. Some of the best people I know are misunderstood because they’re different from others.
4) How long did it take you to write your novel? What was easier to write: the beginning or the ending?
It only took me a couple months to write the first draft of the novel. I had such a clear picture in my head of these character and this world, but it took me well over a year to finish editing and getting it to a point where I was comfortable enough to send it to agents. Beginnings are definitely easier to write for me. Endings are like the wires behind the TV: you have a bunch of devices, like your Xbox, Play Station, and blu ray and you have to attach all those loose wires to the right components in order for them to work. It’s a mess and it gets confusing.
5) If right now someone told you that he can perform any of your three wishes, what would you then wish for?
They would mostly be pageant answers: I’d wish for a cure for cancer and heart disease. Free education for everyone. A black and chrome tardis because that would be dope, and I’d love to change some things.
6) If you could, would you write a letter to Westie? If the answer is yes, what would be the main theme of the letter?
I don’t think I would write a letter to Westie. I think characters need to make their mistakes and learn from them. Besides, she’s a badass bitch and does just fine navigating on her own.
Michelle Modesto is an associate editor at Gold Man Review, a west coast literary journal. She is also a former tattoo artist and works as a dog groomer and rescuer. She loves hockey, mudding and redneck things. She lives in Northern California with her two kids and a couple of bed-hogging bull mastiffs
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