Sunday, 18 March 2012

Exclusive Interview with Daniel Marks, Author of Velveteen

Me : Velveteen is an unconventional YA novel. What was the idea behind writing Velveteen?

Danny : I’d been kicking around the idea of a serial killer story from the perspective of one of his child victims for at least six years. Velveteen started out as a middle grade story that ended up being too grim for that age group. Back then I was calling it The Trouble with the Living and since then, I’ve written four adult novels, three of them published, which definitely skewed my voice toward an older age group when I went back to writing Velveteen. The heroine of that original story actually transformed into supporting character in Velveteen and the setting moved predominantly to a very otherworldly purgatory.

Me : When the cover was revealed it was quite different from any other YA books. How does this cover represent the whole book?

Danny : I was super excited about two things on the cover. The first was Velveteen’s face. I’ve yet to see a meaner expression on a YA heroine before or since. So I was ecstatic. Velvet is a tough cookie. She definitely wears the pants in all her relationships and looks at life (death) with a shrewd scrutiny. The characters on the cover are laying on a bed of ash which factors into the story a great deal. Overall, I love it!

Me : Would you like to share a few words about Velveteen’s Purgatory, her situations and surroundings?

Danny : The story takes place in both the daylight (our living world) and in purgatory (an afterlife for murder victims and other “un-fated” deaths). Purgatory is a single city vast enough to cover a shadow version of earth, where everyone has a job to do. There are factions among the dead who want back out into the daylight to possess a living body. Velveteen lives in a dormitory full of ghosts that move freely into the daylight for various missions. Hers is to retrieve trapped souls.

Me : How do you like to describe Velveteen’s character? What makes her a unique “Heroine”?

Danny : Velvet’s definitely her own hero. When I sat down to figure her out, I knew I wanted a girl that was independent and insightful enough to know that she didn’t need anyone to save her--that this would be in the forefront of her mind. So much so that it flavors her decisions in relation to boys. Her drive for vengeance, stomach for violence and biting wit make her a formidable addition to the YA heroines out there today!

Me : What are your favorite YA novels?

Danny : The answer to that is different from month to month. I’ve loved a ton of books this past year alone, but the books that are my true favorites are the ones that you can really lose yourself in. Open the cover and all sense of time disappears. I found that to be true of Sherman Alexie’s THE POSITIVELY TRUE ADVENTURES OF A PART TIME INDIAN, A.S. King’s PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and most recently John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Me : Would you like to tell few words to the readers who are dying to read Velveteen?

Danny : I think they might need to prepare for VELVETEEN more than they think. It’s definitely a thrill-ride, but the horrors inside are pretty intense and Velveteen’s perspective is very dark, driven and at times…deranged.

I would like to thank Daniel Marks, author of The Velveteen for giving me such an amazing interview and I would like to wish her best of luck for his upcoming book Velveteen.
This interview was taken by Soumi@Pages From My Thoughts.


  1. Great interview! I'm now even more interested in reading Velveteen! :)

  2. At sixteen, Velveteen Monroe was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.
    The problem is she landed in the City of the Dead. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven either. Grey, ashen and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do there. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.
    Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment he deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days.
    It'll be brutal...and awesome.
    But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting could actually crack the foundation of her new world, not to mention jeopardize her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.
    Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

  3. Lush, complicated, and beautiful worldbuilding create a purgatory like none you've ever seen before. Velvet's a great character, and I loved the romance arc. Great book!