I am so excited to be a part of the tour for MOONSET by Scott Tracey who happens to be one of my very favorite authors. I had the chance to read MOONSET early and may have read it more than once… more than twice… more than that, even… and I can only say that it was amazing and where’s the sequel?
While I won’t be posting my review as part of the tour – apparently I have several posts scheduled for today – it will be up on the blog on Wednesday. So if you’d like to see what I thought about the Moonset coven, its legacy and its characters, feel free to stop back then.
For today, though, I have an awesome interview with children of MOONSET and with the author. And while I’d love to ramble on for awhile, because this post is long and because the interviewees are much more interesting than I could ever be, I’ll stop now.
Of course I have to share the book’s description – just in case you haven’t seen it – some places where you can find it online, a short bio of this incredibly talented author (with photo) and places where you can find him online.
If you’re already a fan and know all about this book and author, then just skip ahead to the interview and be sure to check out the giveaway below for a chance to win one of five copies of the book!
Now, without any further ado, may I present to you….
About the Book…
Moonset, a coven of such promise . . . Until they turned to the darkness.
After the terrorist witch coven known as Moonset was destroyed fifteen years ago—during a secret war against the witch Congress—five children were left behind, saddled with a legacy of darkness. Sixteen-year-old Justin Daggett, son of a powerful Moonset warlock, has been raised alongside the other orphans by the witch Congress, who fear the children will one day continue the destruction their parents started.
A deadly assault by a wraith, claiming to work for Moonset’s most dangerous disciple, Cullen Bridger, forces the five teens to be evacuated to Carrow Mill. But when dark magic wreaks havoc in their new hometown, Justin and his siblings are immediately suspected. Justin sets out to discover if someone is trying to frame the Moonset orphans . . . or if Bridger has finally come out of hiding to reclaim the legacy of Moonset. He learns there are secrets in Carrow Mill connected to Moonset’s origins, and keeping the orphans safe isn’t the only reason the Congress relocated them .. .
About the Author…
Scott Tracey is a YA author who lived on a Greyhound for a month, wrote his illustrated autobiography at the age of six, and barely survived Catholic school (and definitely not for the reasons you might think).
He is the author of WITCH EYES, chosen as one of Amazon’s Best LGBT Books of 2011, as well as an ALA Popular Paperback in the Forbidden Romance category. The final book in the WITCH EYES trilogy, PHANTOM EYES, will be released in the fall of 2013.
He is also the author of MOONSET, a new series which will be released April 8, 2013, as well as a contributor to the SHADOWHUNTERS & DOWNWORLDERS anthology, edited by Cassandra Clare.
His career highlights include: accidentally tripping a panic alarm which led to nearly being shot by the police; attacked in a drive-thru window by a woman wielding a baked potato, and once moving cross country for a job only to quit on the second day.
His gifts can be used for good or evil, but rather than picking a side, he strives for BOTH (in alternating capacity) for his own amusement.
Even though you’re not the oldest you seem to be the one in charge, the one trying to keep the peace. How do you feel about shouldering this burden? Are you angry that Mal hasn’t taken the lead?
It has to be someone’s job. I don’t mind that it’s me. I mean, it’s not easy all the time: trying to keep everyone from killing each other is a full time job on even a good day. Mal gets too angry sometimes, he wouldn’t make a good mediator. So I think it’s a good thing that it’s me. At least I can try to make everyone happy.
Would you rather be normal – no magic, not related to the Moonset coven – or is having magic worth all the negatives?
Ouch. Give up my family just to be free from who I am? Never. I mean, sure magic might have its downsides, but I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t have all of them. They’re my family. I like who I am. I like who they are. And how would I ever make up for what my parents did if I didn’t have the gifts that I have?
What do you think about Carrow Mill? If you knew your last expulsion would land you in this town would you have done it anyway?
We moved from the middle of No-One-Cares to a town filled with Witches and Covens? I call this a win-win. Sure, things in town are a little…off. But we’re always being taught by sideshow talents with only a few tricks up their sleeves. I want to know the things the Covens know. Where better to start learning?
No one wants to talk about how stifling our last town was. There are a lot of places we’ve gone where the town is small and in the middle of nowhere, but you can tell the witches know what’s up. This wasn’t one of them. We didn’t even get any real training. Kids my age should be able to cast a decent glamour on themselves. I can barely eavesdrop on someone in the next room. Tell me how that’s fair?
What is your favorite way to piss Justin off?
Some days all it takes is a smile, did you know that? It drives him crazy, wondering what’s going on in my head. That’s the thing about Justin – I always know what he’s thinking, and he can never really figure me out. So sometimes I walk around with a smug little smile and wait for him to implode.
How does it feel to be stuck with your siblings? You’re the one most likely to be able to live a normal life, do you think that’ll ever happen?
A normal life? You’re kidding, right?
Look, we are what we are. There’s nothing that I can do about it. I leave schools when they have to leave, I move when they move. Wherever they go, I have to follow. Normal has a restraining order out on me. I can’t get within five hundred feet of it.
Do I think it’ll ever happen? No. I’ll be with the rest of them until we die.
If you could pull a prank on one of your siblings, who would you prank and why?
Mal, of course. Bailey cries too easily, and no one in their right mind pisses Jenna off. And Justin’s boring. Besides, Jenna gets dibs on that. But Mal freaks out and it’s always hilarious. This one time, I took pictures of him sleeping and posted them up around the school, and girls wouldn’t leave him alone! They had to have a sexual harassment assembly just for him. I mean, not like for him, like he was the only one there. I mean there was one for the whole school, because of the way people treated Mal.
What do you think about the Witchers? Cool or creepy?
Dude, have you seen them? They’re so badass. One of them saved my life, y’know. Quinn’s cool. He has this knife thing and he can use all kinds of wicked magic with it! He used it to stop this gash on my face from bleeding and then turned around and blew up a building like it was nothing!
I tried asking him to show it to me, but he said not until I was older. Which is lame, because Justin and Jenna and Mal are older, and they don’t do anything fun with knives. They don’t do anything fun anyway, but especially not with knives.
What are the best and worst parts of having Jenna as your sister?
Oh…I don’t…is she going to read this? I don’t know.
Jenna’s sweet, she really is. She shows me how to do stuff, she makes sure I’m taken care of, she protects me when she thinks I need it. It’s just…she’s under a lot of pressure. I think it’s harder for her than the rest of us, and she doesn’t want us to know that. I don’t think she wants us to get in trouble, but she just doesn’t know of any other way to make her point.
I just wish people would stop treating her like she’s the worst of us. She’s really not. Evil people don’t take their little sisters shopping and stay up half the night talking about boys. Or do makeovers together. I just wish people could see the Jenna I see, sometimes. I wish Jenna could see. Because I think she’s starting to believe what they tell her. And that scares me.
Justin – Your answers just prove why you’re the perfect one to “lead” your family. You rock!
Jenna – Ha! A “little off”???? Really, Jenna? Though it is totally unfair that you can’t glamour yourself. That would be an awesome skill to have. Oh, and I didn’t know that about Justin, though I should have guessed.
Mal – You sound a little resigned, a little depressed. Time for a coffee run? Maybe Justin could make one for you.
Cole – Hehehe! Poor Mal. But you totally chose the right sibling to prank. Love it! As far as the Witchers, I have not had the chance to see them first-hand. And as much as I’d love to, if they were around, that would mean something really bad was going to happen.
Oh, and Cole, you’re scaring me just a little bit with your fascination with knives….
Bailey – Somehow I don’t think Jenna wants everyone to see just how great a person she can be. And I agree, she’s not evil. But magic can be a dangerous thing….
If the Moonset coven were pitted against the Lansings and the Thorpes who do you think would win? Whose magic would you say is strongest?
Well, the Moonset kids have the curse that protects them from being separated/killed, so in a full out assault I’d say they’d win out. But if the Lansings/Thorpes did their research, they might find alternative ways to deal with them.
Magic wise, definitely the Moonset kids. At least the potential is there. In Witch Eyes, everyone has a certain level of strength and/or skill. Jason and Catherine are leagues above most witches, and Braden is leagues above them. But in the Moonset world, you’re only as strong as what spells you’ve learned, but anyone can be a powerful badass. At that point, it becomes a numbers game, and there’s 5 Moonset kids, and only two adults. Moonset all the way.
Who would you say is the strongest character in MOONSET? The most magically inclined? The most clever? The most secretive? The most complicated?
It’s funny, because I’m working on the second book now, and my answers would change significantly between the two books. But since we’re talking MOONSET, here’s what I would say.
Strongest: If we’re talking straight up ‘witch fu’ it’s a tie between Illana Bryer and Quinn, the kids’ guardian. Quinn doesn’t really get a chance to flex his muscles too much in Moonset, but his reputation is well earned.
Magically inclined/clever: These go hand in hand. Jenna is the MacGyver of the group – she has a knack for taking a dozen harmless spells, and finding a way to combine them towards explosive results. Justin is clever, but in different ways, and his gifts would suit him well in rivaling Jenna for most magically inclined. The two of them have the potential to be the most dangerous (in a much different way than Bailey) out of all the Moonset kids. Which is to be expected, because their parents were the most magically gifted members of the original Moonset coven.
Secretive: Justin. The adults keep a lot of secrets, but Justin has an inherent distrust of anyone outside of his family unit, even when keeping secrets is to his detriment. Maybe it’s because he knows that sometimes, a good leader has to hold back, but he has trust issues on a monumental scale.
Complicated: Jenna for sure. Yes, she can come across a thoughtless, spiteful person, but I think there’s a whole interior of mushy emotions and fear that she’s trying to conceal. Jenna to me is the most layered character of the five, because I think that there’s always something deeper at play with her. That’s part of the reason she dislikes Ash so much, because in a way they’re too much alike.
Quinn was another character who played a fairly significant role in the story. How would you describe him and his role? Do you think Justin and his siblings see Quinn the same way you do?
To me, I see Quinn as the older brother that the kids always needed. Even if they don’t understand it like that. He’s someone in a unique position – he’s one of the heir apparents to the witch Congress (as the grandson of the two most politically powerful witches around), he’s one of the most highly regarded Witchers to come out of training, and he’s one of the few people who doesn’t look at Justin and the others and think “Moonset.” It affords him a position where he’s able to look out for the kids, and try to guide them, in the way that an older sibling should.
Quinn’s one of my favorite characters, because I see him as being something different to each of the Moonset kids. He models himself after what he thinks each of them need, so as a result the relationships he forms with each of them is just a little bit different. It’s not just that he’s looking out for the kids, but he knows them. He knows how they behave, what they want out of life. And he genuinely wants to be a part of their lives.
If you could pick one line of dialogue that made you grin while writing it, what would it be?
“You look like Betty White’s grandmother, and you smell like a Kardashian!”
Basically, any time Cole is in a good mood and feeling mouthy, it’s my favorite.
Each of your chapters offers up a little bit of Moonset’s history. What made you decide to reveal pieces of the dark coven’s past in that way? And is this something we’ll see more of in the sequel?
I’m not sure where the idea first came from, but I remember latching onto it as soon as I wrote the first one. I needed something in terms of Moonset’s history, and it became an extension of the worldbuilding, because of course in a world where magic was regulated there would be books written, interviews done, investigations, etc.
Each book will probably continue this trend, but not in the same way. Book one was the ‘setting the stage’ book, so it was mostly about Moonset and the war they started. The second book’s epigraphs will be tailored to the mysteries of that book. But so far, I only have one written for sure. (I don’t write the epigraphs until after the book is done).
You’re working on the sequel to Moonset right now. How is the research for the second book different than what you had to do for the first?
Well, with the first book, most of my actual research was just in putting together the theories about how this world worked. How the government operated, who was in control, how Moonset had happened, etc. So I spent a lot of time figuring out the structure of the world. My goal was to create a world of witches that was bogged down in bureaucracy and ineffective because of its size. Shades of our real world government, in a way.
With the second book, I’ve had to do a lot more actual research. The first book was all about setting the stage, and the second has become more about advancing the story. I’ve had to do a lot of research into psychopathy in teenagers, what causes psychotic breaks, other types of disorders that stem from a loss of control.
And then of course there’s the fun stuff: there’s a wealth of websites that deal with abandoned structures, and the people who investigate them. Second to actually going to these places to investigate for yourself, a website full of stories and high-res pictures of it’s current state are incredibly inspiring. I like to think of Carrow Mill as a quintessential New England kind of town, but it’s a town with a big history. So I think that probably around the time Moonset came to it’s end, the town reincorporated itself, shedding layers and buildings that no longer fit it’s “new” image. The idea that there are parts to the town that were just cast aside or swept under the rug fascinates me.
Yay for the children of Moonset! Though I’d still love to see a full out Lansing/Thorpe assault. That would be awesome!
Woot, I love Quinn! And not just because he’s older, has mad skills and is a great guardian. But what he does… oh, I probably shouldn’t say, should I?
LOL re: the MacGyver reference. Explosive, I totally agree. But I think her results are more of the “happy little accidents” variety. And I love that you dropped the reference to Bailey in there. And oh Justin and his trust issues. Though I think Jenna probably has some major ones, too.
Love Jenna! And I love layered characters. Makes them much more interesting. I’d love to see a story from her POV at some point.
I’m so glad to hear from you that Quinn is in fact genuine. As much as I do love him, I always have trust issues with characters in his particular position. The fact that you tell me he’s genuine makes me smile. Of course, I am a little worried you’ll change your mind down the road…. Yes, I have trust issues as regards authors and their characters, too.
Cole is awesome! That line, LOLOLOL!
I love those peeks into Moonset’s history. I don’t usually pay attention to things at the beginning of a book’s chapters as I find they pull me out of the story, but in MOONSET they were tidbits of info that I was excited to discover.
Ahh research…. I would say it doesn’t sound like fun, but “psychotic breaks”? “Psychopathy”? Yeah, that could be very interesting. But… OH MY GOSH what is going to happen in book two!?!
Those neglected buildings from a bygone age fascinate me, too. I can’t wait to see what you do with all of that… and your other… research. So… how long again until the sequel?
Forget about these tours, KEEP WRITING!
The very awesome publisher is offering up for giveaway FIVE copies of MOONSET. It is US ONLY and you must be 13 and older to enter.
There are no requirements to like or follow, just answer the question from the Rafflecopter in the comments section about which witches sound more like your kind of witches – those from the author’s Moonset coven or those from his Witch Eyes series. (The description for WITCH EYES can be found HERE.)
There are also a few extra entry opportunities (not required).
Just enter in the Rafflecopter below…
The Tour Schedule
As this post is super long, I’ve only included the tour schedule for this last week of the tour. But if you’d like to check out the full schedule you can find it on Rockstar Book Tours HERE.
Apr. 8th - Tynga’s Reviews - Interview
Apr. 8th - Bibliojunkies - Review
Apr. 9th - A Dream Within A Dream - Guest Post
Apr. 9th - BookPics - Review
Apr. 10th - JeanBookNerd - Interview
Apr. 11th - The Best Books Ever - Guest Post
Apr. 12th - Reader Girls - Guest Post
Apr. 13th - Unabridged Bookshelf - Review
Apr. 14th - Fiktshun - Interview