It’s so amazing being apart of this book tour! This series started making a rumble last year with a number of Goodreads friends of mine, so I jumped on board for this tour with high expectations! Well, I’ve gotten a chance to read the first two books and Naquin is an author to pay attention to! Monster In my Closet is the first book of this amazing series, and my review is here. Keep an eye out for my review of the second, Pooka in my Pantry, which will be posted tomorrow.
Now it’s time for the main event!
Shera (Book Whispers): In your own words, introduce yourself.
R.L. Naquin: Hi! I'm Rachel. I make stuff up for a living. I live in Kansas, not far from Kansas City,right now, but I was born in California and grew up in Marin County, where my books are set. I've also lived outside Philly, Memphis and Orlando, as well as in Alamogordo, NM, and six years near Cambridge in England. (I get around.) A few years ago I found out I've got some gypsy blood in me from the Old Country. I'm blaming that for the
I'm not really that interesting. I have two grown kids, but I build Lego sets and watch
Disney movies with my husband. I get grumpy when it's cold. Confrontation makes me
uncomfortable. Silence in a crowded room gives me the giggles.
BW: My favorite character in the series is Maurice, the closet monster. He can cook (like a
super chef), clean, and basically put Martha Stewart to shame. How did you come up
with the concept of the closet monster Maurice?
RN: Maurice is where the whole story started in my head. That very first scene in Monster in
My Closet, where Maurice is at the kitchen table reading the newspaper, popped into my
head out of nowhere one day. Full disclosure, though—in that initial picture in my head,
Zoey's mother was sitting next to him drinking a cup of coffee, and Zoey herself was a
twelve year old boy.
So, Maurice made it, unchanged, from my first glimpse of him. Nothing else stayed the
same. Once I started putting together the actual story of how and why this closet monster
was sitting at the table, Maurice took over. His voice was clear in my head, The entire
series began with the question "What if a closet monster were sitting in the kitchen
reading the paper when you got up in the morning?"
BW: Were there any particular parts that were hard to write?
RN: One of the biggest challenges was writing scenes that contained Silas the pooka and
other people, like Zoey's friends, Andrew and Sara. Only Zoey could see and hear Silas.
I had to be on my toes to write dialog and action for three or four people in the same
room when one of those people was the only one who could react to one of the others, no
matter what obnoxious thing he did or said. See? Even describing it is a little awkward.
BW: In Pooka in My Pantry readers finally get a peak at the inner workings of the universe that you've created for this series. Will the next books continue to explore the different dimensions of The Board of Hidden Affairs? Or will you surprise readers with something new?
RN: Absolutely. The problems will get bigger with each book. The Board doesn't come
into play as much in book three, Fairies in My Fireplace, but you'll still see more of
what's going on in the larger world. In book four, Golem in My Glovebox, we're taking
it on the road and seeing a bit of the country. You'll see quite a bit more of the Board's subcommittees and how that works.
BW: How did you come up with The Board of Hidden Affairs? Did you have any other names
for The Board?
RN: Somebody has to be in charge of all these creatures, especially the reapers, since Riley
obviously has someone he answers to when he collects souls. There are a lot of different
names, but you'll see them later on down the line. Each country has it's own version of
the Board, and their names are all different. There's a world conference coming up in a
few books. You'll see them then!
BW: Do you have a favorite character, or one that you like to write about more?
RN: Like you, I love Maurice. However, my favorite character to write is Phil the gargoyle,
Maurice's brother-in-law. He makes a small appearance at the end of Monster in My
Closet, but hasn't come back in other books so far. I recently published a short story set
between Monster and Pooka, and Phil is in it. Phil speaks English, but his word choices
make no sense. He says the most bizarre things. You can get the short story here if you're
interested: "Ill-Conceived Magic."
BW: What can readers look forward to from you? What are your plans for A Monster Haven
RN: The Monster Haven series is six books long. Fairies in My Fireplace comes out in
September, and the following three will release approximately every six months after
that. Expect things to keep getting worse, with larger and larger chunks of the world
in danger. Zoey and Riley will get closer, and the hunt for Zoey's mom will continue.
We'll meet lots of new characters, and some characters will die. Having already finished
Fairies, I can tell you that it's a gut-wrencher.
BW: What are some of your favorite books?
RN: Oh, gosh. I love anything by Patricia McKillip, especially The Forgotten Beasts of Eld.
Robin McKinley, especially Beauty. Dean Koontz, especially the Odd Thomas books. The Talisman is my favorite Stephen King book. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman (and everything else he's written, but that one really got me). I have a secret love of all things Piers Anthony, especially his Xanth books. I am a mixed bag of loves.
BW: What titles would you recommend to fans of your books?
RN: Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner
In a Fix by Linda Grimes
Geekomancy by Michael R. Underwood
Fire Burn and Caldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory
BW: For you personally, not your characters, between a vampire love interest and a werewolf
love interest which do you prefer? (What team are you on? Team Vampire or Team
RN: We're talking strictly old-school here, right? I love an old-fashioned vampire in formal wear and a cape. I'm a sucker for a Transylvanian accent.
Old-school werewolves are just regular (boring) guys except for three days a month. I already get PMS myself, so the last thing I want is a guy who also has monthly woes. If I want someone to poop on the floor and chew up my favorite shoes, I'll get a dog.
BW: Go wild! Let us know something funny about you, share something that's on your mind,
or anything else that's important about your books.
RN: Most of my neighbors are either CIA or KGB, I'm sure of it. I've been monitoring their
activities for some time. I'm not even certain their dogs are real. I think they're robot
The house behind mine is actually the home of a cannibal family. Every Halloween they
throw a huge party as camouflage. I'm pretty sure they get all their meat for the year
during those parties. I hear the screams. I hear them.
Thanks for having me as a guest, Shera! These were great questions! –Rachel
BW: Well thank you Rachel!
Now I’m even more pumped about the rest of this series, now if those six months would just go faster! Until then I’ll check out Ill-Conceived Magic (it’s free people go grab it)!
What’s up for grabs? Well glad you asked! One set of the Monster Haven ebooks! Then five other lucky winners get to choose between an eBook copy of Monster in My Closet or Pooka in My pantry!
When does it end? Tour officially ends April 8th, so make sure you sign up using the link below!
Find R.L. Naquin: