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Author Interview - Rachel Carter + Giveaway

Friday, July 13, 2012
Today, I'm delighted to be interviewing with Rachel Carter, whose debut novel So Close to You came out July 10th.

Book Synopsis
Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the experiments that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. When she stumbles into a vessel that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, Lydia realizes that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true—and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside Wes, a darkly mysterious boy whom she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices. And if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them...and herself.

Author Bio
Rachel Carter grew up in the woods of Vermont. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she recently received her MFA in nonfiction writing. Rachel has been a teacher, a nanny, a caterer, and a bellhop. She is currently at work on her next book in Brooklyn, NY.

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Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing. 
I currently live in Brooklyn, but I grew up in the woods of Vermont, in a log cabin my dad built. I've always been a huge reader - even now I try to read about two books a week or so. Maybe because of this, I've always known that I wanted to be a writer; I pursued that dream all through undergrad and grad school. I now have an MFA in nonfiction creative writing. Maybe sometime I'll write a memoir, but I'm happy with young adult at the moment!

I adore reading as well, if my book blog isn't a giveaway! So Close to You explores the idea of the Montauk Project. What inspired you to write about this?
I was inspired by a lot of things! As soon as I heard about the Montauk Project - which is a real conspiracy theory set in Montauk, NY - I knew I wanted to write about it. Wormholes! Paranormal experiments! What's not to love? And I've always wanted to write time travel, ever since I read the Caroline B. Cooney books, Out of Time, and Both Sides of Time. There's something so romantic about the thought of a couple who would be together regardless of what separates them - even if it's hundreds of years. I wanted to bring that same level of destiny and romance to So Close to You.

You hit a lot of topics. What kind of research did you do for the book?
A whoooole lot. I googled, I read books, I clung to Wikipedia like it was a life-raft and I was stranded in the middle of the ocean. I also went out to Montauk and visited Camp Hero, the supposed homebase of the Montauk Project. But the most valuable research was talking with my grandmother about her life growing up during World War II. She even gave me old yearbooks to look through - that's how I found out the most popular expressions of the time period.

It's really cool how much you were able to learn firsthand, visiting Camp Hero and especially by talking with your grandmother. Wes. Where did you find this hot young man and what do you feel makes him so endearing?
Wes was a tough character for me actually - some of the characters, like Mary, just flew onto the page, but Wes is so much more closed off. He's definitely a reflection of his experiences...and because of that I'm not sure how endearing he is. Maybe dark and mysterious would be more apt? Though I think there is something endearing about the flashes of vulnerability he shows, especially because Lydia is the only one who really sees them.

Dark and mysterious are two words that really suit Wes! You did a great job protraying him. While he may not have come off the page immediately, he's an intriguing character and came through in the end. When faced with difficult decisions, Lydia always chooses family first. How important is family in this novel?
Family is the core of the novel. Lydia's attachment to her grandfather is a huge driving force behind her actions. And even in the past she finds herself surrounded by her family, and making decision based on their wants and needs. At times this desire to put others first can get her into trouble. (hint, hint)

It sure does get her into trouble, but that's the reason there's a story (and why I'm dying for book two)! Lydia meets a wonderful cast of characters. Who would be your best friend and why?
Probably Hannah. She's so sarcastic - she's actually a lot like my real life best friend. I'm sure I'd like hanging out with Mary too. I based her personality on own of my sisters, so at least I'd know what to expect.

I adore Mary. She's a lively character and would be so fun to hang around! I'm hoping to see more of Hannah as well since she didn't appear much in So Close to You. If you could time travel, where would you go?
The 1940's, like Lydia does! Though the 1920's might be fun. I wouldn't want to go back too far - I have no interest in fighting with dinosaurs or getting the plague.

If I went back to the time of the dinosaurs, I'd be dead by the end of the week, if not in minutes! (And I'm pretty sure the plauge would give me a longer and more tortuous death.) What are you working on right now?
I'm finalizing my outline for the third book in the series. I'm also starting a few different writing projects, and thinking about what I want to write next. But I'm also trying to remind myself to take a minute to enjoy this process. You only get a debut novel once!

I'm looking forward to reading your books. Congratulations on your debut and thanks for joining us here at Imaginary Reads!





Harper Teen has offered a copy of So Close To You for one U.S. winner.

To enter, follow Imaginary Reads and leave a meaningful comment on the interview. Extra entries for tweeting about the giveaway and commenting on my review of So Close to You. Then fill out the form below. Do not leave your email in the comments section.

Giveaway is open through July 26th.


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29 comments on "Author Interview - Rachel Carter + Giveaway"
  1. Wow. that is a lot of research. And already on the third book? Wow. You work fast. :D
    Can't wait to read the book. :D

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  2. How was life living in a log cabin. I've only been inside a cabin once at during a school field trip.

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  3. Great interview! I can't wait to read So Close To You. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  4. This sounds like a really interesting read. I can't wait to get a copy.

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  5. I love the interview!

    Rachel sounds amazing - and I love that she did lots of research and actually went to the site of Montauk.

    How cool the book is sci-fi but also focuses on family and relationships:)

    Thanks so much:)

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  6. Great interview! I didn't' know that the Montauk Project was actually a real thing. That's really interesting and makes me want to read the book even more! I'm glad there's going to be a second book too. :)

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  7. I would love to live a log cabin. I would love to read this book. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

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  8. Loved the interview. I wouldn't like to fight with dinosaurs or get the plague either lol. I love that you had such a varying degree of jobs, fascinating. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win.

    Val
    lastnerve2000 at gmail dot com

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  9. Wow. I grew up in a log cabin but couldn't imagine fighting with dinosaurs or dealing with the plague. The book sounds very interesting and I have added it to my TBR list. Awesome interview, thanks!

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  10. Family can such an important thing in life so I definitely like that it's a core in the story. Different members can give different insight and I'm curious how a bond with the grandfather affects her action.

    I'm entering for the INT giveaway.

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  11. Great interview... :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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  12. Great interview! I'm so excited to read this book. I can't believe she's already working on book three! I didn't realize it was going to be a series. I enjoyed hearing about how she researched for the book. It's so cool that she got her phrases of the time from her grandmothers old yearbooks =)

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  13. SO excited to read this book... Oh, and the author had me at "log cabin in the woods". I am so jelly. But I had a good and exciting childhood, regardless... ;) Good interview!

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  14. Loved the interview. I really want to read.this book, I too would love to go back in time to the 40's or 20's. So many interesting things happened back then!

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  15. I loved this interview! I love past eras (especially the 40s and 50s) I love how family was such a big part of the life back then

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  16. Great interview! I really enjoy reading books that value family; it sounds amazing! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Lisa
    @turningpages94.blogspot.com

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  17. I actually ended up googling the Montauk Project, since I'm a sucker for conspiracy theories. Crazy stuff and great interview.

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  18. Great interview! It was fun reading and I loved hearing what really inspired her to write this book. :)

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  19. I heard great things about this book! I'm very excited to read the book. Great Interview!

    Lisa @ Shatterbooks

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  20. Great interview! I really want to read this book now:) And thanks for the giveaway!

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  21. Ever since I saw this book on goodreads I have been dying to get my hands on it :D Great Interview :)

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  22. Awesome interview. I saw it on GR as well and it looks great!

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  23. I don't usually read historicals, but the family-is-the-core thing really keeps my attention. Awesome interview & giveaway and ha, isn't it true that protagonists always put their desires first? ;)

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  24. I've never heard of The Montauk Project until now. Sounds interesting.

    Thank you for the giveaway.

    Jenna
    The Book Snoop

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  25. I love Rachel's remark *clung to Wikipedia like it was a life raft and I was stranded in the middle of the ocean* rofl :D

    This is the first I've heard of her series, but WOW does it sound amazing and I'm adding it to my TBR right now!! <3

    Thank you for the fun giveaway~
    Mary DeBorde (M.A.D.)

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  26. Such a great topic. Now I must find out more about the real Montauk project. I definitely want a copy of this book too. Thanks

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  27. Sounds like a great book that's entirely new. I don't think I've ever encountered a book like this set in the past

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  28. I've read this book and loved it! It's so neat to look at the process authors take to get there. Way cool! I'm for sure excited to see what happens in the next installment. Thanks for the int and give!

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  29. An incredible amount of research, then to live on-site, too! I like the meticulous attention to detail, should make for an intriguing read!
    Thanks for a chance to win this great read!

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