Friday, May 10, 2013

All About Middle Grade Interview: Stefan Bachmann (author of The Peculiar)

I am so excited to welcome Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar, to my blog this week to talk about his debut book. I hope that y'all will give him a warm welcome to the blog.

About the Author:
Stefan Bachmann is a writer and musician. He was born in Colorado and now lives with his family in Zurich, Switzerland, where he attends the Zurich Conservatory. He began writing The Peculiar in 2010, when he was sixteen years old.

You can haunt Stefan Bachmann at-
Twitter | Website | Goodreads | FB |


1. Stefan, in ten words can you introduce readers to the world in which Bartholomew and Hettie live in The Peculiar?
Steampunk Victorians and creepy faeries fight for supremacy over England.

2. There are not too many books that have changelings in them, so, what made you want to write a book with changelings? Especially since they are looked down upon in your book?
I really liked the idea of a changeling having to survive in the middle of a dark, industrialized, 19th century England. Victorians weren't exactly known for being super tolerant, and so Bartholomew has to live locked up in his dingy little house, for fear of being hanged. I also wanted to write from the perspective of an underdog character, and in faerie mythology changelings seem like the underdog-iest of the underdogs.

3. The Peculiar sounds like an amazing read. What part of Bartholomew's story did you enjoy writing the most?
Thank you! :) I loved writing the creepy scenes. The cover is really bright and shiny, but there are lotsss of creepy goings-ons in this book.
4. Since Bartholomew and Hettie usually try to avoid notice, what made him go against his nature?
Oh, spoilers. I will say, though, that something drastic happens and Bartholomew is forced to leave his house go out into the big wide city, and later all of England. I think that's kind of the point of the book. He is peculiar, even after all his adventures, but that's a good thing. You kind of have to be peculiar to be a hero.

5. I heard that you started writing your debut book, The Peculiar, when your were sixteen. Was there anybody or anything that inspired you to start writing?
I've always loved reading, and I think after a certain point, and a certain number of amazing books, you kind of want to try writing your own story. So I did try. And my stories were terrible. But I had very encouraging beta-readers (aka, my mom and my older sister), so I wrote pretty much constantly since I was 11. Each short story and book got a tiny bit better, until finally this one got me an agent and a publisher. So, I guess good books and nice people inspired me.

6. Okay, I may be just slightest bit jealous that you can play five instruments. Which instruments do you play? Which was the hardest one to pick up?
Don't be jealous. It just means I have less time to read and write. The instruments are: piano, organ, violin, recorder, and harmonica. I'm not the greatest at violin, though. You would not want to hear me play it.

7. Always cool to 'meet' a fellow homeschooler. Since all homeschoolers have there favorite and least favorite things about it, can you tell us what you liked the most and what you enjoyed the least about being homeschooled?
Ahh, you were homeschooled, too? Awesome. My least favorite part was math, definitely. A lot of the time I hear homeschoolers not liking the fact that they don't  have classes with other kids, but my parents always stuck me in tons of extracurricular stuff, so I had to do group-classes. My favorite subjects were history and critical thinking. I loved doing those line-design things.

8. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose?
Terminator. He has track record of saving worlds fallen to robot invasions.
9. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include picture if you want)?

It's a bit boring. More of an attic than a cave. Also, cluttered. But oh well, here's a picture:

10. Any upcoming projects that you can share with us? 
Yes! My awesome agent just sold two more books to my awesome editor at Greenwillow/HarperCollins. My next book is tentatively titled Dead Man's Palace. It's YA, about a group of teenagers fighting to survive after they become trapped in a labyrinthine underground palace. I'm so excited about this one.

Thank so much for stopping by and answering some questions, Stefan. Definitely looking forward to your next book, which sounds awesome. 

The Peculiar (The Peculiar, 1) by Stefan Bachmann, September 18, 2012. Published by Greenwillow Books.
Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.

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