Jan 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
(The Madman's Daughter, #2)
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray; 432 pages
To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.



I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer.

I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious, here are the dirty details.

It wasn't until a chance aquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing.

When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line!

I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

Author Photo by Kristi Hedberg Photography

Did you feel more pressure writing HER DARK CURIOSTY since THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER received so much praise that you felt like you had to live up reader’s expectations?

In some ways, yes. I was blown away by the reception my first book got and I definitely didn’t want to disappoint readers who fell in love with Juliet’s story. On the other hand, there were parts of the first book I wasn’t personally satisfied with (I’m a hopeless perfectionist, never happy with my own work!) and I was excited by the chance to delve deeper into some topics.

Who was your favorite character write in the first book and who was your favorite character to write in this book?

In the first book, I loved writing Dr. Moreau. He’s so wonderfully awful. There’s something liberating about writing a character who is just totally unredeemable, because you aren’t trying to make readers like him. He can be crass, violent, and sociopathic. It’s not often you can write a character like that.

In HER DARK CURIOSITY, my favorite character to write was Juliet’s best friend, Lucy. She’s very girly and loves everything Juliet doesn’t: fashion, high society, and dances. At the same time, she has positive traits Juliet doesn’t, such as being a really good friend, and seeing the best in people no matter what. I liked playing with the contrast between her and Juliet.

What’s one of the most humbling experiences you’ve had since you started writing? Something that will stick with you for many, many years to come?

Fake Empire Productions and Paramount Pictures optioned the movie rights to THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER. As a surprise, one of the producers flew across the country to come to my launch party at my parent’s bookstore. It absolutely shocked me and humbled me that someone who works with so many stories, books, movies, and authors knew who I was and made the effort to come. That will always stick with me as a highlight of my career.

Is there a character that is very similar to you? Is there one that is so far from you, as a person, that it made it difficult to write them?

This is a fascinating question, because I really believe that you can’t truly know a person unless they’ve been through a crisis. People are totally different when they or someone they know is in danger, and that’s when there true personalities come out. So it’s hard to say if I’m like Juliet or Lucy or Montgomery or Balthazar, because I’ve never been in the same situation they have. Certainly, I see parts of myself in all of them. I share Juliet’s curiosity about the world, and Montgomery’s occasional tendency to lie to himself, and Lucy’s loyalty to friends, and Balthazar’s love of animals.

Do you have a favorite quote (that’s not spoilery, of course) that sticks out above all the others in HER DARK CURIOSITY?

One of my favorite traditions, when I get the first copy of one of my books, is to sit down with a cup of tea and read through it, because usually it’s been about a year since I last worked on it. That’s when I pull out quotes that resonate with me. Unfortunately, since I’ve been hard at work on Book #3, I haven’t had a chance to do that yet!

Each book is a different retelling, two I’m familiar with and the one from THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, I was not – how much of a challenge was it to follow the original tale yet make it your own?

THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER is a close reimagining of HG Wells’ THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU, but the other two (taking inspiration from THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE and FRANKENSTEIN, respectively) are looser sources of inspiration. I actually enjoyed the challenge of adding a new story onto the framework of all these classics. In some ways it was limiting, but it also forced me to explore new storylines and symbols I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

Along the lines of question 6, did you find it difficult to have each book follow a different tale and yet have the trilogy seem like one story instead of three retellings (I guess what I’m saying is, the difficulty of smooth transition from one book to the next)?

I thought this would be the greatest challenge with the series, but in fact, it’s come together better than I had expected. I think the classics I chose have enough in common that it’s believable that they might appear in the same world, and in fact all be interconnected. I’m not the first person who thought of combining some of these tales: Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentleman comic book series did something similar, as have several other movies and books. There’s something so appealing about seeing some of these iconic period characters interacting with each other.

What’s your favorite city that you’ve toured in so far and one city you’d love to go to?

The very first event I did was a joint one with Beth Revis, Marie Lu, Marissa Meyer and Victoria Schwab (all brilliant writers and lovely ladies) at a middle school in Cookeville, TN. A small town full of book love! The students had done reports and murals of our books, came out by the hundreds to see us, and made us feel so welcome and special. I’ll always remember that fondly, even though it was hardly in a city.

There are so many cities I’d love to tour in. New York, Nashville, Austin, Vancouver, Southern California, and it’s been a dream to get to travel to some of the foreign countries where the book sold and see it on the shelf in another language!

Thank you so much to Megan for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm a huge fan of these books and I think you're absolutely awesome. Being a part of this tour was really thrilling for me. Another huge thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for allowing me to be on this tour. As always, you both rock!

1 grand prize pack a paper back of Madman's Daughter, hardcover of Her Dark Curiosity, a tea canister for both books, and bookmarks. US/Canada Only

5 Tea prize packs that will include individual custom book tea bags and bookmarks! US/Canada Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can check out the rest of the tour here:

1/20/2014- A Backwards Story- Interview
1/21/2014- Crossroad Reviews- Review
1/22/2014- Step Into Fiction- Interview
1/23/2014- Chapter by Chapter- Review
1/24/2014- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview

1/27/2014- Mundie Moms- Guest Post
1/28/2014- All Things Urban Fantasy- Guest Post
1/29/2014- Bookhounds YA- Review
1/30/2014- Confessions of a Readaholic- Review
1/31/2014- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post


  1. Congratulations on the new release! Her Dark Curiosity sounds like a fascinating book. Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Congratulations on the release of Her Dark Curiosity! That's so awesome that the producer flew out to attend your launch party! It definitely shows that the production team holds you in high regard!

  3. I can't wait to read Her Dark Curiosity! I loved The Madman's Daughter!

  4. Proserpine CravingJanuary 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Congrats on the release! Thanks for sharing the interview and giveaway! Looking forward to read this series!

  5. How fun. I love your giveaways although I have yet to win


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