The Drop of Night: Guest Post and Giveaway

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Favorite Childhood Memories or Vacation You Have Ever Taken – Stefan Bachmann

I traveled a lot as a kid. I grew up in Switzerland, where many cool cities are only a short flight or a few hours away by train. I remember wandering through the Tower of London and tracing the 300-year-old messages scratched into the walls of the prison cells, being bored in the Hermitage in Moscow even though there was a Vermeer RIGHT THERE, spending two weeks in Rome eating unhealthy amounts of gelato and staring askance at headless marble statues. It was great, and I appreciate those experiences so, so much now, even if I didn’t realize how cool they were while I was doing them.

One of the earliest trips that I actually remember is a lengthy visit to Rome when I was ten. There’s a brief reference to Rome in A Drop of Night, where our MC Anouk recalls walking through the Sistine Chapel, “tipping my head back and feeling like all those bodies on the ceiling were watching me . . .” Which is exactly how ten-year-old me felt. I didn’t realize this at the time, but paintings from that era are stylized and the poses are heightened, and basically they’re tailor-made to be as dramatic as possible. As a kid I thought they were the creepiest.

This is kid-me climbing the stairs that go up through the dome of St. Peter’s in the Vatican. LOOK AT THOSE CLOTHES. Ah, 2004.

A Drop of Night is set in France, and I hadn’t actually been to France in years before writing this book. I have vague memories of visiting Paris for the wedding of an aunt, but that’s about it. I went to Versailles for the first time right after finishing the first draft of ADoN and had to catch up on quite a few things.

The Palais du Papillon is modeled after Versailles, only underground; built to shelter aristocrats from the French Revolution, but hiding quite a few dark secrets. The windows are mirrored and there are all sorts of other, worse differences, but in general it’s Versailles. Visiting the palace was fascinating. It’s an entire city all under one roof, and I spent a lot of time looking at the door-locks, because how *would* one secure a door with a fire poker if one were being chased by something awful?

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.

You cannot escape the palace.

You cannot guess its secrets.

Stefan Bachmann was born in Colorado and spent of most of his childhood in Switzerland, where he's now a student of music at the Zürich University of Arts.

His debut, gothic-faery-fantasy THE PECULIAR, was a New York Times Editor's Choice and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012, and was translated into eight languages. Its companion, THE WHATNOT, was released on September 24th, 2013.

THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES: 36 TALES BRIEF AND SINISTER, a collection of scary stories he wrote together with authors Emma Trevayne, Claire Legrand and Katherine Catmull, was released May 27th, 2014, from Greenwillow/HarperCollins. 

His next book, YA thriller A DROP OF NIGHT, about a group of American teens fighting to survive after they become trapped in an underground Versailles, will be out March 15th, 2016, also from Greenwillow/HarperCollins.

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