Novel Secrets with Mackenzi Lee

novel

Today is my turn on the Novel Secrets tour hosted by Liza Wiemer. For my stop I have Mackenzi Lee, author of This Monstrous Thing sharing her secret.

Coincidence? I think NOT!

When I wrote This Monstrous Thing, I had never been to Geneva, where the novel is set. A few weeks before I got my copy edits back from my publisher, a friend and I decided to travel Switzerland end to end as a sort of belated research trip. We started in Zurich, and meandered our way through Bern, Gruyere, Lucerne, and the Alps until we finally ended up at Chateau Chillon, a castle on the shores of Lake Geneva and the basis for Oliver’s abandoned home in TMT, before we ended up in the winding streets of Geneva.

I was nervous about visiting Geneva–mostly because I was certain I would get there and discover I had gotten it totally wrong in my novel. Guide books and Google streetview can only do so much to capture the feeling of a place. On our first morning there, my friend and I made our way through the Old Town, where the Finch family lives in This Monstrous Thing, to the square I had long ago decided is the location of their shop when I mapped out the footpaths Alasdair and Oliver take in the book.

And lo and behold, what was really in that corner shop, but a restaurant called Clemence–which happens to be the name of one of the main characters in This Monstrous Thing!

Truly, I thought to myself, this is a Frankensign. ~Mackenzi Lee

Novel Secrets with Mackenzi LeeThis Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Published: September 22nd 2015
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In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

About Mackenzi Lee

Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults.

She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently lives in Boston, where she works as a bookseller and almost never reanimates corpses. Almost.

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