The time it was about Caraval

Posted January 26, 2017 by Stacee in Giveaways, Interviews | 44 Comments

I saw Caraval floating around Twitter and IG last year and on a whim, I requested a copy.  Honestly, I had no idea what it was about, but everyone was raving about it and seriously, that cover is amazing.  I was able to get my hands on a copy and absolutely fell in love…which of course means I started fangirling all over the author, Stephanie Garber.  As the release date got closer, I asked if she would be able to do an interview and she said yes!

Before we get to her lovely answers, let’s check out the book.

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pub Date: January 31, 2017
Pages: 416
Find it: Macmillan | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for Caraval.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval, a magical game that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Full of enchanted dresses that have minds of their own, bridges that rarely lead to the same place twice, and run by Caraval Master Legend, who’s even more mysterious than the game.

2. Where did the idea come from?

I had the idea for this book about a year and a half before I started writing. It started when I was reading CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein. One of the characters in that book is a pilot during World War II. During one scene she picks up a young man who’s surrounded by two guards, and the pilot has no idea if he’s being guarded because he’s a dangerous criminal who needs to be watched, or if it’s because he’s an important person who needs to be protected. It’s a very small part of the book, but the question stuck with me. I loved how either answer could have been true, which made me start thinking about how fun it would be to write a book that centers around big mysterious questions like that. This transformed into the idea of writing about a game that made everyone play it constantly question what was real and what was part of the game.

3. Why do you love Scarlett and why should we root for her?

I love how much Scarlett loves her younger sister, Tella. I have a younger sister, and we are really close, so I relate to sister relationships where the sister’s share an unbreakable bond and they would do anything for each other–even if they don’t always see situations and the world the same way.

4. There are a lot of amazing characters in this story.  Who was the easiest and hardest to work with?

Aww, thank you! Donatella was the easiest character to write. My personality is more like Scarlett’s—I tend to be on the fearful/over-cautious side of things—so it was really fun to write Tella, who says and does whatever she wants. I think I love Scarlett because I relate to her, but I love Tella, because she does the things I’m not brave enough to do.

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

It’s kind of spoilerly, so I’ll just say, it’s near the middle of the book, it involves blood, and it happens right after my main character makes a deal that’s more than she bargained for.

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

I start shaking, and crying, and I jump up and down as I spout gibberish to my family about how someone actually loves my book. Then I collapse in a happy heap.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

I’m sadly allergic to desert islands. So I would take a satellite phone to call for a rescue, and plenty of water, to stay alive until my rescuer arrived. Then I’d probably bring A CROWN OF WISHES by Roshani Chokshi—because I’m so excited for that book I don’t think I’d mind being alone on an island if I had it to keep me company.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

This question is evil.

4. Who is your favorite book boyfriend and book BFF?

Favorite book boyfriend—Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury.
Favorite BFF—Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

I wish someone would have told me about the Query Shark sooner, which is full of amazing and practical advice for querying authors. Someone did tell me this, but it wasn’t until after I’d queried my first book and made pretty much every mistake possible.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question!}

When I read the Twilight books I totally fell in love with Edward, but I could actually never imagine becoming a vampire, despite how much I love vampires. So, I’d like to think I would have dated Edward, but not taken it too seriously. Instead of marrying him and having his vampire baby, I would have opted for college somewhere sunny.


When I’m not writing, I teach creative writing at a private college in Northern California, where I’ve been known to turn assignments into games and take students on field trips that involve book signings. I’m also a blogger on PUB(LISHING) CRAWL. But I probably spend most of my time on Twitter where I tend to overuse exclamation points and emojis.

My debut YA fantasy novel, Caraval will be published January 2017 (Flatiron Books/Macmillan—US and Hodder & Stoughton—UK). Caraval has sold in twenty-five foriegn territories and the movie rights were pre-empted by Twentieth Century Fox.


Huge thanks to Stephanie’s publicist, Tricia, for taking the time to answer my emails and for spoiling me rotten with an arc.  Squishy hugs to Stephanie for taking the time to do the interview.  Make sure you’re checking out Stephanie’s website, following her on Twitter and Instagram, liking her Facebook page, and adding her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

Now, as you all know by now, Caraval was my top book of 2016 and I want you to read it, so keep scrolling for a giveaway!  Contest in INT, book will be coming from TBD, and additional rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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44 responses to “The time it was about Caraval

  1. Emm

    Can you believe I work at a garden center and don’t have a favorite flower? I love succulents and cacti, do they count? XD

    I am so stoked for this book!!! (And I 1000% agree about Zuzana being the best book BFF she is hella rad)

  2. Hazel Castillo

    Hi stacee!! First of all, thank you so much for this chance of winning Caraval. I’ve been hearing so many good things about this book and I’m really excited for it!! <3 It's even so cool because I think I can relate with the story in terms of the sisterly love part, because I also have a younger sister that is close to me. Furthermore, I love reading stories about mind games and adventures, so I really think that I will enjoy reading Caraval. Lastly, your interview with Stephanie Garber rocks!! :) <3

  3. mica

    I really loved the interview! What really got my attention about this book was 1. it was everywhere (in a good way) and 2. THAT COVER. My fave flowers are sunflowers btw

  4. Hii, thank you so much for the chance. Umm, speaking of favorite flower, I dont really have any favorites.. hahaha, yess, I’m a girl, but not that girl-who-loves-flower type. :D

  5. Samantha Deen

    My favorite flower is the passion flower! It is so intricate and my mother has tons planted all around the house.

  6. My favorite flower has always been the iris; when I was little, I decided that it was my favorite because it was my dad’s favorite. I love its blue-purple color and its shape; it’s such a weird flower, but that’s what makes it beautiful, I think. :)

    A close second is the morning glory; it used to grow in bunches outside my house when I was a child, and I remember loving the brightness of the purple, kind of a like a highlighter.

  7. Saania Jamal

    My favourite flower (of the moment) has to be cherry blossoms. It’s always been my dream to visit Japan one day if not solely just to see them bloom in real life *heart eyes*

  8. Eee, lovely interview post Stacee :D I love how much you loved Caraval. <3 All the hugs. I cannot wait to read it soon :D So excited. I don't really have a favorite flower.. ack. But I do like roses :) Thank you for the giveaway chance sweetie. <3

    Carina Olsen recently posted: In My Mailbox #274
  9. Danielle

    I’m particularly partial to sunflowers – since they were the first flowers my boyfriend ever bought me :D So looking forward to Caraval!

  10. Grace

    Lovely post! I absolutely enjoyed reading Stephanie’s answers!
    My favorite flowers are white roses :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Antonela

    I love jasmines ♥ More than ever, thank you for this giveaway, Stacee! Can’t tell you how excited I am about reading this book. It’s safe to say it was my most anticipated release of the year :) Fingers crossed! I really want a copy of this story! Thank you for such a wonderful post! Stephanie was so kind to answer all of your questions ^^

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