The next pick on my 2014 Most Anticipated list sold me with a few simple words - Phantom of the Opera in a slaughterhouse. How amazing does that sound?
Luckily, the full Goodreads synopsis sounds equally amazing.
There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.
Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.
As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.
Sarah graciously took the time to answer a few questions about the book, and herself. Her answers have made me want to read this even more!
Strange. Romantic. Haunting.
2 Are you able to share a secret about one of the characters, the world, something that inspired something about the world/characters?
I was inspired to write Of Metal and Wishes after watching hidden camera footage of undocumented workers in a poultry factory. It was horrifying and oppressive and stuck with me for a long time afterward.
3 What three things do you need while revising?
Time to process the feedback and integrate it with my vision of the book. My playlist. Comfortable socks.
4 What about the Phantom of the Opera inspired you to write this particular story?
I wanted to take the incredible power, mystery, myth, and romance of Phantom and move it to a setting more macabre than beautiful, more brutal than whimsical. The meat factory in Of Metal and Wishes is a place that crushes people, and there, the Ghost has thrived as a sort of deity and hero ... but he's also known for punishing those who displease him.
5 What 2014 release are you most looking forward to?
I can't wait for the fourth book in Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series, SECRET (comes out 1/28/14). I loved the first three. This one is about Nick, the brother who controls air, and in this story he learns to understand and embrace who he is while dealing with fear of what others will think of him ... and a few deadly enemies, of course (Confession: I've read it already. AND IT IS SO GOOD--romantic, heart-wrenching, tense, and action-packed--I can't wait to see it reach the hands of readers)
A huge thank you to Sarah for taking the time to answering these questions. I love stories that twist classics and Phantom of the Opera is one that isn't adapted often.
If you want to learn more, check out the author's website, or the publisher's website for more information.
Of Metal and Wishes will be in stores August 5, 2014. Pre-orders for this title are already up, and you can get your copy at the following retailers
Let me know in the comments what you think of the cover, the synopsis, or what you think of retellings in general in the comments. Also, check back soon for a contest where you could win one of my featured titles (these interviews may just help you win!).