It’s always fun finding out more about the authors behind the books we see being published. Which is why I’m excited to share this author interview with you today. Game of Strength and Storm released this week and I’m on the tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I have an interview with Rachel Menard today and want to tell you more about this book. Keep on reading to find out more!
Game of Strength and Storm by Rachel Menard
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: June 7, 2022
Victory is the only option.
Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the island Arcadia into the future in place of her brother, Pollux, but only after the Empresses force a change in her island’s archaic laws that requires a male heir.
To get what they want, Gen and Castor must race to complete the better half of ten nearly impossible labors. They have to catch the fastest ship in the sea, slay the immortal Hydra, defeat a gangster called the Boar, and capture the flesh-eating Mares, among other deadly tasks.
Gen has her magic, her ability to speak to animals, her inhuman strength—and the help of Pollux, who’s been secretly pining for her for years. But Castor has her own gifts: the power of the storms, along with endless coin. Only one can win. The other walks away with nothing—if she walks away at all.
What inspired you to write Game of Strength and Storm?
I always want to see more strong women featured in stories. As a kid, one of my favorite female heroines was Rogue from the 90’s X-Men animated series. She was super strong, could fly, and suck the power out of anyone else. She was also tormented by her ability, making her vulnerable. I love that kind of strong, complex character so I created two in Game of Strength and Storm: Gen who is incredibly powerful yet feels inadequate because of her family’s reputation, and Castor who is smart and savvy, but has been denied success. She thinks the only way to push herself to the top is to stomp on everyone else.
What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
Oh that’s tough. It was really exciting seeing my cover illustrations for the first time. There were these two girls I had dreamed up in my head looking back at me exactly as I had imagined. More recently, though, I had a reviewer reach out to say how much she loved my book. I asked about her favorite part, and then we got to gush over the scene. It was so amazing to excitedly talk about my book with another book lover.
Describe Game of Strength and Storm in five words or less.
Fantasy competition gender-bent Hercules retelling.
What is your favorite quote from Game of Strength and Storm?
“If she wanted change, she had to smash the entire system. Only then could it be rebuilt.”
This is a Castor quote. She is trying to subvert the patriarchy on her island, which is something I have been trying to do in my own country for most of my life.
What do you hope readers take away from reading your story?
To challenge the status quo. When I was a teen, I always felt like the adults in my life were the oppressors. What’s funny is now that I’m an adult, I still feel the same way. Lol. Gen, Castor, and Pollux have all been set on a certain path because of their parents and government, and this book is about them fighting to change it.
If you were a character in Game of Strength and Storm, what kind of character would you be?
My partner and I have this joke where we pick out an obscure extra from every movie we watch and say, “That’s the character I would play!” So in the same vein, I’m going to say I would be the cake pop baker at the Empresses’ birthday celebration. While Gen and Castor are off battling monsters, I would be in my cosy little bakery, making frosting.
There are a lot of amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers participating during this tour. Click here to follow the schedule and check out others posts.
About the Author
Rachel Menard was born in New Jersey, raised in Arizona, and then relocated to Rhode Island. Throughout her life she has been a barista, college radio DJ, singer in an alt-country band, marketer, designer, and finally, a writer. Her short fiction has been featured on the Cast of Wonders podcast and her non-fiction has been seen in Writer’s Digest. Her debut novel, Game of Strength and Storm, is coming from Flux Books in 2022.
I love new fantasy books and worlds, so Game of Strength and Storm definitely caught my attention. Another book added to my TBR!