[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Meredith! Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Meredith McCardle] Writer, mom, lawyer, coffee consumer.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Eighth Guardian?
[Meredith McCardle] Sure! Amanda is a student at a boarding school that’s a training ground for the CIA. But then she’s plucked out of school her junior year and dropped into a top secret government agency that has the ability to travel back in time to change the past to improve the present. “Enhancement, not alteration” . . . or so they say. But the further that Amanda gets into the agency, the more she discovers that it’s keeping some very dangerous secrets, and the more she questions whether she should be a part of it. But will they let her go?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?
[Meredith McCardle] Hands down, it’s the scene where a group of Guardians go back in time to try to prevent a museum burglary. It’s a really fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat kind of scene, and it was a blast to write.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story?
[Meredith McCardle] My main character, Amanda, gave me the most trouble, at least in the beginning. I didn’t spend nearly enough time developing her before I started drafting, so I didn’t have any sense of who she was or what she wanted. This is always a recipe for disaster. I got about 20,000 words into a mess of a draft before I realized I needed to scrap the whole thing and figure out who Amanda was before I started fresh. And that’s exactly what I did.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Meredith McCardle] A water bottle. I drink a ton of water throughout the day, and I have a rainbow of reusable bottles I’ll toss into my bag on any given day.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Meredith McCardle] My phone (which is usually within grabbing distance), a folder labeled ‘2014 Writing Expenses’ (where I toss receipts), and a book on the Boston Massacre (which I haven’t gotten around to putting away for about three months now).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Meredith McCardle] Ooh, good question! I’ll say the president because I’d love to see what it’s like to be in such a powerful position. But I’d like to reserve the right to call it quits after about 20 minutes because I’m sure I couldn’t handle the pressure that comes along with being in such a powerful position.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?
[Meredith McCardle] Invisibility. I would probably try to sneak into some places that I have no business being.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Meredith McCardle] Here’s 5 I’ve read and loved this year: 1) POINTE by Brandy Colbert. 2) NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano. 3) WILDWOOD DANCING by Juliet Marillier. 3) WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE by Rebecca Behrens. 5) THE FIRE WISH by Amber Lough.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Meredith McCardle] I’m everywhere! You can find me on my website (www.meredithmccardle.com), tumblr (meredithmccardle.tumblr.com), Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram (@MeredithMcP on all of those), and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MeredithMcCardleAuthor)
About THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN: Amanda Obermann. Code name Iris.
It’s Testing Day. The day that comes without warning, the day when all juniors and seniors at The Peel Academy undergo a series of intense physical and psychological tests to see if they’re ready to graduate and become government operatives. Amanda and her boyfriend Abe are top students, and they’ve just endured thirty-six hours of testing. But they’re juniors and don’t expect to graduate. That’ll happen next year, when they plan to join the CIA—together.
But when the graduates are announced, the results are shocking. Amanda has been chosen—the first junior in decades. And she receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to join a secret government organization called the Annum Guard and travel through time to change the course of history. But in order to become the Eighth Guardian in this exclusive group, Amanda must say good-bye to everything—her name, her family, and even Abe—forever.
Who is really behind the Annum Guard? And can she trust them with her life?
Release date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape (Amazon)
Genre: YA time travel thriller
Praise for THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN: “THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN had everything I wanted in a story: I fell in love with the characters, gasped at the mystery, and laughed at Iris’s unfailing snark. Lucky for me, this high-energy, edge-of-your-seat thriller is only the first in what I know will become one of my favorite series.” ~Susan Dennard, author of the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY trilogy
About Meredith McCardle: Meredith McCardle is a former lawyer who lives in South Florida with her husband and two young daughters. Like her main character, she has a fondness for strong coffee, comfortable pants, and jumping to the wrong conclusions. Unlike her main character, she cannot travel through time. Sadly. Her debut, THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN, will be published by Skyscape/Amazon Children’s in Spring 2014.
Social media links:
Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17357347-the-eighth-guardian
Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6930476.Meredith_McCardle
Meredith is giving away 2 Kindle paperwhites, a signed hardcover of THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN, and a paperback + book-themed necklace.