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Meet the Author of SOUL SWEEPER, Devon Taylor!

Say hello to the first of four wonderful new authors joining the Swoon Reads family, Devon Taylor! We were blown away by his incredibly atmospheric (not to mention badass) world of ghost ships, soul collectors, terrifying monsters, and did we mention GHOST SHIPS?! Learn more about Soul Sweeper!

What inspired you to write Soul Sweeper?

The inspiration for Soul Sweeper really starts with my love of Greek mythology. I always loved the image of Charon ferrying the recently deceased across the River Styx, and I wondered what that might look like on a massive scale. The Harbinger itself was inspired by another fictional ship of similar magnitude, the SS Moloch, from Walter Moer’s The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear. Those two things came together to give me the image of this enormous black ship carrying the souls of the dead. After that I just had to figure out whose job it was to collect those souls…

What is your favorite moment in the book?

My favorite moment in the book has to be when Rhett first encounters Urcena on the Golden Gate Bridge. Urcena is such a great character to me because even though she’s technically a kind of demon, she’s also a female villain who isn’t motivated by a tragic relationship or a broken heart or some guy who screwed her over. She’s uncomplicated in that she only cares about two things: power and chaos. And it’s terrifying (not to mention awesome) when we first see that in the book.

The awesome ship in your book is called Harbinger. If you were the captain of your own ghost ship, what would you name it?

If I was the captain of my very own ghost ship, I’d have to give it a name that’s inspired by my love of heavier music—because what’s more metal than a ghost ship, right? There’s a great song called Red Sky Warning by a band that I love that would be the perfect theme song for a ship full of dead people. I’d probably name my ship something like Red Sky with that song in mind.

Who would play your characters in a movie?

My wife would probably be better equipped to answer this question than I am. She’s put some pretty deep thought into this. We agreed that Andrew Garfield would be perfect as Basil. I could see Marie Avgeropoulos, who plays Octavia on The 100, as Harls. I really like Ansel Elgort as Rhett. Sabrina Carpenter as Treeny maybe—she has a certain timidity that would really fit. Max is tough because whoever played him would have to be a pretty big dude, but my wife suggested Keegan Allen from Pretty Little Liars, which I could totally support. She might be a little too old, but I would love to see Rooney Mara as Urcena—she was so dark and intense in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that I think she would absolutely pull it off. And I would just have to have Idris Elba as Captain Trier.

What makes you swoon?

I’m kind of a pushover, so swooning is pretty easy for me. I swoon over anything that makes me think about something in a different way. Whether it’s a book or a movie or a TV show or a music album, if I step away from it thinking, Wow, I had no idea, or, Crap, why didn’t I think of that, then I’m probably swooning over it. YA is such a great genre for that, too. It has a specific label, but it has no limits. Almost every new YA novel I read is super original and has super high stakes. And to me that’s the definition of swoonworthy.

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Swoon Reads Staff

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