Blog Tour: The Raging Ones



 

"A potently addictive blend of romance, fantasy, and science fiction full of unexpected twists."


— Kirkus Reviews, STARRED Review


"...a heartfelt, high-octane saga with gripping twists that will leave readers hungering for more."


— Booklist Online


 

 

Q & A


1. Working with another author is hard, let alone WITH YOUR TWIN, what was working together
like and how did you address differing opinions on the work? What are your favorite and least
favorite things about writing with each other?

We’ve been writing together since high school, so we’ve been able to really fine-tune our process. Being
sisters seems like we’d bicker a ton, but we find our bond a huge strength. We understand each other’s
vision and welcome varying opinions and ideas. We always describe what we have as a mini “writer’s
room” where we constantly bounce thoughts off one another and try to improve our work. When we
have different opinions, it kick-starts discussions, which often ignites better stories. Our favorite part of
working together is definitely collaborating. We value our time together and our discussions
surrounding our projects. Always having someone equally passionate and invested in the book fuels our
love of writing. Least favorite part: honestly, there aren’t a lot of negatives! Maybe our three-minute
silent treatments when we’re frustrated, and then we make up almost immediately.

2. When did you first get idea for The Raging Ones? What was your inspiration for this book?

Back in college, one of us (Krista) had this concept about a world where everyone knows the die they’ll
die, but three teens don’t die on their deathday. We’re huge fans of science fiction and fantasy, and
we’d written several Young Adult novels that never saw the light of day. But we wanted to write a new
story together with new characters, and I jumped on board once she agreed to add a fantasy element.
While writing THE RAGING ONES, we were really inspired by character-driven stories with science fiction
backdrops. From movies like Interstellar to television shows like The 100.

3. THE RAGING ONES is your first YA novel. What made you decide to move into the genre, and
was the transition difficult? Was writing in a different genre/for a different age group hard? Was
your process different?

Even though THE RAGING ONES is our first published YA novel, it isn’t the first one we’d written
together. In our childhood, high school, and college, we mostly only wrote YA. The harder transition for
us had been going from writing Young Adult fantasy novels to writing contemporary romance. In a lot of
ways, THE RAGING ONES was like returning to something we’d started but hadn’t finished yet. We
always attribute our romance books as the reason why we’re better writers, and when we went back to
this other genre, we realized how much more we could do and push ourselves. Our writing process is
pretty much identical across the map for Young Adult and Adult.

4. What is the weirdest thing you had to research for the novel?

Since THE RAGING ONES takes place on a frozen planet, we had to keep jumping down an Animal Planet
rabbit hole. We paid close attention to the animals that could exist. It’s not too weird, but there were a
lot of times we had to double-check each other and be like, “Cotton isn’t a fabric here” and “You can’t
make them eat chicken. There are no chickens.”

5. Did THE RAGING ONES have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?

Yes! We always listen to music while we’re writing, and we complied a public Spotify playlist for the
book, which includes songs that were in our earbuds as we were typing. We love the dramatic scores
from Gravity and Interstellar, but we always say “Keeping Your Head Up” by Birdy is the essence of the
book.

THE RAGING ONES Spotify Playlist: https://spoti.fi/2AkHkXi

6. What is your dream cast for THE RAGING ONES?

We love dream casting our books and making Pinterest boards! For THE RAGING ONES, we can imagine
Lyrica Okano as Franny Bluecastle, Henry Zaga as Court Icecastle, and Noah Teicher as Mykal Kickfall.
THE RAGING ONES Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/kbmritchie/the-raging-ones-series/

 

Excerpt


ONE
Franny

rives. Five minutes till closing, and the bank has already snapped
the blinds shut.
“Excuse me!” I shout again. “I’m dying tomorrow!” I bang
harder, my frustrated breath smoking the chilled air. My wool
coat, missing four buttons and brandishing more than a few torn
holes, warms me less than my irritation. Which grows with the
incoming silence.
I’m truly dying tomorrow, but death is normative. I die. You
die. We all die. The only difference between the bankers and me—I
will die at seventeen.
I die young.
They die old.
And so it goes.
I spot a bulky camera positioned on the brick of the Bank Hall’s
outdoor window. You see me, don’t you? They just refuse to
an­ swer. “I’m allowed my Final Deliverance check! Do you hear
me?!” I yell up at the lens while simmering in place.
Behind me, men in sleek tailored suits and fur­lined wool coats
amble along the alabaster­white sidewalk. Their hot, disparaging
gazes heat my neck. They can act all miffed by me, but Fowler
Street, Avenue Thirty­Four contains every shop for every type
of person: hair salons, dentists, pubs, quaint overnight inns, and
most importantly for me—the only bank.

4 KRISTA & BECCA RITCHIE
And all the grand streets—all the ones with cigar parlors and
high­end fabric shops that smell of rose petals and fig—hug the
grimy ones. The streets with cheap apartments, crumbling brick,
and foul, pungent odors with each step past. So in the end, the rich­
clothed men have always seen as much of me as I’ve seen of them.
We just might not end up in the same place.
I watch some strut ahead, careful on slick cobblestone,
scarves bundled up to their lips. They disappear past the warmth
of a stone pub, nestled on the corner of Fowler. The opulent
Catherina Hotel is only one block away, and by the men’s attire
alone, I imagine that’s their true destination.
Really, they’re not a priority to me. Not today.
Most definitely not tomorrow.
With numb fingertips, I dig in my pocket for my identifica­
tion. I raise the card toward the camera lens. “I’m Franny Blue­
castle,” I declare, possibly speaking to no one. “Can you see my
deathday?” I point at the print beneath my name. “I’m dying
tomorrow.”
A shadow passes behind the window, someone stirring. Blinds
rattle and I press my nose against the chilled glass, scraping my
fingers down. “Please! I’m on time!” Backbiting insults and curses
nip my tongue, and I swallow them, going down bitter like blood.
The blinds suddenly spring upward, and I’m met with russet
curls, thin lips of boredom, and stern, auburn eyes.
I speak before the fortysomething woman can. “I need to
collect my FD check. In bills.” I keep a watchful eye on the old me­
chanical drawer beside the window. She has to dispense my
cash, and once the drawer opens, it’ll finally be in my hand.
Most plan out their deathday to the finest detail.
At six years of age, I watched my mom die.
I traced her steps around her bed, a single­room apartment
above a butcher shop. The scent of slaughtered pig clung more
to our well­worn clothes than to the musty air.
She lit candle after candle and hummed to the gods, casting
smiles back at me. Youth sparkled in her gaze.

THE RAGING ONES 5
And I’d known, like any stranger could see, that we did not
match. It wasn’t only my cool, beige skin and silky black hair—
but the differences of our eyes, the heart shape of my face to
her squared, and as I grew, I didn’t develop curves or a chest like
hers. Even knowing she’d die by twenty­four, my mother found
the will and courage to provide me a home when she was just
eighteen. She adopted me as an infant, and I always knew
that I’d say goodbye to my mother in only a handful of years.
She prepared

me for the day, so I’d be at peace with her.
And I was.
Moments after her smile, she blew out the tender flames and
crawled onto the squeaky bed.
“Be careful of how you die, my little Franny,” she told me. “You
can set your terms but not the day.”
Without question, I nodded in reply.
When we’re born, we all know the day we’ll die. It’s been this
way for over a thousand years.
Maybe someone solved a mathematical equation.
Maybe a scientist drummed up this revolutionary discovery.
I can’t recall our history front to back like an Influential. I never
attended school or read their books, and I didn’t really care to
listen.
I only have so much time to live, so why waste it on a history
that won’t be mine for long?
My mom snuffed the candles, avoiding Death By Fire as her
ending. In my country of Altia, people about to experience
their deathday must follow Injury Prevention Laws. Like me
tomorrow.
Stay indoors.
Stay away from large groups of people.
Relax. Stay calm.
Be at peace.
Defying the first two could lead to mass accidents.
A boy of fourteen dumbly and selfishly took a joyride around
Bartholo’s packed and icy city streets on his deathday. The car

6 KRISTA & BECCA RITCHIE
spun out and collided with Mr. Rosencastle who was innocently
locking up the butcher shop.
Since Mr. Rosencastle won’t die until he’s seventy­seven, all
he lost was an arm. Not his life.
And ever since I witnessed my mom’s death—the serenity in
her upturned lips, the warm flush in her cheeks before her heart
slowed to a stop—I’ve dreamed of my own deathday.
I might have planned it poorly, but I dreamed well.
I imagined using the last of my money for a one­night stay at
the Catherina Hotel. Where harpists welcome guests through re­
volving doors, men in tuxes offer gold­foiled chocolates and sweet
liqueur, where feathered pillows and satin sheets blanket beds
made for five bodies.
At the orphanage, I sleep on a narrow bunk, coiled springs
bruising my back. Only with my Final Deliverance check can I
afford this single­night luxury. I’ve only heard stories, never seen
it with my own eyes, but I still dream.
I want to lie against those sheets and gaze up at the
hand­painted ceiling mural and smile as I drift off, as my heart
slows or as my brain shuts down, as the gods take me.
The banker presses a button, and her monotone voice
crackles through the speakers. “We’ve closed out today. No
more trans­ fers, deposits, or withdrawals until tomorrow at six
o’morning.” She reaches for the cord to the blinds.
“No wait!” This is not how I end. “You can’t botch this for me!
Listen to me. You have to listen to me.” My desperation curdles
my stomach, and I claw at the window, my hot breath fogging
the glass. “I need this money now. I could die at midnight.”
The banker scrutinizes my long hair: black roots growing in
among vibrant blue and green knotted strands that contrast her
natural hue. She homes in on my silver piercings: stuck along my
black brow, a ring beneath my nose and another hooped around
my lip.
It’s possible that she ignored me because of the bright dye
and piercings.

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