Tag Archives: The Candidates

Author Interview: Inara Scott
Author Interviews
September 25, 2010 posted by Ivy

Author Interview: Inara Scott

Inara Scott is the author of The Candidates, the first book of the Delcroix Academy series. As promised, she sat down for a quick interview with us. Enjoy!

Lets clear this up right from the start – how do you pronounce Dancia’s name?
Dan — see – ah. I’m not sure that’s the way the dictionary would do it, but that’s my phonetics. 😉

Why did you decide to set The Candidates in Washington?

As part of my job I spent some time in a small town in Washington that lies in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. I always loved the way the volcano loomed over the city and seemed to create a sense of both peacefulness and potential danger. That combination fit perfectly for the feeling I wanted to create in Delcroix Academy.

It seems that urban fantasy novels like this always have a love triangle twisted into the plot these days. Why do you think that is?

I’m not sure; I started writing The Candidates in 2006, and it was always a book about choices (in fact, the original title was Taking Sides). It felt right to have a “good” boy and a “bad” boy for the heroine to choose between. But keeping in mind that Delcroix is also about gray areas, I’d warn people against taking sides too soon — there’s another book coming, you know! :-)

Just wondering, are you Team Cam or Team Jack?

Despite all my talk about choices, I’m not sure the Team Cam and Team Jack thing really holds up in Delcroix. Dancia’s choice at the end of the book is more about herself than it is about a boy. I’m really Team Dancia.

For you, what came first, Dancia as a character, or the Academy?

Great question! What came first was really a “what if” — what if you had extraordinary powers, but when you used them, terrible things happened? From that question I started to build a character and world for her to inhabit at the same time.

Do you have the entire series mapped out already, or are you creating as you write?

I do both. I create the story ahead of time, and then change it as I write. It’s an organic process; each books influences the outcome of the next.

What’s in your TBR pile right now?

Oh man, there’s more than I can tell you! But two books I’m particularly excited to read are: The Mermaid’s Mirror, by L.K. Madigan, and Wildwing, by Emily Whitman.

What’s your all time fave YA novel?

It wasn’t classified as YA when I read it, but I think it’s shelved that way now: Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey. My other favorite is I Am The Messenger, by Markus Zusak.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with yourself?

Ha — I just quit my job as an attorney a couple of months ago, and there’s no doubt I’ve still got lawyer in my soul. But not the fighting in a courtroom type of lawyer; I am more the “let’s figure out a way to work out our differences” kind of lawyer (yes, they do exist!).

Where were you when you found out that your book was going to be published? How did you react?

I was at work, and I almost passed out. 😉 I got an email on my blackberry while I was in a particularly boring meeting. It was from my agent, and she said to call her right away. I went out in the hall and called, and she told me we had a two-book deal, a preempt from Hyperion (dream publisher!). Luckily, there were a couple of chairs in the hall, so I could sit down when things got foggy.

Thanks Inara! If you missed Nikki’s review of The Candidates, you can find it here:


The Candidates giveaway is still on, enter here:


Delcroix Academy: The Candidates – Inara Scott
Book Reviews
September 4, 2010 posted by Nikki

Delcroix Academy: The Candidates – Inara Scott

Dancia Lewis is far from popular. And that’s not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia’s mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just…happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt.  So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to anyone, belieiving this way she can supress her powers and keep them hidden.

But when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia’s days of living under the radar may be over. Only, Delcroix is a school for diplomats’ kids and child geniuses–not B students with uncontrollable telekinetic tendencies.  So why are they treating Dancia like she’s special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make Dancia feel welcome.

And then there’s her mysterious new friend Jack, who can’t stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at the Academy and wants Dancia to help him figure out what.  But Dancia isn’t convinced. She hopes that maybe the recruiters know more about her “gift” than they’re letting on. Maybe they can help her understand how to use it…But not even Dancia could have imagined what awaits her behind the gates of Delcroix Academy.

From the onset, it’s pretty clear that Dancia is supposed to be an average, run of the mill character that teenage girls everywhere should be able to relate to. With her average, grades, average appearance, less than impressive wardrobe, and no money or classy possessions to show off, Dancia has pretty much resigned herself to a life less lived. Except, although she seems unwilling to admit it, there is something exceptional about her. She has an odd kind of power and can make things happen with her mind. She doesn’t understand it, she can’t really control it, but whenever she ends up using it, bad things happen. Dancia chooses to ignore her power and enters the big fat land of denial.

The Delcroix Academy recruits her. She doesn’t understand why – Delcroix is supposed to be for talented people, and talent is something she’s seriously lacking. Still, there is no possible way they could know about her abilities, right? That couldn’t really be why they want her, could it?

Jack seems to think so. He’s another recruit, just like Dancia. No special, obvious talents (unless you count a juvie record and a bunch of failed efforts under his belt). But Dancia senses something special about Jack immediately. Something special, in her kind of way. Just when Dancia starts getting close to Jack, Cam puts himself in her line of vision. Dancia doesn’t understand his newfound interest in her – he is the most attractive guy in school after all – but when his attention seems unrelenting, Dancia allows herself to roll with it.  Suddenly, she finds herself caught in the middle of a love triangle. Has the world gone completely mad?

Except, she doesn’t like Jack. Honest. She likes Cam. Smart, funny, handsome. Jack is nothing but a troublemaker. So why, if she feels nothing for Jack, does the world stop spinning when he kisses her?

Then the truth comes out about why she was really recruited to Declroix, and all hell breaks loose.

I found Dancia’s naivety completely and utterly frustrating, but if I’m honest with myself, the way she behaved is completely and utterly believable. It’s every girl’s dream come true to have the school hearth throb chasing after you. Unfortunately, I don’t buy it. Even though Cam does seem genuinely interested in Dancia, I refused to let myself believe its true. I can’t pin point it exactly, but there’s just something about it that makes my stomach turn – and not in a good way.

Jack, on the other hand, is totally nuts about Dancia, but I’m not entirely sure it’s for the right reasons. Is he interested in her because of her power, or does he really like her for who she is? I can’t tell yet, but I’m really hoping it’s the latter. In case you didn’t already figure it out, I’m Team Jack.

Delcroix Academy: The Candidates starts off a little slowly, but once the action gets going, it becomes one of those novels that you just can’t put down. It’s Inara Scott’s first novel, and I’m definitely going to be watching to see how this story pans out.

Pages: 293

Publication Date: August 28, 2010

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: Jack leaned against the porch rail, his body once again a relaxed slouch. his voice was soft, coaxing. “How can you say that? I’m no bully.”