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1. Was there a big difference between writing YA and writing historical romances?
A huge difference! I do a lot of research for my historicals and have even traveled to Scotland a couple times to tour the castles and the landscape I’ve written about. But now, with this particular YA series, instead of poring over seventeenth-century maps and learning the ins and outs of things like sheep farming, I get to Make It All Up instead. It’s a blast.2. What made you decide to branch into YA novels?
Moreover, with my romances, readers know they’re guaranteed a happily ever after. There’s nothing so neat with my YA series. Although I have a long-term vision for The Watchers, and the plot of each book is resolved, Annelise’s story doesn’t end on the last page.
Honestly, I can’t read enough of them. It’s blown my mind just how many gifted authors, amazing stories, and vividly drawn, complicated characters there are in the genre. As for the writing, I’m enjoying every minute. Speaking as someone with one foot in romance (which I still completely adore), it’s exhilarating that, in YA, there are no rules. I want The Watchers to be a series in the true sense of the word, with a serial feel, like episodes in an action-packed television show. The approach has been freeing.3. Is there any plans for a character from your other novels to have a small cameo in this new series?
Another thing I love about writing YA is immersing myself in that first person voice, steeping myself in Annelise’s roiling emotions, delving into things like friendships, crushes, betrayals, and the total unease of adolescence. Hey, who knows, maybe I still have some stuff to work out from my own teen years.
Wow, I hadn’t even considered that! My knee-jerk reaction was an instant nah, but now that you’ve put it in my head, it sure seems like something that’d be fun to write. When it comes to writing, I say never say never.4. In Isle of Night, are the vampires the good guys or the bad guys? Or perhaps a mixture of both?
[Edited to Add: sorry Veronica, but when you said "never say never" I just had to put a picture of Justin Bieber!]
Aw, I can’t go telling you things like that! What I will say is, in my world, vampires were once people, and like people, some are good and some are evil. Similarly, things and people aren’t always as they seem.5. Can you describe Isle of Night in a couple of keywords?
Otherwise, good or bad, so much has yet to be revealed about my world and those in it—book one just scratches the surface.
Fast. Fraught. Violent. Longing.
My favorite places in the world are the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The isles take my breath away—some have lovely sandy beaches, others are bleak and craggy, with gray skies and winds so violent, you need to link arms to stay upright. There, you’ll find land so isolated, there are few people and nothing like power lines overhead to mar the scenery. It’s a place where anything could happen. Where you’d believe anything. You could be in the past, or among fairies, or druids. Or vampires.7. Can you tell us a little bit about the sequel to Isle of Night?
Ancient standing stones, a looming castle, and the total, eerie isolation of life on a rock in the middle of the North Sea—these things all play a part in Isle of Night.
Annelise’s training intensifies as she prepares for her first mission, and her relationships intensify, too. Friends can be lost, the hazing is cruel, and one of the vampires is just too frighteningly seductive for her own good.
And, I don’t want to give it away, but the book is called Vampire’s Kiss…so, you know, there might just be a kiss in there somewhere.
Interested yet? Read an excerpt of Isle of Night!
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