Today, I have Lee Nichols here to talk about her YA paranormal Haunting Emma trilogy. The first book in the series, Deception, was recently released on June 8, 2010.
Three lucky commentators will have a chance to win a copy of the book. Details are listed at the end of the post.
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about the book?
When seventeen-year-old Emma Vaile’s parents disappear on a mysterious business trip, she discovers she can see and control ghosts and that her parents knew she had this power all along. Now she has to discover why they’ve gone missing and whether their involved in some grisly murders. Her brother’s best friend helps her along the way and she falls hard for him, but love is never simple.
DFT: What motivated you to write Deception?
I wanted to write a contemporary Gothic novel with a kick-butt heroine.
DFT: Can you tell us a little about the main characters in Deception?
Emma is vulnerable, but tough, self-deprecating and funny. Bennett Stern, the guy she falls for is as stern as his name, but also committed, strong and solid. Coby is one of her best friends at school. He’s honest and true and reliable. Natalie is hard to figure out. Half the time, she’s a great friend to Emma, the other half, not so much.
DFT: If you could describe your main characters with only 3 words, what would they be?
Emma: Powerful, kind, kick-butt
Bennett: Hard-core, strong, enigmatic
Coby: Loyal, all-American, trust-worthy
Natalie: Fun, snarky, wild-card
DFT: Tell us something about your research process and the choices you make when creating the story.
I didn’t really do a lot of research, although I suppose years of reading fantasy and paranormal novels counts. I chose setting it in Massachusetts, because I wanted a cold atmosphere and old houses, that you can picture ghosts living in. It helped that I created Echo Point which is loosely based on Marblehead located right next to Salem, which gives it more spooky allure from the witch trials. And Bennett’s museum is based on the Pierce-Nichols house in Salem. I’m descended from the Nichols part of the family, and have always wanted to write about this house.
DFT: What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) did you draw from while writing Deception?
I think everything I read or see is fodder for what I write. Whether it’s a garden I love, or a favorite coffee shop, or a quirky conversation I overhear, or spectacular prose in a novel. Everything I take in influences my writing.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?
I love Emma. She’s the kind of girl I wish I had been.
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line from Deception?
I actually love when Bennett ties Emma’s tie on her school uniform. I hadn’t planned it when I started writing the scene and I think it came out sort of unexpectedly swoony.
DFT: What other projects are you working on that you would like to tell us about?
DECEPTION is only the first HAUNTING EMMA novel. BETRAYAL, comes out in March 2011 and POSSESSION, if I finish writing it, will be released late 2011.
DFT: Why do you think there is the misconception that young adult books are not as deep or as complex as books for adults? What is your response to this misconception?
I think teens, as a whole, aren’t taken very seriously and that more than the actual books themselves is what causes this misconception.
DFT: What is your favorite fairy tale? Why?
Rumpelstiltskin has always been a favorite. I love that he gets foiled in the end.
DFT: What books/genres do you read when you have the chance? Any must read authors or series?
I love YA right now. I think just fabulous things are going on in that genre. Like many others, I’m in love with the Hunger Games series. Can’t wait for the final book. But I also read tons of women’s fiction and literary novels. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a recent favorite. I’m currently reading the Best 20 writers under 40 issue of the New Yorker and ZZ Packer is blowing me away.
DFT: What is your definition of a “bad writing day”? How do you deal with bad writing days?
I have a word quota I shoot for. If I don’t hit that number, that’s a bad day. I deal with it, by moving onto the next day, hopefully writing more that day to compensate.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or any writing rituals?
I work with a scene by scene outline, which keeps me from getting blocked. And as I said I’m strict about writing a certain number of words per day.
DFT: If you could be any paranormal creature, which one would you be and why?
I really love animals, so I’d like to be a were-something. I love dogs, so maybe a were-Frenchbulldog?
DFT: Thanks Lee for taking the time to stop by.
Three lucky commentators will have a chance to win a copy of Deception.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
If you were being haunted, how would you deal with it?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to everyone.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Tuesday, July 6th at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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