Today I’m joining the blog tour for Darkly Dreaming. I’m sharing my Q&A with the author with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the blog tour and to Chloe Hammond for answering my questions!
Have you always wanted to write?
I remember a teacher reading us a poem while I was in primary school, and the magic the words wove entranced me. I remember playing with word sounds that evening, and every evening after that. While I write mainly prose now poetry is still where I turn to make sense of big emotions. That delectable feeling of playing with the words, like smooth pebbles in your mouth, until you find the perfect combination to express what you feel is irresistible.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
Since I graduated from uni I’ve worked with vulnerable people. I’ve worked in homeless hostels, and with refugees, and this work has definitely inspired my work. When you work with vulnerable people you come face to face with the abusers in society far too often. You are forced to witness how they operate, the harm they cause, the way they play the system so they get away with the harm they wreck. Unsuprisingly, I have nightmares, nightmares that gave birth to Rae and Layla, my moral vampires. Writing my scenes where they hunt the real monsters in society was delicious
What was your inspiration for Darkly Dreaming?
I loved vampire novels growing up- Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite were firm favourites, but as I got older, I felt disconnect from school age characters. I wanted older, imperfect, relatable reads. So I wrote the books I wanted to read.
About eight years ago I was having lots of nightmares because I was very ill with anxiety and depression, and suffering badly with insomnia. I realised that to get better I had to carve a niche for myself out of my life, so I used the extra time created by my insomnia, and the inspiration from my nightmares, and finally started to write.
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
It depends, sometimes their core characteristics on people I know, or have known consciously, and other times they just come waltzing into my story fully formed, not even waiting for an invitation!
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Well, I tried plotting, but my characters laughed at me and did whatever they wanted anyway, so know I just sit down, slip into their world, and obediently record what they tell me.
How did you research Darkly Dreaming? Did you enjoy it?
My characters, including the vampire’s prey, came from life experience. The locations are often places I’ve been, but I did need to research things like what happen to a vein when it’s sliced open, and where are some waterfalls like I envisaged for Rae to have her final show down with her husband? I also really enjoyed researching names. My characters are from all over Europe, indeed, the world, so I enjoyed choosing names that have hidden meanings relevant to the characters’ role in the story.
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
I grew up on a diet of Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite. As an adult I have loved Deborah Harkness, Elizabeth Kostova, and Marian Keyes. However, my absolutely favourite author is Robin Hobb. I adore all her books, including those she writes as Megan Lindholm.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
I have a regular nightmare where I have to tell my best friend that she is dead, and only allowed back to earth for one day, so I won’t be inviting anyone dead, as sending them back afterwards is awful from my experience. Therefore, I would invite People I feel have interesting lives and I’d enjoy talking to- Prince Harry- I really admire what he did with Invictus Games, Jeremy Corbyn- I admire his politics, and Nish Kumar, because he is hilarious, morally sound, and I think he would enjoy the company.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
It’s a toss up between Boris Johnson and Trump! I detest the pair of them with their corrupt, self-centred politics which has done so much harm to so many.
Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Darkly Dreaming?
Either Kate Winslet or Elisabeth Moss.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to cook, and read.
What is next for you?
Make sure the second book of the Darkly Trilogy is ready for publication in February, and finish the last bit of the third novel, and then start editing it.
Book? Fools quest by Robin Hobb, followed closely by any of the other books in this series, but the Fool is my favourite character.
Film? Thirty Days of Night. God that film terrified me! There was something about the sounds the vampires made that sacred the life out of me and gave me a very physical terror response.
Band/Singer? The Staves- my goodness their harmonies are exquisite.
TV show? American Horror Show. I adored every episode of every series. I loved the flawed characters, none of them entirely good, or entirely bad.
Colour? Green. There are such a variety of shades, from a luxourious jade green, through a vibrant leaf green, to a soothing sage green. I love them all
Place? Brittany, France. One day I will live there, on the coast, with enough land to keep a horse again, and some ducks, and I will be able to write every day.
Biscuit? Jammy Dodgers. Under appreciated, and delicious.
Darkly Dreaming is available from Amazon.
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