Once again I bring you a stop on the blog tour for Laura Bickle’s books. Today I have an interview with the author, and I have already posted a review of her young adult book, THE HALLOWED ONES. The tour is hosted by Bewitching Book Tours and you can view the rest of the stops here.
While you’re here, you also might want to check out the other reviews I’ve done of Laura’s books:
· Anya Kalinczyk #1: Embers
· Anya Kalinczyk #2: Sparks
· Delphic Oracle #1: Dark Oracle (as Alayna Williams)
· Delphic Oracle #2: Rogue Oracle (as Alayna Williams)
I have to thank Laura for being gracious enough to answer my last minute questions. I wanted to reread THE HALLOWED ONES before coming up with my questions, and time got away from me. I also want to add in here that I’m a fellow Ohioan who lives by Amish and when I was in grade school, there was actually a required unit on the Amish and their way of life. Of course it didn’t include vampires … but it would have been so much cooler if it had!
Okay, so I have to ask. Amish and vampires is such a crazy combination, one I never thought would work. It does, and fantastically so, but how did you come up with it? What was the inspiration spark?
Thank you! I wanted to really experiment with this story, to see if I could integrate those elements in a way that readers could relate to. It was something I hadn’t seen done before, so I wanted to give it a shot!
I live not too far from a large Amish settlement. When I was a child, my parents would take me to visit, and I was fascinated by a world very different than the one I lived in. I’d see Amish girls my age over the fence and wonder what their lives were like.
Some of that curiosity lingered, and I always wanted to revisit it in a story. It popped back into my head when I was writing about a catastrophic contagion. Considering all the incredible self-sufficiency they apply in their everyday lives, it seemed to me that the Amish would be uniquely well-equipped to survive a large-scale disaster.
You’ve written two urban fantasy series for adults. THE HALLOWED ONES is your first book for young adults. And us adults who like to read YA. Why did you decide to give YA a go?
I began wanting to write a rural fantasy – something a bit different from the urban fantasy I had been writing. I love urban fantasy very much, but I wanted to turn it around a bit and see what darkness is like from a rural perspective. Once the story was complete, I sent it to my agent. I thought about whether it would work best in the contemporary fantasy or the horror market.
And to my surprise…she said I’d written a YA novel.
So I re-read the book, and it began to come together for me. I never explicitly gave Katie an age. Katie was dealing with many of the issues that young adults deal with: questioning authority, creating her own identity, and developing her own moral compass.
It was a happy serendipity. I’d wandered into new territory for me, territory that’s challenging and also really exhilarating.
Your vampires are pretty scary monsters. Were you inspired by any legends or traditional vampires?
I was very much inspired by old legends of ravenous creatures. The vampires in my story have many of the weaknesses that traditional vampires did – aversion to holy symbols and holy ground, for instance.
This isn’t related to THE HALLOWED ONES — sorry! — but having read both your urban fantasy series, will you be continuing either one? Or both? Or maybe starting a new one? I miss Sparky! (I’m talking about Laura’s Anya Kalinczyk series and the Delphic Oracle Series written as Alayna Williams)
Sparky is wagging his tail in appreciation! Thank you very much for taking the time to read about him. I would love to do more UF books in the future…especially with Sparky and Anya and Tara.
When the words just won’t come, what are some of your favorite tricks for getting past writer’s block?
The only thing that really works for me is a hot bath followed by parking my butt in the chair. I’ve tried every other inspiration, bribe, and magic incantation I can think of, but nothing really works for me like just pushing through it. Often, that means giving myself permission to write a few pages of crud before getting to the good stuff.
You’re stuck somewhere without the Internet, a cellphone, electricity, or anything else. Almost like being in an Amish community, but without having to work! All you can do is read. What books do you take with you?
That’s very funny, because I often sneak off to places without internet and cell signals. I usually bring a stack of books with me. Right now, I’m reading Cat Winters’ IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS and Sangu Mandanna’s THE LOST GIRL. They’re both fantastic reads that make me forget that the internet exists!
About the author:
Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs.
She has written several contemporary fantasy novels for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats.