Tag Archives: Paranormal

Interview with Tara Hudson, author of HEREAFTER

4 Jul

by Susan Dennard

You all may recall my gushing recommendation of Tara Hudson’s Hereafter a few weeks back. Well, I am now absolutely ecstatic to share my recent interview with her!

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Tara Hudson graduated with a degree in law, mostly because she believed all the horror stories about English majors and their careers in the food-service industry. Luckily, she soon remembered how much she loved telling ghost stories, particularly to her girlfriends who liked visiting abandoned cemeteries as much as she did. Tara currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband, son, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets.

Let’s get started, shall we?

So, Tara, when did you first start writing HEREAFTER? Was there any sort of inspiring moment behind it (like dreams of sparkly vampires—ha!)?

I actually remember the exact date I started writing HEREAFTER – April 14, 2009 – because I still have the email that I sent my best girlfriends, asking them to read the first chapter. But my inspiring moment, or event, happened in 2000, when I drew “first straw” to present a short story in my college Fiction Writing Workshop. I always had a fascination with old cemeteries (their history, their eerie sense of watchfulness), so I wrote a story about the type of person who might wake up in one. That early story haunted me, and almost ten years later, it grew into HEREAFTER.

Wow! That’s…impressive–I love that it’s been an idea boiling in your mind for so long. And I gotta say, you pull of the cemetery-creep-factor really well! When you set out to actually write it, were you a plotter or pantster?

I was a plotter, especially for HEREAFTER. I wrote the entire original manuscript based off of an outline, that set out a chapter-by-chapter sequence of events. But with ARISE, the second book in the Hereafter Trilogy, I totally pants-ed it. And you know what? The spontaneity worked, because I think ARISE blows HEREAFTER out of the water!

GASP! Oh my gosh, Tara, now you’ve got me drooling for ARISE. If the author thinks it’s great, it must be fan-freaking-tab-ulous! Plus, how awesome is that title–ARISE!? Now, tell us about your agent. Who is she and how did you win her heart?

My agent is the fantastic Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management. She was my dream agent – she represents Markus Zusak and Becca Fitzpatrick, for pete’s sake! – and I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance of landing representation with her. But she read my entire manuscript over the course of one weekend and liked it. She didn’t offer me representation right away because she wanted me to do some revising. Lucky for me, only two days after I started revisions, Catherine received a call from HarperCollins looking for something along the same lines as HEREAFTER. With my permission, Catherine pitched my manuscript and Harper loved it. Of course, I wasn’t surprised when my new editor – the equally legendary Barbara Lalicki – wanted the exact same revisions Catherine had suggested!

Wow. My jaw is kinda on the floor with that story… HEREAFTER is (as I have told everyone) amazing, but to hear the concept was so high that editors wanted it just like that… Well, go Tara! So now that you’re all published (wee!), what are you working on now?

Right now, I’m winding down revisions for ARISE and starting my outline for ELEGY, the final book in the Hereafter Trilogy. I’m also vacillating between two new projects – another YA paranormal and a YA fantasy – both of which I kind of love.

Awesome! I can’t lie that I’m really excited to hear you’re working on new projects–it’s my purely selfish desire to read them!! Finally, do you have any big words of writerly advice?

You can do this.

I get how that might sound trite, or like something your mother would say. But when I was writing HEREAFTER, I had a really demanding day job. Then, after I sold HEREAFTER and began revising it, I still had that day job as well as a brand new pregnancy. Then, after HEREAFTER was finished and I was under an intense deadline to write ARISE, I had the intense day job and a brand new baby.

And you know what? I did it. With all those life responsibilities, I wrote two books of which I’m extremely proud. So whatever you’re struggling with while trying to write or query or submit or revise, you CAN do this, mostly because you love it that much.

We can do it! I’ve been terrified of tackling my own book 2, and I gotta say: you’ve made me feel better, Tara. This is wonderful advice and so, so true.

Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy life to answer my questions, and I can’t wait to see your other books in stores. (No seriously, if there’s anyway you can hook me up with an ARC for ARISE… ::nudge, nudge::)

Now, for those of you Americans out there, Happy Fourth of July! Go out and read Hereafter–you won’t regret it!

~~~

You can learn more about Tara Hudson on her website , blog, or twitter!

Susan Dennard is a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. She is repped by Sara Kendall of NCLit, and her debut, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, will be available from Harper Children’s in 2012. You can learn more about her on her blog or twitter.


Advertisements

Book Recommendation and Giveaway: PARANORMALCY

20 Jul

By

Sarah J. Maas

~~~

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: August 31, 2010

Summary (from Amazon.com):

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

~~

It’s not every day that I get SUPER, UNBELIEVABLY EXCITED about upcoming books. But from the moment I saw the cover for Kiersten White’s PARANORMALCY, I got that “MUST READ NOW” feeling. And when I received an ARC of it last week, I pretty much died. No joke, I was actually dead to the world. I curled up on the couch and didn’t stop reading until 2:30 AM. I didn’t watch TV, answer emails, take phone calls, or pay attention to my poor hubby–I just Could. Not. Stop. Reading.

It was love at first paragraph, and Evie stole my heart when she described her blinged-out pink taser (nicknamed Tasey). I rarely get attached to heroines the way I got attached to Evie–she’s the perfect blend of sass, smarts, and sensitivity, and I found myself laughing and crying along with her.

And the love interest–Lend! Can I say how HOT he is? I mean, he’s a freaking shapeshifter, which is pretty awesome, but more than that he’s just a nice, GOOD guy. He’s not one of those brooding, menacing, “I love you, but I want to kill you” dudes that pop up all too often in YA, but rather a kind, smart, and funny guy. I adore books where the romantic interest is an actual good guy (but maybe that’s just because I married one). In a desert of stalker-esque, sparkling, and all-around emo love interests, Lend is an oasis.

In a nutshell, PARANORMALCY is a combination of BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, HELLBOY, and all that’s best in YA paranormal lit. I haven’t read something this delightful in a while–I kinda want to cuddle my ARC right now. I could definitely come up with ten more paragraphs regarding WHY it’s so awesome, but…I think you already get the point. Plus, I’m still in that post-reading “!!!!” phase where I can’t formulate coherent thoughts (even a few days later).

I honestly can’t wait until PARANORMALCY hits shelves, because I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be a huge hit–and because I want all my friends to read it ASAP! August 31st cannot come soon enough!

Pre-Order it. NOW. You won’t regret it.

BUT just in case you can’t wait until August 31st, we’re hosting a giveaway of our ARC! That’s right–you can have a copy of PARANORMALCY before it even hits shelves!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with your email address AND answer this question:

Evie comes across a lot of fascinating and terrifying creatures in PARANORMALCY–if you could be any paranormal/mythological creature (vampire, werewolf, mermaid, etc.), what would you be and why?

For extra entries, you can do any (or all!) of the following:

+1 for following LTWF on Twitter (add your twitter name to your comment so I know you’re following)
+1 for being a fan on Facebook
+3 for following this blog – (if you don’t, just subscribe to us with your email!)
+1 for sharing this contest on Twitter – (please provide the link of your tweet in the comments)
+2 for sharing this contest on your blog – just be sure to leave a link (so that we know who you are, and how you’re sharing it!)

There are 9 entries in total. Don’t forget adding your email so that we can contact you! (Also, please note that this contest is NOT open internationally–US and Canadian residents only, please)

The contest ends at noon EST on Friday, August 6th. The winner will be picked using random.org, and will be announced on Saturday, August 7th. Good luck!!!

~~~

ARC Received From Publisher

~~~

Sarah J. Maas is the author of several novels, including QUEEN OF GLASS, a YA fantasy retelling of Cinderella that will be published by Bloomsbury in late 2011. Sarah resides with her husband in Los Angeles. You can visit her blog here.