Today, I'm delighted to be interviewing with Kelley York. Last year, I reviewed her book Hushed and loved it.
Then she and her roommate are attacked on their way home one night. Briar wasn't supposed to survive.
Instead, according to the two guys who saved her, she's turning into the things that attacked her: a vampire. Totally crazy and Not Okay. Now Noah's secrets are coming to light, and he wants Briar dead. Then there are the vampires who attacked Briar to lure out her sister.
Her sister...who died years ago.
The city's body count is rising, and Briar wants to help put a stop to it. But first, she has to figure out who the real enemy is: the vampires, the boy she loves, or the sister she thought she'd lost.
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Kelley writes anything from dark to light, contemporary to paranormal. She was born and raised in central California where she still resides with her lovely wife, daughter, and an abundance of pets. (Although she does fantasize about moving across the globe to Ireland.) She adores all things furry, be them squeaky, barky or meow-y, is a lover of video games, and likes to pretend she's a decent photographer and artist. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or to at least write about them.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
I've enjoyed writing since I was a kid. I started out with fan fiction; it's easy to pick up someone else's characters and play around in the sandbox they've created. I also think it's good practice for working on voice, style, and consistency. Eventually I moved over to my own worlds and characters. I wrote a lot of short stories and snippets, but never more than that until I finished my first book.
Both Hollowed and Hushed are mystery/thrillers. What draws you to this genre?
I love tension! I love reading a book and being unsure as to how it's going to end. A character has found himself in this hole...how is he going to escape? Predictable stories are nice sometimes, but the books that stick with me the most are those with twists and turns I didn't see coming.
Thrillers do tend to stick in my head. After reading Hushed, I couldn't pick up another book for a couple days. The vampires in Hollowed breathe, have a pulse, and can starve. Why did you decide to make them so human?
So many vampires in various medias are just shy of being invincible. If a creature is invincible, why would they lurk in the shadows and pretend they don't exist? Why not take over the world, or at least try to be a part of it? What is stopping them? Vampirism in the world of Hollowed began as a virus that was mutated by magic, so a lot of the human traits are still present in vampires. It's a fun combination to work with, and the virus has evolved itself over thousands of years.
It's neat how the vampires of Hollowed developed out of that idea. It's tough finding out that you're turning into a vampire. How did you go about portraying Briar's emotional and physical states as she goes through this process?
Briar takes a lot of things in stride without giving a huge outward reaction. She internalizes a lot. She brushes things off. She doesn't believe what's happening to her until there's no way she can run from it anymore. But when she learns to accept something, she dives into it head-first. Once she knows vampires exist, there isn't much that surprises her anymore.
Physically speaking, since vampirism started as a virus that eventually killed the people it infected, it makes sense it would promote physical reactions. Fever, sweating, nausea. The body is switching gears from using human food as sustenance, to requiring blood to function. This is a combination of the disease and the magic used to manipulate it.
Briar is a strong character, and the people who surround her are no less vibrant. Were there characters that were particularly fun for you to develop?
All of them! Oliver's back story was fun, albeit depressing. Cole, in general, isn't elaborated on much in the book, and this is intentional. He's a very private person. Surprisingly, I had a lot of fun with Fred. He's kind of a big, dumb puppy who is easily led, but has a good heart and a strong sense of loyalty underneath it all.
What would you do if you found out that someone close to you was a vampire?
I suppose that depends on what kind of vampire! If they were like the ones in Hollowed, I'd be fascinated.
What are you working on right now?
I'm alternating projects. I have a contemporary story I'm plotting and would really love to write. I might be about to start revisions on another contemporary project. And, of course, I'm working on Shadow Voices, which is the second book in the Half Light series, although it focuses around a different set of characters.
Kelley has generously donated an e-copy of Hollowed for a giveaway for a lucky international winner!
The giveaway is open through August 31st.
To enter, follow Imaginary Reads and leave a meaningful comment on the interview. Extra entries for tweeting about the giveaway and commenting on my review of Hollowed. Then fill out the form below. Do not leave your email in the comments section.
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