HIDDEN : a new YA gothic romance by Shalini Boland, which has been getting 5 star reviews on Amazon.
Blurb in brief :
“A paranormal romance spanning the centuries from modern London to 19th century Paris and ancient Cappadocia.
Sixteen-year-old Madison Greene is in foster care until one day she inherits a fortune, she inherits a house, she inherits a cellar full of danger.
Eighteen-year-old Alexandre lives in 19th century Paris. On an archaeological expedition he discovers a lost underground city where his life changes forever.
For each of them, life is finally starting. Little do they know it is closer to ending. Something lies buried that should have been forgotten. Falling in love has never been so dangerous.”
AA : Where did the idea for HIDDEN come from ?
SB : I’ve always wanted to write a vampire book, but never had a strong enough idea. Then one day I read a story in the paper about a family who had to move out of their house as they had 150 bats nesting in their roof. They said it was like living in Dracula’s castle. I had a light bulb moment and thought: Bats in the attic? – What about vampires in the basement?
AA : Which books/authors do you think most influenced you when creating the trilogy ?
SB : Probably Anne Rice. I love how she detailed each of her vampires’ stories – how they were made, what eras they came from. All that historical richness and romance. But I have very eclectic reading tastes, so my influences are varied.
AA : May we know when the next in the Marchwood series will be available ?
SB : Thicker Than Blood will be out at the end of 2011. You’ll get to see more of Maddy and Alexandre as well as a trip back in time to see the ancient Byzantine vampires of Cappadocia.
AA : How do you work ? In starts and spurts, or do you have a timetable you adhere to ?
SB : I have two young children so it’s hard to work to a timetable. Hidden was written in 6 months. I worked flat out in every spare minute I could grab. I’m hoping Thicker Than Blood will flow just as easily…
AA : Do you have a favourite place for writing ?
SB : I always write on my netbook sitting on the sofa next to the window with a cup of tea or coffee on the arm – it usually goes cold before I get a chance to finish it.
AA : Which comes first: images, plot or characters ? Or other ?
SB : Each book is different. With my first book, Outside (a post-apocalyptic road trip thriller), I thought of the ending first and built up the story around it. I always like to have a strong character to work with before I start writing though. If you haven’t got a great character, you can’t get excited about the story.
AA : What are your next projects ?
SB : I’m writing Thicker Than Blood, book two of The Marchwood Vampire series. I’ve also started writing the sequel to Outside. I need to revise my children’s book, A Shirtful of Frogs, a bittersweet timeslip adventure about a WW2 evacuee who meets up with a boy from the present day. Once I’ve done that, I’ll write part three of The Marchwood Vampires, Hunted. That should keep me going for a little while.
AA : What do you think the future of ebooks are ?
SB : I think they can only grow. A few years back, everyone (me included) said downloading music wasn’t the same as actually owning the cd/vinyl. But I don’t buy records at all anymore – I have a truckload of redundant cds. I only ever download my tunes now. It’ll be the same for books. There’ll be a bit of a backlash, followed by the inevitable embracing of technology. My mum’s an avid reader in her sixties (sorry, Mum!) and she got a kindle for Christmas, not knowing if she’d use it or not. I lent her a paperback last month and she said, ‘actually, I think I’ll download it to my kindle, I much prefer it to actual books’.
AA : Creating a readership is fundamental to writers – on which websites can readers find you ?
SB : I’m making myself dizzy with all the websites I’m on. Okay, here goes:
My website: http://www.shaliniboland.co.uk
My blog: http://someonewotwrites.blogspot.com
Twitter – My twitter name is @ShaliniBoland
And of course, I always like to hang out with the lovely people at AuthorsAnon – http://authorsanon.wordpress.com
AA : Any thoughts or advice on writing you’d like to pass on ?
SB : Joining an online writers’ group was the best thing I ever did. I never realised how much it would benefit me. Just being able to bat ideas around and chat with like-minded people is great.
Thanks, B. It’s been so lovely chatting with you!
AA : Thank you for taking the time, all the best with the sequels!