Robyn’s parents are ruining her life. As if their constant bickering and embarrassing behaviour wasn’t bad enough, they’ve forbidden her from hanging out with her crush just when a flirty new girl moves to their block. Strangely enough, Robyn’s parents look the other way when her big brother breaks curfew… even after a local girl’s violent murder. With the neighbourhood on high alert, strange sightings are on the rise and the accusations begin to fly. Between her brother’s nighttime excursions and her parents’ odd behaviour, Robyn starts to worry that the killer may be living under her own roof.
Is the killer closer than Robyn thinks? To explore if Robyn’s concerns have merit, I’ve been joined by Willow Rose, author of ‘Flesh & Blood’, the first instalment in the young adult vampire series The Vampires of Shadow Hills. Willow, what inspired you to delve into the world of young adult vampires?
It was mostly just a thought: “What if you couldn’t trust your own parents?”
That’s a pretty powerful thought. Do you feel that this question or the response to it throughout the book was influenced by experiences in your own life?
I have children who are becoming teenagers now and I draw a lot from them. And of course from my own growing up and trying to fight an overprotective controlling mother.
With experiences on both sides of the mother relationship dynamic, I’m curious to find out how the characters came to life. Can you share a little about their genesis with us?
They just kind of appeared as I kept thinking about the story. They grew in my mind and I fell in love with them.
It makes writing so much easier if you fall in love with them. With such a love for your characters, do you feel that the writing process is energizing because you get to hang out with them, or it is exhausting trying to keep up?
I am the happiest when I write. I get restless when I am not working on a book and I get quite grumpy. I am no fun when I am not in the middle of a book.
So, what thoughts do you keep at the top of your mind as you write that keeps you away from restlessness?
I try to just write a book that I know I would read myself.
You know I love it when authors write for themselves. Especially if they play little games like trying to insert their favourite word into a specific chapter. What’s your favourite word that you might want to drop into one of the chapters in your book?
Now that’s a word that would be awesome fun to randomly drop into a chapter or paragraph. And if you haven’t played writing games like that with yourself yet, I encourage you to try it in your next book. As writing is such a big part of your life, and you continuously find yourself in the midst of a new writing project, do you personally feel that you’ve progressed from your first book until now?
I have tried many different genres and like to change things up every now and then. I like to try new things and challenge myself. My biggest fear is to keep writing the same book over and over again.
I feel that if you’re going to be fearful about anything writing related, being afraid of repeating yourself is a good fear to have because it will keep pushing you to make each book better than the last. As you look back on ‘Flesh & Blood’ in contrast to the rest of your books, what’s do you feel is the unique message that you wanted to share here?
As you grow up you realize your parents aren’t what you have always thought they were and often you realize you don’t want to be like them when you grow up. It’s part of becoming an adult to make your own choices.
Indeed, you do get to make your own choices when you grow up, and I’m so glad that your choice has been to write and share your love of words with the world. I want to make sure that I don’t keep you away from your book projects long enough to become restless, so to end our chat today, can you share a little of your future writing plans for those who are chomping through ‘Flesh & Blood’?
I have just finished book 5 in this series and will begin book 6 tomorrow.
Fantastic news for our eager readers out there! As promised, I’ll now let you return to the world of young adult vampires, and I’d like to thank you for sharing this book with us, and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who will be keen to see the next steps in Shadow Hills soon!
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Flesh and Blood (The Vampires of Shadow Hills Book 1) ( ASIN: B079P66ZJZ )‘.
Want to find out more about Willow Rose? Connect here!