Welcome to The Readers Den, Laura! First of all, I have to say I loved The Hallowed Ones, so I’m thrilled you agreed to answer a few questions for our readers.
Laura: Thanks so much for the interview! I’m excited to have the chance to chat with you and your readers!
Q: What possessed you to write an end-of-the-world scenario with vampires, set in an Amish community? Brilliant idea, by the way!
Laura: Thank you! *blushes* I was mostly experimenting, thinking about what would happen if the end of the world came…I know this is not a common thing to think about! But that’s part of the joy in being a writer. I get to think about odd things.
I was wondering who would be best-equipped to survive a large-scale disaster. It occurred to me that the Amish would be in a unique position to survive. They’re incredibly self-sufficient and are not dependent upon things we take for granted in our world, things like electricity and cars.
I told my husband that I wanted to write a post-apocalyptic story about vampires. His response was: “You want to write a what?”
So it became something of a challenge.
Q: How much research on the Amish culture did you do for this story?
Laura: 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. As an adult, it was fun to go back there and see how my perceptions of that world changed and how they stayed the same.
In my day job, I work in a library – which also affords me many opportunities for research!
Q: I love Katie’s character; she’s so spirited and doesn’t unquestioningly follow authority. Did you model Katie’s character on anyone? Do you see yourself in her at all?
Laura: Thank you! I didn’t base her on anyone in particular. I think that she grapples with a lot of issues that I dealt with growing up that many people struggle with, as well: individuation from family, balancing the greater good with her own desires, deciding which rules to follow, and forging her own path in the world.
Q: I’ve recently heard from couple of authors that writing a story with vampires is discouraged. Did you receive any reluctance when you suggested your idea?
Laura: Not really. The people in my world don’t know where the creatures they’re fighting have come from, whether they’re the result of a biological weapon or an ancient contagion that’s re-awoken. Calling them ‘vampires’ is a pretty natural reaction on their part – their adversaries are violent, nocturnal, and pretty bloodthirsty.
Q: I’m a HUGE fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (series, not movie), so when Alex called
Katie “Bonnet the Vampire Slayer” I was all smiles. Perfect nick-name for her! Are you a fan of Buffy, and if so, are you a Team Angel girl or Team Spike?
Laura: Hee! I had to work that in there, and was so pleased that it remained in the final version. I ‘fess up to being pretty solidly Team Spike. Spike presented some major challenges for Buffy and really showed some new vulnerabilities in her character, which were really interesting to watch.
Q: I read that there will be a sequel to The Hallowed Ones, yay! Will that conclude the story or is there a third book planned as well? Can you give us any details about the sequel?
Laura: There will be a second book! It’s called THE OUTSIDE, and it’ll be released in fall 2013. This will conclude the story. The title is a big hint about where Katie’s going in the next installment – beyond the fence!
Q: The Hallowed Ones is your first young adult novel. Do you plan on writing anymore is this genre?
Laura: I’d love to. I’ve really enjoyed getting to meet the YA community - everyone has been so warm and welcoming. And I have more stories that I’m working on. Fingers crossed!
Ah Laura, you are a woman after my own heart!! Team Spike was the right answer! Thank you soooo much for coming on the blog! I can't wait to read The Outside and anything else you can think up!
Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science, and when she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs (she also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams). Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel.Twitter Facebook Website
And now to the giveaway. We are offering a chance to win a copy of The Hallowed Ones because, frankly, I think everyone needs to read this fabulous story! Just fill out the rafflecopter below. This giveaway will run for two weeks and is international as long as the Book Depository ships to you. You can check out the full list of countries here. The only requirement is that you follow the blog via GFC. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!