Saturday, 3 November 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones 

Today I’m thrilled to have Laura Bickle here on the blog to answer some questions about her novel, The Hallowed Ones.  As you may know, I recently read and loved The Hallowed Ones (you can read my review here), so I stalked, contacted Ms. Bickle to see if she’d be up for an interview.  To my delight, she said yes! 

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 Photo 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.
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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! 
  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

104 comments:

  1. I'd do almost anything to try and survive/protect others. I think you would definitely have to try and stay focused and not get caught up or lost in anything while something as crazy as vampires or whatever else is going on around you!

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    1. Good point, Kylee! Katie has to try to focus on the really critical stuff and ignore the distractions, which is really hard to do!

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  2. How I am wishing that I got this one off NG but I was being good and not requesting books and everyone has raved about this one. Gotta admit an apocalyptic book with vampires an the Amish is definitely original and fascinating. I hear this is great book to read while eating, NOT! Fingers crossed I need a lucky win!

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    1. Thanks, Heidi! Hee - you're not the first one I've mentioned who has suggested not eating for certain chapters, LOL!

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  3. Some kind of a weapon. Wooden stakes?

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    1. Stakes are good! Great all-purpose evil killer!

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  4. I kindle with a never ending supply of my favorite genre paranormal so Id have plenty to erad while i m in my fallout shelter

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    1. I want a fallout shelter...though it would probably just wind up being a repository for more of my junk...

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  5. I'd most probably live underground. lol! And stock it with all my needs and lots of books. Haha! And lots of weapons, of course.

    Lovely interview, Rachel! Laura seems to be a fun author to talk with. I'm really looking forward reading this. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

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    1. Rachel is a wonderful interviewer!

      And now I'm giving serious thought to the underground thing. My grandma used to have a root cellar, but I don't think that would get the job done!

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  6. Never thought about it but now that I do, the Amish really do have an advantage after the apocalypse! As for me, I'd make a bomb shelter... complete with plumbing and electricity! Hey, a girl has to live in style ;)Maybe even freeze myself and set the time to thaw me out after all the hullabaloo is over since I'd probably die of fright just listening to the world crumbling XD

    Great interview, Rachel! Loved the questions. Team Spike all the way! Even though I haven't watched it, I already have a team. Ha! Power of suggestion, ftw. Thank you for the awesome giveaway :D

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    1. Oooh! I love the idea of freezing. Like Fry in Futurama!

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  7. I'd find some place to hide and then go out only during the day. At night I'd hide and also I'd try to warn as many people as I could.

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    1. Good ideas! Getting everything done between the hours of sunup and sundown and then back to safety would be a challenge!

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  8. I'd hide some place in the night, and by day, hunt for food and weapons.
    And when I have the guts to do it, I'll stab them, cut their hearts out and heads off so they don't regenerate!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Totally gotta make sure they stay dead! Like they said in Zombieland, always double tap!

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  9. I'd find all of the people I care about and find some kind of underground base. Then we'd somehow get food to bring down.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I'm with you on the underground base!

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  10. I would try and find as many weapons as possible. Thank you for the giveaway :)

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    1. Another vote for weapons! Good one!

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  11. It would be some weapon! Or garlic xD Vampire hate them, right? :D

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    1. I think that vampires would hate my spaghetti, for exactly that reason! Plenty of garlicky goodness...

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  12. Live somewhere sunny and have my hideout full of weapons

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  13. Great interview! The Amish culture is very fascinating and I have never been to one, but the books I read about it made me really intrigued on the culture. It's so minimalistic and I totally get it! They're all so happy, too! Well at least they were in the books/movies I saw O_O Lol. I have this one on my TBR list I hear it's great and creepy!

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    1. Thanks, Giselle! I admire the Amish culture a lot. Very interesting reasoning and practices for living a simple life.

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  14. This sounds like a great read and thanks for the giveaway too! I think I would try and find weapons to protect people I care about

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    1. Thanks! Weapons would be a great choice!

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  15. I would bring Duct Tape because you know what they say about duct tape.

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    1. LOL! "It fixes everything." "It's like the Force in Star Wars - it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together."

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  16. I would try to find a safe haven where I have the possibility to get in contact with other humans - if they are still alive :p and I would definitely do everything in my power to protect my family & boyfriend! Perhaps I would take an axe, so I can chop their heads of if I'm strong and brave enough :p

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    1. I like the axe! It never needs reloading!

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  17. a good strong knife - useful as a weapon and an all-purpose tool

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    1. Oh, yes! It would be great for foraging, hunting, and defense!

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    1. That would be great!

      Though, if I was the last one standing, I couldn't resist yelling "There can be only ONE!"

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  19. What a brilliant giveaway! Thanks for hosting. I have yet to read this and I loved your review,

    BTW I wanted to say sorry I haven't been around much, commenting on review etc. I have neglected a lot of things at the mo as I have got so much college and work! Again I'm sorry! But thanks for the giveaway! :-)

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  20. In answer to your question I would have a traditional wooden stake and I would take my friends and family and anyone else into a church where a vampire can't enter under a religious grounds! :-)

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    1. Good thinking, Emma! I like that strategy!

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  21. Maybe a sword as well, because then I could chop their heads off without getting as close as I'd have to be if I used a stake.

    Fabulous interview! I've never watched the series of Buffy, though I think I'd like to watch Angel, the spinoff, and see what that's like. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)

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    1. Good point about the sword - more reach! :-D

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  22. I actually just finished this one and I loved it! I adore this interview and I'm SO excited about the sequel to The Hallowed Ones. Alex stole my heart and the overall setting was perfect. Not to mention Katie is a character I want guarding my back! ;) Amazing interview! :D

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    1. I'm so happy that you enjoyed it! I'm thrilled that you liked Alex and Katie - she's definitely a gal I want in my corner, too! ;-)

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  23. Thanks so much for the interview, Rachel! I'm having so much fun. :-D

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  24. Splendid interview, ladies! I LOVED reading The Hallowed Ones and can't wait for the sequel... I need more Alex, NOW. ;)
    Yay, I found more Buffy fans! And I'm all for Team Spike, too. :)

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    1. Thanks, Leanne! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! :-D

      *waves Team Spike flag*

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  25. I have no idea what I would need for a vampire apocalypse - ideally a vampire protector, but since that seems unlikely I guess maybe some sacred ground with electricity and running water :).

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    1. I think the sacred ground would be good! My vamps are, alas, not the protective kind. :-(

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  26. What step or item would you take to survive a vampire/end of the world scenario? I would take a machine gun with silver bullets

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    1. Niiiice! And also a way to cast new bullets!

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  27. Omigosh! I love this book so much. Thanks for the awesome interview.

    What item would I take? A Katana ! :D

    -Dannielle

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    1. Thanks, Dannielle! I'm loving the katana! :-D

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  28. Wowww...fantastic interview ladies<3 I've always found the Amish culture REALLY fascinating, and now? Amish and VAMPIRES? I'm DEFINITELY reading this!I think I'll have to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer- I REALLY want to meet this Spike character:)

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    1. LOL - Spike is very much a difficult character for Buffy. He does pose a lot of challenges for her, but I think she really grows as a person, having known him.

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  29. The Outside is the final book? I could happily read more! :D This is an awesome interview. I always knew Laura was cool for having thought up such a great concept for her book, but know I know she is cool - Go Team Spike! :D

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    1. LOL! Thanks, Sam! THE OUTSIDE should wrap up the story - I'm really excited about it and wish that I could fast-forward to next fall!

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  30. Great interview, ladies! I have to read my copy soon. Everyone's been raving about this book. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  31. Oooooh, what a lovely interview. I really enjoyed reading.

    Now I'm going to duck and admit I've never watched an episode of Buffy, ever. *Hides away*

    Well, I think I need to get my hands on this book more than ever. It sounds so brilliant.

    And two books. That sounds a managable series for once! haha.

    What would I take with me to the end of the world? Can I take a suitcase packed with a survival kit of stakes, baseball bats, knifes, more weapons etc and maybe my kindle and some chocolate for good measure?haha.

    Lovely interview.

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    1. A suitcase full of goodies of all kinds is certainly allowed! :-D

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  32. Haha, good question! I'm slow AND clumsy, there's no way I'd ever survive a vampire/zombie apocalypse. Ever. So my one item would probably be a box of ice cream. At least I'd go down happy. :D

    As I keep saying, I know next to nothing about the Amish culture and I feel horribly ashamed. So I have two reasons to read this book as soon as possible. One, based on all the reviews, it's a very good book, and two, I get to learn something new. :)

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    1. I'm with you on the ice cream! I don't see myself being very successful in an invasion, either...but I overstocked on Halloween candy, at least!

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  33. for vampire i prefer have wooden stake, for end of the world, i need shelter, water and food.

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  34. Err barricade myself underground with lots of garlic...*dumb*

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    1. My spaghetti sauce is really garlicky. I think that might be a good deterrent, too!

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  35. A sword would be a definite. Super quiet and no reloading necessary! Except I'm a major weakling and probably wouldn't be able to wield it. haha!
    I was skeptical about this book at first but I haven't seen a single negative review of this! Looks like one that I definitely need to pick up now. :)

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  36. Great interview guys and thanks for the giveaway. This book sounds awesome, I've seen so many great reviews.

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  37. Oh I'm very very sorry but I did something really dumb. I noticed a tweet about this giveaway today and forgetting I already entered for it, entered all over again. Funny how the rafflecopter showed up all the options again. Im really very sorry for being such a twit but can you please delete my second entry? Please Laura? I entered as Ashfa Anwer. :(

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  38. I am so fascinated by this synopsis! It does stand out even with the literary marketplace is flooded with so many vampire and post-apocalyptic novels. I loved getting to know a little more about author Laura Bickle's thoughts on writing this story and can't wait to read it myself!

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    1. And I have no steps I'd personally take. I'd seek someone who actually had survival skills and follow their lead!

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    2. Thanks so much, Amanda! It was a lot of fun to write.

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  39. I'd probably do something like Will Smith in I am Legend. Only go out in the day, always carry a lot of weapons and line my home with steel! Thanks!

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    1. I still haven't seen that one, but it's definitely on my to-watch list! I'm so behind in movies, it's not funny!

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  41. To survive a vampire/zombie/end-of-the-world apocalypse/showdown, I'd want my secret weapon to be Angel and Spike. (Let's just pretend Spike tagged along just to annoy Angel.) Their both vampires with a soul, are way badass and fight evil. Also: great eye candy! I mean, if the world is going to end, I need two champions by my side. (Technically, I might be cheating but you can't split up the dream team fighting machine.) I'm a huge Buffy fan and by the looks of it, Laura is too! This makes me want to read The Hallowed Ones even more! :D

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! I do think Angel needs some more annoyance in his (un)life, and Spike is the one to dish it out to him.

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  42. A cute little dress, so a vampire will fall in love with me and turn me into one, and then, all you girls will kill me with the weapons that you all chose :P

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  43. I would take a sword! Though I doubt my fencing foil would do any good against a real opponent.
    Thanks for the awesome interview and giveaway!

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    1. I used to fence a bit. Loved getting the chance to see it on TV for the Olympics this summer!

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  44. Vampires? Well if you can't kill them you should join them :) Amazing giveaway! Thankss

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  45. Wow! This book sounds amazing! Thank you so much for this fantastic giveaway! I love this blog, lol!! :D (Angie Edwards)

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  46. I can't imagine if vampire exist in real world, probably i will take everything weapon againt vampire or make vampire love me as like happen in book :)


    thanks for the giveaway

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  47. maybe something around me,anything can to be a weapon, for escape first. And them to find shelter, weapon, food.... maybe...hehehe :)
    Thanks for giveway!!

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  48. I would have my four ferrets with me. They have vampire-like fangs so maybe they'd protect me. :)

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  49. ah i love the review and i love vampire ^_^

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  50. somewhere sunny or with garlic...i dont know lol!
    thanks for making this international!

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  51. Ill try to make my own wooden stake and also i would put garlic all over me and hide somewhere where its not dark. so ill always be on the move.

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    1. I have a cat who loves garlic. You'd be irresistible to her!

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  52. After I was done screaming and freaking out, I would turn to good 'ol buffy for my vampire arsenal and amass some stakes, crosses and holy water :)

    Jolene A

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