Sunday, February 3, 2013

Comes the Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty: Interview and Excerpt

 


 

I am excited to have this chance to find out more about you both.  You are a writing team -- what’s your writing process? 
 

NORAH: Yes, we are a writing team. How we approach a book seems to change from one book to another. With an earlier book with multiple POVs (The Summoning – Book 1 in the Gatekeepers Series), we divided the POVs up and each wrote a couple of them. We would plot a few chapters, then go off and write them, swapping them back and forth so we could keep continuity. With other projects, such as the Casters series, Heather writes all the first draft copy. We put our heads together on plot from time to time to make sure we’re on course, but Heather pretty much just runs with it. My primary contribution comes in after that draft is finished. I massage and edit and polish. When we’re happy with it, it goes off to our editor. As I tell everyone, Heather is the imagination of this partnership, and I’m the technician. 
 

Tell us about your current release. 
 

HEATHER: This book, the first book in the CASTERS series, introduces you to Brooke, Alex, and Maryanne. They are the girls of Harvell House, the rejects in this small town of Mansbridge. There's a legend in this superstitious town about a soul-stealing 'heller' that terrorizes people at night. Through an old diary they find, the girls learn the truth about this local legend. Then they learn to become it – they learn to cast out into the night, to own it.
 

Comes the Night focuses mostly on Alex Robbins, and the personal, horrific hell she struggles through, screams through. And survives – any way she can. 

 
The next book, Enter the Night, is mainly about Maryanne. And Brooke gets her turn in Embrace the Night. Of course, there’s an overarching story line that runs through the whole series, culminating in Book 4, Forever the Night. We can hardly wait to get them all out!

 
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
 

NORAH: I absolutely love Brooke, from the current book Comes the Night. She comes across as such a tough, assured young woman. Let me tell you, no one is going to get one over on Brooke Saunders and get away with it! Not if she can help it. But inside, she’s incredibly lonely. Yet she can be her own worst enemy, rejecting people before they can reject her. And when she lets herself be vulnerable … oh, don’t get me going!
 

HEATHER: Yikes, my fav? Why do I always feel so disloyal to all other characters when I answer this question? Right now, I'd have to say Maryanne Hemlock is my favorite. Her pain is so deep and personal. The world thinks she's such a golden girl, and yet poor Maryanne carries a burden so heavy, honestly at times it was hard to write. Another thing I like about Maryanne is her strength. I love, love, love strong female characters, but Maryanne doesn't even see it. Yet it is there when it has to be.
 

How do you react to a bad review of your book?
 

NORAH: This is where being a writing team comes in handy – we can vent to each other! LOL. Seriously, I think every book needs some negative reviews. It wouldn’t matter if you had a hundred 5-star reviews, people don’t really give you any credibility until you’ve racked up some 1-stars. I know a lot of writers who are thin-skinned about bad reviews, but I’m not one of them. I take the view that the customer is always right. Reading is extremely subjective. A 5-star book for me might be a 1- or 2-star book for someone else, or vice versa. They are grading their experience of the book, and they alone can be the judge of that. Do I think any of my books are “1-star books”? Not a chance. Do I believe that some readers have had a 1-star experience with them? Absolutely.

 
What makes you happy?
 

NORAH: Being out in nature; walking my dog in the woods; finishing a scene and knowing it rocks; getting an awesome letter from a reader; reading a great book...I could go on.
 

HEATHER: Generally, I'm a pretty happy person. I have this pervasive sense that (spoiler alert!) everything is going to work out fine in the end. But specifically? Nothing feels better than to work through a scene and have the characters, plot, oh wow, story plants you didn't even know you planted two books ago, jump up and say that's why you wrote that!, or look at me. Those times are magical when it feels as if you are absolutely channeling your characters. Discovering the story as much as writing it.

 
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
 

We think this book is unique among paranormals, since when the girls “cast out” through the window portal, a dark piece of themselves peels away from their bodies and escapes into the night where the very  laws of physics are different for them. But paranormal elements aside, this is a powerful story about these three girls who struggle with their own personal demons and learn to defeat them.



Norah Wilson

Norah Wilson lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick with her husband, two adult children, Rotti-Lab mix Chloe and new feline addition Ruckus. Norah is a three-time finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest and in 2003 won the Dorchester Publishing’s New Voice in Romance. She writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance. In addition to the solo writing, she also writes the laugh-out-loud Dix Dodd cozy mystery series with writing partner Heather Doherty, under the name N.L. Wilson. Wilson and Doherty also write YA paranormal.  

Norah loves Twitter and television. Heck, she loves tweeting about television and debating the really big questions. (You know, Sam or Dean? Justified or Burn Notice?)


Website   |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

 
* Links to any blogs author contributes to regularly


Just Romantic Suspense:  http://www.justromanticsuspense.com/

My own blog where I do a Workspace Wednesday meme wherein I have authors guest post about their workspaces, with photos. http://norahwilsonwrites.com/wordpress/
 
 

* Author fun facts

I am one of eleven children (#10).
For the first time in over 15 years, I have no rodents in my house (my kids graduated from hamsters to rats, and we’ve had many colonies of the latter). As soon as the last rat was gone, a stray cat adopted us.
I am a master of Gregg shorthand, a disappearing breed. I can capture bursts of 140 – 160 words per minute (wpm), and can comfortably record proceedings pretty much verbatim at about 100 wpm. I still occasionally freelance recording minutes for boards of directors.




Heather Doherty

HEATHER DOHERTY fell completely in love with writing while taking creative writing courses with Athabasca University. Motivated by her university success, and a life-long dream of becoming a novelist, she later enrolled in the Humber School for Writers under the mentorship of David Adams Richards. Her first literary novel was published in 2006. While still writing dark literary (as well as not-so-dark children's lit), she is beyond thrilled to be writing paranormal/horror with Norah. Heather lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick with her family.

 





Alex Robbins, Brooke Saunders and Maryanne Hemlock could not be more different, yet they all have something in common—deep and soul-searing pain. They are also all students at Streep Academy, a boarding school just one step away from juvie, where they’ve come to complete high school. The three have been relegated to Harvell House, the residence reserved for the hardest cases, the so-called Rejects from Reject Row.
 

In the forbidden attic of the old Victorian house-turned-residence, the girls discover the diary of Connie Harvell, a young woman who was confined and abused there some 50 years ago. In the end, Connie’s attic prison couldn’t hold her—not completely. She found a way out. At least a dark part of her did. And after reading her diary, the girls discover they can escape at will too. A terrifying, thrilling flight from their bodies and their troubles.
 

But God help them, their pain isn’t all they leave behind when they join with the night.
 

And God help anyone who’s wronged them... 
 

Buy Links – Comes the Night 

Amazon Kindle:  http://amzn.com/B00AEVUERY







 


Brooke flopped down on her bed. It took some doing, but eventually she calmed herself down and emptied her mind of the Seth/Herr Kommandant/Mother noise. That’s when she heard it.
Silence.
Oh, man, that was good! She listened to it some more, sinking into it. Before long, though, she felt the tug of sleep. Felt it and sat right up. No way was she wasting quality alone time by sleeping. She could do that any time.
Besides, there was something she’d been meaning to do…
She got up and crossed to Alex’s corner of the room. That girl was acting strange. To hear her, you’d think she’d turned totally straight-edge. The Alex Robbins Brooke knew from last year was seriously hardcore. Yet she’d kept up the act—if it was in fact an act—for more than five weeks now. Could it be for real? In Brooke’s experience, no one did that kind of one-eighty without a damned good reason. And Brooke was going to sleuth it out.
She started with the tried and true spots—under the mattress, under the bed, tucked under the socks in the dresser drawer—but they yielded nothing. Nor did the drawer of the night table by Alex’s bed or the pockets of her jackets hanging in the shared wardrobe. She was about to give up the search when her gaze fell on the narrow, single-shelf bookcase that doubled as a headboard for the twin bed. All the beds had them. Brooke thought it was the hokiest thing she’d ever seen, a misbegotten marriage of office furniture and bedroom furniture, but Maryanne loved hers, filling it with things she’d brought from home.
Geez, that girl was different, always talking to herself. And she didn’t swear. Ever. Wouldn’t say shit if she had a mouth full of it. God knew Brooke had done her best these past weeks to try to drag a cuss word out of her.
Brooke turned her attention back to the bookcase thingie at the head of Alex’s bed. Alex actually used hers for the purpose for which it was intended, to wit, stashing her textbooks. Except one of the books didn’t look like the others lined up there…
She leaned in to examine the spine.
A diary! That’s abso-friggin’-lutely what it was!
Heart beating unaccountably fast, Brooke reached for the little tan-colored book. Damn, it was old. How long had Alex been keeping it? Since kindergarten?
She flipped the cover open, her gaze racing over the yellowed page. Within seconds she realized it wasn’t her roommate’s diary. It belonged to some chick named Connie. She turned the first page, then another and another.
“Holy shit!” Brooke sank down on Alex’s bed, completely engrossed. So engrossed that she failed to heed the sound of feet on the stairs and the creak of the floorboards right outside the door. The echo of those sounds only registered when the door flew open and Maryanne breezed into the room.
Breezed in and then froze.
“Brooke? What are you doing over there? And is that a diary?” Her voice rose with accusation as she looked down at the handwritten pages. “You’re reading Alex’s diary?”
“It’s not Alex’s.”
“But you got it out of her things.”
Brooke rolled her eyes. “So sue me.”
“Have you been looking through my things, too? Is that why you skipped out early? To snoop?”
Brooke felt her face flushing, but managed to give Maryanne a coolly derisive smile. “Sweetie, I haven’t seen anything about you so far that’s remotely interesting enough to make me want to look through your things.”
Something flashed in the other girl’s eyes, and Brooke almost regretted being such a bitch. Almost.
“So my stuff is safe, but Alex’s is fair game?” There was no mistaking the coldness in Maryanne’s voice. “Why’s that, Brooke? Because Alex is obviously sad? Hurt over something? Pain interests you?”
Brooke stood, huffing out an angry breath. “Because she’s acting all straight-edge all of a sudden and I want to know why.”
“How about maybe she grew up a little over the summer?”
“Yeah, right. That must be why she went out and got that new snakebite, to prove how grown up she is now. And here I was thinking she’d done it just to be all scener-than-thou with the scene crowd.”
The other girl’s face went blank. “Snakebite?”
“Duh. The lip rings, one on either side. Looks kinda like a— ”
“Snakebite,” Maryanne finished.
“I’m telling you, that girl is hardcore. I don’t know what this act is about, but don’t expect it to last for long. Alex Robbins is a party animal.”
“So it’s okay to read her diary?”
“I told you, it’s not her diary! It’s way old. Belongs to some chick called Connie Harvell. I think she must have lived right here, at Harvell House. And omigod, you should read it! I just read a page or two, but—”
A thump interrupted them. Both girls looked up to see Alex standing in the open doorway. The thump they’d heard was her book bag hitting the floor.
“That’s mine!” An ashen-faced Alex flew across the room and tore the diary from Brooke’s unresisting hands. She stood there, chest heaving, looking every bit as badass as her reputation. “What the hell are you doing with it? With any of my stuff?”
Because she couldn’t resist, Brooke turned to Maryanne. “Yeah, what are we doing with Alex’s stuff?”
“What the—” Maryanne sputtered. “I wasn’t doing anything with her stuff and you know it!”
Brooke laughed. “Just teasing. God, girl, you have to learn to chill or you’re going to be one big fat target, living in this house.” Then she turned to Alex. “So this is yours, huh?”
“Yes.” Alex thrust out her chin, a clear giveaway.
“Funny, because it seems to belong to a girl named Connie Harvell, who used to live here decades ago. So I’m thinking, maybe you found it laying around the house somewhere. But a document like this—an artifact like this—I don’t think you can claim ownership. In fact, we should probably turn it in to Mrs. Betts.”
At the mention of the housemother’s name, Alex paled further. “No! You can’t do that. Connie…Connie wouldn’t have wanted that.”
Brooke lifted an eyebrow. “You seem to know Connie pretty well. Have you read it all the way through yet?”
Alex’s lips thinned. Brooke took that as a yes.
“Hey, maybe we could read it together,” Maryanne suggested. “From the beginning.”
From the horrified expression on Alex’s face, you’d think Maryanne had suggested they slide a particularly nasty porno movie into the DVD player and pop some popcorn.
Losing patience, Brooke snapped, “Face it, Alex, you gotta share. You can’t keep it to yourself any longer. ‘Finders, keepers’ doesn’t apply here.”
Alex gripped the book tight to her chest. “Are you kidding? You’ll just be all sarcastic like you always are. Connie Harvell had a tough life and a tougher death.”
Tougher death? What the hell was in those pages?
“I won’t have you mocking her. You hear me, Brooke?” Alex continued. “I swear to God, I’d rather give the diary to that judgmental old bat, Mrs. Betts.”
Brooke felt her face slacken with shock and hurt. “You think I’d really do that? I mean, I know I can be a bitch, but dude. Poke fun at a dead girl?” She shook her head. “Screw this.” Scooping up her shoes, she stalked toward the door.
“Wait!”

Enter for a chance to win your choice of a PRINT or digital copy of
Comes the Night.
International shipping Okay.
 
 
 
 

6 comments:

Jennifer Haile said...

Sounds like a really good series!

-Jen Haile

Norah Wilson said...

Thanks, Jennifer! We're pretty excited about it. :)

tsam said...

wanna read this!

Bethie said...

My wishlist keeps getting longer!

Grace T. Lindo said...

this sounds like a good read! thank you for the giveaway!

VampedChik said...

I have this series on my wishlist! Thanks so much!
-Amber