Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Divine Vices by Melissa Parkin: Interview

Author Interview

Welcome! Thank you for stopping in and letting us find out more about you and your work.   Tell us about your current release.
Divine Vices is the first book in an anticipated saga, revolving about sixteen-year-old high school junior, Cassie Foster. She's a smart, sassy, and academically driven protagonist. Having suffered from a recent family tragedy, she is determined now more than ever to keep her peaceful life in perfect order. Unfortunately, the new resident bad boy, Jackson Matthews, doesn’t see things her way and threatens to bring her whole world tumbling down.

Having just rolled into town, this devilish charmer seems to have brought more with him than just his flirtations. Suddenly surrounded by deaths, missing girls, and even cult related activity, Cassie is determined to unearth the culprit, but finds herself in an emotional tug of war as Jackson jeopardizes her entire logic with the inexplicable attraction she’s developed for him.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?
A bit of both. I always have a general plot outline ready before writing, but sometimes a story can take on a life of its own, and I’m more than willing to follow it to wherever it may go. When I originally started writing Divine Vices, I had pretty much everything mapped out, but a particular character took on a life of his own that I wound up completely deviating from the initial storyline. And it worked out better that way.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
I think when writing in first-person narration, you tend to let bits of yourself ink onto the page, whether it’s intentional or not. My protagonist, Cassie, definitely did pick up some of my traits.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
Having recently read Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me” series, I’d definitely have to put Warner in the spotlight. He’s my favorite kind of character, one that requires the reader to peel away all the complicated layers in order to see the person really lurking underneath. I’m always captivated by villains/antiheros. They always seem to have more depth. Anyone can be good by natural. A proper villain/antihero though didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to be cruel or uncaring. For me, their back-story is the story worth fleshing out.

What do you think makes a good story?
First and foremost, unforgettable characters. It doesn’t matter if you have all the razzle-dazzle, impressive explosions, and vibrant fireworks in the world on display. Without at least one worthwhile character, the story won’t be worth caring about. Get yourself a Tyler Durden or Hannibal Lecter, and I’m in!

Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?
I most certainly do! It’s a quote by Paul Newman that says, “If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.”

What one word best describes you?

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
Absolutely! It’s a vital tool for me in the writing process. Each of the chapters in my book are actually named after the songs that I listened to while writing them.

I also found certain artists to be most influential for certain characters. For my protagonist, Cassie, I listened to a lot of Halestorm. Led Zeppelin encapsulated New Haven’s resident bad boy, Jackson Matthews. And Panic! At the Disco was a favorite for Ian.         

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

Right now, my top five most played songs are:

1.“Kashmir” by: Led Zeppelin
2.“Closer” by: Kings of Leon
3.“Hurricane” by: 30 Seconds To Mars
4.“Stigmatized” by: The Calling
5.“Familiar Taste Of Poison” by: Halestorm


Danger seldom leaves its victims unscathed in the ways of seduction, and this lesson is one that sixteen-year-old Cassie Foster now knows all too well.

Nine months following the traumatic accident that claimed the life of her mother and sister, this high school junior has at last found a fresh start in the quiet town of New Haven, Maine. In the company of her best friends, Ian and Gwen, she’s bracing the usual turmoil of adolescence and taking all in stride…until the new transfer student, Jackson Matthews, comes walking into her life. He’s arrogant, sarcastic, roguish, devastatingly sexy, and the very last thing Cassie wants to entertain. But when circumstances drive these two together, she finds herself a bit too close for comfort as their bond intensifies. Plagued by unexplainable events, a sudden string of disappearances, and even a cult-related murder, Cassie begins to fear for her life. Is it all just a coincidence that these happenings began when this Casanova strolled into town, or has she in fact fallen for a real lady-killer, or worse?

True solace for this Chicagoland native is no further than a minute's walk away from her, right to the keyboard. Having always been blessed/cursed with an overactive imagination, she's constantly encouraging her predisposition with late night writing fits fueled by her mild Dr. Pepper addiction. A connoisseur of music, movies, and literature, Melissa is always finding inspiration in everything around her. When she's not diving into the depths of her mind's eye, you will undoubtedly find her with a book, a camera, her iPod, or a can of Dr. Pepper in hand.
To keep up with her, you can follow her at:

Or you can find her at her blog or on Goodreads.


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