This week on Ask the Author I have YA Paranormal author Temple West. Her debut novel, Velvet, is said to hit the stores on May 12th.
Here is her book and the interview:
Velvet by Temple West
Published: May 12th 2015 by Swoon Reads
Number of Pages: 416 pages (Paperback)
First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don't fall in love.
After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.
Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart? (goodreads.com)
Interview with Temple West
1 – Describe Velvet with six adjectives.
Saucy. Smoochy. Funny. Serious. Mythical.
2 – In a genre as crowded as paranormal, especially the Vampire department, how hard is it to stand out? And in what way do you think does Velvet stand out and offer something that should make people want to read it even more?
This is an excellent question and one that I can only answer with a bit of a bias, since all writers think their own work is pure genius and indubitably original. That being said, I think Velvet stands out in its portrayal of young friendship, young love, and the struggle to grow up and mature and become your own person. In addition, I tailored my mythology to fit the world I created. For instance, the vampires in Velvet diverge from traditional vampire mythology (or biology) in some ways, while maintaining the spirit and allure of traditional vampirism in others. Also -- and I can't say too much here because it has to do with books 2 and 3 -- anyone who may draw parallels between Velvet and other YA vampire novels should stick around because I promise the series goes somewhere that I don't think I've seen in another vampire franchise.
3 – What’s the thing you like most about Caitlin, the protagonist of Velvet, and least about Adrian, the hot-bad boy neighbor?
Caitlin is passionate. She fails hard, a lot, but she feels things deeply and cares deeply and sticks up for herself, or rather, she's at least learning that she can stick up for herself. She starts out pretty rough, hostile even, but she grows exponentially as a character.
Adrian is the opposite: steady, predictable, studious, almost placid. While he, too, feels things deeply -- very deeply, actually -- it's buried much further under the surface. It's harder for him to emote, to relate, to interact on anything more than the shallowest social level. As he spends more time with Caitlin, that begins to shift, and he doesn't entirely know what to do about it.
4 – Caitlin is an aspiring designer, who are her favorite designers and why?
This is a hard question! Mostly because I tried to strike a balance in the book between mentioning real things and places and people, and leaving some things ambiguous because social references don't always age well in novels. If I had to pick a real-life designer, it'd probably be Coco Chanel. Caitlin's got a classic edge to her style, while also being modern.
5 - How long did it take you from first idea until publishing deal?
It took 6 months to write the first draft, back when I was 19 and a freshman in college. I tinkered with the manuscript on and off for the next five years. I was 24 when I learned it had been chosen for publication, and I'm 25 now that it's actually hitting shelves, so about 5-6 years.
6 - How do you feel about the fact that in only a few more months thousands of readers will be able to hold and read your debut novel?
Is it weird if I say I'm not sure? Honestly, it still doesn't seem real. I think when I can finally walk into a bookstore and hold a copy in my hands I'll be just unbearably happy.
7 – What’s your writing routine? Write daily or when inspiration hits?
I am slowly teaching myself to develop routines, but I've traditionally very much been an inspiration-strikes type of writer.
8 – Book adaptations – movie or TV series?
I'd say it depends on how long the book series is. Outlander, Game of Thrones, and The Vampire Diaries all seem to be benefitting from the long-term television format. It lets the story breathe and grow and stretch and cover the most amount of the original material. However, I couldn't imagine something like The Hunger Games or even Twilight as a TV show. I think if it's 3 books or less, they should be movies, 4 books or more should be considered for television. Although Harry Potter definitely breaks that rule, so, hmm...perhaps location has something to do with it. Is the world cinematic, or fairly normal, etc. Although shoot, Game of Thrones breaks that rule!
9 – What are your 3 favorite books and why?
"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor because it's hands-down the best YA dialogue I have EVER read. Also, her world-building is just so phenomenally different from everything else in paranormal or fantasy YA that it blows me away. Incredible writer.
"The Lies of Locke Lamora" would be perhaps my favorite book of all time. It's not YA, but it is the most satisfying novel I've ever read. The plot was so carefully and intricately constructed, the dialogue had me literally laughing out loud, the world felt complete and rich and detailed, and I cared deeply about the characters. I think I've read it 5 times. It's amazing.
I don't even think I can choose a 3rd book. There are too many.
10 - If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight?
I'd definitely be one of the creeping-around-hiding-in-trees sorts of people. Hide to survive!
Temple West, debut author of the YA paranormal romance Velvet, is as nerdy in real life as she is on the Twitter. Armed with a very shiny English degree, she spent four months in Oxford holed up at the Radcliffe Camera amongst the hush of ancient books and the rich musk of academia. Returning to Los Angeles, she acquired a concurrent degree in film, mostly as an excuse to write essays about The Princess Bride and Hook. She can sew (poorly), drive stick (please fasten your seatbelt), and mostly lift her feet off the ground while stuttering into first gear on a very small motorcycle. She currently lives in Seattle and is the proud mother to a one-year-old laptop and a vintage Remington typewriter.
She loves getting questions on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and her website (or on Goodreads), so don't be afraid to submit a question!