For this weeks edition of Ask the Author I've reached out to Lorie Langdon, the co-author of Doon and author of Gilt Hollow. I'm very interested in the latter so of course I couldn't resist writing her to ask about an interview. Luckily, she agreed to do it!
Here are her A's to my Q's:
Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon
Expected Publication: September 27th 2016 by Blink
Number of Pages: 304 Pages (Hardcover)
Willow Lamott’s best friend is a murderer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. For four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow reminded him what he’d been missing. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton fears his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves, especially the girl he left behind. (goodreads.com)
Interview with Lorie Langdon
1 – Describe Gilt Hollow with a haiku or twitter pitch.
Since poetry isn’t really my thing, I’ll give you the twitter pitch: A boy convicted of manslaughter returns home seeking revenge and the life he lost, including the girl he left behind.
2 – In a genre like mystery/thriller, how hard is it to stand out? And in what way do you think does Gilt Hollow stand out and offer something that should make people want to read it even more?
For any book to stand out, it needs a strong hook; a quick high-concept line that hooks the reader. It’s actually what hooked me on the idea of writing this story: Willow’s best friend is a murder, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it.
Outside of that, as with any new book, strong writing, a compelling cover, and a good marketing budget helps. ☺
3 – What was the most challenging thing about writing Gilt Hollow and which scene was the most fun to write?
The most challenging aspect of writing Gilt Hollow was researching the legal side of the story, such as: Ashton’s requirements to his parole officer after his release from juvie, the details surrounding his conviction, and how local law enforcement would react to Ashton’s return and the crimes that seem to follow him.
The most fun scene to write was the Sleepy Hollow Ball! It’s a tradition in Gilt Hollow that the mayor throws a huge costume party for everyone in town in the fall. It’s eerie and atmospheric, the perfect place to set up the chilling climax of the book!
4 – What do you like most and least about your main character, Willow?
Willow was an interesting character to write. When she refuses to stop defending Ashton’s innocence, even after his conviction, she’s alternately bullied and ostracized by her classmates and even some of the townspeople. As a result, her type-A personality becomes her worst enemy and manifests in the form of panic attacks. In the beginning of the book, we see her retreating and not standing up for herself, but when Ashton comes back, he awakens something fierce inside of her. I loved writing her as she emerged from her shell and took control of her life.
5 - In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
I love this story as it is! If I had to change something, it would be to add a little more about Ashton’s friend and roommate in juvie, Toryn.
6 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by thousands of people and how do you feel now, years later, before your next book will be released?
Did the feeling change or is it still the same? Well, Gilt Hollow will be my fifth published novel. But the first time I realized my book DOON would be read by thousands of people, I first felt disbelief, shortly followed by terror (what if they hate it?), and then a wondrous kind of joy in knowing that my dreams of sharing my stories with the world were coming true. I still sometimes feel this way when I get fan mail or hear from readers across the globe.
7 – What do you think about the cover? Is it anything like you imagined it being?
The Gilt Hollow cover is beautiful and a bit creepy, just like this story. I love the trepidations look on the model’s face playing Willow and the boy lurking in the forest. It’s perfect!
8 – Seeing as you’re a YA author I’m sure you also read YA, so I wondered, what were the last three books you’ve read and what did you think of them?
The White Rose by Amy Ewing: a good sequel to The Jewel. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Lois Lane, Fallout by Gwenda Bond: a fresh take on one of my childhood role models.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: My absolute favorite read of the year!
9 – Book adaptations – movie or TV series?
TV series…if it’s done right.
10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
Write every day until it becomes a habit. Also, learn as much as you can about creative writing and the publishing industry. The biggest step I took towards becoming a published author was joining a local writer’s organization. The national society of children’s book writers and illustrators (www.scbwi.org/) has local chapters all over the country. It’s inspiring to connect with other writers and the monthly workshops these groups provide are a great way to learn.
11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
The power to heal. I have Crohn’s disease and I’ve passed it along to both of my sons. It’s a chronic illness that effects the digestive system and there is no cure. Healing others from illness is the most amazing superpower I can imagine!
This was fun! Thanks so much for having me on your blog!
About the Author
Lorie Langdon is co-author of DOON, a YA reimagining of the musical Brigadoon, available now from Blink/Harper Collins! www.doonseries.com
A few years ago, she left her thriving corporate career to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word.
Readers can find her online at:
Twitter : https://twitter.com/LorieLangdon
Instagram : https://instagram.com/lorielangdon_doonseries
GILT HOLLOW on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25041551-gilt-hollow