Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Interview + Giveaway with V. Shaw, author of The Fragile Things

Today I am extremely excited to have author V.Shaw on the blog as part of our Spook-tastic Halloween event! V. Shaw's second instalment in The Fragile Things serial hits the virtual shelves today! The wonderful author is here to talk about her novels and share with us her favorite Halloween-y reads and spooky stories!

The first part of The Fragile Things is FREE on Amazon today (the promo is scheduled for today, but if it's not yet free give it a day!), so be sure to grab it while the promo lasts! I also have the pleasure of hosting a giveaway of the second part on the blog today, so be sure to scroll all the way down and enter! :) It's a perfect Halloween-y read!

Hi Vari! It's a great pleasure to have you stopping by Bookish! Thanks for taking part in our Halloween Event. Congrats on your most recent release, part II in your horror novel The Fragile Things! *throws confetti in the air* How would you describe it to those who haven't heard of it yet?

Hey! Thanks for having me! Oh, that's a good question. I'd describe The Fragile Things as a "horror novel with heart". It's a serial which takes place in Blackcross, a village smack-bang in the middle of nowhere, burdened by something of a dark past. There are a whole host of larger-than-life characters and creatures within the book, but the tale mostly revolves around Jennifer (a teenager dealing with a heroin addiction) and Ebony (a vampire struggling with her murderous impulses). Despite its strong subject matter, it's a tale about friendship and hope and breaking free from the past. As dark as The Fragile Things gets, there's also a fair bit of humor in there too. In terms of tone, it's a weird mix of Let the Right One In and Skins

Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind it?

Sure! I'm a life-long fan of horror, but I was inspired by the idea of creating a story where the real horror could be friends and loved ones, not necessarily the things which go bump-in-the-night. I wanted to have the horror factor rooted in things which could happen. I was also inspired by abandoned places and the sheer amount of stories attached to them which are lost/forgotten. 

What were the challenges in bringing this story to life? Did you have to do any research for your book?

Hmm. Initially, I thought it would be challenging to dabble in the vampire sub-genre and bring something new to the table. Especially since there are so many amazing stories out there! Fortunately, there's a lot more going on in The Fragile Things than the vampire element. But it was still really fun to come up with the story's own brand of vampire mythology. In terms of research, I did have to look into drugs and addiction, the help available for addicts and how such an illness can impact family and friends. I also did a bit of research in old mining villages to help in creating the history of Blackcross. 

What was the most fun part of writing your book?

Anything involving both Jennifer and Ebony, especially when they have a crazy scheme in mind. They're just completely different from each other and I can never predict what they're going to do or say next, which might be an odd thing for an author to say but it's true. 

Can you share with us a few of your favorite quotes from The Fragile Things?

I like a lot of Jennifer's one-liners, but I probably prefer the way she bounces off Ebony. Ebony kind of reminds me of a vampire version of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory (which is an odd things to say) and I love how she awkwardly responds to so many of the (sometimes filthy) things Jennifer comes away with. I have a quote in mind, but I can't share because it's a bit of a spoiler!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Hmm, that's another good question. I think, ideally, I'd like readers to grasp their own messages from the story, something unique to them. 

Halloween is almost upon us. To me that means horror movie nights with popcorn, tricks and (hopefully) stacks of yummy treats, and, perhaps most of all, the chance to scare someone and experience the thrill of being scared myself. What does Halloween mean to you? 

Goodness, all of those things. I love Halloween so much. For me, it basically means having fun and doing something spooky. One of my friends is always scaring me at Halloween. It's become something of a tradition. I know she's going to prank me, but it still scares me anyway. Anyway, I decided to get her back one year. We had been watching The Exorcist and she was sleeping in the bed next to mine. I waited until she was fast asleep, got up and quietly fetched a stool. Inspired by the levitation scene, I carefully put the stool on my bed, lay across it and covered it with my bed cover - basically, it looked like I was floating. I prodded my friend and her reaction was pretty much comedy gold. She still hasn't forgiven me... 

Do you have any real-life spooky stories to share with us? Any supernatural experiences or blood-chilling encounters?

I would absolutely love a supernatural experience. I am getting locked in the Edinburgh Vaults for an entire night next month and I've heard that's a really spooky place. I think the guys from Ghost Adventures did an investigation there, so fingers crossed! 

What are some of your favorite scary stories? Any favorite horror or thriller books/authors? 

Anything by Stephen King, Joe Hill or Clive Barker. It is one of my favourite books and I've just finished Horns which was fabulous. 

What's the scariest / most memorable horror movie you ever saw?

It's got to be the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. I just love the concept of Freddy Krueger attacking his victims via the dream world. The idea of an entity infiltrating your dreams just captured my imagination and scared me so much when I was a kid. 

Fill in the blanks:

1) If I was magically transported back in time to the Dark Ages, I'd...probably be burned at stake within ten minutes of arriving.

2) I'm a pro at...getting smacked in the face when attempting to play *any* kind of sport. 

3) I'm addicted to...Peanut butter M&Ms

4) I'm scared of... Pigeons. Any kind of bird flying over my head. I have a constant, not-completely-irrational fear of getting crapped on.

5) The last book I faked reading was...Most of my University reading list...

Last question: I'm super curious and I'm sure your fans are all wondering about it too: when can we expect part III of The Fragile Things?? Can you share some juicy details to keep our appetites going?

I am really, really looking forward to releasing part III. It's going to be the biggest segment of the story so far and it's a real game-changer. I can't give too much away, but the ending is really shocking.

Goodreads | Amazon
The Fragile Thins by V. Shaw

Published April 30th 2013 by Pendle
Two girls on the road to self-destruction.
A village upon the brink of collapse.
A past which refuses to die.

The beginning of an epic four-part horror serial.

At seventeen-years-old, Jennifer should have the world at her feet. Instead, she’s an ex-heroin addict living in a council estate with Tony, her boyfriend and former dealer. Shunned by her family and friends, she dreams of something greater than she’s been given. 

Beautiful and strange, Ebony has moved in across the street. She’s just lost the one person in her lonely existence to cancer. She’s also a centuries old vampire, struggling to cope with murderous outbursts and the desire to be something more.

When these two lost souls meet, an unusual friendship begins. 

But with the news of Morris, Tony’s sadistic best friend and drug-dealing partner, being released from prison, Jennifer knows it’s only a matter of time before his path of vengeance leads to her and Ebony, too. 

With a cast of memorable characters, a village full of secrets, and a gripping story, The Fragile Things is a layered tale of friendship, hope, survival and what it truly means to be human.

WHAT YOU CAN WIN: 1 e-copy of The Fragile Things #2 (your choice of format)
a scary book of choice from TBD (International)
[there will be 2 winners!] 
ENDS: October 31st
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