I have read a lot of vampire books. More than my fair share and certainly more than I ever intended to read. So many vampire books that when my father and I were talking about one of my favorite fictional characters at lunch, he asked in his sarcastic tone, "Well, Mary, is he a vampire?"
("no, dad, he's a faerie. Don't you listen?" I replied)
But this one sticks out from the rest. Thunder and Blood is a thrilling story about what happens when you drift through the fog,turn to the person (or dog) closest to you and say "Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas (or in this case, Thunder Bay, anymore)." But instead of a beautiful place with a Yellow Brick road, you enter a world of creatures you thought were meerly myths. Stacey Voss has created a brilliant story that will undoubtedly keep you on the edge of your seat.
When Sarah Ingram and her sister Christine left Thunder Bay on a chilly November afternoon, they thought that they were going on a weekend getaway, leaving their problems behind. What they didn't realize was that they would end up in a world that was, in many ways, very different from their own, but at the same time eerily familiar. Separated almost at once, the two women found themselves struggling to come to terms with the reality of their situation. How did this world become so different from the one they knew? What secrets were their new 'friends' hiding from them? Was it possible that there could be more to the vampire stories from their own world than simple myth?
As apart of her Virtual Tour stop, Stacey agreed to do a mini-interview with me by choosing her five favorite quesitons from my previous interview with Victoria Schwab!
Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my very first short story when I was five years old. I kept at it all through elementary and high school. I never imagined I'd be able to write a whole novel. Novels are HARD! I would always get stuck in that dreaded editing loop, where you get to a certain point and can't get any further because you just can't resist going back through what you've written already. Nanowrimo helped me to get past that because the whole goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days without editing at all. I managed it despite being on my honeymoon for two of the weeks.
What is your favourite part about being a writer?
I love watching my characters develop. The coolest thing is when they do something completely unexpected and I just sit back after writing it out and wonder "where did THAT come from?" Thunder and Blood developed like that. Lord Radek's late night discussion with Christine was like that. Whenever I'd get stuck I'd go sit somewhere quiet (usually in the bath) and just picture myself in a conversation with my characters. I'd really try to get into their heads and figure out what they, as a real person, would do in that situation. I know it sounds crazy, but I never claimed to be completely sane. :P
What advice can you give to young adults who want to write professionally when they are older?
Write as much as you can, and get involved in any writing activities offered by your school or community. Most importantly, constantly strive to improve and learn to take constructive criticism and learn from it. My writing is like my baby, and my first reaction when someone doesn't like something is to get upset. You need to learn to step back, breath, and look objectively at your own work from the other person's point of view. You may decide to take their advice (or not) but at the very least it gives you a glimpse into the mind of a different type of reader.
How did you get the idea for your book?
I first got the idea when I was a teenager, driving through the countryside just outside of my city. I was just cruising around, probably thinking about boys, when this incredibly thick fog just seemed to come out of nowhere. It was exactly like I described it in my book – that's where I got the image of the fog sliding over the windshield like a silk sheet. It was terrifying at the time, but when I finally emerged from the fog unscathed, I thought, "Wow, what a cool idea for a book!"
It took me several years before I actually used the idea and the first time I attempted to write Thunder and Blood (which was called something completely different at the time) I stopped very early on. It was put away again for about 8 years before I actually wrote it during the 2007 Nanowrimo.
How do you come up with your characters? Do you base them off of people you know?
Well, Sarah was developed when I first attempted to write the story. She was based off of where I was at, emotionally and physically, when I was about 24. People always ask me if Sarah is me, and I try to explain that she is who I was back then. I'm a very different person now, having remarried and lived in Europe for three years.
Adelaide is the only other character based off of someone I know, and that's only physically. My best friend is a beautiful red-head and I wanted to include someone like that in the book.
Other than those two, all of my characters are completely fictional.
One response that I found intriguing was the fact that Stacey wrote this book during NaNoWriMo, something that I just registered for today. Maybe someday you all will be reading my NaNoWriMo work as well and hopefully liking it as much as I liked Stacey's!
To find out more about Stacey and her book, Thunder and Blood, you can visit her author site, follow her on twitter, join her Facebook fan page or group, find her on Myspace, look her up on Shelfari, Goodreads, and Gather. You can also view her book trailers (Video 1 and Video 2) on Youtube. To purchase Thunder and Blood you can either click on the cover image of her book above or go to Cafe Press, although she does email free PDFs of Thunder and Blood by request on her site!
In honour of her Virtual Book Tour, Stacey going to let me offer my readers 25% off the normal book price (10.99 US) using the discount code 3Z8WYLY2 on the printer’s storefront. That code will be active until November 30th. So go buy your book!! Trust me when I tell you, you won't regret it!!
Thank you Stacey for letting me host this virtual tour!! It was a pleasure and I hope that you will include me in future tours!!
More to come,