Monday, 2 September 2013

An Interview with Laura Bickle + Giveaway

Tomorrow it's the release day of The Outside, the sequel of The Hallowed Ones. I've been looking forward to reading The Outside since last year when The Hallowed Ones blew me away with its awesomeness.

Laura Bickle, author of these two amazing YA books, the Anya Kalinczyk series and the Oracle series which she writes as Alayna Williams, found the time to drop by for an interview and she has an awesome giveaway as well.

Welcome back to Pearls Cast Before A McPig.
It's always a pleasure to have you drop by.
Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?

Hi! Thank you so much for the chance to chat with you and your readers!

My name is Laura Bickle. My background is in criminal justice and library science. When I’m not patrolling the stacks at the public library, I’m dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. I live in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, where we’re owned by five mostly-reformed feral cats.

Tomorrow is the release day of The Outside, the sequel to the amazing The Hallowed Ones. What can we expect from it?

I’m very excited! At the end of THE HALLOWED ONES, Katie and her friends were exiled from Katie’s Amish community just as a plague of vampirism has taken root. As the title to THE OUTSIDE suggests, Katie has to confront the devastation in the world beyond her community. Her chief challenge will be protecting those she loves and her own survival in a very dangerous new landscape.

Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

I have occasionally used characteristics or quirks of people I know in my books. But I feel like it would be a bit invasive to take apart the entire personality of someone I know and really get into their head. It would definitely be crossing a line for me.

Are there any other projects you’re working on or thinking about starting in the near future?

I’m working on a couple of YA and adult projects at the moment. They’re more contemporary supernatural stories, which are my favorites to write. I love the process of creating a realistic world and then adding a supernatural element that turns it upside down.

If you could meet any characters in your book, who would it be and why?

One of my favorite characters is the Hexenmeister. He is something that doesn’t exist in the Amish communities I’ve seen. In my story, he’s something of a holdover from the Old World, carrying with him some Pennsylvania Dutch superstitions. He’s perceived by the others in his community as something of a crazy old man who is responsible for painting hex signs and writing letters to God.

But the Hexenmeister knows about the vampires that have just awoken. He explains to Katie how this “Darkness” was dispatched in previous centuries in Europe, before the Amish came to America. He has his own, very traditional perspective on what the evil is that goes back to Biblical times. His folklore tries to explain science, but he doesn’t have the full picture.

The Hexenmeister is the wizard of the story. I’d love to meet him and listen to his stories.

Where can you be found when you’re not at your desk writing?

Usually, I can be found under a heap of snoring cats! But when the cats aren’t sprawled all over me, I’m puttering with my collection of Tarot cards, dusting my She-Ra action figure collection, or reading comic books. I recently started taking karate lessons, so I’m also spending a good deal of time staring at my feet and counting steps and punches in Japanese.

What did you do to celebrate the release of your first book?

I went to the local pub for dinner with my husband and I fell face-first into the biggest platter of fish and chips I’d ever seen. There was also chocolate cake.

What is the best thing about being a published author?

The best thing is hearing from readers who enjoyed my work. That always makes my day!

The second best thing is getting an e-mail with my cover art attached. I love getting cover art, because it’s a chance to see the story and my protagonist through someone else’s eyes.

What authors have been an influence to you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

Robin McKinley’s HERO AND THE CROWN started my love of fantasy. I read it when I was a pre-teen, and fell in love with fantasy ever after. It was the first book I’d read that had a female protagonist who slew her own dragons. I was hooked.

I tend to read nonfiction while I’m writing. But I always read Lauren DeStefano’s books. The Chemical Garden Trilogy is one of my all-time favorites. I love her worlds and her characters and the dilemmas she places them in – just extraordinary stuff. I can’t wait for The Internment Chronicles.

Thanks for your visit and enjoy the release day of The Outside tomorrow :)

About The Outside:

One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…

After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


Giveaway Time

Laura has kindly offered a copy of either The Hallowed Ones or The Outside to one reader of my blog!

The winner is: Lea K.

A winner will be picked at random on September 23th.
Open internationally to everyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway.


Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.

At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$

And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.


Laura Bickle said...

Thanks so much, Sullivan! *hugs*

Jeffe Kennedy said...

Happy release day to Laura!

Barbara E. said...

Congrats Laura, on the release of The Outside. I'm looking forward to reading it. I know I'll love it just as much as The Hallowed Ones.

Laura Bickle said...

Thank you so much, Jeffe and Barbara! I'm very excited! :-D

Ana LucĂ­a said...

I loved The Hallowed ones, can't wait to read The Outside and find out what happens next and how it ends.

Thank you for the giveaway, Laura :) Fingers crossed.


Laura Bickle said...

Thank you so much, Ana Lucia! I hope you enjoy! :-)

titania86 said...

These books sound really good! I also like that Laura is a cat lover. :)

miki said...

Congrats on the New release Laura, and now i will be able to discover something from long, after a long, long wait, hank to Sullivan ( thank you once again!!!)

erin said...

Congrats to Laura on the new release!!! I really enjoyed Hallowed Ones :) Can't wait to get my copy of the Outside... it's winging it's way from amazon today!!!!

Laura Bickle said...

Thanks, titania86! I'm the crazy cat lady in our neighborhood. All the strays seem to find their way here...and ultimately get inside for their happily ever after. ;-)

Thanks, miki! I hope you like it! :-D

Yay, erin! I'm so glad that you enjoyed THE HALLOWED ONES. I hope you like THE OUTSIDE just as much! Let me know what you think!

Sullivan McPig said...

Thanks once again for dropping by, Laura. It's always fun when you visit our blog :-)

Mary Preston said...

Either of these books will be brilliant thank you.

Steph F. said...

Congrats on the release. Can't wait to start reading this series. Really unique concept.

Laura Bickle said...

Thank you so much for having me, Sullivan! You are my favorite!

Thanks for stopping by, Mary!

Thank you, Steph! I hope that you enjoy!

AvenueLecture said...

Thanks so much !

Lynn K. said...

I have The Outside pre-ordered! Can't wait for it to be released. ;)

Laura Bickle said...

Thanks, AvenueLecture!

Lynn K., I hope you like it! Many *hugs*!

Blodeuedd said...

I love her other series and want to try this YA too .D

Aleksandra said...

Awesome interview! I'm not entering, since I own both of these books, but I loved The Hallowed Ones, and I decided to postpone reading The Outside until October, if I can resist until than ;) Anyway, I agree, the Hexenmeister would be an interesting character to meet, and I can't wait for your upcoming books, Laura, I love your books, although I've told you that before :D

Sobbin said...

I read the Hallowed one until 3 in morning! Can't wait to read Outside :)

Ishtar said...

Hi !

Thank you for the giveaway !

Coccinelle said...

Wow !! It seems very good ! I want it !!