We're celebrating the relaunch of The YA-5 with Halloween in July week! Together with YALITCHAT we've gathered four spooktakular authors who write about things that go "bump" in the night! We hope you enjoy the interviews and insights with these fabulous writers as well as the scavenger hunt (see details at end of each interview) throughout the week. On Wednesday, Heather Brewer, Claudia Gray and Nancy Holder will be chatting at Midnight Eastern over on twitter during YALITCHAT's Spooktakular celebration! For now, boo! Up first, Michelle Zink!
Michelle Zink (michellezink.com) is the author of the popular book, Prophecy of the Sisters (prophecyofthesisters.com (book website) The sequel, Guardian of the Gate will be released August 1st 2010.
1. You could write about anything in the world but you choose to write about things that go bump in the night, why?
It's two-fold, I think. My father was a horror aficionado and an avid reader. His library was full of titles by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Peter Straub. As a teenager, I could never be without a book to read, so when I blew through the books in my school library, I turned to his. I'm pretty sure I was the only 11-year-old in my town reading The Shining! Those books really shaped me as a reader and a writer. I still love being scared, and writing those kinds of stories gives me the same feeling as reading them. At the same time, I do battle with my own darkness. I feel like I'm always struggling with my darker nature. Sometimes, I feel all alone in it. Like the rest of the world is so GOOD and happy all the time (which, of course, isn't true) and I'm the only one fighting that battle. I guess writing about it is one way to feel like I have power over it.
2. What do you say to people who think YA books can't be scary and romantic?
Oh, my gosh! So not true. Look at books like Wuthering Heights and Rebecca! Such amazing, Gothic, dark, and romantic work. Besides, it's more of a challenge to write in an under-served area. I love having to stretch to accomplish something new and different, and I like challenging readers to read something different, too.
3. Vampires or werewolves?
Werewolves. Unless we're talking Anne Rice's vampires. :D
7. Would you rather read a book that was suspenseful or scary?
Scary! I so love being scared. But suspenseful is a close second. It's difficult for me to truly enjoy anything that doesn't have at least one of those elements.
4. What are you working on now?
I have two potential series lined up. One of them is a contemporary fantasy. Very dark and action-packed. I think of it as The Dark Knight meets Twilight without the vampires. The other is a sort of Gothic Steampunk set in London in the late 1800s. I love them both, but we have to see what the agent says. ;)
5. What are you afraid of?
Losing the people closest to me. Without a doubt.
6. What are you dressing up as this Halloween?
I never get to dress up because I'm always too busy helping my kids with crazy costumes! We have a "no buy" rule when it comes to costumes, which means we can't purchase one. We can purchase pieces, but that's it, and we challenge ourselves to do it as cheaply as possible. My youngest daughter has dressed up as a mad scientist (by borrowing a lab coat, using some old glasses with the lenses popped out, and ratting her hair to high heaven) and Sarah Palin ( with a blazer and a bun, she looked frighteningly like the politician!). My oldest daughter went as a Steampunk Alice in Wonderland last year by modifying an $8 prom dress we found at the thrift store and adding her own boots and accessories.
8. Ok, admit it, you watched Blair Witch with one eye open, right?
Yes, but I cover my eyes when it comes to gore! Ick!
9. Have you seen Paranormal Activity? Were you scared to death or did you not even bat an eyelash?
Oh, God... that movie REALLY got under my skin. While I was watching it, I thought, "Okay, this isn't so bad." But then when I went home to sleep, I was really freaked out. I kept hearing that weird sound you'd hear when, well... YOU KNOW. I think it took about three nights to be able to sleep without my heart beating fast and loud in the dark!
10. Tell us about your next book--Guardian of the Gate.
When I started writing Prophecy, I really wanted to create an epic fantasy series. I didn't want to write a series t hat was a series because it COULD be, but because it HAD to be. I miss those epic, otherworldly stories of old like Lord of the Rings and The Mists of Avalon. Guardian of the Gate is the continuation of Lia's journey to find the missing page of the prophecy and the remaining keys. The story literally cannot be complete without the next two books. In Guardian of the Gate, Lia embarks on a dangerous quest, becomes acquainted with a mysterious new guy, and faces a betrayal of unimaginable proportions. Dun-dun-DUN! :D It's a story you can get totally lost in, and I hope you all enjoy the journey.
Thanks for stopping by, Michelle and good luck with GUARDIAN OF THE GATE!
Click to purchase a copy of Prophecy of the Sisters or Guardian of the Gate.
---END of INTERVIEW---
And now for the first few clues in the Michelle Zink portion of the scavenger hunt.
1. What song is Michelle into (video is posted on her website) this week?
2. What movie is Michelle looking forward to seeing more than any this year so far?
3. What city will Michelle be visiting on September 10, 2010?
4. What is the name of Michelle's new book?
Visit Michelle's website for the answers!
Prize: A signed copy of PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS or GUARDIAN OF THE GATE (2 winners, one book each).
SCAVENGER HUNT RULES
The scavenger hunt lasts all week! You must answer all the questions CORRECTLY to win the prize from THAT author! You may enter more than once to better your chances of winning at least ONE prize. But you may only win ONE prize for the week. Each day a new author interview will be posted along with new questions. You must visit the author's website to learn the answers to the questions posted here then post your answers in the comments section on The YA-5's site in order to win a prize. Contest ends July 23 at midnight Eastern time. Winners will be announced the week of August 2, 2010. Winners must be followers/friends of the The YA-5 site!