With me today is Vincent Morrone author of young and new adult fiction (including an urban fantasy, which everyone who knows me will be aware is my favourite and my best). Welcome, Vincent!
Your two books are a contemporary new adult, Just Breathe, and an urban fantasy young adult, Vision of Shadows. What drew you to these different genres? Do you have a favourite? (Genre to write, that is; I’m not asking you to choose between your book babies. You know, unless you want to.)
It’s not as much the genre as it is the story of each. I like romance, but to me there has to be more than straightforward romance. I need there to be a paranormal aspect or a killer on the loose or something else going on.
I’m also a fan of characters and both Vision of Shadows and Just Breathe have characters whose story I felt compelled to tell.
Tell us about the main characters from each book, Bristol and Cassie.
Bristol is a 17 year old psychic. She’s more comfortable around the ghosts in her life than anyone with a pulse. She’s also about to meet the boy of her dreams. Literally. A boy who she knows will either be the love of her life, or the end of it.
With Bristol, I wanted to tell her story because I wanted a female MC who was both vulnerable and strong. She stands up for herself and her friends, but she prefers to fly below the radar. She’s got an awful lot of heart. She isn’t a girl who just sits around and waits to be rescued.
Cassie is a girl who went through a horrible ordeal when she was 12 and ever since then, she’s suffered from panic attacks. They were so bad at first, she couldn’t even be out on her front porch alone in the middle of the day, but she’s gotten better over time. She’s about to start college and she wants to be normal. When she’s assaulted on her way home from a party, it brings everything back up to the surface.
She’s rescued by a guy named Noah Hunt who has secrets of his own. Just Breathe is a story about how these two survivors help each other heal.
Vision of Shadows is, by all accounts, a little bit Romeo and Juliet. If you were going to write a book inspired by another Shakespearean play, which would you choose?
If I were going to, probably either Macbeth or The Taming of the Shrew, but mostly because those are the only ones I remember much. (I also read Hamlet)
Vision of Shadows originally came out with a small press, which subsequently collapsed earlier this year. In light of this no doubt traumatic experience, what do you know now that you wish you knew then? What advice would you give to a first-time author?
It was a wild ride to say the least and quite frankly, if I wrote a novel based on what happened, people would say it required too much suspension of disbelief. At the same time, I don’t know if I’d change it because the people I met through that publisher — the editors, artists and other authors — are some pretty extraordinary people.
What I wished I’d known is to make sure your contract states that you get your rights back if the company folds. Your rights are the most important thing. Also, have the right to pull your book if the publisher fails to live up to their responsibility.
One thing I did right was network. I had communication with my fellow authors in the group. When I got the rights back, I subbed off to other presses and knew it would be a steep climb since it had already been published, but I had no #’s to show for it. So I was really careful. I talked to four publishers before deciding on Silence in the Library.
Beyond that, there’s not much you can do if you go with a small press. There are drawbacks to them, but strong points as well. Just like self-publishing and the big houses have.
The biggest thing is, keep going.
What project are you working on now?
I’ve got a few. I’m waiting for the edits to the follow up to Vision of Shadows to start. That’s called Vision of Serpents. (Book 3 is also complete and book 4 is begun.) I’ve got three books that are WIPs right now. A YA sci-fi that’s about genetically enhanced humans. A paranormal new adult romance that’s sort of a Sumpernatural meets The Three Stooges. And this summer I’m working on a YA book with my 15 year old daughter. I’ve also got quite a few in the development stages.
What’s your secret superpower?
I make things disappear. Usually food.
I’m also a pretty good cook too!
Three choices (quick questions)
Oxford comma: sometimes, always or never? Sometimes
Chocolate: white, milk or dark? Milk
Supernatural critter: vampire, werewolf or ghost? Ooh, I’ll have to say Ghosts, but I have a short story about a nerdy vampire that I think would make a great prequel to a full length novel.
Holiday destination: beach, forest or city? Beach. Thank you and good night!
About Vision of Shadows
Is Bristol Blackburn about to meet the love of her life…or her killer?
After the death of her parents, Bristol Blackburn’s life is thrown into chaos and she’s forced to move to Spirit, a small town where shadows are stirring. As she learns to navigate her new school and figures out how to keep her psychic abilities secret from her family, Bristol comes face to face with the boy who makes a regular appearance in her dreams: the gorgeous, possibly deadly, Payne McKnight. Soon she’ll find out if Payne will be the love of her life, or the end of it — and she has no idea which possibility scares her more.
And that’s not even the worst of it. Strange shadows are haunting her dreams, and they’re up to something that could put Bristol and the lives of everyone she loves in jeopardy.
Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs. Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.
This interview is brought to you by Cassandra Page, the letter I and the colour blue.