It´s Friday people! Weekend time! The weather here in Germany is beautiful and really warm for this time of year, the trees look spectacular with their gleaming reds, yellows and oranges and even though it´s the last weekend before my fall semester starts, I´m in a really good mood!
Another reason for being cheerful is Lauren Burd, author of YA paranormal debut “Immortal”. As you might have guessed by now, I love doing interviews and so it just adds to my good mood to welcome this talented author today on my blog! Please give it up for Lauren!
Hello Lauren and thank you so much for stopping by on Reading on the Dark Side!
Immortal is basically a coming of age story and learning what life and love is about. It follows eighteen year old Alina Taylor as she starts college and life on her own. She has everything mapped out for her future, and minus a few hiccups due to her Mom, things are going good. Then she meets Samuel Grant and Duncan Michaels, and things go a little haywire when she starts to fall in love, and lust, for the first time. It doesn't help that they aren't exactly like the other guys on campus.
Did you do any kind of research for your books? Were you actually in England or France or did you do most of the research online?
I did quite a bit of research on both viruses and travel. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to England or France (though I hope to go when my children are older), so most of the information I found online.
I found it pretty hard to decide whether I liked Duncan or Samuel better (I settled on Samuel by the way!). Do you have a favorite character? Anyone that was particularly easy to write?
I don’t know if I have a favorite character (it’s kind of like asking which one of your kids you like the best). As far as attracted to, I prefer Samuel (probably because I based him on my husband). As far as the easiest one to write, it would have to be Alina.
At first I really suspected that the two boys were vampires. Instead, you chose to make them immortals. Can you share something more about that or the virus? Anything that hasn´t (yet) made it into the book?
This can get a little technical (that’s the reason a lot of it didn’t make it into the book). I work in the medical field so I like things that make sense. I wanted the virus to be something that could really happen. So I based it on the rabies virus (this is also how I came up with the name for the virus as well). Rabies can only be transmitted through a bite, direct saliva to nerve transmission. For me the virus explains how a lot of the myths about gods, demons, and angels began (super human abilities and half crazed immortals). It should be noted that the virus (just like every other virus on the planet) affects everyone differently. So even though you may become Immortal, it doesn’t mean you will have any superpowers.
The end is really pretty unexpected. There is going to be a second book called “Forever”. Can you share just a little teaser what is going to happen next?
I’m still writing the sequel (not sure if there will be anymore after Forever), and I’m not one of those authors that plan everything out (I figure I try to surprise my readers so why shouldn’t I be surprised). I can tell you that someone will die (I finally decided who), other than that we’ll all have to wait and see.
Can we hope for more supernatural stuff in the next book? Or do you stick to immortals?
Yes there are more supernatural experiences in the next book. I explain a little more about how the virus works (not everyone can be Duncan or Samuel).
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I’m working on three other books beside Forever (I usually read more than one book at a time too). I don’t have names for any of them yet (I don’t normally worry about it until I finish them). One is a ghost story, another is an off world fantasy, the third is a sci-fi set about two thousand years in the future.
Would you say that your mood has an influence on your writing in general and the story in particular?
Yes, it can (it annoys my husband to no end).
Where do you get your inspiration from? Music, books, TV shows or real life?
I find inspiration in all three music, books, and life.
How does your typical writing day look like? Do you have a special routine?
I write at work for the most part so my routine consist of writing every second I can (answer phone, stupid phone interrupting me while I’m writing, done on the phone back to writing, stupid phone is ringing again, can I throw it out the window).
A question that I am always curious about (but could be kind of personal) is: are your characters based on people you really know or maybe even a little bit about yourself or are they all purely fictional?
Samuel Grant is a lot like my husband. He is sensitive, kind, and feels things very deeply, but is still very masculine. Duncan Michaels is a lot like a childhood friend. He comes across as a player, but once you get close you realize he would walk through fire for you.
What do you like most about being an author? And what annoys you?
I like writing (totally clichéd), I love when I finish a book, or a new idea comes to me. The things that annoy me are writing (it can be tedious at times) and when I get a new idea (it can be really annoying when you’re trying to focus on one story and another pops up and says ‘Look at me’).
Did you ever have a writer´s block? If so, what did you do to deal with it?
I think everyone gets writers block (even if all you write all school reports and essays). How I deal with them is talking the situation out with someone I trust. Just hearing it aloud can help the pieces of the puzzle fall in place.
Favourite authors? Jane Austen, Tolkien, and Frank Herbert
favourite paranormal creature? Vampires (in all their incarnations)
favourite all time hero/heroine? This is tough. I think Vampire Hunter D (hero in novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi). He is cold, silent, and at least appears not to care (classic anti-hero) about the people he is protecting. But he does everything in his power to protect those weaker than him.
favourite all time villain? It has to be Knives from the Tri-gun anime. He doesn’t really care who he uses or hurts as long as he accomplishes his goal.
Which one do you prefer, book or e-reader? Right now I have Kindle for my PC (I’m hoping my husband get the hint and buys me the real deal for Christmas) so I’m not sure how to answer. I like them both it really just depends on the setting.
favourite distraction? A good book and anime (Yes, I am a huge dork)
A question that is inspired by another interview I did with an author: If you would be Superman, what would be your kryptonite?
Yogurt, I know it’s good for you, but it taste like rotten milk to me. Yuck!
And finally: Is there anything you want to say to your/my readers?
Thank you for reading. I hope Immortal can be the escape you’re looking for or even a light enjoyable read.
Thanks so much for stopping by Lauren! It´s been both a pleasure and honor for me! Please stop by anytime again you want!