Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Emma Silvers debut horror Blackbrooke. A thrilling tale of monsters and mysteries, Blackbrooke is a refreshing new series proving that not all monster sparkle in the light and fall in love with humans. I encourage Ya Fiction fans and Horror fans of all ages to check out Emma Silver’s Blackbrooke
Stop by Emma Silvers blog. Then get to reading Blackbrooke. The third book of the trilogy is coming out sometime this year!
I asked Emma a few questions about her and her first series. Be sure to come back for reviews of the rest of her series and more interview with Emma!
What Books and Authors shaped your reading and writing styles?
Stephen King was the main one for sure. I started reading horror books very young and devoured the Goosebumps and Point Horror series’ very quickly, so I needed someone more. I was about nine when I started reading King and I loved the ideas and the suspense. The Shining and IT were my favorites as a child and I wanted to try and frighten readers just like he did.
Who would you choose as an author to be your mentor?
Haha! It has to be Stephen King, although I’m really into Joe Hill too. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with that one; although I do think the writing style is very different, but equally as good. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Hill recently and he’s just the most delightful ball of energy who clearly has fun, not only writing, but meeting his readers. He’s an inspiration.
What do you find most challenging about your writing process?
Editing. The ideas and the first draft is always great but then the editing…well, let’s just say
it takes its toll. It’s very difficult to take a step back and declare a piece of work as ‘done’. I could happily tinker with my work until the day I die but you have to learn to let it go and be proud of the finished product.
For how long was Blackbrooke just an “idea?”
Not long. I thought about a town that had to live by a set of rules and started writing it the following day.
What inspired you to write Blackbrooke?
I really wanted to buck the trend of paranormal romance which seemed to monopolize the YA book market up until a few years ago. I wanted to create monsters that were monsters and not something for the heroine to fall in love with. The humans are humans in Blackbrooke – no special powers lurking underneath. That was important to me.
How long did it take you to write Blackbrooke?
The first draft was done and dusted within about six weeks but I made a fair few changes to it during the editing process. I think all in all it took around four months to have it completed and ready to send to the publisher.
Are any scenes written from experiences you had?
A few of the school scenes are based on conversations I’ve had or ones I’ve overheard during my time as a pupil. I created the character of Gemma as the girl I always wished I was at the time. I was a bit of state in school so would have loved to be one of the pretty, popular girls. However, it’s only as an adult you realize they weren’t all they’re cracked up to be. I wrote Gemma with the flaws you only notice when you’re an adult. She isn’t the most pleasant to those who aren’t her friends but fiercely loyal to the select few she lets into her circle. Characters such as Denzil and Marie are based on people I know, which were lovely to write.
Is there a character that is most similar to you?
When people who knew me read the book they said Liberty reminded them of me. I think they’re just being polite though! I couldn’t cope with the huge amount of crap she’s had to deal with! I’m certainly as goofy as Denzil but that’s as close as it gets.
Could you give us some insight into how you came up with some of your ideas?
Just from the things that used to scare me when I was a child. I remember waking up in the night when I was very young and swearing I saw red eyes in my room that slowly faded. I was terrified and put the duvet over my head. It was something that has always stayed with me and my imagination would run riot thinking about what the creature with the red eyes looked like. I hate vultures so that’s why the Crits have long necks too. The Crits are basically a Frankenstein’s monster of all of the things that scare me.