Nevermore was one of my favorite books for 2010. It was unique and I LOVED the characters. It's one I couldn't recommend any more highly.
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.
Q: When you wrote Nevermore, what was your inspiration? Was there anything in particular, like reading Poe, or maybe a song you heard?
When I started writing Nevermore, I didn’t know Poe was going to be such a huge part of the plot. At the time, the novel was titled something else. It started out to be a story between a goth boy and a cheerleader. I knew that Varen’s drawings and stories would come to life and that there would be a dream-world. Then Varen picked Poe for the project and things started to take off from there. I started researching Poe and learning about what happened to him and how he had disappeared a few days before he died. One thing led to another and, from that point, the story seemed to write itself!
Q: Are any of your characters based on real people (other then Poe)?
A few of the characters have been influenced by real people Gwen is actually two of my best friends rolled into one. Also, I always say that Danny is all three of my brothers rolled into one. And there may be someone I used to know who influenced certain aspects of Varen.
Q: Your paranormal aspect of the story is unlike anything else out there. It's creepy and dark and difficult to wrap your mind around. How did you come up with this idea? Was it an idea that came to you complete or did it develop more as you wrote the story?
The paranormal aspects of the story definitely developed all on their own. They made themselves known only as I put words on the paper. I had vague ideas about the Nocs, but the truth about what they were and where they came from didn’t dawn on me until I reached the end of Nevermore. Even though the Nocs are my own creation, I was shocked to see how much of Poe’s works, such as “The Imp of the Perverse,” and “Ulalume” and “Dream-Land” really influenced their creation and the deeper aspects of their make-up. Made me realize how Poe’s works can really reach down to the subconscious. That’s probably one of the reasons his tales still terrify today.
Q: I am in love with the characters in Nevermore and really love that you put in some very real life scenario's, like the bullying. I also love that you made the characters so different on the social chart. The popular cheerleader and the dark goth boy (who is SO my type, btw), was any of that because of personal experience?
I went to a magnet high school so I think I had a bit of a different experience than the norm. At Manual, there really weren’t too many social barriers. The goths could talk to the jocks and art geeks hung out with the nerds. That’s not to say we didn’t have our cliques. We did. I think some of that makes it into Nevermore though very little of it is from direct personal experience. I was never bullied in high school. I was bullied a lot in grade school and middle school, too so, even if it wasn’t the same kind of situation, I could with the characters in that respect. While I was never a cheerleader in high school, I was the Mascot. I was Sam the Ram and had this huge head that had gigantic curled horns. I was also one of the artsy theatre kids and, even though I had both sporty friends and goth friends, I didn’t want either of them to know I was the mascot. So it was my secret identity. It really put me in between the two worlds, though, and I think that experience granted me some special inspiration.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge when writing?
It was trying to write and also work a full time job. Thankfully I’m in a position now where I am writing full time! Also, sequels present their own brand of challenges. There is a lot of weaving and interweaving of things that happened in the first book and things that unfold in the second. I can say that writing a sequel has certainly taught me a lot about my craft.
Q: When you face writers block do you have a particular thing you do to try to get past it? Some people drive, others just step away and try to forget about it for awhile. Others go on long walks. Do you have a certain something that works well?
Some writers can push through. Some writers can skip ahead. I have massive difficulties doing either of those things. I have discovered that the best thing I can do for blocks is to take a walk or, most especially, drive. I find that if I can occupy my brain with something mundane, the answers bubble up. I think it’s a matter of taking the pressure off of myself and I think that doing every-day tasks like washing the dishes or folding clothes can bring about huge revelations. It occupies my focus so that my subconscious can frolic while my logic isn’t watching.
Q: What do you have planned for the future? I've heard the next Nevermore book is due out in 2012, are there plans for a third book as well? Or maybe books in a different series, or a standalone?
Nevermore is a planned trilogy. After the third book, I have another series idea. At the time I sold Nevermore, I also had a near completed manuscript of another novel that is the complete opposite! After the Nevermore series, I’ll definitely finish that one up and see where it takes me!
NOTE: Book 2, Enshadowed, is due out January 17th, 2012
Q: Is there one book, or a series, that your constantly recommending to people?
Phantom by Susan Kay is probably my favorite book in the whole world. I am a total Potter head and a huge fan of Snape. I also love anything by Robin McKinley and . I’m a big fan of as well. I really really loved Poison Eaters especially!
Q: Last question, If you could be any paranormal creature, or have any supernatural power, what would you pick?
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to fly. I think I still would. And if I could be one magical creature, I would definitely be a unicorn!
Find Kelly on her website. There's some fascinating information about Poe on there as well!
One person will win a copy of Nevermore and a signed bookmark and tattoo and another person will win a signed bookmark and tattoo. The swag is provided by Kelly and the book will be ordered by me.Open Internationally to where The Book Depository will ship (if it's a US winner it may come from another source).Must be 13 or older to enter.Ends July 5, 2011
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