Saturday, September 13, 2014

0 Jessica Verday, Author of OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS, Talks Road to Pub and Offers Her Best Advice to Writers

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS?

I really enjoyed writing the medical scenes that took place in Father’s basement laboratory. I was a bit nervous when I started writing this book because to have a heroine be interested in medicine is something that was WAY outside my comfort zone. I get squeamish just at the sight of blood, so to have a character who can not only handle it with ease but who has an active interest in studying medicine was something I didn't know if I could pull off. In the end, the medical scenes were so interesting they ended up being my favorite scenes to write!

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

I had the idea for this book one day when I was thinking about the dark themes that run throughout almost all of Edgar Allan Poe’s works, and I thought -- what if he was inspired by real life events? I saw a scene in my head of a girl (Annabel) confessing to a priest that someone she knew was doing horrible things, and she was the only one who could stop him. Although that early scene never made it into the final version of the book, it prompted me to go further with it and the story kind of just took off from there.

How long did you work on the book?

I wrote the initial prologue about a year before I actually started writing the first couple chapters of OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS. I then sold the idea along with the sample chapters to my publisher and had about nine months to write the rest of the book.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

My road to publication was really a dream come true. The first book I ever wrote was THE HOLLOW. It was also the first book I queried. It sold to S&S within days of being on submission in a three book deal and was published in 2009. I wrote a companion book after that (THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED) and then sold OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS in a two book deal to EgmontUSA.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I usually write at home, either in bed or in one of my antique Victorian chairs. But no matter where I write, I write best at night and I need as quiet a space as possible.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Some of the best advice is the oldest advice: Read, read, read. It helps inspire you, it helps keep your brain active, it teaches you how those before you did it, and it helps you learn what you do and don't like.

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm finishing up the sequel to OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS -- tentatively titled OF PHANTOMS AND FURY -- and it’s been so much fun to write! Not only does Annabel learn more about her background and who she truly is, but she meets the mysterious and enigmatic Dorian Gray...

Of Monsters and Madness
by Jessica Verday
Hardcover
EgmontUSA
Released 9/9/2014

A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author.

Summoned to her father's home in 1820's Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father's assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they're letting on.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Of Monsters and Madness?

I really enjoyed writing the medical scenes that took place in Father’s basement laboratory. I was a bit nervous when I started writing this book because to have a heroine be interested in medicine is something that was WAY outside my comfort zone. I get squeamish just at the sight of blood, so to have a character who can not only handle it with ease but who has an active interest in studying medicine was something I didn't know if I could pull off. In the end, the medical scenes were so interesting they ended up being my favorite scenes to write!



Purchase Of Monsters and Madness at Amazon
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