Saturday, July 25, 2015

0 Laurie Faria Stolarz, author of RETURN TO THE DARK HOUSE, on being open to learning and improving

RETURN TO THE DARK HOUSE is the second book in Laurie Faria Stolarz's Dark House series, and we're pleased she stopped by to remind us of the importance of perseverance in the writing business.

Laurie, what do you hope readers will take away from RETURN TO THE DARK HOUSE?

Prior to the beginning of WELCOME TO THE DARK HOUSE, Ivy had spent years trying to put her fears and anxieties to rest (fears based on the death of her parents and the resulting paranoia that her parents’ killer will one day come back for her). In both WELCOME TO THE DARK HOUSE and RETURN TO THE DARK HOUSE, rather than trying to move on without dealing with her terrifying past, Ivy decides to face her fears head-on. I think that bravery is so admirable.



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 initial path to publication was a rough one.  I approached editors and agents at the same time, trying to target those who worked with writers like me (namely, writers who wrote in the young adult supernatural/paranormal genre).  It took me over a year to sell my first novel.  I have a folder filled with rejection letters. My favorite one is from an editor who said: “While this is an interesting project, I do not feel it is strong enough to compete in today’s competitive young adult market.”  That same young adult novel, BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES, has sold over 200,000 copies, has been translated into numerous different languages, has appeared on many different award lists, and was optioned by Blondie Girl Productions (Ashley Tisdale's production company) in partnership with Mandalay Entertainment, and sold to ABC Family for a TV series.

When I speak to young people and aspiring writers, I always tell them this story, that if I had stopped persevering, after I received my first – or my 30th rejection letter – I may never have been able to enjoy the success of my career.

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

I can write anywhere, anytime. I always have a notebook with me, ready to jot down notes or character sketches. I do have an office at home that I frequently use, but sometimes I like to get out and write. You’ll sometimes find me with my laptop at a Starbucks or Panera Bread, with a dark roast coffee. Regarding music, I use music to help when I need to get into a particular mood to write a scene, but otherwise I find it too distracting

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

My biggest piece of advice is to persevere.  There are many talented writers who give up after 5, 10, or even 50 rejection letters.  Be open to learning and to getting better in your craft.  If more than one person criticizes the same point in your work – i.e. your main character whines too much – chances are you need to look at that point again.  Never pay reading fees while trying to get published – ever.  Do your homework.  Know to whom you’re sending your query letter, who that person’s clients are, what that person’s track record is (i.e. the details of his or her most recent acquisitions), and what that person is looking for.  Every letter should be personalized and reflect that you’ve done your research.  And, lastly, consider joining a writers group.  There’s nothing better than being in a group of like-minded writers who can help inspire and cheer you on, and who can provide constructive feedback that can help to strengthen your work.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on another young adult novel. I don’t have a title yet, but it’s full of romance and suspense. It’ll be out in 2016.

If you want a sneak peek of Laurie's works, you can find her on Wattpad.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 7/21/2015

Ivy Jensen survived the Dark House once, but can she make it out a second time?

Two months have passed since Ivy narrowly escaped the Nightmare Elf’s grip, but the memories of Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie, and Garth continue to haunt her. Their killer is still out there—somewhere. The police trail has gone cold, though, and it’s up to Ivy to piece together the clues to find him.

When a cryptic video arrives in her inbox, Ivy soon finds herself back in the spotlight, this time on a twisted scavenger hunt through the dark, ancient halls of a long-forgotten Gothic school building. Ivy’s not alone, either. Taylor Monroe has returned to the scene. But can Taylor be trusted? Or is she another pawn in the Nightmare Elf’s deadly game?

Laurie Faria Stolarz crafts a mesmerizing thriller that will leave readers looking over their shoulders.

Purchase Return to the Dark House at Amazon
Purchase Return to the Dark House at IndieBound
View Return to the Dark House on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laurie StolarzLaurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance. The four novels in the "BIFN" series have sold over 500,000 copies collectively.Stolarz has also announced a graphic novel entry into the series titled Black is for Beginnings, which she published in summer 2009.

What did you think of our interview with Laurie Faria Stolarz, author of RETURN TO THE DARK HOUSE? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Kristin, Jen, Sandra, and Anisaa

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