Laurie has graciously agreed for me to interview her about her book, Project 17.
What inspired you to write Project 17?
I wanted to do a companion book to Bleed, using one of my Bleed characters. Around the time I was thinking up ideas for a new project, the newspapers in my area were flooded with stories surrounding the controversial tear down of Danvers State Hospital, an abandoned mental hospital 30 minutes north of Boston.
Many people were against tearing it down because it's considered an historical landmark, built in 1878. Developers wanted to use the land to build luxury apartments and condos. In the end, it's the developers who won, and two-thirds of the hospital was torn down. People are now living in the new developments.
Growing up, the hospital, which has a very dark history, was finally shut down in 1992 due to budget cuts and overcrowding. Rumored to be haunted, it became a notorious hot spot for break-ins and dares.
Coincidentally, in Bleed, one of my characters, Derik LaPointe, breaks in to the hospital to go exploring. This is how the initial idea for Project 17 sparked. I thought, why not have Derik break in with a group of teens, on the eve of the demolition, to spend the night and film a movie? There are six teens that break in--all with their own motivations and agendas, and what they end up finding is far beyond anything they could ever imagine.
No, it's fiction. But obviously the place is real and I tried to be as true to the setting as possible as I was writing the novel.
Were there any challenges while writing the book?
I couldn't get it out of my mind, particularly after I visited the place from a writer's perspective--how was I going to write an entire novel that takes place here?
The hospital itself had always been a source of scares growing up, with its Gothic spires and castle-like architecture, but nowhere near as scary as when I started to really get into the individual stories of those connected to the place.
After a while, though, for better or for worse, I started to numb up a bit to everything I was researching, including hours of audio and visual footage. That numbness enabled me to take a step back and write the book.
What did you want readers to discover from your novel?
Any advice for future horror writers?
What can your fans be expecting from you next?
Thank you so much Laurie for this awesome interview. I enjoyed reading your answers! Readers: Be sure to check out Laurie's books, you won't be disappointed! :)