I interviewed a fairly new YA author, Anya Parrish, about her writing and her views of Halloween.
A little bit about the author: I'm Anya Parrish. I write books about killer imaginary friends and falling in love. I have a very short attention span and I write for similar people who must have something HAPPENING on every page. I hope readers enjoy my 2011 debut, DAMAGE. I'm also a mother of two and a wife to an amazing man in addition to a cook, a knitter, a wine drinker, a dancer, a game player, a song singer, and a mess. My house, however, is usually clean.
Published September 8, 2011
When Dani was eight, she fell from a building. No one believed her claim that she was pushed by Rachel... her imaginary friend. It took years of therapy to convince Dani that Rachel wasn't real. Now fifteen, Dani wants to make it as a dancer. But a deadly freak accident sends Dani a terrifying message: Rachel is back, she's real, and she'll stop at nothing to kill Dani. Complicating matters is Jesse, the school bad boy who's being stalked by his own invisible childhood nemesis. Dani and Jesse join forces to learn why their astral tormenters are back. Their investigation leads to a horrifying discovery—and the terrible experiment that binds them to each other.
I was horror story brainstorming--as I am wont to do--imagining what would have been the scariest thing that could have happened to me as a child. The answer was: If something/someone were trying to hurt me, but my parents didn't believe me/couldn't see what I saw. I couldn't think of anything more terrifying than having the people I love and trust the most thinking I'm crazy, while an evil force hunted me in the night. The concept of killer imaginary friends grew from that brainstorming session.
If Damage was to be made into a movie, who would you choose to play the roles of your characters?
Do you have a favorite Halloween/autumn recipe?
What is the scariest thing to ever happen to you?
About a year ago, my family moved cross country. We signed a one year lease on a rental home while we got to know the real estate market in our new county. During this one year stay, I heard high-pitched, ghostly voices--children's voices--singing at 2 a.m. no less than fifteen times. Once, I made the mistake of going downstairs to investigate the voices, to make sure one of my little boys hadn't crawled out of bed, and saw a fuzzy white cloud floating in the corner of the living room. It was about three feet tall. The singing seemed to be coming from the cloud. I ran back upstairs and never came down those stairs at night again. (I pinkie swear this is the truth. I never believed in ghosts before this, but I sure as heck do now.)
Do you have any Halloween traditions?
Every year my kids and I bake creepy cupcakes with "grave dirt" icing and doll parts stuck inside. It's disturbing, but they love it. They fight to see who gets to lick the icing off the disembodied arms...
What’s the scariest ghost story you’ve ever heard?
Paranormal Activity was pretty darned scary. I couldn't watch it until we moved out of our own "ghost house," however.
Who are your favorite villains from literature and/or movies?
Pennywise the clown from Stephen King's "It". How brilliant is Mr. King? I mean, really, what is there in the world that's scarier than an evil clown? (Other than maybe a zombie baby. Those are pretty creepy.)
If you had to describe yourself as a candy bar, what would it be and why?
I can't go to this place imaginatively. If I imagine myself as a candy bar, that introduces the possibility that I might chew my own arm off in the night.
Can you share with us an excerpt from Damage?
There's an excerpt on the home page of my website (and a longer one on my blog). Click here to get started: http://anyaparrish.com/
I would LOVE to write another book set in this world. As of now, however, we're waiting to see if sales of DAMAGE are strong. If so, I have a lot of ideas for book two. There are several secret-reveals that were cut from the original draft of DAMAGE. I'd love to be able to let my readers in on some of those secrets!
Well good luck with the release of your debut book and thank you for answering my questions!
Thanks so much for the interview, Ashley!
Anya is generously letting one lucky blog reader win a copy of Damage! Just fill out the form linked below if you'd like to be entered.
Must be a new or old blog follower.
Ends on November 8. Open to USA and Canada only.
Two extra entries to those of you that spread
the word about this interview & contest!
Click here to fill out the entry form!
For 3 extra entries, leave a comment answering this question:
How would you convince others that you had a killer imaginary friend?
FIND ANYA ONLINE: Website | Blog