Featured Author: Shalini Boland May 23, 2011Posted by Jaidis in Featured Authors.
Today I want to shine the Author Spotlight on the author of Hidden….Shalini Boland! MS. Boland generously allowed me to interview her to find out all about her book Hidden and her writing habits.
Without giving too much away, can you tell us what Hidden is about?
Hidden (Marchwood Vampire Series) is a paranormal romance that spans the centuries from modern England to 19th century Paris and ancient Cappadocia. The novel begins in gritty urban reality, but soon descends into horror, romance and historical adventure.
Sixteen-year-old Madison Greene is in foster care until one day she inherits a fortune and a house with a cellar full of danger. Eighteen-year-old Alexandre Chevalier lives in 19th century Paris. On an archaeological expedition, he discovers a lost underground city where his life changes forever.
Their lives entwine, but someone is watching and waiting. The story ramps up to an explosive ending.
How long did it take you to write this book?
The initial story took six months of intensive scribbling. But then the edits took another six months.
What was your inspiration to write this book?
I’ve always wanted to write a vampire novel, ever since I fell in love with Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire series back in the nineties. My inspiration for Hidden, came from a newspaper article about a family who had to leave their house due to a bat infestation. There was a local outcry as the bats were protected by law and the poor family could no longer live there. I thought: Hmm, bats in the attic … how about vampires in the basement?
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
I’ve been told it’s an ‘irresistible fairy tale’.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always written in some form or another. When I was eight I won a poetry competition and I carried on from there.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Two separate stories which I weave together into one novel. I’ve done this in all three of my books.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to spend time outdoors with my family (when it’s not raining!) or curl up in bed and read.
What does your family think of your writing?
They love it and hate it. They’re constantly telling me to hurry up as I’m late for everything – my fingers always seem to be glued to my laptop.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
By panicking that they wouldn’t like it. Then my husband told me not to be so stupid and we opened a bottle of wine.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?
Take a deep breath and prepare to have your life taken over by the written word.
Do you hear from your readers much?
I’m a newly published author, so it’s a novelty for me. I just had an email this week from a reader who had finished Hidden and wanted to know when book two was coming out. I need to get writing!
What do you think makes a good story?
Good characters and a burning need to know what happens next.
What is the last book you read?
I’ve just finished reading The Bringer by Samantha Towle. It’s about an angel who ‘brings’ people to heaven. I really enjoyed it.
If you could take any book and rewrite it, putting your own twist on it, which book would it be and why?
I liked The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, but the ending just seemed to fizzle out. I’d have liked it to have a bit more oomph!
Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie music, silence, chocolate)
Chocolate’s always good whether I’m writing or not. Oh, and I like to be warm – a fire in winter is very inspiring.
Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?
Yes. My next novel is called Outside – a post-apocalyptic road trip romance for teens (try saying that really quickly three times). It’s set in the near future where everyone lives in closed-off communities behind perimeter fences. Beyond the perimeter, the UK is lawless and dangerous. The eBook should be out by early July.
Do you have a favorite method for writing, getting ideas, working out plots, etc?
Nope. I wish I did though. My writing methods are all a bit random.
How many books do you read a week/month?
Usually about 4-8
What does the word success mean to you?
It means different things depending on my mood. Sometimes I feel as though I’ve achieved success just by having published a book which people enjoy reading. Other times, I want to be a ridiculously successful multi-million selling author. (Aah, a girl can dream…)
If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?
Haha! It would probably say ‘Be nice to me please’.
Thanks Shalini for stopping by! Here is a little more about Shalini:
Before kids, I was a singer songwriter signed to Universal Music. But writing fiction has taken over my life and now I’m a mother of two noisy boys and an author of teen novels. I write the kinds of books I love to read – gripping young adult adventures with a spattering of romance and a sprinkling of horror.
Shalini can be found at the following places: