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Saturday, 1 August 2015

ℚ Pretty Dark Sacrifice: Pretty Dark Nothing [2] - Heather L. Reid

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Pretty Dark Sacrifice (, Month9Books, LLC, 267 pages) a Young Adult Horror novel which is book two of the Pretty Dark Nothing series.

Synopsis | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

What was the inspiration for Pretty Dark Sacrifice?
"When I was young, I was haunted by recurring dreams of faceless entities, of black figures standing by my bed whispering in the deep shadows of my childhood room.  Sometimes, I would wake from their dark grasp and find my six-year-old self standing at the end of my parents’ bed, in the kitchen, or walking down the hallway.  Other times, I would suffer from sleep paralysis, trapped between dream and reality, a scream trapped in my throat.

In the Pretty Dark series, I wanted to write about a girl facing her own darkness.  What would happen if her nightmares manifested in her reality and she was the only one who could see them?  How would fear, the self-awareness that what she was seeing might be real but shouldn’t be, affect her everyday life, her relationships, her ability to trust herself, to trust others, and to make decisions.

I chose demons as metaphors for the darkness that lives inside all of us, the personification of that still small voice inside that perpetuates negative thought and twists the truth.  They feed on the darkness living inside humans and exploit and magnify the insecurities and self-doubt they find and use it to gain power and create chaos.  In book 2, Pretty Dark Sacrifice, Quinn now understands what this darkness is and she’s struggling with how to fight them.  There are a lot more paranormal and fantasy elements in the second book, inspired by Jewish folklore, the story of Eden, and threads of the Greek myth of Pandora’s box, all twisted together to make my own version of angels, demons, and the underworld."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"My experience with nightmares is certainly reflected in the book.  While I’ve never seen a live demon, I hope my night terrors have been put to good use, to create a story rich in creepy atmosphere and emotional brokenness. I  admit that at times it’s been terrifying to conjure up old nightmares and pick at the scars of fear left on my psyche, to bleed some of my own darkness onto the page, but watching Quinn fight demons helped me remember to always be wary of my own."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Pretty Dark Sacrifice - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Month 9 Books works with several amazing cover artists and design teams!  For Pretty Dark Sacrifice, my publisher sent me three concept mock up’s and asked which one I liked best. When I saw the one that would be chosen as my cover, I immediately knew it was the one I wanted.  The image reminded me of Shakespeare’s Ophelia in Hamlet after her madness causes her to drown in the river.
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook.  Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like awhile they bore her up,
Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds,
As one incapable of her own distress
Or like a creature native and endued
Unto that element.  But long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
(Hamlet 4.7.199-208)
It was perfect for the tone in which book one ends and book two begins.  Like Ophelia, Quinn’s descent into madness brings her to the banks of a river under similar circumstances as Ophelia, so, to me, this cover was more than perfect!  Lucky for me, both my publisher and the marketing team agreed!"
Can you tell us something quirky about Pretty Dark Sacrifice, its story and characters?
"Marcus, who happens to be one of my favorite characters to write, wasn’t in my original plan for the novel.  I’m a panster, meaning I don’t plot the novel in advance, but I do develop my characters before I put words on the page.  As I began to write the first scene where we meet Aaron, this guy shows up in the middle of the school hallway.  Then he opens his mouth and I knew he was Aaron’s best friend.  At one point, Marcus tried to take over the scene and I had to tone him down a bit and remind him this wasn’t his story.  Of course, if you know anything about Marcus, he still thinks it’s his story."
Why should we read Pretty Dark Sacrifice and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes your book unique?  Who would you recommend Pretty Dark Sacrifice to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"If you enjoy dark and creepy reads that blend fantasy, paranormal, and horror with complex characters, I think you would like this book.  Be aware that the main character is being manipulated by demons and doesn’t make the best choices. There are few rainbows or unicorns here, and in the first book, Quinn can be unreliable.  This is not your typical paranormal romance.  It’s messy and frustrating, as is life sometimes. Pretty Dark Sacrifice picks up in a dark place, but you’ll see much more strength and determination from Quinn as she regains the control she lost in the first book.

Or you can believe what Sarah Jude, author of The May Queen Murders (a YA horror novel coming 2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) has to say.

"Readers will be gripping the pages of PRETTY DARK SACRIFICE.  Thrilling with moments of terror and suspense, Reid is masterful as she weaves together worlds of nightmares and reality, asking her readers just how far they will go for the ones they love." – Sarah Jude"
If you could / wished to turn Pretty Dark Sacrifice and the Pretty Dark Nothing series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"There are so many talented directors out there, but I do think Hollywood needs to give women directors more chances to shine.  So, if I had my dream, I would love to see actress, producer, and director Drew Barrymore at the helm of the Pretty Dark movie franchise.  Her directorial debut, ‘Whip It’, was one of my favorite movies from 2009 and I think she could shape and balance the blend of horror, fantasy, and humor into a wonderful movie.

As far as actors go, either Britt Robertson or Chloë Grace Moretz as the broody, beautiful, demon ass-kicking reincarnation of Eve, Quinn Taylor.
Matt Lanter as Aaron.
Tristan Wilds as Marcus.
Brenda Song as Reese.
Jared Leto as Azrael.
Kensia Solo as Lilith."
Nice cast. We also loved Whip It, great cast too.

At this point I am now in the habit of asking for a get-to-know you better picture of something that is special to the author, like a pet, but unfortunately that section was not there when we did this interview... hence I did a little bit of research and found a couple of pictures that seem to fit the bill...

On the left you can meet Fortan, one of Heather's dragons, guarding some of her bookmarks.
On the right, meet Buddy - Heather's gorgeous Labrador.

Pretty Dark Sacrifice - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

1 comment:

Majanka Verstraete said...

I love the cover of this book! Month9Books consistently puts out gorgeous covers. I'm a horror fan, so I'll have to add this one to my to read list!

Majanka @ I Heart Reading