Monday, November 28, 2011
What is this book about?
Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks tells the story of a fourteen-year-old girl named Eve Hallows who lives in a monster world called Gravesville. Even though Eve is a human, she’s never met one and thinks they are scary creatures. When a mysterious organization called The Source starts terrorizing the monsters in Gravesville, Eve is forced to move to the human world, where she must learn to live like a human. In short, the story is one part Jungle Book, two parts Nightmare Before Christmas, and a dash of Nancy Drew mystery.
How did you get the idea for this book?
My daughter had written a story in 6th grade about a girl who leaves her happy city life and learns to adapt in a pastoral town. She told me she’d written the story for me and asked if I could write a similar story for her. I wanted to expand on her idea, so I decided to inject some of my childhood into the story. Since I grew up on a healthy diet of Scooby Doo, The Munsters, Addams Family, and anything with Tim Burton’s name on it, Eve Hallows became a merger of what I loved as a child and my daughter’s original story.
Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?
This is my first published novel, but the fourth novel I’ve attempted to write. I guess you could say Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks is the first book I am happy to have my name on. I’ve also written some short stories and writing-related articles for several ezines.
When did you start writing? Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
I’ve loved writing even before I could read. What attracted me to writing, oddly enough, was the sound of a typewriter. I can remember being very young, perhaps four or five, and listening to my mom snapping away on the keys. The rhythmic tapping was like a siren call for me. It would be another twenty years before I would write seriously for publication, and, sadly, typewriters would be all but extinct.
The best advice I’ve ever received came from my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Woods. During a test, she’d warned me to keep my eyes on my own paper. While this wasn’t meant as writing advice -- and it was mostly embarrassing at the time -- her advice has served me well over the years. It’s very easy, especially for beginning writers, to be jealous of other writers’ success stories, especially when your own work is piling up form rejections. Getting discouraged by what the writer next to you is doing will never make you a better writer. Worry about your work and your goals.
I’ve also written a number of articles for beginning writers. You can find them all here: http://robertgrayfiction.blogspot.com/p/for-writers.html.
Why did you decide to write a book for Young Adults?
Like a mentioned earlier, I wrote the story for my daughter. I certainly hope others read the novel, as well, but in truth, my daughter is thirteen, so that’s the age group I focused on. I can say I enjoyed writing Eve Hallows more than anything I’ve done in the past. Because I wrote it for one person, I didn’t have to worry about all the extra baggage that comes along with writing a novel -- finding an agent and a publisher, marketing, etc. And that was extremely liberating. My only job was to make one girl happy. And I had so much fun doing it.
Do you plan a sequel or future books?
Eve’s story is far from over. Turns out she’s a much more resourceful character than I first envisioned, so there will be at least another three books based on her. I’m currently writing the second novel in the series. That one should be available by Summer 2012. After I finish her series, I’m going to focus on several other projects that are at various stages of completion. Most of them were novels I’d written while trying to find my way as an author, and I really didn’t know what I was doing. With the benefit of more experience, hopefully I can revitalize them.
Do you have a website? How can we order this book?
I have two websites. My main site is robertgrayfiction.blogspot.com. For kids, I’ve also created http://evehallows.blogspot.com, which focuses exclusively on the Eve Hallows series. The latter site is an interesting project I started with my daughter. All of the blog posts are written by Eve Hallows, and she has some comical things to say about the human world.
Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks is currently available in paperback and ebook format. You can visit my page at http://evehallows.blogspot.com/p/store.html for links to where the book is available.