Interview by A.J. Vrana
Tell us a bit about your novel. What’s it about? What are the BIG themes you wanted to incorporate in this spooky read?
First off, it’s set in 1987 in Massachusetts, which is when and were I grew up. 5 kids decide that to make the ultimate entrance into high school, they’d take on the legend of a historically haunted house. What could go wrong?
A few of the big themes I wanted to incorporate into this book were themes of friendship and struggles. I think that is something everyone can relate to. I also wanted to be sure to go a psychological route so that it was less straightforward, and in some ways, open to interpretation of the reader. There’s something so enticing for me about a scary story where you’re not sure if it’s really happening, or perhaps all in your head.
Where did you get inspiration for the house in your novel?
Years ago, a friend told me about a haunted house somewhere in California that is abandoned. Sometimes at night, passersby might catch a glimpse of a light or a spark of a flame when clearly no one was inside.
I transplanted that to Massachusetts, which was more familiar to me, and incorporated the smallest bit of actual history: In the 1600’s there was a ‘war’ against the English settlers and the native Americans called King Philip’s War… not to give too much away, but I thought it would be a perfect touch to add into my story.
Why did you choose to have child protagonists? Why not adults?
Ah, so you’re assuming that an author has a choice when inspiration hits? Kidding, not kidding. Actually, Alex was the first character to come to me after thinking of the concept. He had a lot to say about the story, and he was so convincing I couldn’t not listen. Then, the big bully Reid took over, and the rest is history. And of course, it only made sense that they are kids in the 80’s which was when I was a kid. (Write what you know, and all that!)
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Want to know more about A.J. Vrana and her upcoming debut novel titled The Hollow Gods, releasing Just 2020? Head here.