Hey guys! Today, I have the pleasure of having Alexandra Sirowy, author of The Creeping and her new YA thriller The Telling, on the blog. Check out our interview, and the giveaway below!
Alexandra Sirowy is the author of the young adult thrillers THE CREEPING and THE TELLING. Alexandra attended a women's college for her undergraduate work in International Relations and later received her graduate degree in International Studies with an emphasis on the Middle East. When she isn't writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and exploring the foothills and woods near the Northern California home she and her husband share with their dog.
Brittany: Your two central characters in The Telling, Lana and Ben, made up fairy-tale stories where they were the heroes. Did you ever do this as a kid?
Alexandra: My sister and I used to make up plays and perform them in the backyard. They usually involved lots of costume changes and death scenes. Our little brother, who’s a lot younger, we cast as an inanimate object so he could just stand there looking adorable.
Brittany: This being your second book, was it easier writing than your first, The Creeping? Did anything change about your writing process?
Alexandra: The two experiences were unique, but I wouldn’t say one was easier than the other. Both books came from very different inspiration, which in turn, informed the writing process. My first novel THE CREEPING was character driven from inception. I knew I wanted to write a thriller where the protagonist had survived a mysterious tragedy in her childhood, one that she had complicated feelings about. It was her, Stella, a very strong, brittle, and flawed anti-heroine that I wrote the book for. The secondary characters came next – I gave her a best friend, a crush, and a group of girls she’d go to the lake with on summer days. Everything else – the small town secrets, the folklore, and the mystery – came after. I didn’t plot but wrote start to finish, letting the plot go where it wanted to.
My second book, THE TELLING, was a different story. I’d just sold THE CREEPING and was staying on a small island in the Puget Sound in Washington state to celebrate. Sailboats cut through the indigo waters, bonfires dotted beaches, and there was a postcard-perfect town. I couldn’t help but wonder, what lies beneath this glittering façade? A fictive island as eerie as it was alluring, as feral as privileged, took root in my head. The two main characters of THE TELLING, a step-sister and brother, have childhoods rich in make-believe. They cast themselves as heroes fighting the imaginary villains of their stories. This is before. THE TELLING begins after, with a mysterious murder, a secret past, and the girl, Lana, setting out to become the hero of her imagination. As you can see, this book was really driven by a mysterious place I couldn’t get out of my head, everything else followed.
Brittany: What fictional character (not your own) do you identify with the most? (Could be from a book, TV, movie, etc.)
Alexandra: I think it changes depending on the day I’m having. If I’m really killing it and slaying deadlines and seeing friends or family, I can identify with Katniss (right at the end of the first book, when she’s feeling victorious and doesn’t realize that holy hell is coming for her). If my day’s lousy or if I feel misunderstood, I’m going to go with Dracula, who I’ve always had a soft spot for.
Brittany: What is your favorite line or scene from The Telling?
Alexandra: Such a tough question! I am going to cheat. I can’t pick one favorite, but I can tell you one of my favorites. Third chapter, there’s a flashback scene of the night Lana witnessed her stepbrother’s mysterious attack. She and Ben’s girlfriend, Maggie, are standing on the side of the highway recounting details to the police. For me it’s the most chilling scene of the book.
Brittany: Who was your first OTP?
Alexandra: I’m going to go way, way back and say the March sisters. I used to hide in our hall closet as a kid (to get away from my little sister and brother) and read Little Women over and over again.
Brittany: Both The Creeping and The Telling are thrillers, what are the easiest and most difficult parts to write in this genre?
Alexandra: I don’t consciously write for only one genre. My ideas just often come out thriller-esque. Intrigue, secrets, lies, and anti-heroines appeal to me. I’ve been starting to draft a project that some would call a fantasy, though, all the thriller elements are there – maybe it’s my compulsion to turn everything into a mystery?
Brittany: What is the scariest or creepiest thing you’ve ever done for fun?
Alexandra: Yikes. I almost don’t want to re-live it. I went to a very old women’s college as an undergraduate, and on campus was a small graveyard where the school’s founders were interred in the 1800s. It was in a wooded, deserted corner of our campus. I walked there at night once, alone, and completely freaked myself out. I sprinted the whole way back after hearing the snap of a twig.
Brittany: What are some of your favorite 2016 book releases?
Alexandra: AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White has been one of my favorite reads so far. I loved the brittle, fierce anti-heroine. Emma Cline’s THE GIRLS was lyrical and gorgeous. And I’m currently in the middle of ALL THE MISSING GIRLS by Megan Miranda and finding it compulsively readable.
Brittany: Thank you, Alexandra, for being on Brittany's Book Rambles today!
Guys, make sure to check out Alexandra's new book, The Telling, and enter the giveaway below ^_^
The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Lana used to know what was real.
That was before when her life was small and quiet.
Her golden step-brother, Ben, was alive, she could only dream about bonfiring with the populars, their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.
Then came after.
After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, and living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.
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