I recently finished The Restorer and I loved it so much that I knew I had to contact this fabulous author for an interview. Not only did she agree to an interview, but she also is going to giveaway a signed copy of The Restorer plus a small Starbucks gift card to "Chase away the graveyard chill." Details about the giveaway will follow the interview, and don't forget to check out my review here.
*How many books do you have planned for this series. Any hints you can give us for what is in store?
Right now I’m contracted for a trilogy, but we’re already talking about extending the series, so fingers crossed. THE RESTORER introduces Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts and her love interest, Detective John Devlin, a man literally haunted by his past. The second book, THE KINGDOM, leads Amelia to a cemetery restoration in a creepy (really creepy) town in the Blue Ridge Foothills of South Carolina where she comes face to face with her own past. The final book in the trilogy, THE PROPHET, will be Devlin’s story. However, all three books are stand-alone with each having a separate plot and mystery to be resolved. If you don’t come into the series until the second or third book, you won’t be lost, I promise. Of course, I do recommend that you read all of them. ;-)
Oh, and I should probably mention the online prequel to the series, THE ABANDONED, which is available for download on Amazon even as we speak.
*I'm checking out that prequel as we speak. I'm excited that there will be at least three books. I especially cannot wait till the third one where we get to read about Sexy Devlin's story! I've read plenty of books with ghosts in them, but none of them were quite as chilling as yours. What gave you the idea to make your ghost be such malicious beings?
I really just wanted to do something different. I came up with the idea of a cemetery restorer first and I knew I wanted her to see ghosts. But I didn’t want a retread of The Sixth Sense or Ghost Whisperer, so I imagined these netherworld parasites that feed off human warmth and energy, draining away life force until nothing remains but a walking shell. My ghosts are almost vampire-esque in their voracious appetites. And those humans that can see them are in particular peril because the thing these specters crave above all else is acknowledgement by the living so they can feel a part of our world again.
*You really did make this story unique, not an easy feat in this genre! In The Restorer you seem to have found the perfect balance of scariness without overdoing it. Was this hard for you, or did it just come naturally to the story?
Thank you! My natural writing style is dark and atmospheric, which maybe wouldn’t work so well in a gritty police procedural or an action-packed thriller, but for a Southern Gothic it fits. I purposefully didn’t get too graphic because I felt that would detract from the story. For me, it was all about creating a lush, dreamy, withering world. Amelia’s graveyard kingdom.
*You're welcome! If your book were to made into a movie who would be your top picks for the cast?
Fun question! I’m thinking maybe Amanda Seyfried in a couple of years. She has a dreamy, mysterious quality that could work well for Amelia. Devlin is a little more difficult to cast. Maybe Ian Somerhalder if you can separate him from Vampire Diaries.
*Very good choices. Amanda is a very talented actress, and Ian.. *Swoons* He is definitely the dark mysterious sexy type. Fits Devlin perfectly. Although I'm not sure Amelia would be able to keep her hands off him if Devlin really looked like that. ;) So, what are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?
I love, love, love Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connelly series, even more than her Southern Vampire Series. I also loved The Hunger Games, although maybe that’s more dystopian than paranormal? The first book of that series just blew me away. I can’t wait for the movie. Right now, I’m reading A Discovery of Witches and really enjoying it.
*Oh my goodness I absolutely love the Harper Connelly books too! I may just have to pull them out for a re-read. If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books what would that be?
The Southern settings and many of the characters in my books come from my own background. I’ve lived in the South all my life and there are things that I both love and hate about it. But for all the quirks and flaws, it’s a place that gets in the blood. A place you feel in your soul and down deep in your bones. My characters wouldn’t be the same if they lived anywhere else, and neither would I.
*I've always been a "yankee" as my southern friends, but I've always loved going down there for visits. The South just seems to have more history and heritage is so much more important. I love books that are set down there! Do you have any passions other than reading or writing?
I love cats. I only have one at the moment, an adorable black kitty named Lola (named after the character in Run Lola Run). I also have a passion for eighties music, ala Depeche Mode and The Cure.
*Just for fun. If you were stranded somewhere but had electricity, what three things other than basic survival supplies, would you have to have?
If I can have electricity, then a computer with internet connection because I’m a hopeless info junkie. Hot water because I hate cold showers. And a microwave for popcorn. :)
*A Woman after my own heart! Although I might skip the microwave for my kindle as I CANNOT live without it. I'll just make my popcorn over the fire ;) Last question: Finish this statement: "You'll like The Restorer if.."
You’ll like THE RESTORER if you’re drawn to paranormal romantic mysteries with ghosts, shadow beings, abandoned cemeteries, a deranged taphophile, a secret society, and one hot, brooding police detective.
Amanda Stevens was born and raised in the foothills of the Ozarks, an area known for its folklore and superstition. She learned from an early age to fear black cats, ladders, and broken mirrors. A risk taker, she now resides with all three. She is also the mother of twins, a wannabe taphophile, and a collector of all things Alfred Hitchcock. When she’s not writing from her home in Houston, she likes taking road trips to Austin. And to Marfa. And to old cemeteries.
One signed copy and a small gift card to Starbucks.
My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.
It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims— lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.
1. US Only.
2. Leave a comment to enter with a contact method.
3. Extra entry if you spread the word. (Make sure to post a link)
4. Giveaway ends at midnight on 4/19.