Friday, June 15, 2012

Vanessa Morgan - Drowned Sorrow - Author Interview

Author Interview

1. Why did you choose this setting?
The imaginary village of Moonlight Creek - with its eerie lake and worn-out, musty buildings - is literally one of the characters in Drowned Sorrow; it's alive and breathing and it had to represent a real threat to the characters. I needed a village that was remote, creepy and damp... and there had to be a lake. Even though Moonlight Creek doesn't actually exist, I did base some of its descriptions on Old Saybrook and Chester in Connecticut, two places I first discovered through the seventies horror film Let's Scare Jessica To Death.

2. How is it a fundamental part of your overall theme?
The overall theme of Drowned Sorrow is water and its symbolic meaning (cleansing, rebirth). Everything in Moonlight Creek reminds us of that theme - the leaking walls, the lake, the damp atmosphere, the shops that sell nothing but water, the rain...

3. How challenging was it to write about?
The idea of a remote, damp village that somehow seemed to be alive, was the main reason why I wanted to write Drowned Sorrow. I have always known what the village and its inhabitants looked like, so it wasn't very challenging to imagine the place. The fact that Moonlight Creek reminded me of Let's Scare Jessica To Death's filming locations Old Saybrook and Chester also helped; I just had to describe the streets and houses as accurately and as creepy as possible.

4. How did you develop your setting as you wrote your book?
Apart from the images that were already in my imagination, I based the descriptions of Moonlight Creek, its lake and its inhabitants on the setting from the movie Let's Scare Jessica To Death. I used the same sort of town, the same bizarre inhabitants, the same lake, ... The other aspects of the village developed through the village's interactions with the characters.

5. How do you transport them there through your writing?
In order to have a constant feeling of impending doom, it was important that readers instinctively knew that Moonlight Creek was alive and breathing. The organic feel of the village had to be present on almost every page without being repetitive. The best way to do this was to make the village part of the action.

6. How do you introduce them to an area they may not be familiar with?
Discovering a new place in a book is like going on holiday or visiting a new city. First, you get an overall feeling of the place. Then, you start to discover the village one street and one secret at a time and the vague sense of something wrong slowly turns into something more concrete and sinister. Because the main characters in Drowned Sorrow, Megan and Jenna, visit Moonlight Creek as part of their holiday, you get to experience the village for the first time the way they do.

7. How do you go about making the setting come alive for the reader?
Descriptions are important, but not so much that they block the flow of the story. I believe that the best descriptions sneak into the story in very small snippets as if they are part of the action. Because the village in Drowned Sorrow was literally alive, it was easier to do, because there was a direct action-reaction relationship between the characters and the village.

About the Book

A story of suspense, mystery, and water... Lots of water...

Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in a terrible accident. Now she has come to Moonlight Creek with her teenage daughter Jenna, hoping that a change of scenery might help to put her life back together. But something odd is going on in Moonlight Creek. When rain falls over the village, the inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the village deserted with the first rays of sunshine. Beneath the lake's surface, an eerie presence watches... and waits... Waits to reveal a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn't bode well for visitors. By the time Megan realizes that her daughter is in danger, it might already be too late.

Format: eBook
Price: $8.95
Pages: 191
Genre: Supernatural suspense
Publisher: Llumina Press
Release Date: June 2010
Buy Links: Amazon US,  Amazon UK

About the Author

Screenwriter and novelist Vanessa Morgan is known as the 'female version of Stephen King.' You can find out more about Vanessa Morgan and her work by going to her personal blog. If you like cats, you might also like the web comic about her cat Avalon.

Links to connect with Vanessa:
Avalon the cat blog

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