Evernight Teen Publishing

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Adina West, Author Interview

I'm so excited today to have Adina West, author of Dark Child, on my blog!

Hi Adina! I’m so excited about our interview J

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m a full-time RN (real life happens), YA author, blogger, reader and reviewer for NetGalley and BTS Magazine.

Before moving forward with questions I wanted to take a moment and gush about your debut novel, Dark Child. What a beautiful, haunting, and breathtaking cover. Having scoped your blog out, the additional covers in the series are amazing as well. I simply love them! They definitely grab your attention and say, “Read me!”  And having read Dark Child, I cannot recommend it enough. What a unique and compelling story!


Thank you so much for letting me visit your blog, Sasha! And for the wonderful questions. I get a real buzz from the fact you’re an Appalachian girl. I’ve had at least one person tell me they were inspired to visit the Appalachians and try ramps in the Spring after reading this book. J I love my covers too, and yours are simply beautiful as well – I especially like the ethereal quality to the dress on your Black Abaddon cover. And congratulations on the forthcoming release of your third title too. I’m in awe of the fact that you work full-time in a challenging profession, have kids, read and review so many books as well as writing your own!

 Shucks, Adina. Thank you!

1.) Can you tell my readers a little bit about how Dark Child was born? Where the idea was conceived?

I’ve loved this genre, both on screen and in print, for a long time. But I think what gave me the push I needed to actually sit down and write (and more importantly to finish a book) was reading a big long ‘how I got started’ story on Stephenie Meyer’s website. She apparently wrote Twilight really fast – the words just poured out of her – but what I found most inspiring was the fact that she had young kids, and wrote around the many demands of motherhood.

The timing for these things is never really ideal, which is no doubt why my need to write reached a point of desperation when I had an eighteen month old child. Dark Child started out with just a shadow of an idea about an extraordinary young woman who moves to New York and goes to live in a building that she shouldn’t be able to see, let alone enter. I was sleep deprived and time poor when I started writing, but the muse didn’t care about any of that it seemed, and Dark Child was the result.

That's awesome. I read Ms. Meyer's road to publication too, and it was inspiring. Sometimes it's hard to believe that even the most successful authors had very humble beginnings.  
2.) How long between the inception of Dark Child and the actual publication? Readers love a snapshot at other author’s road-to-publication stories.

I’ll give you the long version. J Dark Child (the Awakening) is my first published novel, so I was primed and prepared for the whole process to take a while…and it did! I was brainstorming the very first ideas for Dark Child in late 2008, and completed my first draft in 2009. Then I spent 6 months or so editing it, with feedback from beta readers, and started my search for an agent. That took another six months…and my agent requested further revisions that I completed at the end of 2010.

Around that time, things were pretty grim in the economy in general, and certainly in the world of publishing, so it was another twelve months of nail-biting waiting (and I’m not the most patient of people!) before we got an offer for Dark Child from Momentum Books, the digital division of Pan Macmillan, early in 2012. And it was another year again before Dark Child (the Awakening) Episode One was released in February 2013. So, four-and-a-bit years from inception to publication, all up. I still think that moment was worth the wait, though!

Thank you for sharing this with my readers. You're absolutely correct: it can take years, years people, to get a book published. But the key is to NEVER give up! I'm so glad you didn't and you can now share Dark Child with the world :)  

3.) What was it like to get the “yes/acceptance” from your publisher when they agreed to publish Dark Child?

The timing was quite funny. I was at playgroup with my kids when I got the call from my agent. It was actually a missed call, as I often forget I have my phone muted! When I called her back, she gave me the news that Momentum had made an offer for world e-book rights. It was a wonderful moment, but I had to contain my jumping up and down and squealing as I didn’t want to alarm the kids. J I did fire off a bunch of text messages to share the good news though!

Awesome! It is exciting. I literally cried when I got "the call". I'll never forget.
4.) Most exciting for me as I’ve lived in West Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains my entire life, what made you decide on the location/setting for Dark Child?

I’m a country girl myself, and the setting really appealed to me. I’ve read and loved Barbara Kingsolver’s books, and the way she writes about this region is wonderfully evocative. The region is so beautiful and with a unique quality in both its geography and its people that only seems to survive in areas that are relatively isolated. There was something about WV and the Appalachians that made me believe things could happen there that were quite out of the ordinary, and when I chanced on all the information about ramps growing wild in the springtime, I knew I’d made the right choice. Pure serendipity!

 Adina, you're a woman after my heart! WV is such a beautiful state. Mountains as far as the eye can see, lush foliage, rivers...I can go on and on about living here. WV is dear to my heart. I'm so thrilled you picked my home state as the setting for Dark Child!

5.) What are your writing conditions like? Isolated desk with an amazing soundtrack, or writing wherever, whenever you can?

I find it easiest to write at my desk at night, when it’s dark, and quiet, and my kids are in bed. I’m trying to shake the habit as it’d be good to work more productively in the daytime too! When I’m really in the zone, immersed in a project, I’ll write longhand in a notebook whenever an idea strikes me, and scribble notes and reminders to myself any chance I get.

6.) If you could team up with any author, who would he/she be and why?

Wow, this is a tricky one, because my process is so messy and organic that I’m pretty sure I’d drive any other author crazy before too long. But ideally I’d love to work with an author who has years of experience behind them, and a few bestsellers under their belt, so I could benefit from their accumulated wisdom about the writing craft. Because there’s always more to learn. That much I do know!

7.) What is your favorite novel and why?

This is a really hard one, and does change for me on a regular basis…but I have an enduring love for Katherine, by Anya Seton. It’s an old one, but a wonderful romance, the story of the love affair between Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. Seton writes the historical setting so beautifully. I’m in awe of the amount of research she must have done to bring this period to life.

8.) Do you plot your novels or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

People like me are called plantsers – halfway between the two! I certainly don’t outline everything in advance, but I don’t entirely ‘pants’ it either. I usually have a few key turning points in mind when I start writing but most of the process from then on is quite organic.

9.) What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Approach every part of the process in a professional way, whether you’re considering traditional publishing or self-publishing, and be willing to work hard! The hardest thing of all is finishing that first book, and if you’ve already achieved that, give yourself a big pat on the back because you’ve broken through a barrier that stops many aspiring writers. Persistence is the key, as well as a clearly defined set of goals, because every part of the journey reveals new obstacles that could stop you from achieving your dream if you let them.

Great advice!
10.) What’s next for you?

I’m working on the next title in the Dark Child series. That’ll keep me busy for a while, though I do have other projects outside this series that I’m keen to spend time on in the future. Unfortunately some genius thought 24 hours was plenty for one day. Any mother who writes will surely agree that’s not enough! ;-)
Very true! I can't wait for your next title. Thanks so much for being here today, Adina. And I wish you all the luck in the world:)

           Amazon          Author Website             Twitter           Facebook         Momentum Books


Perfect for fans of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, this intriguing urban fantasy follows the story of Kat Chanter, who discovers that the world she knows is controlled by ancient creatures who feed on blood. And she might just be one of them …

Lately things have been getting weird for pathology technician Kat Chanter. She’s been craving raw meat, and having dreams so realistic they’re scary. When she accepts a job offer from the prestigious Hema Castus Research Institute, she hopes she’ll have the chance to discover what’s wrong with her, but instead, her move to New York thrusts her headlong into a treacherous hidden world, where the wrong move could be fatal . . .

Tarot, witchcraft and astrology all take on a frightening resonance in Dark Child’s richly imagined alternative reality where vampiric beings live among us, hidden by magic. Dark romance tangles with paranormal fantasy and page-turning suspense in this enthralling tale of ‘dark child’ Kat Chanter, half human and half vampire, who has woken an ancient prophecy and must face a formidable destiny.

Adina West grew up surrounded by trees, on a remote property on Australia’s east coast, in country New South Wales.

“As a child, I was never afraid of the dark,” she says. “The night, for me, was filled with infinite possibility.”

Adina is from a large family, and she remembers how she and her siblings would come running when their mother took a loaf of her homemade bread out of the oven. “The pine kneading board my mother uses to make bread was brought to Australia by my European grandmother when she emigrated. We’d often finish the whole loaf while it was still warm. And we always fought over the crust, because it was crispy. It was the best bit.”

Adina wrote her first story at age eight. “I typed it up on my parents’ old typewriter,” she says. “I always knew I wanted to write stories.”

Though her subject matter may have matured, that desire has remained unchanged.
Adina spent most of her childhood curled up with a book, and her first teenage job was shelving books at the local library, where she was cautioned more than once for reading them instead of putting them away.

Now, Adina lives in Sydney’s leafy north-west with her IT guru husband, two children, and a couple of unwelcome possums who really don’t know how to take a hint. Her debut novel Dark Child, a new-age paranormal fantasy, is being released as a serialised e-novel by Pan Macmillan’s Momentum books starting February 2013. It’s an eclectic mix of ancient and modern, tarot, astrology, suspense and romance, and she loves that writing it made watching Vampire Diaries necessary research.