“Willow Lamott’s best friend is a murderer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. For four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow reminded him what he’d been missing. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton fears his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves, especially the girl he left behind.”
You can read my review here *includes Thor gif and gifs of other various assortments*
Now for the interview with the lovely Lorie Langdon!!
*disclaimer: gifs are a part of my dialogue, so if you hate any of them, blame me.*
My dialogue is in bold, Lorie’s are regular.
I’m SO EXCITED to have you on my blog today!! I ADORED Gilt Hollow (which I know you already know *blushes*) So I’ve got some (hopefully original) interview questions for you!
There was a beautiful, tender moment when Ash came to realize that, while he suffered in prison, Willow suffered outside of prison. Not suffered less, but different. She suffered the hurt and loneliness. It was a beautiful moment. What made you want to carve that moment out, express it in the novel?
Many times the best emotional moments in my stories aren’t planned. This was one of those scenes where I was so immersed in my characters that the emotional impact of this revelation took me by surprise. Of course, I knew that Willow had suffered, but what I didn’t anticipate was Ashton’s reaction to her pain.
Ah, Ash. You’ve said that Ash’s character was inspired by your sons Alex and Ben. What characteristics/personality traits came from each?
Great question! Both of my sons have been through some pretty severe health issues. But they haven’t let this adversity define them. Instead of becoming bitter and withdrawn, they’ve allowed their challenges to make them stronger.
Ben is my older son and he’s a natural born leader. Like Ashton, he has a strong presence that people gravitate towards. Alex is compassionate, sensitive, and driven. I gave Ashton Alex’s ability to empathize with other’s pain, as well as, his determination to succeed at his goals.
Health issues. Icky, no fun. Hug the little dudes for me.
What researching did you do to understand/write about the psyche of a released offender?
I researched PTSD, “prisoner reentry” and recidivism (a person’s relapse into criminal behavior following incarceration), and even a little about war veterans who return from battle. Based on this research I knew I had to give Ashton a driving goal. I didn’t feel writing a character who was depressed and aimless would serve the external plot. I did weave bits and pieces of what I’d learned into his personality, such as his instinct to settle disputes with violence and how he feels displaced in society, including his own home and family.
This means a lot to me, as someone with PTSD. <3 Even just attempting to write with it’s influence just garner’s a lot of respect from me.
Speaking of emotions…THE FEELS. ALLL OF THE FEELS. SO MANY. There were whole bouquets of relationships with their own complications. There were even strained relationships with parents. Both Ash and Willow struggled with their parents. What inspired those particular relationship challenges?
I think most teens struggle with the parental relationship on some level. Ashton’s situation is to the extreme, but Willow and her mom have a great relationship. Their issues stem from Dee’s over-protectiveness and a wrong choice that puts a wedge between her and her daughter.
Willow and Ash have a beautiful love story, threaded with a friendship stronger than titanium. So many writers can’t quite pull off the friends-to-lovers storyline. But Ash and Willow’s is marvelous. What do you think they have that makes them so genuine?
Willow and Ashton don’t know it at first, but they need each other. Willow’s regimented life needs a shakeup of adventure and Ashton needs Willow to help him see that second chances are possible. Without the trust they’d previously established as friends, I don’t believe either of them could’ve let their guards down enough to learn from each other, and develop a deeper connection.
I ship them so hardcore.
They are possibly my favorite couple of 2016. I just adore the way their relationship was written. But at an equally strong level, was the thriller! It was amazingly executed. What inspired the mystery/thriller aspects?
Wow! Thanks so much for the ship! The thriller aspect was inspired by many things. One being the Nancy Drew novels I read as a kid. I loved reading on the edge of my seat! Those books always managed to make me worry for Nancy’s safety and fear she may not solve the mystery. In college I read a ton of Dean R. Kootnz novels, which are more horror thriller. And in recent years I fell in love with the show Pretty Little Liars. The balance between relationship elements and the suspense factor on that show helped shape the pace of Gilt Hollow.
OH MY GOSH. I LOVED NANCY DREWS. You know they make PC games? They are FABULOUS. and scary, and complicated…and awesome. (psst, you can see them here, all 32 of them) Also, Trouble is a Friend of Mine (by Stephanie Tromly) is set in a town called “River Heights” which was an on-the-sly nod to Nancy Drew. But I digress, so, back to the topic.
Overall, I think your debut solo novel is a flat-out win. Are we going to see more solo works from you?
Thank you! I have several projects in the works. A historical romantic, mystery that is a reimagining of Oliver Twist. A time-travel set during the Revolutionary War, and a YA epic fantasy that has a sort of reality show competition thread. I also have an idea for a Gilt Hollow spin off involving Toryn, Ashton’s roommate from juvie, but we’ll have to see if there’s a demand for more!
DEMAND. Yes, LOTS OF DEMAND HERE. Those all sound AMAZING. I neeeed to read those. This question clearly is just here to torture me. And Toryn? Yes please. I need more bad-boy-but-actually-lovable-marshmallow types. <3
Now for some random questions:
Name your favorite comfort food/meal?
I love fresh seafood and also Mexican food! I don’t think you can beat fish tacos with fresh fish and lots of lime juice and cilantro. Now my mouth is watering!
I love quesadillas! Living in SoCal gives me a real appreciation of Mexican food. Most of the time, I settle for salsa, but dude, *pshh* It’s all about ‘dat pico de gallo for me (when it’s done right 😉
Pokemon Go. Do you play, if yes, what team,?!
I don’t play, but this isn’t the first time this question has come up, so perhaps I should start! My boys tell me that I should be Team Valor!
NNooooOOOooo. *stage whispers* Team Instinct.
Favorite vacation spot? (even if you’ve never actually visited, even if it’s just a dream vacation spot)
My favorite real vacation spot is Indian Rocks Beach on the Gulf side of Florida. My favorite fantasy vaca would be Scotland since my first book series is set there and I’ve never been!
AH. I’d love to visit Scotland. My best friend has been and it makes me SO jealous. Tip, if you go, take a horseback ride along the coast. You’ll get gorgeous pictures 😉
I went ahead and stalker-googled Indian Rocks Beach. It looks amazing (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Thanks so much for having me! Your questions were fantastic!
Thanks for visiting Lorie! (and for answering my accidental-gazillion-question-interview)
Don’t forget kiddies! We have a tour-wide giveaway! Also, check out the schedule below to visit more awesome posts!!
September 19thMonday JeanBookNerd GUEST POST
September 20th Tuesday A Thousand Words A Million Books INTERVIEW
September 21st Wednesday Sassy Book Lovers REVIEW
September 22nd Thursday Literary Meanderings TENS LIST & EXCERPT
September 23rd Friday TTC Books and More EXCERPT
September 23rd Friday Rose’s Book Corner MUSIC PLAYLIST
September 24th Saturday The Autumn Bookshelf EXCERPT
September 25th Sunday Taking It One Book at a Time REVIEW
September 26th Monday The Silver Dagger Scriptorium REVIEW
September 28th Wednesday Wishful Endings REVIEW
September 28th Wednesday Once Upon a Twilight EXCERPT