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Saturday, 12 September 2015

ℚ Something Wiccan: Out of the Dark [2] - James Drummond

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Something Wiccan (, 288 pages), a Young Adult Supernatural Horror, book two of Out of the Dark series.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Tour Stops


A big welcome to James Drummond, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for Something Wiccan?

"My plan for the Out of the Dark series, or at least the first few books, was to try my hand at writing my own stories using familiar monsters.  Book one features werewolves, the upcoming book three is vampires, and Something Wiccan is, well, pretty self explanatory.

Because I was focusing this story on magic instead of fanged creatures, I wanted to find more of a whimsical setting.  I discovered Ashland, Oregon doing internet research on Pacific Northwest towns and felt it made the perfect backdrop for the tale I wanted to tell.  The more I learned about it, including it’s annual Shakespeare festival, downtown park area, and general small town atmosphere, it became a character on its own.  It helped me get in the right frame of mind to write my story, despite the fact that I’ve never been there."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Personality wise, Toby thinks through things the way I do and can be a little stubborn.  I’d say there’s at least a little bit of me in every character I write.  There are also some characteristics that I aspire to possess and others I would never want to.

One of my favorite things to do while writing is use my characters to explore different perspectives.  If I’m going to write someone who possesses a particularly dark or disagreeable point of view, I really try to work out how he or she ended up with that outlook.  While I might not agree with it, I need to make it justifiable for them."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Something Wiccan - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I got really lucky when it comes to my book covers.  My day job is as an instructional designer at an e-learning company and one of our designers [Wojtek Batko] offered to help create them.

We go out for a couple lunches, I explain a scene and/or characters in the book I’d like to see in the cover image, and he designs the cover with some of his own ideas.

The cover for Something Wiccan shows a scene where Natalie Sherwood is casting a spell that goes wrong in a really bad way.  The top half shows the book’s main villain, who is a favorite character of mine."
Why should we read Something Wiccan and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes your book unique?
"I don’t go so far as to make my vampires sparkle, but I do think I’ve come up with some original spins for the familiar creatures I’m writing about.

I think the group of heroes I’ve assembled over the first two books are fairly original characters as well.  They’re also strong characters, both male and female.  They have challenges they need to overcome, and they help each other do so, but the girls save the guys as much as the guys save the girls—especially in this book."
Can you tell us something quirky about Something Wiccan, its story and characters?
"Natalie Sherwood shares her last name with the last person known to have been convicted of witchcraft in Virginia. The case was little known until a Virginia Beach historian wrote a children's book about Grace Sherwood in 1973—the year I was born."
Who would you recommend Something Wiccan to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"While this is technically aimed at a YA audience, readers of all ages have responded positively to the book. Some have said it’s more cerebral than The One You Feed. I don’t know if I totally agree with that. More fairy-tale-ish maybe, and certainly less gory. However, that’s partially due to the supernatural element this book deals with. And werewolves are just much more messy than witches and warlocks.

I would recommend the book to anyone who likes magic mixed in with their monsters and isn’t afraid of a little blood."
If you could / wished to turn Something Wiccan and the Out of the Dark series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"When I first started writing The One You Feed, I pictured Toby a little like Shia LaBeouf’s portrayal of Kale in Disturbia.  Shia’s gotten a little too old and a little too out there to play Toby now, but I still kind of picture my main hero as a kid similar to that character.

I could see Vanessa Hudgens making a good Rachel, if she could bring a bit of an edge to the role.

If Emma Stone has a younger sister, there’s my Natalie.

I think Ed Westwick would fill the shoes of Eirik very nicely."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Inspired by supernatural horror stories, I’ve very much enjoyed tacking a crack at the genre with the Out of the Dark series.  My plan is to continue challenging Toby, Rachel, Jack, and Natalie with more monsters, but I would like to try different genres down the road.  I think a romantic mystery could be fun and might venture into science fiction someday.

As far as what I like to read, just give me strong characters who I can become invested in.  If you succeed with that, I’ll follow them through any genre."
What is your writing process?
"It varies.  I should probably schedule more consistent hours, but it’s often when the mood hits me.  This can be after watching a well-written show, reading a chapter that particularly inspires me, or hearing the right song. I am pretty good about blocking out a few hours in the morning on weekends.  My job requires that I write a lot, so I’m often drained at night, but if inspiration strikes I can get in a groove until my eyelids get to heavy to keep open."
What is in store next?
"Book three comes out this month and I plan to continue the series in the coming years.  So far I’ve experimented with familiar folklore and written my own stories featuring werewolves, witches, warlocks, and vampires.  My goal for the fourth book is to make it more of a mystery, while still keeping with supernatural thriller theme of the series."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Picture of me and my writing partner, Tim, is attached."

Aww!  You are clearly working Tim really hard!  :-)
Thank you again for joining us, James.  Have a great tour and a successful release day on 18 September for The Agreement.

Something Wiccan - available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk US: purchase from Amazon.com find on Goodreads

4 comments:

  1. It was my pleasure. Thanks for the interview and post! Have a great weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jim, thank you for visiting us!
      I am just curious, which breed is Tim?
      We have eight furry assistants around here... my PA (Fix, our cat from Greece) has her own office chair... ;-)

      Have a great release day on Friday!

      Flora

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    2. Tim is a very sweet and attention demanding Devon Rex.

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    3. Tim is a very sweet and attention demanding Devon Rex.

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