Her debut Young Adult Paranormal, White Witch, is the first in the Coven Trilogy and was a super read!
So here is your chance to get to know the author and a little about White Witch and the rest of the trilogy. If you keep reading till the end you may even want to enter the contest and try your luck at winning a copy of this great new book!
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your book, White Witch?
Trish - White Witch is the first book in the Coven trilogy. The central character is Jax Pherson. She was born into one of the world's powerful dark witch covens, but she flees the coven because she doesn't want to continue the covens' centuries-long revenge on mankind for killing witches. All she wants is a normal teenage life, so she finds a spot at a school in a small town in the North Carolina mounntains, gains a best friend, and falls for a guy who might possibly be the worst guy she could have fallen for.
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for White Witch? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?
Trish - This was sort of a gift book. That's not to say that a lot of work hasn't gone into it. But in the summer of 2006, I'd come to a point where I'd been writing and submitting for possible publication for 10 years and I didn't know if it was going to happen. I was considering whether I should give up and go back to work full time. I call it my Summer of Buffy, but I plunked myself down on the couch and watched all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all five seasons of Angel, and the first season of Supernatural. Somewhere in the midst of watching all that paranormal-themed TV, I started getting an idea for a young adult story that really excited me. That turned out to be White Witch. It got me excited about writing again and that needed extra push. I wrote the book and submitted in Romance Writers of America's annual Golden Heart contest, which is the top industry award for unpublished romance fiction. The next summer, it won the Golden Heart in the Young Adult category. Ten days after I won, I sold my first two young adult books (though not White Witch at that time) to Penguin Books. Those were contemporary stories written under the name Tricia Mills, a pseudonym I recently retired.
Amber - How do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?
Trish - I keep a list of names I like. I get names from all kinds of places -- a baby naming book, the names of cast and crew from movies, town names when I'm traveling (a lot of these are named after people, so it makes sense). I don't search for ones that have a specific meaning, just ones that sound and feel right for that character.
Trish - I'm fairly sure that Jax's story will be told in the three books, but it's possible that there may be spinoff books with other characters. One character in particular who appears in book three, Magick, holds some potential for that.
Amber - Is the rest of the trilogy finished and on paper or are you still working on the next two books?
Trish - The next two books are written and submitted, but I recently received revisions from my editor on Bane, book two. By the time this interview runs, those should be done and turned back in. With all three books coming out this year, the writing and revising has some quick turnarounds.
Amber - Can you tell us something about how Jax's story continues? Will she get what she wants and live happily ever after?
Trish - I will say that her quest for answers and true freedom from the covens is what drives the next two books. Keller, her love interest, will still be around, but not without complication.
Amber - When can we expect the other books in the trilogy to be released? Do we have a long wait ahead of us?
Trish - If all goes as planned, Bane should be out sometime in May, and Magick is set to release this fall, possibly in September.
Amber - Is White Witch your first book or have you written/published anything else?
Trish - I have published six contemporary romances with Harlequin American, with the seventh coming out in May. I've also sold a book to Harlequin Nocturne, which is a paranormal with an entirely different mythology about vampires. I also previously published two contemporary young adult titles, Heartbreak River and Winter Longing, as Tricia Mills with Razorbill (part of Penguin Books).
Amber - What kind of research have you done for your books? Anything interesting or is the research boring?
Trish - I love research, particularly on-site research. I'm pretty familiar with the North Carolina mountains since I live in Tennessee, so that wasn't too hard to depict. But Bane and Magick take place in Salem, Massachusetts, because part of the mythology is tied to the Salem Witch Trials. I'd never been there, so before I wrote the books I took a research trip there last July. I was able to walk all over Salem, taking notes and photos and picking up brochures, just soaking up the atmosphere.
Amber - How long on average does it take you to write a book? Do you write one at a time or do you work on various projects?
Trish - I typically write one at a time, though I might have to do revisions or line edits on another while writing one. I'm a fairly fast writer, so I can write a first draft in a month. That is not finished product though since it then goes through my own revisions before I turn it in to my editor. Then she reads it and sends back more revisions.
Amber - Did you always want to be an author? Why did you decide to write something Young Adult and paranormal?
Trish - I've loved writing for about as long as I can remember. I think it was partly a natural progression from being a big reader and having an active imagination. Writing was also my day job for several years. I got a degree in print journalism and worked at newspapers and a magazine before quitting in 2005 to write fiction full time. I still do some freelance writing and editing, but mostly I work on my books now. I love reading young adult fiction, particularly ones that are paranormal, post-apocalyptic or dystopian. It's easy to write something you love to read.
Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What experiences have you had so far?
Trish - The downs are definitely when you get rejections or a particularly nasty review. Now I know not everyone will love my work. That's just not realistic. Not everyone will like everything. I see this firsthand with movies. For instance, the critics panned the movie John Carter. I went to see it and quite enjoyed it. I think everyone should be free to express their opinions about art of any form. It's only when it gets mean and feels deliberately ugly that it stings. But the positives far outweigh the negatives. There is nothing like seeing your book on a store shelf, reading a good review or getting fan mail. It's all still surreal and exciting, even after several books.
Amber - A lot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music influenced your books?
Trish - I'm actually planning to try to put a list of these songs on my site soon, but I do listen to a lot of harder stuff, including a good bit of goth/rock/metal out of Europe. Bands like Lacuna Coil from Italy, Within Temptation from Holland, and HIM from Finland. I listened to a lot of Lacuna Coil's Dark Adrenaline CD while writing Bane and Magick. I also like the feel of the music by Breaking Benjamin and Shinedown. And in a complete contrast of styles, another song that seemed to fit a big scene in Magick was Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain."
Amber - What have you been reading and watching lately?
Trish - I'm completely obsessed with Game of Thrones. I don't have HBO, so I had to wait until the DVDs of season one released, but I watched the entire season in three days. And I plan to park myself on a friend's couch to watch season two as it airs. I'm reading the first book on which the series is based and loving it. I'm also reading Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter in anticipation of seeing the movie this summer, and next up will be A Million Suns by Beth Revis, the sequel to her wonderful Across the Universe. It's sci-fi YA, mixing two genres I love.
Amber - What's your favorite paranormal movie of all time?
Trish - Underworld and Underworld Evolution. Selene kicks butt, and Michael is hot. :) I'm actually putting together a Selene costume to wear to Dragon*Con in Atlanta this year.
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Trish - Probably a witch. Having that kind of power but using it for good purposes would be great. Vampires have the benefits of immortality, but I can't even stand the sight of blood and I like being in the sunlight too much. And everything you see about werewolves tends to say that the transformations are painful.
Amber - Thank you so much for being a guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog! I hope you will come back again ;)
Trish - Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
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