Thanks so much for stopping by Literary Cravings, describe The Vespertine in four words?

Thank you so much for having me! Let’s see, four words…  Gothic romance, elemental heart.

How did you come up with the idea for The Vespertine and what was your writing process like?

The original idea just sort of showed up one day, the idea of a girl who could see the future, but only at sunset. Watching Burn Gorman lose his smack in an adaptation of WUTHERING HEIGHTS gave me the idea for the very first scene– my main character’s brother locking her in an attic.

My writing process is very regimented. I write 1000 words a day, even if it takes me all day, and I don’t take days off until the book is done. If I write more than 1000 words that day, that’s great– but I don’t roll those words over. Every day gets a new 1000 words until the draft is finished. And usually, I’ll start my day by reading over the previous day’s work, editing, refining, and getting a good sense of where I left off before getting started again.

You could have set this story anywhere at anytime, why 1889 Baltimore?

I love Baltimore; it’s an exciting city, it has a rich culture, beautiful architecture, and a diverse, multicultural history. I don’t like to write about generic places, and Baltimore has so much to offer as a setting. Plus, it’s not a common setting in pop culture, so I didn’t have to work within established expectations. The book was originally set in 1881, but I moved it to 1889 for a handful of reasons- where the county was politically and technologically, mainly. The late 19th century is a bristlingly *modern* time, but there was still room for, and fascination with, the supernatural world. It was the perfect period to combine a book about modern girls who could still be swept up in a fantastic, supernatural thrall.

In the beginning, what or who spoke to your first? The story or the characters?

Wow, I can’t answer that. Because I had characters, and I was ready to launch into a particular story… but they didn’t end up telling that story. What I planned to happen never happened at all, so I guess in a cage match for first, the characters would win.

Was there any scene or part in the The Vespertine that was difficult to write? And if so how did you get through writing it?

I have to say, writing THE VESPERTINE was a singular experience- I had so much fun with it. I leapt into the story every day; I was thrilled to be there, and relished every single page. I’ve never had this much fun writing a novel before. I probably won’t again– the two novels I’ve written since were much, much harder.

 What are you working on next?

I just finished revisions on a companion novel for THE VESPERTINE. It’s called THE SPRINGSWEET, and it comes out in 2012. I’m also fiddling with something set in modern-day Maine, but it’s still a tiny little larval story, so I don’t want to talk about it too much. I might kill it!

Thank you so much for having me!

You are welcome Saundra!!!

Check out The Vespertine out now!!