Y’all, I meet a lot of cool people on the internet. And one of the coolest, most instantly adorable writers I’ve glommed onto this year is Julie Hutchings, who writes rad new adult paranormal novels, edits other people’s books, and LIKES TO TALK IN ALL CAPS ON TWITTER. Which of course I love.
And today, Julie has a brand-new book out! *throws confetti*
And I get to interview her about it! *throws streamers*
So, first off, here’s the official summary for Running Away:
Eliza Morgan is desperate to escape the horrors of her mortal life and understand why death follows her, leaving only one man, Nicholas French, in its wake. He’s the one she loves, the one she resents, and the one fated to make her legendary among the Shinigami– an ancient order of vampires with a “heroic” duty to kill. He’s also decaying before her eyes, and it’s her fault.
On the ghostlike mountaintop in Japan that the vampires consider home, Eliza will be guided by the all-powerful Master for her transition to Shinigami death god. When Eliza discovers that sacrificing her destiny will save Nicholas, she’s not afraid to defy fate and make it so—even when Nicholas’s salvation kills her slowly with torturous, puzzle-piece visions that beg her to solve them. Both Nicholas and his beloved Master fight her on veering from the path to immortality, but Eliza won’t be talked out of her plan, even if it drives the wedge between Nicholas and her deeper.
Allying with the fiery rebel, Kieran, who does what he wants and encourages her to do the same, and a mysterious deity that only she can see, Eliza must forge her own path through a maze of ancient traditions and rivalries, shameful secrets and dark betrayals to take back the choices denied her and the Shinigami who see her as their savior. To uncover the truth and save her loved ones, Eliza will stop at nothing, including war with fate itself.
You already added it to Goodreads, didn’t you? Good.
Now! Enough of the official shenanigans. Let’s talk to the lady herself!
Let’s begin with the most clichéd possible question: Where did you get the idea for this book?
Ha! Jesus, I’ll give you the most cliched answer: it just showed up! It was the natural progression for Eliza, and it’s set in Japan where of course, the Shinigami vampires originated. There’s a thick mythology under the surface too, that worked coincidentally a little too well with the plot, ancient Japanese mythological figures that showed up and refused to leave. A lot of coincidences happened with this book that made it, if I have to be so annoying, perfect for the story.
Running Away is a sequel (to Running Home, for those playing along at home), and there’s a third book in the pipe. What have you found most rewarding and/or most difficult about writing a series?
The rewarding part is definitely amassing a bit of a cult following and being able to surprise them, satisfy them with some answers in the following books. I enjoy one upping myself, too! Readers so far are feeling Running Away is actually better than Running Home, and I am totally cool with that. The challenge is in making sure to give enough of the original story while not overloading with a bunch of exposition. Tough stuff.
Some folks don’t buy that sci-fi/fantasy/horror novels have anything important to say under the braincandy shell. Which is obviously bullshit. What are the Serious Ideas you’re trying to get across in this book?
That no matter how bleak and out of control circumstances may be, there are always choices. They may be terrible, but they exist. More importantly, if choices aren’t good enough, make your own. Take your world into your own hands. There’s always a way.
In today’s book world, writing novels simply isn’t enough to build an author’s career – we’ve got to branch out, experiment, and get all guerrilla-creative. What are your grand plans and big dreams for this series? Any other media you’d like to test it on?
I suck at that stuff so much. I’m always open to ideas, but I suck at executing them. Book trailers, for instance. Suck at execution. Kristen Strassel, my writing and blogging partner, is the brains behind this operation. She knows all The Stuff. I’ll try anything though. I’m sort of a jumper inner to things.
And just to wrap it up for those folks with short attention spans, what’s the Too Long; Didn’t Read version of everything you want to say about Running Away? 140 characters, max!
Prepare for the death and betrayal of death gods themselves, consuming passions of all kinds and a brand of vampires you’ve never imagined. (Was that 140 characters? Screw it.)
Pick up Running Away on Amazon
OR start with Running Home! (or get both)
Julie revels in all things Buffy, has a sick need for exotic reptiles, and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez and his donkey combined, if that donkey is allowed to drink coffee. Julie’s a black belt with an almost inappropriate love for martial arts. And pizza. And Rob Zombie. Julie lives in Plymouth, MA, constantly awaiting thunderstorms with her wildly supportive husband and two magnificent boys. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her blog.