Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Author Interview: Laura Bickle


Laura Bickle


Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science, and when she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs (she also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams). Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats.THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. More information about Laura and her books can be found on her website, www.laurabickle.com.

Her YA Book:

The Hallowed Ones

Release Date: 9/25/2012


If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in?  Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there…and it is making a killing. 
Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: no one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elders’ rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?


Q: Do you like writing YA or Adult books better? Why? 

A: I always have a lot of fun writing fantasy. I love asking those ‘what if’ questions and building worlds around the answers.  

But there’s something special about writing YA. I think it’s because there are fewer ‘rules’ about the structure of the story and the path the characters need to take. It feels easier to spread my wings and explore ideas in ways that I wouldn’t necessarily be able to do in a book for adults. 

Q: What are you the most excited about with the up coming release of your new YA novelThe Hallowed Ones? 

A: I’m very excited for the book! I think I probably won’t sleep on release day. Release day is always exhilarating and scary at the same time! 

Q: What inspired you to writeThe Hallowed Ones? 

A: I was thinking about what would happen if the end of the world came…I know this is a common thing to think about on an everyday basis! But that’s part of the joy in being a writer. I get to think about odd things. 

I was wondering who would be best-equipped to survive a large-scale disaster. It occurred to me that the Amish would be uniquely equipped to survive. They are incredibly self-sufficient and are not dependent upon things we take for granted in our world, things like electricity and cars.  

I live not too far from a large Amish settlement. When I was a child, my parents would take me to visit, and I was fascinated by a world very different than the one I lived in. I’d see Amish girls my age over the fence and wonder what their lives were like.  

Q: How did you come up with the idea of an Amish Dystopian type book? 

A: I had never read an Amish Dystopian book before, so I figure that it would be fun to try. The more I researched and thought about how the Amish might live after a disaster, the more I became convinced that it was an idea that other people might like to read about. The more I learned about Amish culture, the more I admired the tenacity that the Plain way of life requires. 

Q: What did you enjoy the most about writingThe Hallowed Ones? 

A: I most enjoyed writing from the perspective of Katie, the protagonist. Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the outside world. But the outside world comes to her when a helicopter falls out of the sky near her house. Katie must confront not only a massive disaster unfolding in the world outside her community, but also the threat of darkness in her own increasingly fragile society. 

Katie was an interesting character to write because she's very strong in a quiet, enduring kind of way. She struggles to develop her own moral compass, independent of her parents and community. That requires a great deal of fortitude, just as much fortitude as dealing with the evil creatures in her world.

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