Blog Tour with Xpresso Book Tours
Welcome to the Darkness
Publication Date: August 5, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
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A typical teenager, seventeen-year-old Reed Hennessy doesn’t realize how lucky he is to lead a normal life until he loses everything, including his humanity. The attacker who slaughters his family and destroys their home turns out to be a vampire, a creature Reed had considered a myth.
Now a vampire himself, but with the unique ability to walk in sunlight, Reed struggles in the dark underworld he didn’t even know existed. His only two allies in his fight to stay alive are his reluctant mentor, Nathaniel, a vampire with over two hundred years’ worth of emotional baggage, and Sarah, a rookie cop with a secret ability of her own.
Together, Reed and his companions face a harrowing, cross-country journey before stumbling into a plot which could mean the end of everything for humans and vampires alike.
Lisa Justus’ path to becoming an author took a circuitous route through the University of Waterloo where she earned a Bachelor of Mathematics, followed by jobs in quality assurance and technical writing at a high-tech company. With a keen interest in creative fiction, she wrote her first fantasy novel as part of NaNoWriMo as well as an early chapter book for her kids when they were younger. Her YA paranormal fantasy novel Welcome to the Darkness is the first book in the Darkness Trilogy.
These days Lisa is busy writing her fourth novel, reading, finishing her basement, doing volunteer work, and trying to stay in shape by running somewhat regularly. She, her husband, and their three children live in Ottawa, Ontario.
Where did the idea for Welcome to Darkness come from?
I always have a few story ideas floating around my brain, but the basic idea for the Darkness Trilogy was floating at the top when I finally found the time to write. I’d been reading a lot of vampire fiction, but the overall theme of every book seemed to be the same: a teen attending high school either A) discovers there’s a vampire pretending to be a human at their school or B) they themselves are a vampire pretending to be a human. Throw in a love triangle and there’s the basic premise behind almost all young adult vampire books from the last several years. I wanted to do something completely different – a cross-country journey, no hanging out at high school, and no love triangle. While there is a romantic aspect to Welcome to the Darkness, the emphasis is more on the action and adventure.
What was the hardest part of writing Welcome to Darkness?
I guess there are two things I found somewhat challenging to write. The first is the romantic stuff. I love reading romantic scenes, but when it comes to writing them, I find it quite difficult. I’d way rather write a violent action scene! Not sure what that says about me, hmmm. The second thing I found hard to write about were the scenes involving grief, when it’s finally sinking in that Reed’s family members are actually dead and he’ll never see them again. To depict strong emotions realistically, you have to imagine them. So to describe grief, I had to relive moments of grief from my personal life.
The most challenging, but also the most enjoyable character to write was Nathaniel. He’s so formal and seemingly cold at first, but he’s really a compassionate soul. Because he’s lived so long and experienced so much trauma in his life, he’s reluctant to get close to anyone. Showing his tough exterior melting bit by bit was a fun writing experience.
What is the best book you’ve read so far this year?
Uh, oh . . . that’s a tough one. I’ve been fortunate enough to have picked out a lot of amazing books so far this year! I’m going to have to go with Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare. Now there’s an author who writes kick-ass romantic scenes. I’m in love with the character Will, and he’s not even a real person. After I finished the book, I walked around in a fog because I was so sad it was over.
If you could only choose three things, what would you want to have on hand in a vampire apocalypse?
Assuming people aren’t “things” I’d have to say:
1) A great weapon that any idiot could use effectively (yeah, I know nothing about using weapons).
2) A supernatural creature-free island to live on, preferably with a fully-stocked dwelling containing a lifetime’s supply of food, medicine, clothes, etc. (Doesn’t everyone have this kind of thing ‘on hand’?)
3) A crapload of books so I could escape into the world of fantasy.
*Grand Prize Giveaway:
- 20$ Amazon gift card + a signed copy
- 5 eBook copies.
*Prizes are sponsored by the author via Xpresso Book Tours.