July 13, 2015

Survive the Night Blog Tour: Author Interview

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Survive the Night! I have a great interview with the author to share with you, and be sure to check back soon for my review of the book!
Survive the Night
Author: Danielle Vega
Genre: YA Thriller/Horror
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
We're all gonna die down here...

Julie lies dead and disemboweled in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Her friends think she’s just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music.

In a tunnel nearby, Casey regrets coming to Survive the Night, the all-night underground rave in the New York City subway. Her best friend Shana talked her into it, even though Casey just got out of rehab. Alone and lost in the dark, creepy tunnels, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse...
...until she comes across Julie’s body, and the party turns deadly.

Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subway system, searching for a way out. But every manhole is sealed shut, and every noise echoes eerily in the dark, reminding them they’re not alone.

They’re being hunted.
Trapped underground with someone—or something—out to get them, Casey can’t help but listen to her friend’s terrified refrain: “We’re all gonna die down here...” in this bone-chilling sophmore novel by the acclaimed author of The Merciless.
1. What inspired you (or gave you the idea) for Survive the Night?
Just as my first novel, THE MERCILESS, was based on a real life teen exorcist, SURVIVE THE NIGHT was (very, very loosely) based on real events. There was a rave in the NYC subway system not too long ago and, while I wasn’t nearly cool enough to attend myself, I did catch the photos online the next day. The whole thing was creepy and terrifying and wonderful. It was just begging to be the setting for a horror novel.

2. I'm a HUGE fan of YA horror, but there doesn't seem to be many books out there. Why did you choose to write YA horror?

There actually is a lot of scary YA right now, but I’ve found that it tends to be something else, too. It’s scary YA science fiction, or creepy romantic YA or dark YA fantasy. I found myself missing straight horror, like Christopher Pike and Louis Duncan (both authors I loved as a teen.) I wanted to write something that felt like that—fast paced, and adrenaline packed and really, really scary.

3. What's the hardest part of writing a novel, in your opinion?
Finishing it. Once I have a whole book written, the editing is so much easier but actually getting the words on the page can feel impossible. It’s hard not to second guess yourself, and get down on your idea in the beginning stages. Once you’ve written the final lines, it’s a lot easier to see where you need to go in and move things around.

4. Are any of your characters based on people you know or yourself?

It’s hard to write characters who aren’t a little bit you. None of the characters I write are based entirely on real people, but I’ll steal a one-liner or a nickname or a character trait every now and then to make them feel real. For instance, Shana has high school Danielle’s tendency to change her hair color every month, and I actually knew a kid who called himself “Woody” and another kid who had a rap group called “Funky Chicken” and performed in a cow costume—I kind of merged them together to create the Woody in this book. Sam isn’t based on anyone real, but the band name “Feelings Are Enough” is an inside joke between my friends and me.

5. Was there a specific person or event that made you want to become an author?

So many writers inspire me, but I became an author because I could not stop writing stories. I’d do it at work or while waiting in the doctor’s office or when I was stuck in traffic. It was like an addiction. After I finally gave in, I found that other writer’s stories made me feel a whole lot better about this life choice.

6. Favorite book and/or author?

This is impossible so, instead of answering, I’m going to use this space to promote my friends’ books. Anne Heltzel’s CHARLIE PRESUMED DEAD is out now, and it’s glorious. Make sure to pick up Anna Schumacher’s END TIMES books while you’re at it. Also good are the TRUTH OR DARE books by Jackie Green and SECOND STAR by Alyssa Sheinmel.

7. Any tips for aspiring authors?

Write a lot & read a lot. I know this doesn’t sound particularly inspired, but it’s really the best advice out there for writers. Other stuff that’s helped me and may or may not help you, too: make a schedule and stick to it, set deadlines, find a crit partner, STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER WRITERS, take a break, accept that success might look different than how you imagined, write something new, write something weird, always have coffee, be careful about who you take criticism from, don’t be precious with your writing, be brave, keep going.

I could go on, but that’s a good place to start.

8. What's up next for you?

I have a novel called BURNING coming out in April 2016 under the name Danielle Rollins—it’s been called Orange is the New Black meets Carrie. But the project I’m working on now is a secret! There’s snow and bunnies and cute boys with dark secrets, and a school play and…Blood. Lots and lots of blood. 

Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us today Danielle! I just have to say that BURNING is actually one of my top releases so far for 2016 - and now that I know it's by you - it's totally at the top of my wishlist!  :)
Danielle Vega spent her childhood hiding under the covers while her mother retold tales from the pages of Stephen King novels. Now an adult, she can count on one hand the number of times in her life she's been truly afraid. Danielle has won numerous awards for her fiction and nonfiction, and earned a 2009 Pushcart Prize nomination for her short story “Drive.” She lives in Brooklyn. 

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