Today, we have a guest on the blog, writer Lena Hillbrand, author of the urban fantasy book, The Superiors. She graciously consented to the following interview:
Other than writing, I spend a lot of time reading, hanging out with my family, and doing outdoorsy stuff. I’m always thinking about writing though, rehashing scenes or taking little pieces from my surroundings and experiences that I can use. My books are much more interesting than my life!
2. Can you tell us about your book, The Superiors?
The Superiors is my take on the vampire genre. It’s not the typical vampire story that’s fashionable right now—it’s not a love story, and it’s more literary than most of the current vampire books. The book is my theory on what would happen if vampires really existed. They would take over the world and enslave humans, and they wouldn’t all be filthy rich and look like supermodels!
The book follows the journey of one lower-class Superior (vampire) on his quest to buy a human who captivates his interest. Through his relationship with her, he begins to remember his own humanity just when he’s forced to make a choice that defies humanity. It’s a bit of a grim take on vampires.
3. This is your debut novel. How long have you been writing, and how does it feel to have a published book?
I’ve been writing for most of my life, but I’m fairly new to novel writing. I wrote my first full-length novel less than three years ago and kept churning out the rest of the series after that. Sometimes I’d spend 12 or 16 hours a day writing, but it’s definitely been a labor of love. It’s pretty cool to finally have a book with my name on it.
4. Was it a conscious decision for The Superiors to be the start of a series or did the story simply evolve beyond one book?
I planned on writing four books and did a brief one-paragraph plot synopsis for the books before I wrote them. After the second book, I threw away the plan and kept writing until the series felt finished. I ended up with seven books instead of four.
5. Why did you decide to write in the fantasy genre?
Mostly due to frustration, honestly. I’d only read a couple of the popular vampire series, but they didn’t answer any of the questions I had about vampires. So I did some research to answer my own questions. Then I wrote what I thought would happen. I never thought I’d write fantasy, but it turned out I liked it.
6. What is the hardest part of writing fantasy fiction?
The hardest part for me is the world building. I’m always surprised when people compliment me on it, because I find that part the most difficult and don’t think I’m very good at it.
7. How did you research your books?
I read a lot of vampire folklore. I stopped reading vampire novels when I started writing, because I didn’t want them to influence my ideas. But I did read a lot of traditional vampire lore from different cultures. There’s an amazing diversity of vampire types and myths across the world.
8. What advice would you give beginning writers?
Just keep writing, as much and as often as you can.
9. What’s next for you?
I’m working on editing the other books in The Superiors series. I’m also writing a prequel-type novella and a realistic YA book.
You can find Lena online everywhere, but these are the sites she frequents the most:
Her blog: http://lenahillbrand.blogspot.com
The Superiors is available on Amazon, Kindle and Smashwords.