I couldn't wait to interview one of my amazing friends and author of the beautifully creepy gothic horror: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA. April Tucholke's novel has been one of the most sought after books since it was announced, and people who were lucky enough to read it before its release have praised this book insane amounts. Of course, it is now available for purchase and if you haven't got it yet, you need to rectify this, immediately!
I absolutely loved everything about BETWEEN and seriously cannot wait for its sequel. Read on to learn more about April's brilliant mind.
What inspired you to write BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA?
I read this crazy article when I was living in Scotland: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8574484.stm and it really inspired me. How did this rumor about the vampire spread so fast? Who started it? Did it all trace back to one brilliant little liar of a kid?
Has the editing/writing process for BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN been any easier than book one?
Definitely. Learning to draft and edit is an acquired skill like anything else. I’m better at it now. I’ve got the melody down. It’s still hard. Brutally hard. Especially drafting. But I’m slowly getting the hang of it.
People sometimes tweak their writing process with every manuscript to find new ways that work for them. Has being published changed the way you plot/outline as you jump into book two?
Not really. I still do pretty much the same thing. Spend days and days thinking about the plot. Discuss it at length with my husband. Read things and watch things and go places to get inspired. The write a 2 or 3 page outline…and begin. Generally about 2/3 of the way through I’ll take a step back and look at what I’ve got so far and then try to figure out how to make the ending a lot more cool than it was in the outline.
What do you do when you get stuck? Do you wait it out or do you have strategies for getting unstuck?
I don’t often get stuck. I just push myself through it. It’s like cooking. Some days you’re inspired, other days cooking feels loathsome and tedious and hateful. But either way you have to eat. And either way you want the food to be good. If I absolutely need to I’ll take a long walk or read some pages of a book I love and hope to get my spark back. It always returns.
The phrase “kill your darlings” comes up a lot during editing and revisions. What are the hardest scenes for you to cut or edit out but that you’re glad you did?
Hmm. I’m kind of a lean writer so I almost always need to add, not cut. Sometimes I have to tone down violence. And madness. I try to transform the scene, rather than cut it entirely though.
What’s better: a kickass villain that you almost want to cheer for or hilarious minor characters? Tell us why!
Kickass villain. Always. Gothic horror plots thrive on passionate antagonists that both seduce and repel at the same time. Byronic heroes—what’s not to love? See: Wuthering Heights, Dracula, Dragonwyck, The Phantom of the Opera, Interview with a Vampire, Jamaica Inn…
Do you have any secret writing habits?
Just coffee. Coffee and a snuggly Bichon and maybe a quick weekend trip somewhere lively and cool to get my muse going.
Bio below from Goodreads:
April Genevieve Tucholke is a full-time writer who digs classic movie, redheaded villains, bit kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband––a librarian, former rare-book dealer, and journalist––live in Oregon. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.
The Secret Life would like to thank April for taking the time to answer our questions. We are so looking forward to the sequel: BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN, and can't wait to see what other awesome book ideas she has in store for the future.