1. What originally gave you the idea for The Survivors Series and can you tell us a little about it?
THE SURVIVORS is based on the idea that, in the midst of the Salem witch trials, all the way back in 1692, a group of children and teens were accused as witches and, in lieu of being killed, they were exiled and left for dead. But through impossibly treacherous conditions, 14 of the exiled survived. They were just a few Puritan kids, scared out of their minds, and entirely unaware of their abilities.
Fast forward 319 years to today and those same 14 survivors and their descendants are hidden on a Montana mountainside where they have built a walled village, raised families, and stayed secluded until now. Unsure of how or why they were able to live, they simply called themselves Survivors. The name stuck.
The story follows Sadie, who is the only one among the Survivors who has ever left the family’s city. Sadie is a bit of a mess. While she is intelligent, refined, fashionable, and generally pretty awesome for being able to make it in the human world, she has a fairly tumultuous undercurrent in her life. For one, she is, as far as she knows, the only one of her kind outside her estranged family. For another, she realizes that living among humans isn’t the same as being a human. And so, somehow, simultaneously she is seeking companionship and a way to become mortal, new beginnings and a somewhat terrifying end.
In book one of the series, you get a real taste for all the major players and circumstances that exist in Sadie’s life. She meets other supernatural creatures. She gets close to a human in ways that concern her. She has to deal with the family she thought she’d left behind forever. She falls in love.
And she also finds out that Fate has chosen for her to live out a life far more controversial, conflicted, and crazy than she anticipated. The jacket copy ends with the line, “And it is only the beginning,” and we’re not kidding by that. What’s coming in this series is nuts, and I’m so excited to share it with you.
And as for how I got the idea: THE SURVIVORS came to me through a sequence of events. The long version of the story-behind-the-story can be found here on my website, but the short version is this: I wanted to write a story about creature you’ve never heard of because the idea of a Survivor seemed to good to pass up to me—the creature that could survive anything, whether it wanted to or not. The Survivors aren’t witches or shape-shifters or vampires (though she encounters all of those creatures). Instead, they don’t know what they are, and so you don’t either.
I also have an obsession with fitting fiction into the holes in history, and so the Salem witch trials felt like a great place to start. The history behind Salem is just insane, and sometimes the truth of it is way stranger than any fiction we’d create. I fused the two in this story (hopefully well).
2. Your book involves several paranormal creatures. If you had to pick, what type of paranormal creature would you like to be and why?
This is a tough one. Though it’s going to sound incredibly biased, I actually would say a Survivor. They have the strength and speed and immortality like [some kinds of] vampires, and they each have a cool individual power or two, but there’s no bloodlust and so a little less of the wanting-to-eat-your-human-friends part.
But I must admit: I have been accused of having some vampire-like qualities before. I’m very pale (and cool with that!), I rarely sleep, sometimes forget to eat, and generally live a life that’s somewhat mythological. I’m also seriously into sports cars and fashion like a certain famous vamp we all know, so there’s that.
3. Since we both live in Tennessee I have to ask; what kind of strange creatures do you think live in these big mountains?
This is a very great question. Ever since my life started revolving around researching obscure mythological creatures and odd supernatural lore from different cultures throughout history, I have asked myself this same question. I’ve decided the odds are 50/50 between seriously angry Antebellum ghosts and a Tennessee-style sasquatch. Maybe centaurs! I do see a lot of enormous deer (who could totally be confused as centaurs in the dark, duh) when I drive the Natchez Trace at night.
(What do you think are in our beloved, creepy mountains??)
4. Can you introduce us to a few of your main characters and share a little about them?
Of course, there is Sadie who tells us her story. There’s Corrina, her human best friend (who has no knowledge of her supernatural wonder), who is largely responsible for the fact that most of what Sadie wears came off of a runway from a New York Fashion Week show. In chapter one, you meet the beautiful, clean-cut, and alarmingly perfect Cole Hardwick—a human love interest that Corrina has selected for Sadie.
But it’s not long before Sadie starts meeting other supernaturals. First, there is the mysterious, possibly violent Mark Winter—the classic example of someone tough on the outside and immensely soft on the inside. Then there is Everett, Mark’s older brother, who leaves Sadie speechless, stunned, and generally never the same after their first meeting. Where Cole is more sweet Southern charm, Everett is more intense, smooth, yet enigmatic in a way that makes him hard not to simultaneously connect to and be wary of. More playfully, you get to know Ginny, the beloved, outlandish Winter sister who is the blonde in the Louboutins stepping out of a candy-apple red Lotus.
It’s worth mentioning that Sadie, Corrina, and Ginny are all on Twitter right now. You can follow them @SadiesTravels @Corrinarina and @BlondeLouboutin. And as the timeline of the story progresses, there will be more to come!
5. What else do you have planned for this series?
This is hard to say without giving anything away, but let’s just say that the remaining four books in the series are totally amped up versions of this one. The stakes for all the players are higher. The feelings—good and bad— get more intense. Loyalties are questioned, boundaries are pushed, and every one of our main characters finds her or himself in serious danger from all kinds of different threats. Sadie and the others delve deeply into the Survivors’ often confusing past, seeking answers to questions that were never supposed to be asked. Plus, the story is further rooted in history and into world mythology (much of which is closer to home than you expect). And Sadie? Well, Sadie has a lot of learning to do (often the hard way) before she can finally land with her feet on the ground, but isn’t that the case for us all?
Before the final page of the final book is closed, we’ll see love and loss, war and little peace, remorse and regret, destruction and creation, and quintessential questions asked about good and evil, about each of us as individuals and as a part of something bigger. In THE SURVIVORS, side-by-side with Sadie, you’ll learn what it means to survive.