Welcome to The Romantic Scholar, a book review blog. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy your stay.

After an eight month long hiatus, I am back. And I could not be more excited about it.

***My comments are located at the top of my posts***

Friday, January 29, 2010

So, I'm very pleased to share with you all my interview with Laurie Faria Stolarz, the author of Blue is for Nightmares, Deadly Little Lies, Bleed, and Project 17. She was such a joy to interview and I am so thankful that she agreed! Well, here it is!

Romantic Scholar: First of all, would you mind giving us a brief summary of Deadly Little Lies?

Laurie Faria Stolarz: Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, a new boy at school who had a very mysterious gift – psychometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry and experiencing strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow been transferred to her.

Ben returns to school, but he remains aloof, and Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Camelia makes the painful decision to let him go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at Knead, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events uncovers secrets from Ben’s past – and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who – before it's too late.

View the Book Trailer for Deadly Little Secret: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fzMpVMy2fQ

RS: What inspired you to write the TOUCH series?

LFS: I wanted to write a story where the main character has to struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone who could potentially be dangerous. I tinkered with this concept in the first three books of my Blue is for Nightmares Series [(Blue is for Nightmares (Llewellyn 2003), White is for Magic (Llewellyn 2004), and Silver is for Secrets (Llewellyn 2005), as well as in Bleed (Hyperion 2006)]. In Bleed, in particular, there’s a young male character who was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend. His next relationship consists of pen pal letters he exchanges with a young girl while he’s in prison. Without giving too much away, the relationship is briefly pursued once he is released, but I wanted to bring this concept to another level.

Additionally, I wanted to continue experimenting with the supernatural (which I also use in my Blue is for Nightmares Series as well as in Project 17), showing how we all have our own inner senses and intuition, and how with work we can tap into those senses and make them stronger.

I started researching different types of supernatural powers and discovered the power of psychometry (the ability to sense things through touch). The concept fascinated me, and so I wanted to bring it out in a character, showing how sometimes even the most extraordinary powers can also be a curse.

Lastly, I wanted to apply these concepts to be part of a series. I love the idea of growing a main character over the course of several books.

RS: Do you have any favorite characters?

LFS: I love Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery. Chillingly well written.

RS: Is there a certain message within the TOUCH series you would like your readers to know?

LFS: Yes, people need to trust and listen to their instincts. There are several messages embedded in all of my books, and whichever messages makes sense and/or speak to the reader is great.

RS: You also have another book that has recently come out, the fifth installment to your Blue is for Nightmares series, Black is for Beginnings. Could you tell us a little about that?

LFS: The BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series that put a spell on more than half a million readers continues – in graphic novel format! Prophetic nightmares. Near-brushes with death. Killers pursuing her and her friends. Stacey Brown knows that being a hereditary witch isn’t all it's cracked up to be.

All she really wants to do is work things out with Jacob and figure out what to do with the rest of her life. But before Stacey and Jacob can have a future, they must face their pasts. BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS reveals the never-before-seen backstory - and what lies ahead - for the young, spellcasting lovers.

BLACK continues the harrowing adventures of Stacey and Jacob in the wake of Jacob's brush with death. Ever since he lost his memory, Jacob hasn't been able to remember Stacey - his own soul mate. He leaves Massachusetts, returning to his childhood home in Colorado, hoping to jog his memory. What he remembers is Kira, his ex-girlfriend. As Jacob works to piece together his past, will there be room for Stacey in his future?

RS: What made you decide to publish it in the form of a graphic novel?

LFS: I wanted to try something different. The arcs of the first four books are similar in many respects, and so I wanted to give the series a creative spin. I felt the series was finished at four books, but readers kept asking me for a fifth. When my editor approached me with the idea of writing a graphic novel, I was very intrigued, because it gave me the opportunity to not only try something new, but to really picture the book as a movie. I have a background in screenwriting and wrote BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS in screenplay format, adding in ideas for illustrations and sidebars. It was an absolute thrill to write, and to have the opportunity to work with an illustrator for these characters and situations I’d created.

RS: Can we look to see any more from your Blue is for Nightmares series?

LFS: Possibly ;) We’ll see.

RS: What first inspired you to write?

LFS: I’ve been writing since before I could even hold a pen. As a small child, I was constantly telling stories to whomever would listen to me. When I’d exhausted my family with my endless babbling, I’d go out and tell my tales to the neighborhood kids – passing the stories off as truth. I’d tell of going into the meadows at night and wrestling with a mountain lion or the time I found a boa constrictor in my mom’s garden and had to grapple for my life, winding the snake from around my neck just in the knick of time. Telling stories is just something I’ve always done. I used to write plays and scripts for my Barbie dolls and make people watch the performances. My love of creating stories continued into school when I’d have to write a paragraph or short essay about what I did during Christmas vacation or summer break. I never thought my own life was exciting enough, so I was forever inventing stories.

People along the way, including some teachers, would tell me that I should pursue writing as a career but, at the time, it wasn’t a possibility. I ended up going to business school, following in my older brothers’ footsteps. It wasn’t until after I got my B.S. in marketing that I pursued my graduate degree in creative writing. I’m thankful for my marketing degree now, however, because it really helps me with my books.

RS: Do you like to have any food or drinks when you write?

I love dark, black coffee.

RS: How much time do you usually spend writing in one sitting?

LFS: It really depends. Sometimes 15 minutes. Other times, several hours.

RS: Do you like to listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?

LFS: Fergie, James Blunt, Tori Amos, Gavin Rossdale, Sting, Sarah MacLachlin, Gwen Stefani, Black-eyed Peas.

RS: Are you working on anything new right now?

LFS: Yes, I’m currently working on the edits for Deadly Little Game, the third book in the Touch Series. I’m also working on the third book in the Amanda Project (Do You See).

RS: Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?


1. I love what I do, and feel very grateful to be able to have this as a career.

2. I love dark chocolate, Starbucks coffee, Bertucci’s cheeseless pizza, popcorn, and Indian food (though not necessarily in one meal).

3. I watch an embarrassing amount of reality TV (it’s research after all).

4. I’m very deadline driven, giving myself weekly deadlines and agendas, so that everything gets done on time.

5. I have a background in marketing and French.

6. My first job was as a piano teacher (I was 9). I’ve also been a waitress, a supermarket cashier, worked in a ceramics studio, worked as a tour guide for international exchange students, been a teacher, a script reader, an editor, and written obituaries for a newspaper.

7. I’m a vegetarian. If I were to try my hand at a different career, it would be holistic nutritionist.

8. I love yoga, dance/aerobics classes, cooking, tennis, and power walks.

9. I often shop online, fill my basket, and then empty it all out. Does anyone else do this?

10. My readers mean the world to me.

Thanks again to Laurie for this great interview. She gave so much insight into her world and was such a joy to talk with.


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