Author interview: Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty - Comes The Night

Thanks to ATOMR Tours I got the chance to interview Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty and ask them all about their latest collaboration, Comes The Night. To celebrate they are also giving away major prizes so be sure to enter if you want to win a copy of Comes The Night or a gift card (open internationally).

What was the most difficult part for you when writing COMES THE NIGHT?

It’s a very emotional book. Each of the girls is carrying a lot of pain, for different reasons. As a writer, you have to take that grief and pain and loneliness into your own heart in order for it to come out on the page. That was the toughest part. But oddly, it’s also the most wonderful part – feeling so strongly about your characters that you’re crying right along with them as you write a scene. (NOTE FROM NORAH: That’s Heather’s answer; I can’t make myself cry about my own characters. I think I’m too embroiled in the craft as I’m writing. But I can and do cry over other author’s books.)

What was the easiest part?

The easy part is the way any book we write as a team comes together. Our individual skills are very complementary. One of us (Heather) has a limitless, bounding imagination. She’s the one who originates all our ideas, and the one who can bring the threads together to reveal the fabric of the plot. One of us (Norah) is ruthlessly logical about filling in the gaps, shoring up motivation, keeping an eye to structure, etc. She’s sort of the technician. All of which means that we can write together way faster than either of us writes with our solo projects.

What is your favorite scene or was your favorite to write? Don’t forget to tell us why.

Heather: I won’t say too much about it because I don’t want to drop any spoilers, but there is a scene where Alex, who has been beaten down by the events in this book, finds her strength. But she also finds her commitment to seeking vengeance. I mean, she freely, unapologetically unleashes her desire for revenge, with no nice girl holding back, no ‘I-should-forgive-and-forget’. It’s a very powerful scene and was fun to write.

Norah: There were several scenes with Brooke that I really enjoyed writing. I’ll pick the one with Brooke and Seth in the stables. Again, I won’t go into it all, but after doing something she didn’t particularly want to do or enjoy, Brooke thinks she’s ‘won’, and that Seth will drop Melissa and come back to her. But she soon learns differently, and my heart just breaks for her.

Is there anything in COMES THE NIGHT you hope readers take away after reading, or something you want to point out you don’t want readers to miss?

This may seem like a funny answer, but not really. As with all our books, we aim first and foremost to provide a fast-paced, exciting story. Period. That’s always Job #1. But with Heather’s literary background, we’d like to think our joint YA stories have a lot of depth and layers and resonance beyond just being entertaining reads. We want the experience to be satisfying, no matter how analytical (or not!) the reader may be. For instance, we think one of the most obvious themes is survival. Just as people with Dissociative Identity Disorder learn to fragment themselves to survive trauma, our girls discover a way to do it with casting. Someone else might see messages there about relinquishing fear and pain in order to transform or become something else. Does a reader have to consciously notice those things? Probably not. It’s our belief that if the reader closes the book and thinks, “Wow, that was great!”, or if they continue to think about it for days afterward, then we’ve done our jobs.

What surprised you the most about writing this book with two authors involved?

At this point, we’ve written quite a few books together (YA paranormal, dystopian romance, cozy mystery), so there really weren’t any surprises.

How did the two of you come together to write this novel?

The decision to write together actually came quite a few years (and books) ago. Our first joint project was another YA paranormal (The Summoning – Book 1 in the Gatekeepers Series). Heather had mentioned this great idea for a book that wouldn’t leave her alone. Eventually, Norah, who was interested in trying her hand at YA, finally tumbled to the idea that we should try to write one together. We haven’t looked back since.

Are there future projects either or both of you would like to share?

We expect to publish the second book in this series – ENTER THE NIGHT – within the next month or so. This current book COMES THE NIGHT introduced all the characters, but is primarily Alex’s story. The next one, ENTER THE NIGHT, will be primarily Maryanne’s story. We hope to follow fairly quickly (ideally before the end of 2013) with EMBRACE THE NIGHT, which focuses more on Brooke, and FOREVER THE NIGHT, which ties everything up.

The timing of the latter two books might be affected by another project we have on the go which we’re totally excited about! Unfortunately, we can’t say anything about it at this time. But rest assured that as soon as we’re cleared to talk about it, we’ll dish!

Thanks for having us! And thanks for some great questions!

Connect with Norah Wilson:

Connect with Heather Doherty:
How far would you go to escape your own personal teenage hell? Would you run away, break away from everything you know—even your own body?

Alex Robbins, Brooke Saunders and Maryanne Hemlock could not be more different, yet they all have something in common — deep and soul-searing pain. They are also all students at Streep Academy, a boarding school just one step away from juvie, where they've come to complete high school. The three have been relegated to Harvell House, the residence reserved for the hardest cases, the so-called Rejects from Reject Row. In the forbidden attic of the old Victorian house-turned-residence, the girls discover the diary of Connie Harvell, a young woman who was confined and abused there some 50 years ago. In the end, Connie’s attic prison couldn't hold her—not completely. She found a way out. At least a dark part of her did. And after reading her diary, the girls discover they can escape at will too. A terrifying, thrilling flight from their bodies and their troubles.

But God help them, their pain isn't all they leave behind when they join with the night. And God help anyone who’s wronged them...

#1: Five (5) unsigned print copies of Comes the Night sent from CreateSpace - open internationally; 

#2: Five (5) eBook copies of Comes the Night (Smashword coupon code) - open internationally; 

#3: Three (3) $10 gift cards - choice of Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository

a Rafflecopter giveaway Total Book Geek

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