Late Night Library

Rookie Report

As horrible as Wickham Hall could be, it was better than home. I had my studio. I had Malcolm. I ran for my life. I paused at the old well to catch my breath. I told myself how silly I was—this was not life or death. How silly I was. I looked around—no one was coming—so I leaned on the well, trying to calm down. I looked into its blackness. Abyss. Then something suddenly rushed up from the dark, and that cold chill slapped me in the face. My head whipped back from its force. And that’s when everything went black.

Falling into nothingness. Darkness. Bodies. Velvet. Starched white linen stained with dried blood. Ribbons. Fingernails scraping the stone walls. Dirty fingernails, clawing at crude drawings on the stone. A ring on her finger. Landing on lifeless bodies with a thud. Flesh, unaware. Screams of girls. Terrified. Terrorized. Deeper voices chanting words I don’t know but sort of recognize. Latin, maybe. A song emerges, high pitched. Voices in unison. A chorus singing the Wickham Hall alma mater.

-Excerpt from Liv, Forever.


Late Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.

Amy Talkington: School. Art. Love. Death. Ghosts. Terror. Conspiracy. Connection. Freedom. Vapor.

Liv, ForeverLNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?

AT: The Lovely Bones is married to Looking for Alaska but having an affair with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. No one knows for sure who the father is.

LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?

AT: My style is definitely influenced by my “day job” as a screenwriter/filmmaker. I’d say it’s: One part screenwriter—lean but hopefully visual. One part liberated screenwriter—enjoying the ability to explore a voice and linger in a character’s head. One part film director—seeking moments and shots. A dash from the art lover in me—characters making art and talking about it. And all heart.

LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.

AT: Frankenstein. I was sixteen and it was thrilling to read this book that was at once horrifying and romantic and really about something. And the fact that it had been written by a young woman only stoked the fire. Plus if I were reading it for the first time again, I’d be sixteen.

LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.

AT: Q. Why did you decide to write a book when you’re already writing movies? A. I actually first imagined this story as a screenplay before I realized I needed to write it as a book (something I’d always wanted to do). I wanted to get completely immersed in this world, get to know the characters inside out. I also wanted to create a layered ghost mythology that I’m not sure I could have found in a screenplay. Also, screenwriting is incredibly prescriptive. You cannot go into someone’s head. You cannot describe a room beyond the bare essentials. So writing this book felt like a gift. A luxury. Not to mention this book will be published just as I wrote it. To have something go out into the world just as you wrote it is an uncommon experience for a screenwriter. I want more of it. But, at the same time, I’m hard at work to turn Liv, Forever into a movie.

Get a copy of Liv, Forever at IndieBound.

Amy Talkington_LowRes-EmailableAmy Talkington is an award-winning screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. Before all that she wrote about music for magazines like Spin, Ray Gun, Interview, and Seventeen (mostly just as a way to get to hang out with rock stars). As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, Amy painted lots of angsty self-portraits, listened to The Velvet Underground, and was difficult enough that her parents finally let her go to boarding school on the East Coast. Liv, Forever is her first novel.


She’d left a half-empty bottle of tequila. She’d left a lot of other things too, but right now Marshall figured the Patrón would serve him better than mismatched dishes, odd socks, and the wedding ring lying in the ceramic dish at the edge of the kitchen sink. Marshall avoided looking at it as he pulled down a glass from the cupboard and poured himself a shot. He waved the tequila under his nose and grimaced. Tequila wasn’t his drink; it was Violet’s. He turned to the refrigerator and began rummaging in it for a slice of lime or lemon. There was nothing in there but a moldy orange and a net bag with a few withered grapes in it. He left the rotten fruit lying on the refrigerator shelf, scooped up the Patrón, and bravely downed it in a gulp. He poured himself another.

-Excerpt from In Violet’s Wake


Late Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.

Robin Devereaux-Nelson: Five men. One destructive woman. Bromance wins the day.

In Violet's Wake CoverLNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?

RDN: Zack Galifianakis and Angelia Jolie. I’m thinking Zack would be okay with that. Maybe Angelina, not so much.

LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?

RDN: Quirkiness, coffee, humor, coffee, not taking myself too seriously, and, of course, coffee.

LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.

RDN: Honestly, the whole Gunslinger series by Stephen (Big Steve) King. I felt like a little kid filled with the wonder of the worlds he created when I read them. It would be good to feel that again.

LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.

RDN: Dog biscuits. Actually, Liva-Snaps work the best.

Get a copy of In Violet’s Wake at IndieBound.

DevereauxNelson_RobinRobin Devereaux-Nelson grew up in rural Michigan and has been a writer all her life. She has worked as a program developer and grant writer for the past twenty-five years, creating programs that focus on community arts for youth and for individuals with disabilities. In Violet’s Wake is her first novel.

Posted on: March 14, 2014 · Blog, Rookie Report ·Tags: , , , , , , , .

Newsletter powered by MailChimp