Interview: April Genevieve Tucholke, author of The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

April Genevieve Tucholke’s debut novel, BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, is out today, and she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions on the new book, and more!

Please welcome April to the blog!

ApriltucholkeWill you tell us a bit about your new novel, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and its heroine, Violet White?
It’s about a lonely, book-reading girl who lives in a crumbling mansion by the sea. A mysterious boy shows up, wanting to rent the guesthouse. Strange things start happening. A girl faints in an old train tunnel, kids hunt the Devil in a cemetery, red-haired people are persecuted, someone dies…

What inspired you to write the novel? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I was inspired by this:

Did I always want to be a writer? Hmm. Well, I always wanted to be a reader. Writing…I entertained the idea occasionally as a kid. And I did end up getting a degree in it. But I really wanted to be a painter, too. And a carpenter. And I want to own a movie theater someday. And an olive farm.

Your book has been described as a gothic romance with shades of Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Do you think that’s accurate?
Yes. I would love for that to be accurate. King, he’s a god. And there is a hint of the Roaring Twenties in my book…and even more in the sequel.

betweenthedevilWhat are a few of the authors and novels that have influenced you the most?
The Brontes. Daphne Du Maurier. Larry McMurtry. Stephen King. Susanna Clarke.

The cover of the book is gorgeous! Do you think it accurately captured the mood and essence of the novel?
Yes. Definitely. It reminds me of books I fell in love with when I was a teenager. Gothic Victorian ones with dramatic, swooping titles and heroines with windblown hair who meet bad men.

In your writing, do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? Will you take us through your writing process?
Both. I’ve pantsed and I’ve plotted. I think I prefer plotting now—though I often change my mind as I go. My usual process:
Get coffee.
Sit down.
Look over what I wrote yesterday.
Think to myself: what’s the wildest, cruelest, maddest thing I can do to my characters right now? And then I try to write that.

If you could experience one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
This is a good, hard question. Jane Eyre? Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell? A Game of Thrones?

When you’re not busy at work on your next project, how do you like to spend your free time?
Hiking abandoned logging trails in the forest with my dogs. Cooking. Painting. Watching old b&w movies.

What’s next for you?
The sequel BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN—it comes out Summer 2014. And then a post-apoc called THE SCARECROW.

Keep up with April: Website | Twitter

You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

A gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald, set against a creepy summertime backdrop—a must-read for fans of Beautiful Creatures, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and Anna Dressed in Blood.

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