We are taking out the spotlight and are shining on author of Hidden, book 1 of the Marchwood Vampire Series, Shalini Boland. This book has been getting rave reviews and now I know why. This PNR YA is an unputdownable read that is filled with romance, mystery and a huge side of creepy. Two stories come together as Alexandre who lives in 19th century Paris goes on a archaeological expedition where he uncovers a hidden lost city. What he discovers there will forver change his life. Mandy lives in modern day London. Having been in the foster care system with her younger brother, she wonders if life will ever get better. It does when one day a man tells her that she has inherited a fortune, along with a new mansion. Her life is forever changed and she finally feel like she has a normal life, until she makes a haunting discovery in her new home. This book has thrills, chills, and heart-warming love!
Shalini has taken some time out of her schedule to discuss her book, her career, and a dirty little secret that her family just learned about..lol
Here is Shalini Boland!
Tell us about yourself.
I live in Dorset, England with my husband and two young boys. Writing is my obsession. I have to keep reminding myself that there’s a real world outside and need to be lured away from my laptop with promises of coffee and cake.
How did you start your career as a writer?
Before children, I was a singer/songwriter, but afterwards, the lifestyle became way too hectic. I missed the creativity and ended up writing fiction in my spare moments. I initially wrote just for myself, but eventually decided to try and publish.
The whole premise of the book and the way the vampires are portrayed is so unique! Where did you get the idea for the The Marchwood series?
The first spark of an idea came from a newspaper article about a local family who were evicted from their home as they had bats nesting in their attic. The bats were a protected species and were apparently more important than the family. I thought: hmmm, bats in the attic … How about vampires in the basement?
You have everything from the feisty human Madison, to dreamy vampire Alexandre. Which character is your favorite and why?
I’d have to say Alexandre because I luuurrve him. He’s gorgeous with an old school charm that’s hard to find these days, but he’s not smarmy or cheesy. And he’s not afraid to laugh at himself either.
Which character are you most like?
To be honest, I don’t think I’m like any of the characters in Hidden. I like a quiet life! Maybe they’re my alter egos…
Are your characters based on people you know?
I’ve probably taken a little bit of feistiness from here, a tiny bit of arrogance from there. But there’s no one person I’ve based any character on.
You seemed to reference historical content and really knew the ins and out of how an archaeological expedition is conducted. Did you have to do much research for this?
I spent weeks researching. Even though I only used some of it in the novel, I like to immerse myself in the time period - reading journals and travel guides from the era to get a real sense of place and time. I’m paranoid about getting my facts wrong. Like some Turkish Geology professor is going to tap me on the shoulder and say: ‘excuse me, but you’ve described the rock as chalk, when it should be tufa.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Paullina Simons for her Bronze Horseman trilogy; Stephenie Meyer for her angsty teen love story and Jean M Auel because she is a master at bringing the past to life.
What books are you reading now?
Recently, I’m going through a dystopian period (who isn’t!). So, my latest reads are: The Hunger Games, Divergent and The (incredible) Knife of Never Letting Go. I also just read Fairy Circle a kooky urban fantasy with brilliant characters.
Are you working on any other projects we should watch out for?
I’m writing Book Two in the Marchwood Vampire Series - Thicker Than Blood. It continues the main story of Maddy and Alex in the present day, as well as going back in time to the 6th century and the Byzantine vampires.
I’ve also just published a post-apocalyptic romance thriller called Outside. I wrote the story a few years ago, but revisited it recently, gave it a good edit and sent it out into the world.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I always find the hardest part is knowing what to leave in and what to take out. I know some readers prefer streamlined, fast reads and others prefer a more detailed, build-it-up slowly story. I always aim for a balance, but it’s hard sometimes.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I spend time with my family. My sons seem to have boundless energy, so we go to the park, the forest, the beach, the countryside… anywhere they can run wild! I also love to read and I do like a good movie.
If you could be a supernatural being or possess any power, what would it be?
To have limitless energy and positivity. I guess that might get quite annoying for everyone else though!
Random Question – What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
When I was about nine, I stole £2 from my mum’s purse. (I recently confessed)
Tell the readers what to expect when reading one of your books.
Readers who enjoyed my novels have said they loved the interweaving plotlines, the suspense and creepiness and the romance and adventure.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’m still overwhelmed by the messages I receive from readers who’ve enjoyed Hidden and are desperate for the next one in the series. I hope you like book two as much and I’ll try and finish it as quickly as I can, without compromising the story!
Shalini is an amazing writer and just the sweetest person ever! Hey, you better agree with me cause she is giving away a copy of Hidden to one lucky reader.
This giveaway ends on October 7th, so sign up today!!
Thanks Shalini for stopping by. I cannot wait for the next installment of the Marchwood Vampire Series.
Everyone, come back tomorrow for my review of Hidden.