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ABOUT THE BOOK
Nine of Stars
A Wildlands Novel
On Sale Date: December 27, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
About the Book:
Following on the heels of her critically acclaimed prequel novels Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde comes the first installment in Laura Bickle’s dark contemporary fantasy series, Nine of Stars, a Wildlands Novel
Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there’s more to fear than just the cold…
As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors—especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.
The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill—a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.
It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all—before the trail turns deathly cold.
Interview with the Author:
What initially got you interested in writing?
My mother was a school librarian when I was a little girl. I used to go to the library with her in the summers as she organized the library and catalogued the books. I’d sit in a sunshine-filled corner and devour every mythology book on the shelves. I scribbled out my own stories in crayon as soon as I could write, and what I learned in those magical summers always stuck with me.
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?
Initially, I was pretty afraid of the publication process. My stories were primarily for myself, and they lived in shoeboxes beneath my bed, never to be seen. But I decided to give it a try several years ago, and was thrilled to find that other people wanted to read what I wrote about the monsters underneath the stairs. It’s still amazing to me!
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I feel so much wonder in things that are seen and unseen in the natural world, things I experience every day. I hope a little bit of that comes through.
NINE OF STARS is very much a book about winter. Winter means a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me, it’s that time when the world almost stands still and holds its breath. Everything seems poised on the brink of lifelessness, all crystalline and dark. Winter strips everything back to its essentials, the basics of survival for both humans and animals. It’s a perfect crucible to throw characters into, to see if they will triumph or recede under the snow.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
My favorite part of writing is the last chapter. It’s only then that I can see where all the plot threads come together. Then, I can see what I meant to say in the first chapter. I can never see it fully until the end, but then I realize that it was there all along in little glimpses.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
My biggest challenge is getting started, staring at the blank page. The blank page is terrifying to me. It’s a huge expanse of nothingness, and I’m terrified of all the possibilities! They’re infinite, and potential pitfalls are everywhere.
I try to mitigate this fear by using an outline. Most of the time, I can follow this map and see where I’m going. Other times, I wander away from the trail into the wilderness. Things can get pretty bizarre then, but I always come back to the outline.
What advice would you give to people want to enter the field?
My best advice is to try National Novel Writing Month at least once. It used to take me years to finish a book, due to the paralyzing tyranny of my inner editor. NaNoWriMo forced me to put that aside, to focus on getting the words down first. The experiences I’ve had with NaNoWriMo really increased my productivity and tightened my process, and I use what I learned on every book I’ve written after that.
What ways can readers connect with you?
About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.
More information about Laura’s work can be found at www.laurabickle.com
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