Through friends, I’ve met author Sean Hayden…
AM: In Origins, your approach to vampirism is quite unusual – which is refreshing from all the YA books out there that involve supernatural elements. What inspired you to come up with Ashlyn’s character?
Sean Hayden: When I sat down to write Origins, I wanted a character that people would like and could not only identify with, but root for through the whole saga of their life. First of all I chose to make her a female, because more readers than not tend to identify with female characters more than their male counterparts. It’s easier to base a story on a female character and have most of the problems in their life caused by males. I say this partly in jest, but it is really easy to write. Males tend to be somewhat…difficult!
With that being said, it begs the question, “How hard was it to write a female character being a male author?” That too was easy! I’ve never been a teenage girl, so in order to combat my ineptitude, I sequestered her and made her a vampire. That way I didn’t have to attempt writing the hard parts about female plumbing and teenage angst!
AM: But did you read everything YA/sup for the ‘research’ part of your writing process? Because at some point, there’s so many books for young adults out there that do portray the world of vampire, you kinda have to read some to make sure you stay unique!
Sean Hayden: I will be completely honest with you. I have a nine year old daughter. I’ve seen every Twilight movie, ever episode of Vampire Diaries, read all the books including The House of Night Series. It started out as my fascination and something my daughter picked up. It was watching all these movies and shows and reading these books that gave me the idea for Origins. Why are there so many myths regarding vampire powers? Why are there so many myths regarding vampire weaknesses? Why can some tolerate sunlight? Why can some be hurt by silver and others only by wood? I used all these questions to come up with the idea of different breeds or kinds of vampires.
AM: Yeah, it’d be IMPOSSIBLE to avoid the vamp hysteria living with a tween! But since you’ve got a kid of your own, how do you deal with taboo in your novels? Sex, drugs, booze…do you write for your girl or for someone older?
Sean Hayden: Actually, no. I had no intentions of Origins ever being YA. I made it a little too gory. The absence of a sexual nature is because I wanted to start the story line from the beginning and made the main character 17. Things start to heat up a little in the second book, but I made a promise to myself never to take this story line into the realm of taudry or erotica. Too many great series were ruined by doing so in my opinion. Take the Anita Blake series for example. Or Charlaine Harris. To me a little sex would have been good. Too much made it just that…too much and ruined the over all story.
AM: That’s interesting that you chose a young adult as your protagonist but didn’t intend the book to be aimed at that age group – Ashlyn is pretty mature for a kid:) You’ve got your whole series planned out or do you trust your muse? What kind of writer are you: outline or not, index cards or lucky whim?
Sean Hayden: Yes I did. I wanted to start her out as young and naive. Have no fear. She’s going to go from sarcastic and innocent to sarcastic and very jaded in a few short books. Life keeps throwing learning experiences at her. As for planning…Yeah. I don’t do that. I don’t even make shopping lists. I sit. I write. TOTAL Pantser.
Sean blogs at: http://www.seanhayden.org/ and Origins is available on OmniLit, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Smashwords
September 5th, 2011 at 8:47 am
Great interview folks! Always interested in learning about other writer’s habits and influences!
September 5th, 2011 at 9:22 am
September 6th, 2011 at 9:11 am
Thanks Anne for prising those nuggets of wisdom from Sean, and to Sean for being so open.
As yet still I’m still unpublished and it was interesting for me to ‘listen in’ on an interview involving two writers who are very much further along that road than I am.
September 6th, 2011 at 9:24 am
September 6th, 2011 at 2:05 pm
Bwahahaha it’s my fault! er… anyway… Great to hear more about a wonderful novel. I really liked Origins and I highly recommend it.
Thanks for sharing Anne and Sean.
September 6th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
And thanks for stopping by, Fire Foxy Lady:)
September 8th, 2011 at 12:54 am
I always love new takes on vampire books, and am even more intrigued that it’s YA and there are different “breeds” of vamps. Def going on the TBR list.
Thanks for another wonderful interview, Anne!
September 8th, 2011 at 7:19 am
You’re very welcome, Anita. Oh, can’t wait to do yours in about a year…hint hint 😉
September 8th, 2011 at 10:20 am
Great interview! So wonderful to see that there is a whole new world of fiction out there without sparkly horny vamps.
September 8th, 2011 at 10:28 am
Exactly – refreshing!