Curbing curiosities, or an interview with Martina McAtee author of Dark Dreams and Dead Things (and a giveaway)

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dark dreams and dead things

Dark Dreams and Dead Things (Dead Things #2)

By: Martina McAtee

Publisher: Independent

Publication Date: July 15th, 2016


17-year-old November Lonergan spent her whole life feeling like an outsider. She was right. She’s a reaper like her mother; like her two cousins, Kai and Tristin. The supernatural world believes they are part of a prophecy to save them from an evil known as the Grove. Ember just wants to survive high school and fix the fallout from bringing back her friend.

Old enemies are lurking; waiting for their opportunity to strike but the pack has a new problem. A group of legendary hunters has resurfaced, threatening the reapers and anybody who stands with them. They are making good on their threats too; attacking those closest to the pack.

Their only hope of defeating the Legionaries involves trusting a stranger to perform a dangerous spell to advance Ember and her cousin’s powers. But Ember has a secret; a secret she can’t tell the pack. One that leaves the pack vulnerable.

An attack on pack allies, leaves one member of the group injured and another missing, along with a mysterious girl named Evangeline who may play a bigger part in this than any of them realize. As the Legionaries are closing in, the pack must trust their enemies, enter hostile territories, and play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a psychopath. Their entire plan lynches on a dangerous bargain, but rescuing one member of the pack could mean losing another in their place…possibly forever.

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interviewIf you emptied out your purse, wallet, desk drawer, pockets, backpack, beach bag, saddle bag, or fanny pack, what would we find?

I don’t have a purse. I carry around a duffle-bag because I am a nomad at heart and there are just certain things I won’t leave home without. My wallet, my sunglasses, my laptop, a notebook in case my laptop dies, highlighters, my cell phone a ton of crumpled up receipts (probably from Starbucks) and probably the remnants of a bag of Reese’s Pieces.

What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?

I get asked this question a lot and my writing process is weird. I hate the word plotting. Outlines make my teeth sweat. I feel like it stifles my creative process. (Yes, I know that makes me sound like a total diva) That being said, I do need to have at least a vague notion of what needs to happen in the book as I often have five or six plot lines running at one time in any given book so I’ve compromised and started making a synopsis of sorts. Not necessarily an outline but just key plot points that need to happen or reminders of other plots I need to be aware of.

Describe you book in 5 words or less:

Reapers, dead things, shifters and shenanigans.

What are some fun facts you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?

  • Not all the wolves in my books consider being a werewolf a gift, for some it’s a really painful curse.
  • I often tend to write “walk on” characters for some of my readers, friends, and people I meet that I want to immortalize.
  • Romero, the dog raised from the dead in Book 1, is based on my sister’s Grand Pyranees puppy, Loki.
  • Belle Haven is based on a real town in Florida called Chipley and, like Belle Haven, it sits right next to a real life wolf preserve called the Seacrest Wolf Preserve.

Do you have a special story behind your inspiration for the book?

I wish my story behind the book wasn’t so cliché but it started with a dream I had. It was only a tiny snippet of the dream really, a red haired girl walking in the snow, talking to a boy only she could see. I mean, hardly the basis for a 500 plus page novel, much less a book series but here I am hard at work on Book 3 so you just never know.

Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?

My favorite character to write is Kai. He has the snarkiest dialogue, the biggest heart and the most swoon-worthy boyfriend. The character who gave me the most trouble (so far) would have to be Mace in Book 1. It’s very hard to get into the head of a soulless psychopath and still make people love him.

If you could ask a character of your choice from the Dead Things series one question what would it be?

Hah, I talk to my characters all the time. Yes, I’m aware of how crazy that sounds. I am hoping Neoma eventually tells me the story of why the fae abandoned her in our world. Why she’s exiled from her world. She’s told me small pieces of her story but she’s yet to reveal all of it to me.

What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?

There’s a scene in book 1 where Ember first meets the pack and she’s had a rough night (to say the least) and she’s sitting in the kitchen with Isa (the alpha werewolf) and they are talking while Isa bakes pumpkin muffins which sounds ridiculous but people tell me all the time it’s when they started to want to be part of the Belladonna pack. I am proud of the family vibe I managed to convey in a household made up of two orphaned reapers, a handful of werewolves, a faery and a human.

Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to power through to finish the book?

Yes. Chapter 56 in Book 1. I put off writing it until the last possible minute because I dreaded it like I dreaded taking my state boards. I was sick over it. I cried when I wrote it and I had a hangover from it for at least a week afterwards. I couldn’t write one word. I can’t say anything without giving up major spoilers but that was by far the worst thing I had to write.

What is your number one writing tip?

Keep writing. Never stop writing. When you have writers block, when everything you write looks like garbage, when the last thing you want to do is write. Keep. Writing.

about the author

martina mcatee

Martina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughters, her best friend, two attack Chihuahua’s and two shady looking cats. By day she is a registered nurse but by night she writes young adult books about reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. She wrote her first story when she was five with an orange crayon on a legal pad she stole from her mom’s office. She’s been writing ever since. Her influences include Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Joss Whedon, L.J. Smith and even J.K. Rowling. Living in South Florida provides her with plenty of material for the weird worlds she writes about. When she isn’t working, teaching or writing she’s reading or watching shows involving reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures.

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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, information, giveaway, and more were provided by YA Bound Book Tours.

Comments · 4

  1. This sounds like such a great series! Super excited for this one!! Got the first one while it was free and just rented this one through Kindle Unlimited! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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