Today we are joined by Aida Brassington author of the book Between Seasons, which we will be reviewing later on today. She offers some great insights into the book and I hope this interview peaks your interest enough to read the review later today and the book!
UFR: If you were picking a theme song for this book what would it be and why?
AB: There's a song I listened to a lot while writing this -- Through Glass by Stone Sour. The sound of it and the sentiment really get to the heart of the loneliness that spurs the novel. Both Patrick and Sara have experienced loss and want in a major way, and it draws them together.
UFR: If Patrick were in a book club (or more applicable for the book, what book would he read while trapped in the house), what book would it be and why?
AB: Funny you should ask. Patrick hides a small cache of books in the house before his parents move on. His favorite: The Turn of the Screw/Henry James. In my head, he loves the book because he can identify with it -- it's a ghost story, but the reader is left to wonder if it's all in the main character's head.
UFR: Are there any characters in the book (and if so who and how so) that share personality traits with you?
AB: Absolutely. Patrick and Sara are both avid readers, as am I. Patrick and I share a love of music. And, of course, Sara and I both live in haunted houses.
UFR: What was the hardest scene for you to write and why?
AB: The scene where Patrick's parents leave at the end of chapter one. It's a fairly emotional scene, and it was difficult for me to understand what that must feel like. I gave it so much thought and agonized over trying to get it right. In the end, I think it contains just the right amount of sadness and disillusion.
UFR: A lot of paranormal books start with some kind of element of death, but normally those people turn into functioning members of society (well as much as a vampire or werewolf can), how hard was it to write about Patrick who died but was still left around but for no one to see. What kind of impact did that have on his psyche?
AB: The hardest part of writing Patrick as a ghost and within the parameters of his world was having a limited setting. Every scene in the novel takes place within five rooms and a staircase, basement, and attic. Of course, it also contributes to Patrick's overall sense of claustrophobia, so it has its advantages. And having no company for forty years made Patrick more curious and eager to know who bought the house.
UFR: A woman comes into the picture for Patrick, years after his death, making their love story a unique one. How tough was it to write a relationship between essentially a ghost and a person? Or did it allow you to focus on the inner workings of the people and less about the physical?
AB: It gets easier throughout the story, but initially you have two people who can't interact or can only interact in very specific ways, often without one of those people understand what's going on. Even though it was more difficult, it was fun -- sort of a dance or a puzzle where some pieces fit and some don't. Later in the novel when Patrick and Sara are aware of each other, not being able to physically touch is helpful to increase the sense of longing necessary to move the story forward. I know a romance novel without any sex is not everyone's cup of tea, but I like to think it helps build the tension.
UFR: What are some of your favorite authors to read? Do you stick with the paranormal/urban fantasy genre or do you read a wider mix of books?
AB: I read a lot, and my reading list spans genres and categories. I just finished reading Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and Under the Dome by Stephen King. My favorite writers are John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, and Amy Stolls. Even as a writer, my work is all over the place. BETWEEN SEASONS is probably the closest thing I've ever written to a true romance. I also write young adult urban fantasy and adult psychological suspense.
UFR: Is there any advice that you would give to aspiring writers?
AB: Seek feedback, and not just from your friends and family. My work improves because my beta readers and critique partners feel safe to tear it apart. It stings, but I learn from it. Writers are naturally too close to their own work to objectively self-edit or critique.
UFR: Do you have any new books in the works? And if so would you like to tell our readers a little bit about it?
AB: Yes, there is a sequel to BETWEEN SEASONS titled NORTH OF FROST. It's due out, I think, in spring 2012, although may end up being late due to some other circumstances. NORTH OF FROST continues on with Sara and Patrick's story, providing a bit more explanation about what happens to Patrick (and why) at the end of BETWEEN SEASONS. It also explores the consequences of getting exactly what you want.
UFR: Finally, is there anything you want your potential readers to know about you or the book?
AB: I'd like to say thank you -- I'm grateful to those who read my work. It's an honor!