Today I am happy to introduce young adult author Vincent Morrone.
Vision of Shadows was his debut novel that just came out as an Audio book.
Bristol Blackburn is a 17 year old psychic, who’s more comfortable around the ghosts that float in and out of her life, than anybody with an actual pulse. For her entire life, she’s had visions and dreams about a young man she has never met. She doesn’t know his name, has never heard the sound of his voice, and yet feels as if she’s grown up with him. She knows he’s had a difficult life, with tragedy and pain. A lot of pain. In fact, most of her dreams involve him getting hurt. Sometimes from playing the hero, sometimes from daredevil stunts and often times because someone in his life enjoys hurting him. There’s no way it could all be true, because no person could ever survive everything she’s seen him go through.
In her dreams, Bristol has seen them together. Something that’s due to happen soon. She’s witnessed intimate moments, celebrations of milestones. Her visions have shown her building a long and happy life with this dream boy, having a family and growing old together.
But Bristol’s also had another vision, one that has kept repeating itself over and over again since she was six years old.
In this vision, this mystery boy doesn’t love her, but hates her. Bristol’s seen the loathing in her eyes, as he corners her, and slowly strangles her to death.
So any day now, Bristol will meet the boy of her dreams. Literally.
Will he be the love of her life, or the end of it?
What is your favourite scene in your book?
I don’t know that I have a favorite scene, but right in the beginning, there’s a scene where Bristol is waiting for her parents to meet her at a restaurant. As she waits, she’s kept company by a ghost of a woman who is there to witness her daughter get engaged. It’s an emotional scene and Bristol goes out of her way to not only share it, but to see the future of the young couple. She’s able to tell the mother that not only did her daughter meet the right man, but that she’d never forget her mother. When my wife read that scene, she told me it was the first time she’d ever cried within the first 8 pages of any book. I always remember that as a huge compliment.
What inspires you to write?
Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve always had stories coming out of me. I was never enough to just have my Spiderman or Batman action figures fight the Joker or Doc Oc. I had to have an adventure, a plot, a riddle to solve, a drama to unfold and usually a romance to be had.
Coming up with ideas for stories has never been an issue. I’ve got dozens of plots running around in my head. (It’s awfully scary in there!) It’s just a matter of working out the details and finding the time.
Tell us about your main character? What makes her so special?
Bristol has spent her entire life trying to hide her abilities. She’s convinced she’s a freak and that she’s unlovable. The first time her parents saw a hint of her abilities back when she was 6, they freaked out and for over a decade, they’ve been like strangers living in the same place. When they’re killed, she moves to a small town called Spirit in Upstate NY, with family she’s never met. And keeping her secret a secret becomes so much harder.
Bristol is a keep to herself kind of girl, but she also doesn’t take any BS and she is inherently a caring person. She’s got a snarky attitude and refuses to play the damsel in distress. She has a tremendous lack of self-worth, but we see that build up as she slowly accepts that her new family really does love her.
What do you read? What are your favourite books and who are your favourite authors?
I read a variety of authors, some of which might surprise people since I’m a guy. One of my favorites is Nora Roberts. (AKA JD Robb.) I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so count in JK Rowling. Cassandra Clare and her Shadow Hunter books. (I’m so far behind on the TV show, which is okay.) I’m also a fan of Dean Koontz, Michael Creighton, Janet Evanonavich & Joe McKinney.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out as a write?
1st off, read. Read different authors and genres. Even if you don’t plan on writing romance, read some because many stories have a love interest.
2nd off, write. Writing is a skill and like any skill, it takes practice. Write stories and have them get longer and longer. Every author has stories that never see the light of day.
3rd off, get someone to read your work. Someone who will tell you if it stinks. Get involved in a writer’s group and look for something called a beta reader.
4th off, When you write those little words ‘The End’, feel free to do a happy dance, but realize it’s not the end. It’s just the beginning. Revisions are the next step. You will revise, rewrite, reconsider and then when you’re done, you’ll do it over again. Edit, edit, edit. Look to make sure you’re showing and not telling. That you spelled everyone’s name the same way throughout the book. (Zach vs Zack.) That you’re POV is correct and clear. There’s so much and you’ll never catch it all. If you self-pub, hire an editor. And then proof read it and get someone else to do so. Remember, you’ll see what you think should be there.
5th, it’s a hard road. Prepare for rejections. If you really want it, stick it out and keep writing.
Tell us about your book cover. Did someone design it for you?
So I originally was with a very small publisher and they designed a book cover based on an idea I had of a teen girls eye, with a reflection of someone in it. Then that publisher & I parted company and I went with a newer publisher, also small, but bigger than the first. They gave me very little input on designing the cover. They came up with a picture of the main 2 characters. (Or models who were supposed to be of the main 2 characters.) The male character was completely wrong. I had to beg and plead to have it changed. When they did, the model was much older than I felt he should be, but I was stuck. It was a yellowish green cover which was rather striking, but didn’t speak to the book to me.
That publisher went under and I was lucky enough to have it picked up by Silence in the Library. With Kelli Neier, who does cover designs, we started to try and refine the original idea with the eye, but we couldn’t get it to work. She then had a stroke of genius, she came up with the cover that I know have. The male MC, win a mirror like image with the 2nd half blurred. I added the idea of Bristol’s eyes in the background. We used that same format for books 2 and 3. The books are now self-published, but Silence in the Library allowed me to keep the rights to the covers done.
What new projects are you working on or are excited about right now?
Right now, my focus is on my new Torn Series. Book 1 is complete, and I’ve submitted it to Kindle Scout, which is an affiliate of Amazon Kindle. It gets a 30 day campaign, where readers can see the cover, read a sample and nominate the book for a contract.
The book is called Torn Away, and it won the Saratoga RWA Great Beginnings contest this past February. I’d love it if your readers could take a look and nominate it before May 3rd!
Here’s the blurb on Kindle Scout and the web address.
A man will face his worst fear: going home
Nine years ago, Drew Duncan was arrested and charged with murder when his high school girlfriend disappeared. After being held for months for a trial that never came, he was released and left town, leaving his two sisters behind. When one sister is murdered, Drew is determined to protect her young son and find her killer. He’s faced with a surviving sister who refuses to forgive him for leaving, a nephew who trembles when he enters the room and an entire town who thinks he got away with murder.
Thanks so much for being here today, Vincent, and for sharing your books with us. I especially like your writing advice.
Links for Vincent and his books: