Friday, November 11, 2011


This is the second week of the PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES read-along which is being hosted by four book bloggers, The Bookish Brunette, The Unread Reader, Geeky Blogger's Book Blog, and On A Book Bender.  I'm doing the read along and answering the questions posted each week by the bloggers.  It's definitely fun reflecting on when I was writing the book.

The read-along will conclude with a reveal of the cover for the sequel, PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS, and an interview with the artist at The Bookish Brunette Blog.  I'm so excited!

Here are my answers to questions posed by On A Book Bender.
Discussion Questions for Chapters 7 – 12

1.  The end of chapter 6 gives us a sense that something bad is going to happen between Rob, the truck driver, and Amaliya.  What are your thoughts on what actually happened between Rob and Amaliya in Chapter 7?  Do you think it could have been avoided?  Why or why not?
When I wrote this part of the book and I literally felt sick to my stomach.  For some reason this scene was much harder for me than Amaliya's transformation or her earlier killings. Something about Rob and his attack on her just made me so damn angry, but also sick. I was so plugged into Amaliya's mind that when Rob shoved his hand under her clothing, I started to shake.  I think what upset me the most was that Amaliya thought Rob was an okay guy and never expected what happened to her.  I agree with Cian about Amaliya.  For looking so worldly, she can sometimes be terribly naive.  She never recognized Rob as a predator until it was too late.  Luckily for her, she was able to fight back.

2.  Chapter 8 introduces us to some new characters, Cian and Roberto.  Ashley asked us earlier whether we thought the man who created Amaliya was friend or foe.  After listening to Cian and Roberto talk, has your opinion about the professor changed?  How?  Do you think Cian and Roberto would be Amaliya’s allies or enemies?
This part of the book was fun for me because I was finally in the minds of the other characters.  It was at this point I started learning more about Amaliya's creator as well.  Since I'm an organic writer and often don't know exactly what comes next, this was a very exciting time of discovery for me.  Amaliya's creator definitely became more of a tangible evil in her life.  As for Cian and Roberto at this point, I still wasn't sure how things were going to play out.

3. There seems to be a growing divide between Amaliya’s humanity and her actions as a vampire.  Do you think this would be “normal” for a new vampire, or do you think it is not a “clean transformation” as Cian stated in Chapter 8?
It was through Cian that I gained a greater understanding of Amaliya.  His concerns mirrored my own about my complicated Amaliya.  I was certain she was not quite "right" somehow, but I had yet to fully grasp what was wrong.  I actually did like the fact that she was growing more comfortable in her vampire skin and wasn't moping about.

4. Amaliya seems to be running primarily on vampire instinct.  After reading chapter 10, specifically the beginning, do you think vampires can overcome their instincts and be good — or at least, not deadly?
This was the part of the story I really enjoyed.  Vampires are predators.  They're former humans, but not human anymore.  It was fun to dive into their mentality and explore their complexity.

5. In Chapter 11, we finally learn more about the Summoner and Cian.  How do you think this information will impact the rest of the story?  What do you think will happen?
This is where I was pretty sure they were all fucked.  LOL.  The Summoner is such an EVIL guy that I was nervous for my protagonists.  I was writing the book for Candy Haven's Fast Draft class and writing around four hours a day after I got home from my day job.  I was completely immersed in the story and it was pouring out of me.  I still had no clue how the book was going to end, so this was the point where I got REAL nervous.

6. The Summoner thinks that Amaliya has had good luck thus far.  Amaliya thinks she has had lousy luck.  With whom do you agree?
I love how subjective this is. I think Amaliya has "luck" like others have talents.  Things just happen to her, and depending on how she reacts, it either turns out good or bad.  

Please join the read-a-long and enter the discussion!

   Paperback                    Kindle

Other blogs following the read-a-long are:

Discussion Schedule for Fang-tastic Fridays:
Pretty When She Dies read-a-long 
11/4: Kick off and Chapters 1-6 hosted by The Bookish Brunette (check out the post here)
11/11: Chapters 7-12 hosted by On a Book Bender (the questions for week two are here)
11/18: Chapters 13-18 hosted by Geeky Blogger's Book Blog (the questions for week three are here)
11/25: Chapters 19-Epilogue and wrap up hosted by The Unread Reader


  1. The Rob part really got to me. His crude dialogue fit a terrifyingly real scene for me. So glad that Amaliya wasn't the typical victim. I really like how I was optimistic in the beginning for the Summoner's role in the story and then it gradually comes more evident that he is so EVIL. Usually the good & bad guys are fairly laid out & obvious. I like that at this point you aren't quite sure about Cian & Roberto. Love how she gets picked up by the unobvious vampire while trying to pick up what was obvious (-ly not).

  2. urgh...Rob was awful! I don't know what it is...It's almost like you should see something in someone when they're evil...they should be ugly, or have some kind of mark that shows them for evil. When they seem like nice guys it's almost worse than if you look right at them and they scare you...great scene :)

  3. I love reading your answers! For some reason it is a fascinating to me how different the scene is to a person creating it and a person reading it. This has been so much fun so far! Thank you for being a good sport with us :)

  4. I was GLAD that Amaliya was able to fight back. It was pretty clear that it wasn't the first time Rob had pulled a stunt like that, and Amaliya was able to put a permanent stop to it.

  5. @Amy,

    I think the part about Rob was so disconcerting because Amaliya thinks he's safe. She doesn't realize he's a predator that obviously overheard Tammy say she would find Amaliya a ride. She totally thinks this guy is on the up and up, so when it all goes to hell it is yet another violation of trust.

    As for the part in the club, I was cracking up when writing about Carfax and Cian squaring off.

  6. @Andra,

    Rob was scary for me because he was so bland until he attacked her. There was no big sign over his head that said, "Rapist!"

  7. @Felicia,

    I find it fascinating to read the readers comments! It is interesting to see how different people interpret the story, or the actions of the characters. I love it!

  8. @Amanda,

    I was glad when Amaliya took Rob out, too. I was happy that she could fight back. It was an extremely difficult scene to write.

  9. *bows down to you*

    I think it is so incredibly brave to take off writing when you don't know exactly how the story will end! Thanks for being open about that.

    And wow, it's awesome to get a sense of what was going on in you mind while you were writing the story. It's fun to know that your characters surprised you and provided you with a better understand of those around them.

  10. @Missie,

    Since I'm an organic writer, I usually have some idea of where the story will go, but do not always know the exact details or even how the story will end. I took a big risk with PWSD, but it really paid off in the end. I don't feel I "create" stories, so much as discover them sometimes. This was definitely one of those stories that took me on a wild ride.

    Of course, in revision, I have to make sure all the threads are connecting, etc, but the first draft for this story was amazing fun. I loved discovering the characters and watching them evolve.

  11. I totally agree about the Rob incident. It wasn't like she just thought he was an okay guy and decided to go with him though. Amaliya thought that another woman who she did have a good feeling about, trusted Rob to drive her. So I think her guard was down a little more than it probably would've been, had she not thought that the woman trucker trusted him. I'm glad she killed Rob. Is that bad on me? Oh well :)

  12. @Christy,

    I definitely felt that Amaliya felt she had a safe ride with Rob because Tammy had shown concern for her. She let her guard down and it ended up going very badly for her.

    I was very glad when she killed Rob, too. :)

  13. I've found myself most comfortable as an organic writer too after years of thinking I was a planner - no wonder I always hated my stories! So I know what you mean. There's something about exploring these characters that's just a bit nuts almost!
    The idea of a man expecting a woman to bend over and put up with it so they can get their kicks just makes my skin crawl..
    Once Upon A Time


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