Q&A: Lauren Blackwood, author of “Into These Wicked Walls”
Surprisingly romantic, the breathtaking debut of Lauren Blackwood, In these wicked walls, inaugurates an exciting new fantasy voice. We had the pleasure of chatting with Lauren Blackwood about her early days, as well as writing, book recommendations and more!
Hi, Lauren! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Hi guys! I am a lifelong New Yorker living in Virginia (wishing to be at Disney World). Also a musician and avid Twitter enthusiast, but I spend most of my time writing my heart’s tropes.
When did you first discover your love for writing?
I’ve always loved writing – in fact, I still have a picture book that I wrote and illustrated in elementary school (my teacher gave me an A +, I was a famous writer from my earliest days). young age.)
Quick flash tour! Tell us about the first book you remember reading, the one that made you want to be an author and that you can’t stop thinking about!
This is an impossible question, I read so much when I was a child. Frog and toad? May be? The book that really inspired me to write seriously was Falcon song by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. And Smoke and bone girl by Laini Taylor is one of my all time favorites!
Your first novel, In these wicked walls, released on October 19e 2021! If you could only describe it in five words, what would they be?
Romantic, scary, hopeful, sincere, funny
What can readers expect?
Scary vibes, a little humor, lots of jokes and (my favorite) kisses!
Where does the inspiration for In these wicked walls comes from?
Two totally separate thoughts! One day I was looking at Jane Eyre and I asked myself “Why isn’t this house Actually haunted? ”Ethiopian folklore was born out of my love to go to the rabbit hole that is Google, haha! One day I found a scholarly journal on the evil eye, and it was from there that the idea was born.
Can you tell us about the challenges you encountered while writing and how you were able to overcome them?
The action scenes are generally my worst nightmare and take the longest to write. I find that if I break them down one beat at a time in my head like I’m choreographing a movie, they usually end up working.
Are there any favorite moments or characters that you really enjoyed writing about or exploring?
There is a scene where it’s snowing inside, which I may or may not have written for my inner child.
What’s your writing process? Did you find any changes or new additions that influenced you while writing In these wicked walls?
I’m an underwriter, which means my first drafts are usually between 40 and 50,000 words (the end goal is at least double that length). This is mainly because I don’t know exactly where the story goes until I get to know the characters, but after that they guide the narrative and unexpected things start to happen. There is a character whose influence on the story was much smaller before the revisions, and now I have people telling me that her relationship with the main character is one of their favorite parts of the story. .
What was your journey to becoming a published author?
Definitely long, but writing multiple projects over the years can only make you better at your craft, so the trip was well worth it. I also participated in a marginalized writers mentorship program where I met the incredibly brilliant KB Wagers, who really helped me approach my writing in a new way. In 2019, my agent offered a representative (on my birthday!). In 2020, Wednesday Books purchased In these wicked walls, coming out on October 19e, 2021.
What’s the next step for you?
Everything will be revealed in due course …
Finally, do you have any book recommendations for our readers?
More than what could fit on this page! But I’ll give you two—Edge of the lake by Lyndall Clipstone and Beasts of prey by Ayana Gray.