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“…I have read so many different novels from a wide variety of authors and numerous films all of which have their own impression of vampire mythology. I think people are so enchanted with the mythology of vampires because there is an innate romanticism about the concept of forbidden love and eternal life.”

March 25, 2011

Arts & Literature, Interviews

DarkMedia Interviews Jessica Cartwright:

Jessica Cartwright lives in Sydney Australia with her husband and loveable but hyperactive dog Phoenix. She is currently working on her second instalment of the Fallen Grace trilogy, Hidden Splendour which she hopes to release in late 2011. Jessica enjoys escaping into her novels and creating characters that people can relate to on different levels. She started writing Fallen Grace in 2009 and soon realised Grace and Alex’s story could not be told in just one book. Jessica loves being surprised by her characters and the different paths they take. She hopes that her readers will also come to love the characters for their strengths and flaws and continue along their journey with her [jesicacartwrightbooks.com].

What would you like potential readers to know about your debut novel, “Fallen Grace” and the next installments of the “Fallen Grace Trilogy”?

Fallen Grace is not your average vampire novel. The novel explores the vampire world through the eyes of its female heroine Grace Kennedy. Grace is a strong willed, no nonsense vampire who wants nothing more than to seek justice for her family. Whilst Grace sets about the task of protecting Alex from the Acelades she discovers that not everything she was told about her world is true. Fallen Grace is a complex web of forbidden love, family secrets and human frailty.

As the story develops we learn more about Grace and her history. All of the characters all have their own adversities to face and there are many hidden secrets that are brought to the surface throughout the story. The next two instalments, Hidden Splendour and Stolen Beauty, continue the story of Grace and Alex, but also provide readers with an insight into vampire life and the Vampire Council.

The Fallen Grace trilogy has something for all readers. There is a lot of action and romance and for the literary among us character development and description. I tried to develop a book that that readers would find more intriguing and engaging that a lot of vampire fiction that is available at the moment.

Can you tell us a little about your writing process? How long does it take for you to write a book, from start to finish? Do you have any traditions or rituals when you write?

When I started writing Fallen Grace, I never imagined that my writing would form the basis for one book, let alone a trilogy. The idea for Fallen Grace appeared in my mind and was one that would not be quieted until I started writing the story of Grace and Alex. As I have been writing, the story has developed and taken twists and turns that have often surprised me.

Fallen Grace took me about a year to write and I wrote whenever I had the chance. At the time I was working and studying full time so Fallen Grace became my outlet. I would sit on my lounge with a fresh pot of coffee and continue developing the lives and story of Grace and Alex. This tradition has maintained through Hidden Splendour and Stolen Beauty. I have become addicted to writing and have been known to stay up to all hours trying to finish a chapter.

How were you first introduced to the subject of vampires? Through literature? Film? What do you think it is about the mythology that has people so enthralled?

I was first introduced to the subject of vampires through the classic Bram Stokers Dracula. I saw it on my bookshelf one day and I was hooked. Since then I have read so many different novels from a wide variety of authors and numerous films all of which have their own impression of vampire mythology. I think people are so enchanted with the mythology of vampires because there is an innate romanticism about the concept of forbidden love and eternal life. I was drawn to writing Fallen Grace because I wanted to contribute to the genre and allow people to continue their captivation with vampires in a new and intriguing story.

Who, or what, is your greatest inspiration as an author? Why?

My greatest inspiration is knowing that people gain enjoyment from reading my work. There is no greater joy than to delve into a good book and lose yourself in the characters and the story. Over the years I have had the pleasure of reading some amazing books and I hope that my readers get the same rush from reading Fallen Grace that I get when I read.

I am always inspired when I get asked questions about my characters or what will happen next and I love being able to talk about the book with readers because their enjoyment of the characters spurs me on to keep writing.

What is your favorite book to give as a gift and why?

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I love her attention to detail and description. Reading this book you almost feel like you are in the novel.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. This book was so shocking and confronting I think everyone needs to read it at some point.

And of course Fallen Grace because it’s a fantastic novel!

What are you reading right now?

I am always in middle of various books. At the moment I am reading Afterlife, the Distant Hours, Thirteen Reasons Why, The Persistence of Memory and Carnal Sin.

I am always looking for new books so please feel free to send me suggestions!

What’s the best way for your readers, and potential readers, to support you and your work?

Readers can contact me via my website http://www.jessicacartwrightbooks.com, on my facebook page ‘Fallen Grace’ and of course I am always happy to hear from people on DarkMediaCity!

How would you describe the mythology of the vampires in Fallen Grace? What “rules” or traditions do they adhere to, and how did you decide which portions of the general mythology to use and/or exclude?

The mythology of the vampires in Fallen Grace is a mixture of modern and classis traditions. The vampires in my book are able to go out in daylight but do experience severe pain when they are first transformed. They are susceptible to death by fire and decapitation but stakes are not effective. Vampires can be both made by an exchange of blood and born of two vampires.

I decided upon the traditions for Fallen Grace by looking at vampires as an evolutionary deviation, not an evil being. The rules that govern how they act had to serve a purpose and not be merely a way of confining the way that vampires act or provided a way to execute them. The reasons for why some of the other myths were excluded are discussed in the book when Alex is questioning Grace about vampire lore.

What are you working on right now?

At the moment I am working on the final instalment of the Fallen Grace trilogy ‘Stolen Beauty’. I have also started to work on the first book in a brand new series that will look at the mythology of Angels and Demons.

What advice would you give other up-and-coming writers? What’s the best, or worst, advice someone gave you?

The advice I would give to another up and coming writer is to write what you enjoy.

The best advice I received was to write a story that I would want to read. That way no matter what became of the novel I had a story that I was interested in and that had been a great experience to write.

The worst advice I received was that no one wants to read a book about vampires…. Clearly this site proves them wrong!

Finally, what’s got you inspired or excited?

Launching Fallen Grace has definitely got me excited! It has been a great journey and I have been lucky to have so much support from family and friends. I look forward to getting to speak with readers about the book and their thoughts of the characters and story.

I am also very excited about the release of Hidden Splendour in late 2011!

________________________________________________________

Jessica, a Featured Member of DarkMediaCity, can be found at http://www.jessicacartwrightbooks.com/.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission.)

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