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BLARGH: September 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010


Surely you’re up on SHADOW HILLS by Anastasia Hopcus, a paranormal romance/mystery that takes place at a v. creepy boarding school. Surely you’d love to win one of two copies signed by the brilliant author herself. Your chance is nigh. First, read Anastasia’s fascinating interview here, then click on the link at the bottom of this blargh for contest rules and regs (you’ll have to share your best or worst back-to-school story, and I know you have one).

You can also read a fascinating interview with me at—and enter to win one of two signed copies of SWOON.

Anastasia, you rock for taking the time to do this interview. Especially since you must be slammed, the response to Shadow Hills being rather amazing. What’s life been like for you since releasing your debut novel?

Busy! It's been great and exciting, and I've really enjoyed it, but I've just been amazed at how much I've been doing. I thought that when my book came out, the major part of my work had been done. The writing, the revisions, the BEA, the contests, etc.---I figured, what else was there to do? Well, I found out. I've had two autographings, one of which included a reading and an interview, as well a 28-day blog tour, not to mention meeting bloggers and readers and trying to keep up with all my emails. It's been such fun, and I've had lots of new experiences, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. But I have to admit, I'm a little tired.

Not getting much sleep, huh? But when you do, what’s your dream life like? I ask since dreams are crucial to the plot of Shadow Hills.

I dream a great deal, and they're often very vivid and have plots (albeit really strange ones). That's one of the reasons I wanted Phe to have these almost visionary dreams. I often feel like my dreams hold some significant revelation…if only I could figure out what it is!

Any parallels between your high school experience and Devenish Prep?

No, not really. Looking back on it, I think I probably would have enjoyed going to a boarding school. I went to a private school, but it was more like the one that Phe attended in LA---laid back teachers who you called by their first names, that sort of thing.

In keeping with the theme of our contest, can you cite your own best or worst BTS memory?

My best back to school memory was when I began the fifth grade. I won a back to school contest that a local department store was holding. The prize was that on the first day of school, a limousine came to my house and picked up me and three of my friends and drove us to school. The four of us thought we were the coolest thing ever, getting out of a long white limo in front of our elementary school!

I was recently asked this question at a reading, and I think it should be posed to anyone who writes paranormal fiction: Do you believe in magic? Expound!

I'd like to believe in magic. I've always been fascinated by the possibility of it, and I enjoy imagining a world where magical things happen. Insofar as actually believing in it, I do and I don't. I don't feel like I can really believe in something until I can see some evidence of it, but I do think that if I saw something truly magical happen, I wouldn't spend a lot of time trying to explain it away. I would probably pretty readily accept it.

Shadow Hills is a mystery at its core. What mystery writers do you like?

Anne George is my favorite. I also like Janet Evanovich and Nancy Atherton.

Here comes the inevitable sequel question: Will fans be treated to the further adventures of Phe and her friends/enemies in Shadow Hills?

I would really love to write a sequel. What I really had in mind when I began was a series of several books, and I have a lot more things I'd really like to explore regarding Shadow Hills and its inhabitants. Plus, I'd really like to develop Phe's and Zach's relationship. But I just have to wait and see on that at the moment. So I'm working on a YA paranormal that's set in London in the 1800's.

An interesting period—it sure worked for Sherlock Holmes. Can we get off track and obsess about hair for a minute? Yours is so expletive gorgeous. Does it take a lot of work, or do you bounce out of bed looking like that every morning?

It doesn't take a lot of extra time on a daily basis. I just use a shampoo that's color-enhancing. But red is a difficult color to keep looking bright, so I have to color it frequently. And it's a little more complicated because I use a store dye first to bring my natural color up to a light auburn. Then I mix Napalm Orange and High Octane Orange Special Effects together to get exactly the shade I want.

Beautiful! Congrats on Shadow Hills and thanks again for the interview. I know people are excited about winning a signed copy of the book—so got to this link and start impressing us with your best/worst back-to-school stories. Go to this link now (sorry, you gotta cut 'n' paste — blogger not co-operating)!