We've had a blast chatting with Amy Christine Parker this week! Amy was with us this week to chat about her debut novel, Gated! Amy's been busy answering all your questions about cults, cult leaders, and her research so we're sharing what we learned this week!
Here's what we learned about Amy:
- Amy's favorite genre to read is horror, but she likes to read thrillers/suspense and paranormal every now and then
- Amy was inspired to write Gated after watching a show on survival bunkers and she saw how elaborate they are and the people building them are really rich and educated
- Gated's original title was The Silo
- Amy is fascinated by cults because the brainwashing scares her
- It took Amy about 7-8 months to write and edit Gated
- Amy tends to revise as she writes so she edits as she drafts
- Gated WILL have a sequel! Gated is part of a duology
- Amy's top three YA novelists - Libba Bray, Maggie Stiefvater, and Carrie Ryan
- The two cult leaders Pioneer is most like are: David Koresh and Charles Manson
- Amy named her characters using baby name sites
- Amy is a huge Walking Dead fan and also loves American Horror Story and Hannibal
- Some of Amy's favorite books growing up were: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Little Women, and the Little House on the Prairie books
- Amy set her book after 9/11 because she needed an event from today's world in order to have something different people would relate to and endear Pioneer to people
- To flesh out the character of Pioneer, Amy watched a lot of video footage of Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Charles Manson and read up on their childhoods and backgrounds
- When Amy writes, she usually has a Coke Zero and some Twizzlers nearby
- Amy writes on legal pads in longhand (first)
- The Gated sequel is already completed and will be coming out next fall!
- If Amy could be any character, she'd be Hermione Granger... without marrying Ron
- When creating the cover art - there were four concepts. The final cover is the third concept
- Pioneer was also partially inspired by Hugh Laurie (House)
- Some cults Amy researched when writing Gated: Branch Davidians, Jonestown, the Heaven's Gate cult, Warren Jeffs and the FLDS, the Manson Family, The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, Aum Shinrikyo and more
- For Amy, the best sources for inspiration were the Jonestown suicide transcripts and the documentaries because being able to see the cult leaders interact with their members was crucial
- If Amy could have dinner with any of her characters, she'd go to dinner with Pioneer
- Amy listened to music a lot, especially while brainstorming
- Linkin' Park's "Waiting for the End to Come" is Lyla's anthem
- Amy used to be a teacher
That's just a little bit of what we learned about Amy! To read through the rest of her very in depth responses and conversations with you, visit her board! Curious about Gated? Read the Buzz Blogger review or the chapter sampler! You should also check out Amy's excellent (and chilling!) post on the research she did before writing Gated!
If you missed Amy's visit, don't fret! Next week DAVID LEVITHAN will be visiting to chat about Two Boys Kissing! We're giving away ARCs so stop by his author board and leave a question or comment to enter to win!