Author Interview: The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond by Amanda Glaze
Historical setting. Mediums. Dark spirits. Death. The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond is full of atmospheric goodness! When we learned that Amanda Glaze’s great grandmother and her twin were involved in the 19th century spiritualist movement, we wanted to hear more about it. Check out our interview with Amanda Glaze and pick up The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond, out now!
The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bondby Amanda Glaze
Published by: Union Square Co.
on October 4, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Deliciously chilling and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful.” —Nina LaCour, Printz Award–winning author of We Are Okay
Sacramento, 1885 Edie and Violet Bond know the truth about death. The seventeen-year-old twins are powerful mediums, just like their mother—Violet can open the veil between life and death, and Edie can cross into the spirit world. But their abilities couldn’t save them when their mother died and their father threatened to commit them to a notorious asylum.
Now runaways, Edie and Violet are part of a traveling Spiritualist show, a tight-knit group of young women who demonstrate their real talents under the guise of communing with spirits. Each night, actresses, poets, musicians, and orators all make contact with spirits who happen to have something to say. . . notions that young ladies could never openly express. But when Violet’s act goes terribly wrong one night, Edie learns that the dark spirit responsible for their mother’s death has crossed into the land of the living. As they investigate the identity of her mysterious final client, they realize that someone is hunting mediums…and they may be next.Only by trusting in one another can the twins uncover a killer who will stop at nothing to cheat death.
Interview with Amanda Glaze
The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond features characters inspired by your actual family members. What was it like researching them? Were there surprises? Are there things about their lives you wish you could have included but couldn’t?
Growing up, the only thing I really knew about my ancestor Edith Bond and her twin sister Violet was that they were spirit mediums during the height of the nineteenth century Spiritualist movement, and that after they had families of their own, they built a passageway connecting their two homes so they would always stay connected. When I later set out to discover more about them, I wasn’t able to find much about their lives as teenagers, and that’s what led me to researching the Spiritualist movement in general, and more specifically, the lives of other teenage mediums living during that era.
I was absolutely surprised to discover the fascinating cross-section between Spiritualism and the early women’s rights movement, as well as the fact that women—particularly young women—were often considered to be the best spirit mediums due to their “passive” natures. I don’t think anyone who is paying attention would make the mistake of calling today’s young women passive, but at that time in the late nineteenth century, women were generally barred from taking on leadership roles and discouraged from speaking in public. But as spirit mediums, those same women were encouraged to give trance lectures and conduct séances in front of crowds, and they were also encouraged to take on leadership roles.
The Spiritualist movement essentially created a kind of loophole that allowed many young women to gain valuable skills they later put to use in the fight for women’s suffrage. This loophole fascinated me, and I decided to create a fictional version of Edie and Violet that drew on what I knew of their very real and deep sister bond mixed with stories of other real-life teenage mediums of the era who traveled on trance lecture circuits, finding clever ways to make their voices heard in a world that tended to dismiss female voices.
Your story has been out in the world for a few months. What have been your favorite author/book moments so far?
I’ve loved so much about the journey of getting this book out into the world, but my hands down favorite experience has been hearing from and interacting with readers.
I wrote this book because we are living in a time when women’s rights are being stripped away, and I needed a story about female defiance to inspire me. I also put everything I love into the story, from magic and mystery to sisters, found family, and a dash of enemies to lovers. I always hoped that one day the story might resonate with other readers who liked the same things I did, but I never could have predicted the thrill I would feel each and every time a reader connects with the story.
I tend to avoid reading reviews, but I did see one where the reviewer said something like, I’ve had a terrible week, and this book was exactly what I needed. As a reader, I know exactly how it feels to have a book come in and sweep you away right when you need it, and knowing that my story has done that for even one person out there is an absolutely magical feeling.
Though The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond is your debut novel, it’s not your first creative endeavor. How has being a film/tv producer informed your writing process?
Novels and films are different mediums in many ways, but they share a lot of similarities when it comes to the creative process. In both cases, you are making something out of nothing, and making that something requires multiple drafts, multiple edits, multiple screenings, and multiple outside eyes before you get it to a place where you are as happy with it as you can be.
I’ve read so many first drafts of movie scripts that, on the page, were kind of a mess. And then I’ve had the opportunity to see those stories—oftentimes after years of hard work by many talented people—become something I’m very proud to have worked on.
Writing that messy first draft is hard. Not giving up after realizing just how messy that draft is can be even harder. But what working in film taught me is that creating is a process. You aren’t going to get it right the first time, but it’s worth the effort it takes to get it there.