Author Interview: Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood
Lauren Blackwood, New York Times bestselling author, released her sophomore novel last month, Wildblood, a dark fantasy inspired by Jamaican folklore from her heritage, and we are thrilled to host a short interview with her on the blog today.
Wildbloodby Lauren Blackwood
Published by: Wednesday Books
on February 7, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Eighteen-year-old Victoria is a Wildblood. Kidnapped at the age of six and manipulated by the Exotic Lands Touring Company, she’s worked as a tour guide ever since with a team of fellow Wildbloods who take turns using their magic to protect travelers in a Jamaican jungle teeming with ghostly monsters.
When the boss denies Victoria an earned promotion to team leader in favor of Dean, her backstabbing ex, she’s determined to prove herself. Her magic may be the most powerful on the team, but she’s not the image the boss wants to send their new client, Thorn, a renowned goldminer determined to reach an untouched gold supply deep in the jungle.
Thorn is everything Victoria isn't - confident, impossibly kind, and so handsome he leaves her speechless. And when he entrusts the mission to her, kindness turns to mutual respect, turns to affection, turns to love. But the jungle is treacherous, and between hypnotic river spirits, soul-devouring women that shed their skin like snakes, and her ex out for revenge, Victoria has to decide - is promotion at a corrupt company really what she wants?
Interview Lauren Blackwood
1. When you started drafting Wildblood, was Victoria fully formed in your mind? Were there parts of her that changed while writing?
Victoria came pretty fully formed as far as personality early on in the process. I refined her narrative voice over a few drafts, and her relationship with a couple of the boys changed from the first draft. Really, she only changed if the plot events around her did, and only in that her reactions were different depending on the situation.
2. Talk to us about your research for Wildblood. What was your process like and what were you most surprised by?
I did most of my research for the folklore I knew I was going to include before I began writing. But then I also did a little research as I went along, pertaining to specific animals or trees. I’m not outdoorsy at all, so I had a friend look over the parts that involved intense hiking and camping. Surprisingly enough, there are a few things about those activities that aren’t straight forward if you aren’t used to doing them.
3. What advice would you give authors writing their sophomore stories?
Get out of your own head. Don’t worry about expectations or how your first book was received. Each book is its own journey—just write the book you want to write, and write it well.