Today we are chatting with Lauren Blackwood, author of
WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS
Read on for more about Lauren and her book!
Meet Lauren Blackwood!
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
It was a combination of my obsession with researching folklore/mythology and my crush on Michael Fassbender at the time prompting me to watch the film adaptation of Jane Eyre. I thought, “Why isn’t this house actually haunted?” and after that there was no turning back.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I don’t think I would’ve written the book from Andi’s POV if she wasn’t my favorite—she’s brave and strong in such admirable ways. She knows her own mind. She trusts herself. (Jember. Jember is my favorite. Don’t tell Andi.)
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel, for sure. The title took an embarrassingly long time to come up with. But, then, true art takes time.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Keep your eyes on your own paper—you could go crazy comparing your progress with that of the writers around you. Every writer’s journey is different.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
There’s a Black girl on the cover, drawn by a Black artist—that’s my favorite part. But it’s also creepy without overdoing it, elegant with the gold filagree, vibrant with the blue. Just all-round striking and gorgeous.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2022?
This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede! Banter, Italy, swoony romance, death touches. It has everything I could ever want in a book.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
They both have their joys—drafting is exploring your story and getting to know your characters, while revision is the satisfaction of your hard work coming together into something beautiful. Though to be honest, when I’m drafting I wish I was revising already, and when I’m revising I wish I was drafting something new.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
When it comes to writing, I would say I’m really good at dialogue and relationship dynamics. But in daily life? Procrastination.
Author: Lauren Blackwood
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: October 19, 2021
About the Book:
* REESE'S BOOK CLUB FALL 2021 YA PICK *
"Lauren Blackwood’s can’t-miss debut is a magical, Ethiopian-inspired remix of Jane Eyre." - Harper's Bazaar
What the heart desires, the house destroys...
Andromeda is a debtera―an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She would be hired, that is, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. Now her only hope of steady work is to find a Patron―a rich, well-connected individual who will vouch for her abilities.
When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. Never mind that he’s rude and demanding and eccentric, that the contract comes with a number of outlandish rules… and that almost a dozen debtera had quit before her. If Andromeda wants to earn a living, she has no choice.
But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, the reason every debtera before her quit. But leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option because―heaven help her―she’s fallen for him.
Stunningly romantic, Lauren Blackwood's heartstopping debut, Within These Wicked Walls, ushers in an exciting new fantasy voice.
"An intricate magic system, a grimly humorous Black heroine, AND a heart-thumping romance? This book leaves nothing wanting." - Jordan Ifueko, New York Times bestselling author of Raybearer