Author Chat with Marlene Perez (Forward Into Darkness)!

Author Chat with Marlene Perez (Forward Into Darkness)!

Today we're excited to chat with Marlene Perez, author of Forward Into Darkness!. 

Read on for more about Joanne and her novel!





YABC:  Love your world building that is complete with hybrids, mystery, and secrets. What inspired you when coming up with this world?

A long time ago, I read about a chimpanzee named Oliver, who walked upright and exhibited certain human behaviors. There were rumors that he was the result of a human/chimpanzee secret experiment, but eventually, it was proven that he was just a chimpanzee. He had a sad life, but the initial article made me think about the taboo of human/animal experimentation. I also loved the Island of Doctor Moreau, as well as such stellar movies as Sssssss, where a mad scientist turns a guy into a king cobra. Once I decided the world I created would have broken the taboo about animal/human experimentation, I thought about why that could happen. My editor helped me figure out that this wouldn't take place on a tiny island to just one person, but rather on a larger scale, to people living under an oppressive regime. I had to think about how those people would be treated. History (as well as personal experience) has shown me that anyone who is different is usually not greeted with open arms, but rather with fear, anger, and often violence.


YABC:   Love the forbidden love story between Valencia and Mateo. Do you have a favorite forbidden love story? Is so, which one?

I have a nostalgic love of The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I clearly remember sneaking my sister's copy and reading it on the sly. More recently, I loved Mary Pearson's spin on Romeo and Juliet, SCRIBBLER OF DREAMS and THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski.


YABC:   Do you have a Playlist for FORWARD INTO DARKNESS? Can you share if you do?

I ALWAYS have a playlist because listening to specific music helps me get into the emotional world of the manuscript. Here's my playlist for FORWARD INTO DARKNESS .

O Valencia! by The Decemberists (This song is about a tragic forbidden love affair)
Frankie and Johnny by Elvis Presley
Romeo and Juliet by The Killers
I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron & Wine
Bang Pop by Free Energy
Howl by Florence & the Machine
Monsters by Hurricane Bells
Last Kiss by Joe Bonamassa
Like a Full Moon by Codeine Velvet Club
No Spill Blood by Oingo Boingo


YABC:   Which scene was the hardest to write and why?

The prologue was really hard for me to write, but I think it was essential to set the tone of the novel.  The violence was hard to write, but it was needed to portray The Way Forward as they truly were.


YABC:   Do you have a writing routine?

I do, but I have children so I try to be flexible with it. I try to write at least five days a week, but if I'm on deadline, I write more. My problem is sticking to just one manuscript. I tend to have several manuscripts lying around in various stages of completion.


YABC:   What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Tell that internal editor to shut the hell up. Ignore him/her when you are writing a first draft, but listen closely when you're revising. Not every writing tip/process works for every writer, so don't worry if that's not the way you do it.


YABC:   What part of the writing process is your favorite: Drafting or Revising?

It depends. When I'm drafting, I think of revising fondly and vice versa. I am going to be horribly honest and admit that sometimes I hate it all, but I can't stop doing it.


  YABC:   What new release book are you looking forward to in 2017?

All of the books! Seriously, my to-read list is SO long and I read in a lot of different genres. I am a big fan of Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) and I can't wait for her next Cormoran Strike book. I like Alison Goodman's Dark Days/Lady Helen books and I can't wait for the third book to come out (not sure that's happening in 2017, though.) I also love books with snarky protagonists. I adored Dumplin' so whatever Julie Murphy has coming out, I'm in. Robin LaFevers new His Fair Assassin book, but I think that's 2018, too.  When I'm writing ya, I usually read adult romance, fantasy, or mystery novels and then when I'm taking a break, I try to catch up on ya.


YABC:   What's next for you?

I'm revising a young adult novel and I just started a first draft of a middle grade novel. I have identical twin daughters and they keep asking me to write a book they can read. So this one just happens to have twin sisters in it. This is a public service announcement: parents can totally tell identical twins apart.





Meet Marlene Perez!



Marlene Perez is the author of paranormal and urban fantasy books, including the best-selling DEAD IS series for teens, which have been optioned by Disney Channel for television. She grew up in Story City, Iowa and is the youngest of twelve children. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband and children.



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Meet Forward Into Darkness!

For Valencia Paine, the world is as small as her family’s estate. Confined to the grounds because of unrest from the human-animal hybrids whose labor runs the city, Valencia observes life in Sombria from the other side of a wrought-iron fence.

Her father, a powerful scientist in Sombria’s popular—and oppressive—regime, claims it’s for her own protection. But Valencia isn’t content to stay cloistered inside a cold, lonely mansion, with only books for company. When she slips away and encounters Mateo, a mysterious stranger with ties to the city’s hybrids, she finds herself drawn into a life forbidden to her—and into a resistance movement that defies everything she thinks she knows.

As her father tightens his control of her by arranging a marriage to Henri, a rising star in the regime, Valencia becomes more determined to discover the truth. Will her defiance change her—and her world—forever?


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Forward Into Darkness

By: Marlene Perez

Release Date: April 25, 2017