Hello, my lovelies!! I have something very fun in store for you today! You might remember that I read and loved Amber House a while back, and I recently had the opportunity to read its sequel, Neverwas. Well, I am excited to announce that today we have the authors of this lovely trilogy answering a few burning questions about the series AND to celebrate the release of Neverwas they are allowing some of us bloggers to help them in hosting a giveaway for a signed first edition of Neverwas! First, an interview with the lovely ladies behind the trilogy!
Let’s get the basics out of the way, what can readers expect from Neverwas?
A very different side of Amber House. The House functions as a prism through which Sarah can examine varying facets of herself and her family. Book I Sarah was in a darker place emotionally — more lost, more isolated. That contributed to a manifestation of the House as being more eerie and haunting. After time changes at the end of AMBER HOUSE, Sarah has a different life, and a different host of issues to face. The House, obviously, reflects that. This book is more suspenseful and psychological — it deals directly with the ramifications of Book I. Questions of free will versus destiny, duty to those we love versus duty to self, that which survives and persist versus those things that must fall away, and how one person can impact countless others.
There are so many scenes that stick out in my mind from both Amber House and Neverwas, the echoes in particular stand out for me, do you have a favorite scene from either of the novels?
There are a few scenes we really wish we could just magically be in. In AMBER HOUSE, the boat race, and the masquerade for Sarah’s birthday. In NEVERWAS, the heist probably tops the list.
If I was describing Amber House I would use words like gothic, paranormal, mystery. Neverwas has these same elements but to me, it really feels more like a work of historical fiction. Was the writing process different for each novel? Did you find that one came more easily to the page?
AMBER HOUSE was originally a much longer novel, and set in the NEVERWAS dystopian timeline. The decision was made to excise the NEVERWAS elements, so readers could focus more clearly on Sarah and the (admittedly large) cast of supporting characters. But AMBER HOUSE was always building to NEVERWAS and its storyline, because its mysteries and revelations are necessary to the third act, OTHERWHEN.
It is also a goal of ours, that each book represents a different genre or focus. While the core themes certainly stay constant, the unique properties of the House afford us the opportunity to plop our characters into starkly different environments. That’s part of the fun of a time travel series.
I read up on how the idea of the Amber House Trilogy came to be (thank goodness Tucker was hunting after some ancestry information!), and it seems like the idea really grew out of all three of you collaborating. Can you talk about the writing process; do you think it is easier or harder to have three minds working on something so huge? Do you all have your own areas of expertise?
The House as a time-altering device, the time-defying romance between Sarah and Jackson, the dark ties binding the Harris, Hathaway and Parsons families together — these were additions to the early draft of the story found in that 30-old-box in the attic, which we can honestly say only evolved after long discussions in our living room over cups of coffee and tea. Our plan of attack, as it were, is usually to cloister ourselves away, work and re-work an outline until we all agree on the elements, and then delegate out scenes to write. When it comes to this project — a central mystery with clues hidden throughout thirteen generations’ worth of character story lines, in addition to an alternate history and the world-building that goes hand-in-hand with that, all underscoring the protagonist’s emotional arc — having three people (plus an editor) helping to keep track of everything goes a long way toward getting these books done in a year or so, rather than two or three years.
In Neverwas, I noticed that Jackson was described as a type of “guardian angel,” and an unwavering partner to Sarah as she searches through the past. I think it shows that Sarah and Jackson’s relationship goes beyond teenage romance. Were there any partnerships that you had in mind while writing theirs?
Jackson and Sarah’s lifelong friendship-type connection is based on one within our own family — Lundi and Loré Moore, the couple we dedicated the books to.
But there is one obvious difference: the thing about Sarah and Jackson’s connection in Books I and II is it is built on the foundation of Jackson’s visions: he has seen Sarah and himself live a lifetime together. He knows Sarah better than she knows herself; he has seen her at her best and at her worst and loves every aspect of her. For Jackson, his relationship with Sarah isn’t just a “teenage romance,” or a means to an end to get his parents back. Every vision he has ever had at Amber House has revolved around her — he has grown up knowing Sarah is the one true love of his life. In that way, there relationship may echo those of classic Gothic romances, where the couple are bound to each other beyond time.
I know we are looking into the future here, but do you have any ideas on what is next after The Amber House trilogy concludes? Do you think you will continue to work together on future novels?
We’re working on solo projects, but can state for certain that two stand-alone collaborations — one a fantasy with a male protagonist, and one a romance-adventure set against the backdrop of Greek mythology — are in various stages of completion and are part of a larger all-encompassing fictional world we intend to establish as the setting for all our projects, past and future.
EEP! I am so excited for ALL OF THE THINGS. I cannot wait to see how the series concludes. Now, for the clue and information regarding the givewaway…
In NEVERWAS, Sarah must piece together the mystery of her forgotten past with the help of clues left behind by her great-grandmother, Fiona Warren. For readers interested in the chance to win a signed first-edition hardback of NEVERWAS — with an exclusive hint for what’s in story for Sarah in the final book, OTHERWHEN, hidden inside — visit each blog on the tour for the month of December, collect the various lines from the poem, arrange them in the proper order, and submit the final sonnet by New Year’s Day for a chance to win the special copy of NEVERWAS!
KELLY MOORE is a New York Times best-selling author, former litigator, and single mother of three. Her latest project, the young adult fiction series THE AMBER HOUSE TRILOGY, co-written with her two daughters and based loosely upon her own family history, examines fourteen generations of Maryland women and their ties to the past, present, and future. The first book in the series was nominated for the 2014 Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award for its realistic portrayal of characters with autism; Moore is outspoken about her inclusion in the autism spectrum, and is dedicated to autism awareness.
TUCKER REED is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer. She has been recognized on the national level for her short stories, essays and poetry. She is also a notable political blogger and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC and HuffPost Live, as well as featured in articles published by TIME magazine, Marie Claire magazine, Ms. magazine, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, among numerous others.
LARKIN REED is a professional photographer, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in filmmaking. In 2013, Reed established her own multimedia production company, and has subsequently produced and directed several short films.
Whew! Exciting, am I right?! For more information about the series, or the giveaway, visit The Amber House Blog! Make sure to check out the other blogs to gather your clues! The next stop on the tour will be at Annette’s Book Spot! Oh, and stay tuned for my review of Neverwas! Happy reading, my friends!