Vanessa is the author of "Under a Dark Summer Sky", a thrilling summer read based on actual events!
Here's the goodreads summary to get you all intrigued:
Huron Key is already weighed down with secrets when a random act of violence and a rush to judgment viscerally tear the town apart. As the little island burns under the sun and the weight of past decisions, a devastating storm based on the third-strongest Atlantic Hurricane on record approaches, matching the anger of men with the full fury of the skies. Beautifully written and seductive, UNDER A DARK SUMMER SKY is at once a glorious love story, a fascinating slice of social history, and a mesmerizing account of what it's like to be in the eye of a hurricane.
Intriguing, right? You're in luck because there's a goodreads giveaway of "Under a Dark Summer Sky" going on until the 28th so head on over and try your luck!
Vanessa took the time to answer some questions about her book, being an author and some All Lady July themed questions for me share with you, and here they are!
This is your debut book! What has surprised you about being a published author?
Several things: that readers in countries very different to the US (UK, Norway, Italy, Holland, Germany, France) would relate to such an American story; that bloggers like you would be so active and energetic in raising awareness of books; that the characters from my imagination would become as real to readers as they are to me.
The book includes some strong female characters, what did you enjoy most about writing them?
I adore strong, sassy women, so it was a delight to write Selma’s character especially. I think that I’m very drawn to female characters who have special knowledge or powers, real or otherworldly. It’s very possible that, had I lived in a previous century, I would have wanted to be a witch. But even the female characters who aren’t strong overtly, like Missy, develop a core of steel through being tested. I really enjoyed developing her from something of a victim, someone who has been pushed around by circumstances, into someone who takes charge of her life.
If this book was turned into a movie and you could cast whoever you wanted in the roles who would you pick?
That’s easy: Denzel for Henry (who is technically too old for the part, but Henry looks older than he is and, hey, it’s Denzel); Queen Latifah for Selma; January Jones for Hilda; Oprah for Mama; John C Reilly for Dwayne; an unknown for Missy; Tim Roth for Doc (although he’s a Brit, he does a great American accent, and would bring the vulnerability to the part).
Who are some of your female authors?
Pat Barker (The Regeneration Trilogy, which first opened my eyes to the history of WWI); Alice Hoffmann; Arianna Franklin; Mary Wesley; Carol Shields; Kate Atkinson; Jane Smiley; E. Annie Proulx
Who are some of your favorite female character in literature (besides your own, of course!)?
Mrs Bennett, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, because she’s such an awful social climber, she’s hilarious
Adelia Aguilar, the doctor from Arianna Franklin’s wonderful series of medieval crime stories, so sad that she’s gone now
Lou Clark from Jojo Moyes’ incredibly moving ‘Me Before You’
Izzy Sherbourne in M.L Steadman’s ‘The Light Between Oceans’
Vianne Rocher from Joanne Harris’ ‘Chocolat’
What's next for you?
Book 2 is another dramatization of a fascinating episode from history. I wanted to base it again on real events, because I find it so satisfying to use them as a framework to populate with my fictional characters.
Thanks again Vanessa! If you'd like to find Vanessa on the interwebs here is her website, her goodreads page and her twitter!