I’m back with Blogmas Day 7 – how quickly is this month going?? Anyway today I’m here with another special post, and once again it’s my stop on the PULSE blog tour! If you missed my review of PULSE that kicked off the tour you can find it here! You won’t want to miss out on this heart racing book!
Today I have a very exciting interview with the lovely Danielle Koste herself! I absolutely loved this interview, and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Here we go:
What first inspired you to start writing books? When did you start writing?
It’s kind of a funny story. It started with a really terrible English teacher, ironically enough. During elementary school we had one teacher who basically didn’t teach us much and instead told us to spend the class writing. I learned nothing that year but creatively I flourished, along with the rest of my class I’m sure. Sharing and writing stories for an hour every day was very productive.
I wrote my first ‘full’ novel in that class: A horror story that was about 30 handwritten pages long and involved a haunted house with blood leaking walls and ended with the gorey deaths of my characters and my parents being slightly concerned for my mental well being.
Since then writing was always a hobby I had on the side of everything else. It was only in my last year of Junior high where I really started considering it as a career though.
I read a book for a book report: “Shattering Glass” by Gail Giles. It inspired me so much that I thought of my own story on the spot, the plot that would eventually, over 8 years later, become my current WIP, the first draft of a book titled “Extracurriculars”. I was so obsessed with Gail’s novel I even wrote to her. I sent her a long email about all my thoughts, I even sent her a scan of my book report, and the most defining part, she wrote back.
She gave me so much advice, about writing, about how I should go about getting published, about never giving up. And that really motivated me. I think to this day, I know that other people had defining moments in leading me towards writing, but nothing pushed me to being an “author” as much as that response email.
Who are your writing inspirations?
After that previous answer I don’t think it needs to be stated, but I completely devoured all of Gail Giles books after reading “Shattering Glass”. Her writing is more middle grade and not quite as sophisticated as what I prefer to read now, but her stories are gripping and have definitely instilled in me a desire for the dark and controvial.
After her, my go to favorite novels when someone asks are always White Oleander by Janet Fitch and Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie Macdonald. I often say that if someone wants to understand me a little better, to read these two books. I strive to be half as good with words as these two amazing women are.
What inspired PULSE?
The word ‘inspire’ is always a tough one for me. My inspiration is sort of like spices in a soup. Tiny little flecks of almost nothing flavoring the whole of something else. Overall, my inspirations come from everything. Films, music, games, books obviously, but also sights, sounds, experiences, feelings.
To be a little less vague and pretentious about it though, the nugget of an idea that would eventually lead to PULSE came as a dream I had one night. A female scientist researching something on the other side of a glass wall. But it wasn’t an animal as one might expect. It was a little boy with bright blue eyes.
There are a few scientific scenes within the story. Did you do any research for the novel?
I did A LOT of research, and it probably still isn’t enough. Specifically, I learned about blood, and viruses, and how they work, and how HIV works, and how the science behind my fictional virus could theoretically be plausible (with some suspended disbelief). I also had to learn a lot of terminology, a lot of which never even made it into the novel.
I’m waiting for the day that a real med student calls me out for all my wrong info. Please go easy on me, doctors, I tried my best!
What was your favourite scene to write?
Without giving too many spoilers, my favorite scene was likely when Lyall gets to tell Rowan a little more about his past.
There’s a lot about Lyall that the reader does not get to know about in PULSE, since it’s from Rowan’s point of view. His story is a long one, and I really enjoyed getting to touch on a very small piece of it.
I absolutely loved how headstrong and independent Rowan was, did you always plan her out to be this way or did it develop as you wrote?
Rowan was always supposed to be headstrong, but during my first draft she got lost somewhere along the way. Somewhere around 3/4 of my way through the novel, I realized that something was wrong. Not only was what I’d written already not going to lead well into the ending I now realized I wanted, but Rowan was not the girl she was suppose to be. There was something hollow about how I’d written her.
When I started the first rewrite, a new girl appeared. It was like she’d been waiting on the sidelines all along, ready for me to take her off the bench. Ever since then it was a bit like she was leading the story, rather than me.
I loved how you never named exactly what Lyall is (no spoilers!), but all the characteristics are there – why did you do this?
When I first started PULSE it was on the back end of the Twilight fiasco. It felt like anything labelled the dreaded V-word was immediately written off by most people, and being a tiny baby of only freshly 21 years old at the time, I was scared of people judging the book before reading it. Looking back, I was also determined to be unique and different. I tried to write a book that was basically angels and demons, but I made up this complicated and pretentious lore to explain why they weren’t angels and demons but instead something else. I was obviously scared of falling into a category at the time.
With PULSE, I told myself I’d stay as far away from the V-word as possible. Lyall was unique after all, I didn’t need to call him anything.
I’ve since shaken off that fear. I know that paranormal fans are a breed, so those that like it will usually flock to a release of their favorite type of monster like moths to a flame. But the ‘unnamed’ part still stuck. Why?
Ultimately, I think it came down to Rowan. With how scientific and proof based she is usually, it would be hard for her to use that word, giving it’s fantastical connotation. Most people think of some pretty wild, magical creatures when you use the v-word, but Lyall is very much real (in fictional terms). It would seem ridiculous to her to call him something so “fictitious”.
Not to mention the fact that I think Rowan, while she does question her own logic and emotions sometimes, she never truly sees Lyall as anything other than human.
The villain in this book is particularly cruel and cunning, why do you think the villain ended up like this?
“The Villain” is an interesting character who went through a lot of transformations, which old fans will recognize almost right away.
I don’t consider them a villain as much as I do an antagonist. They are misguided, and in a way, meant to be a mirror image of Rowan: of what Rowan could have become, if she’d made different choices.
There’s a lot more to “The Villian’s” personal story as well, but their motivations are fueled by self disappointment and dissatisfaction. Despite facades, they are not happy where they are in their life, they have achieved so much and yet still feel empty, and they fill those empty spaces with greed and power that eventually overcomes them.
Which character was the most fun to write for?
Cameron has and always will be a personal favorite, in regards to PULSE at least. He’s not only the comic relief at times, but Rowan’s support system. He’s integral to Rowan’s personality, to her confidence, and also to her humanity. He keeps her from floating off into space due to her sometimes big headedness.
What can we expect from the future?
Currently all my focus has been on the release of PULSE, but I have another paranormal romance that I am hoping to release in 2018, as long as everything with PULSE runs smoothly. I also have a first draft WIP, Extracurriculars, that is nearly complete, and can actually be read over at my Wattpad or Tapas!
There we go! Thank you to the lovely Danielle for this interview – your answers were AMAZING! I would also like to thank her for letting me join this blog tour, and letting me read your book – it’s too amazing for words! Follow her on Twitter by clicking here!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour on the dates below!
Until next time,