Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Interview with Chris Savio Author of The Beckoning
Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.
I grew up half in New Jersey and half in Southern California. Living my formative years on different sides of the country I feel has given me a unique perspective on life and different character traits of people. Coupled with spending an inordinate amount of time in my parent’s diner in New Jersey, I have developed an interesting sense of humor, which shows itself from time to time in my writing and my teaching. (I am a teacher by day and a writer by night.) Growing up, besides the beach and various sports, I spent my time reading history and horror books. Many years later, I have combined those interests into the paranormal historical based romances I tend to write. My stories tend to lean more toward the paranormal and romance side using history as a mere backdrop. There are no history lessons in my books, only enough to make the scary, or romantic scenes a little more interesting.
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
On the surface, The Beckoning is a story of a young girl who is forced to move from New Jersey to a remote plantation house in Virginia. Isolated from her friends, and ultimately her parents, Marissa (my protagonist) and her dog Max are left to fend for themselves in a world dominated by a demon hell bent on killing her family. In addition to the demon, Marissa must deal with a paranormal town her family frequents that is populated by ghosts. Eventually, Marissa discovers these ghosts are trying to reach out to her for help, for reasons she doesn’t yet understand. On the brink of insanity, Marissa finds the journal of the young man that lived in her room over a century before. In his journal, the young man left vital information about the history of the house and how to survive it. Lonely and scared, Marissa begins to fall in love with the young man spiritually before he does the seemingly impossible. He materializes to save her from the demon and show her the special powers she possesses. The love Marissa feels for him immediately grows ten fold. While their relationship blossoms, Marissa comes to realize that Zachary has not come to save her. Rather he has come to show her how to save the ghosts who are imprisoned in Mills Run, her family, and possibly the world.
Along with the romance, The Beckoning is packed with action, horror and the story of a young person finding out who she really is. Above all, The Beckoning is a story of a young person gaining confidence in herself and standing strong in the face of overwhelming odds.
If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?
There will be a sequel to The Beckoning. I will be writing that soon after I finish the steampunk vampire story I am currently writing that features Billy the Kid. In the sequel, Marissa will move to back to New Jersey, but find herself in a secluded Delaware River town. To her dismay the demon would have followed her and she will start noticing that even though her life is moving forward time itself is moving backwards a day or sometimes even a few weeks at a time. In addition to that people around her are dying incredibly horrible deaths and being replaced by their evil clones. Trying to escape the town Max and Marissa find out that some kind of powerful force is trapping them with the town’s limits. Perhaps Zachary can return and help her fight off the offspring of the original demon.
What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
Besides the project I am currently writing, I have another one due back from my editor, Neal Hock. That one is called The Daguerreotypist and is about a photographer back in 1842, hence the title of the book, that goes on a killing rampage in order to “stop” sinning. He is later forced to enter into a pact with the devil and gains the ability to time travel between 2012 and 1842. In 2012 he falls in love with the woman who presently occupies his old studio/apartment. A love triangle quickly ensues between the two of them and Rachel’s, the woman in 2012, fiancé, complicating matters. Rachel over time discovers who he is and how he has been time traveling. Torn between what is right and her attraction for him, she struggles with being the only one who can put an end to the killing. It will all come down to whether or not Rachel can or will she put an end to the carnage occurring in two different centuries.
Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?
Although I am writing a book about Billy the Kid being a vampire slayer right now, and having a lot of fun doing it, my favorite character is Marissa from The Beckoning. I started off her character being afraid to stand up to people, talk to guys, or make many friends. She was a shy girl with a hint of a snarky attitude reserved for her parents only. As The Beckoning evolves, so does Marissa. The reader can follow the change in her from shyness to becoming an extremely strong and fearless character. This is displayed in the book when she makes friends with the ghost that eventually ends up being her love interest and with the demon within her house. With Zachary, she gains the strength to not only talk to a ghost, but also allow the love interest to develop. In regards to the demon, the shy young lady in the beginning of the book comes full circle in battling the demon and resembles Laura Croft Tomb Raider in her bravery. Creating the character of Marissa was an enjoyable experience that kept me coming back to my computer keyboard day after day. I hope the readers have as much fun reading about her adventures in The Beckoning as I did creating them.
Are you a mom (or parent)?
I am a proud parent of a 6-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son. As I am sure every parent says, they are the center of my whole world. Often times they ask what I’m writing about and make suggestions. Well, even though The Beckoning is a YA book suitable for teenagers on upward, I tend to be vague with them about the content. They usually want to know if I have doggies or cats in the story. That happens to be where the idea for Max, Marissa’s dog and at times only confidant, came from.
If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?
Not at all, I find that getting time to write and juggling parenting is fairly easy. It’s the writing that is hard. I have a wonderful wife that gives me time for my writing if I need it during the day. Most of the time I write after the family has fallen asleep and before they wake up. I am one of those people who find it difficult to sleep more than five hours per night. Actually, my whole family is asleep as I am answering the questions for this interview.
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Genre: Paranormal YA Romance
Number of pages: 273
Word Count: 83,000
Cover Artist: Char Andlesperger
Teenage girls don’t fall in love with ghosts, discover their magical powers or save their families from demons, or they?
Forced to leave the few friends she’s ever had and the only life she’s ever known, snarky fifteen-year-old Marissa arrives at Briar Creek, a remote Virginia plantation house, lonely and unhappy. Immediately upon arrival, she learns that her parents have come under the power of the demon that has dwelled there for over a century and that her very life hangs by a thread. With her life in peril, Marissa makes several discoveries that would turn any teenager’s life upside down.
Finding out that the nearby town of Mills Run is inhabited by the souls of her dead relatives who continually try to communicate with her is terrifying. Knowing her parents are under full control of the demon, who unbeknownst to her wants to father a child and rule the world, is even worse. Realizing that she only has Max, her faithful dog for support, Marissa begins to give up all hope.
That’s until she finds the journal of the long dead boy who used to occupy her room. Reading about his life, Marissa begins to fall in love and fantasizes about the seemingly impossible, meeting him. Her impossible dream miraculously comes true when Zachary materializes to save her life and teach her of the powers she never knew she possessed. Allied with her first love, and more powerful than any teenage girl ever dreamed, Marissa gains confidence and believes she can do anything. Together, can this improbable duo save Marissa’s family and the world from the demon before it’s too late?
I reside in Northern New Jersey. By day I’m a teacher and family man. At night, the need to write drives me deep into the early hours of the morning. Growing up, my love of history and horror, including Stephen King, greatly shaped my reading and writing interests and style. My debut novel, The Beckoning, is a YA paranormal romance immersed in a historical setting. In additional to the sequel, I have two other YA novels in the publication queue.