Title: Darkness Watching
Author: Emma L. Adams
Series: Darkworld #1
Publication: October 10th, 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
Category: Upper Young Adult/New Adult
Genre: Paranormal | Urban Fantasy
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits—and the darkness is staring back.
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere—little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life—but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…
• Describe Darkness Watching in one sentence.
Here’s the pitch:
Student Ashlyn has more than exams on her mind-watched by demons no one else can see; she has to learn to navigate university life as well as a hidden world of dark magic and monsters, before a hidden enemy moves in for the kill.
• What inspired the idea behind the book?
I actually made up the demons first, about 7 years ago, and used them in another series which never got picked up. Several years later, I decided to re-use the idea and update it for an upper-YA audience with a university setting. And strangely enough, it worked so much better this way!
• What was the most challenging part of writing it?
Leaving the first draft halfway when I went to Costa Rica for five weeks, and attempting to finish it whilst living in the middle of the rainforest, battling with the forces of nature! It was a volunteer project and I hadn’t intended to end up leaving my book behind mid-draft, but Darkness Watching refused to leave me alone! It was tricky. I had no laptop, no internet, and the wildlife was a bit…hostile. I got bitten by mosquitoes and attacked by a swarm of jungle bees! But I finished the draft (in a notebook I bought at the airport!), and escaped with my sanity intact – just!
• Who was your favorite character to write?
I do love all my characters in different ways. J Ash is the character I identify with the most, because she’s the main character and has several of my own personality traits (being a workaholic, sarcastic, and often socially awkward!). But I enjoy writing characters who aren’t like me at all. Ash’s superstitious best friend, Cara. Claudia’s devil-may-care attitude. Leo’s witty remarks and love for bizarre t-shirts. Berenice and Howard and their love-hate relationship (with each other, and the world!). I enjoy writing all of them! J
• How many installments do you plan on being in the series?
There will be five books in the Darkworld series, and I’ve already written four of them! I pre-planned it, so many events in the first book will gain added significance later on (foreshadowing!). It’s been a lot of fun!
• Are you currently writing another book?
Right now, I’m working on Book 5! I’m also drafting a totally different project, a YA fantasy.
• Besides writing, what other artistic talents do you have?
I’m not artistically talented at all! It’s a shame, because I love drawing, but I can’t draw people to save my life (and this is after taking an Art GCSE with a specialism in portraiture!). Still, I sometimes draw little cartoons of my characters. J
• You’re stressed. What’s the first thing you do or reach for?
A book. Unless I’m in the middle of writing, then I force myself to stick at it until I meet my goals! Only in very dire circumstances do I let myself get away with not writing.
• Your automatic buy-list authors are:
Too many to count! There are lots of authors I love but have only read some of their books (e.g. I haven’t read J.K. Rowling’s adult novels but I’m a HUGE Potter fan), and there are other authors whose books I always buy because they write in genres I like the most (not saying I won’t buy their books if they change genre, but it depends if I think it fits my personal tastes- I have to be picky because I don’t have much money to spend on books!).
But these are some of the authors whose work I’ve consistently enjoyed: Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson, George R.R. Martin, Garth Nix, Derek Landy, Cassandra Clare, Julie Kagawa, Richelle Mead, Rachel Vincent, Victoria Schwab, Laini Taylor, Maria V. Snyder, Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah J. Maas, Zoe Marriott…
• What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Write every day. Learn about the craft and the industry, persist in the face of adversity, and always back up your files! 😛
Emma L. Adams spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).
Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.