Thursday, February 10, 2022

Interview with Horror Authors Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren


1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book? A book deal! We sold this book on proposal after publishing legend Wendy Loggia tweeted about accepting proposals from agented authors for Underlined (a relatively new imprint of Penguin Random House). We saw an opportunity and took it, fleshing out an idea inspired by one of our favorite haunted locales, the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We wrote the 11-page proposal and 40 pages of the book in four days and submitted — got the offer a week later! Two months and a few drops of blood, sweat, and tears later — a book baby was born!

2. What is it about and who is it for? It’s a YA horror (ages 12 and up) starring a group of YouTube-famous teen ghost hunters who spend the night at a haunted hotel to secretly film after dark. A harmless ghost hunt turns into a murder mystery when they stumble upon a dead body in the hotel’s most infamous room. 

3. What takeaways might the reader be left with after reading it? We certainly hope they enjoyed the ride! And if any of our readers are aspiring authors, we hope they hear our unconventional publishing story and are inspired to find out-of-the-box ways to publish their work. Publishing is not “one size fits all,” and trusting our innovative instincts has proven to be the most successful path to getting our stories into the hands of readers.  

4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? We initially pitched this idea with the title ONE NIGHT STAY, but Underlined had another book with a similar title, so we went with HORROR HOTEL instead (and we’re thrilled we did!). The cover design is the creation of artist David Seidman who specializes in dark surrealism. We asked for something LA-inspired with spooky elements and the title as part of the hotel signage — boy, did he deliver! Our favorite detail is the ghostly girl in the window, which is beyond creepy and also relevant to the plot of the book. 

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Trust your gut. Trust your gut when writing, trust your gut when trying to figure out how to get your work published. Everyone’s path to publication is different, so don’t compare your journey to someone else’s and always do what’s right for you. Listen to as few outside voices as possible, save for your agent, editor and a few other eyes you trust (usually in the form of other writers whose work you admire). 

6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? We’re not experts by any stretch, but the trends we see extend mostly to the way stories are being delivered to the reader. As technology and social media advance, we’re seeing authors have more options for how and where they can publish, and readers are finding new ways to interact with books and their favorite authors. From TikTok influencers to WattPad and now Kindle Vella, there are so many new ways popping up to find and read content online. 

7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book? The biggest challenge was just getting out of our own way to get to the end and get it done. We had a two-month deadline, and neither of us had ever written a book that fast before (especially one that was for sure going to be published). So, we had to put blinders on, trust ourselves and each other and get to the end. It was so important to us to make that deadline, come hell or high water. 

8. How would you describe your writing style? The two of us writing together is some combination of fun and angst. Perfect for a teen audience. We pay special attention to dialogue since we’re both also screenwriters and we use both humor and a good cry to give our readers some comic relief while maintaining the depth we know they also crave. Let’s not forget romance — if there’s not a love interest, we don’t care. 

9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? It’s scary, it’s fun, it’s romantic (just in time for Valentine’s Day) — there are ghosts and a serial killer. It’s got all of our favorite things — we can only hope it has some of yours too! 

About The Authors: Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren are an award-winning coauthor duo who write edgy rom-coms and frightening horror with plenty of smooching, friendship and movie references. Originally hailing from Ohio and Texas, respectively, they met in an online writing workshop where their friendship quickly blossomed into a partnership demanding they live in the same state. Now they both work and write in too-sunny Los Angeles, CA. Victoria lives with her fiancé and their two cat children and co-runs a PR agency with her other best friend in her spare time. Faith eats home baked goods made by her husband, raises a wolf-loving son, and wrangles two scruffy dogs, while also working as a book coach and developmental editor, and writing YA and women’s fiction under her real name Rebekah Faubion. 

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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: 

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