Thursday, August 12, 2010

Author Spotlight: Anastasia Hopcus

Look who stopped by:
Anastasia Hopcus
author of Shadow Hills

"The real reason I couldn’t tear my gaze away, the thing that turned my muscles to ice even as my skin burned, was the one and only thought running through my mind: That’s him. That is the guy from my dream."

His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her. Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry. After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all. But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

1) Could you tell us a little about your self?

Anastasia- I live in Austin Texas. I’ve also lived in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, where Phe comes from. In my (sadly limited) spare time, I love to read, especially Young Adult paranormal---surprise, surprise. I'm a huge Buffy addict and always will be, but there are also some new shows that I’m really loving. The ones I’ve been watching the most recently are Vampire Diaries, The Office and True Blood. I’m definitely more an Eric fan than a Bill fan---though I do adore my boyfriend’s Bill impression. Hilarious.

2) Could you tell us a bit about Shadow Hills?

Anastasia- Persephone Archer’s life has been changed by her sister's death. So she starts school at Devenish Prep, a boarding school in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts, where she hopes to discover the meaning of her recent cryptic dreams. She meets Zach, a gorgeous townie she’s inexplicably drawn to. But there are some odd things about him and the other students who live in the town. Phe sets out to discover what the people of Shadow Hills are hiding, and she uncovers some startling---and dangerous---secrets about the town. In the process, she even has revelations about her own extraordinary gifts.

3) What was your inspiration for writing Shadow Hills?

Anastasia- It began with a 60 Minutes segment on a savant named Daniel Tammet, who has some amazing abilities. I was intrigued by the idea of a whole group of people who had somehow developed some uncommon abilities. I wondered how it might have happened and what the consequences would be, both good and bad. And the town of Shadow Hills was born.

4) Do any of your personal experiences come in to play in Shadow Hills?

Anastasia- I think a writer’s life influences their stories in some way or another. I’m not exactly like any of my characters, and I’ve definitely never had experiences like Phe has in the book *grins*, but I'm able to identify with certain aspects of all my characters. Sometimes my characters do things I wish I had the nerve to do myself.

5) What do you plan on doing in the future?

Anastasia- I'm interested in continuing the story of Shadow Hills and finding out what lies ahead for Phe and Zach. But I also have a few other ideas I'm working on, including a YA paranormal set in London in the early 1800's.


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