Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Interview with Tricia Rayburn - author of Siren and a Giveaway

Today we have Tricia Rayburn visiting - the author of Siren. It was one of my favorite YA reads so far and Tricia agreed to stop by Darkly Reading and answer some questions. She is also giving away a copy of her book! So please check out the interview and follow the details below to enter the giveaway (US only) and make sure to wish Tricia a happy release day while you're here!

Darkly Reading: Could you give a little introduction about Siren for my readers and talk about why you decided to write this book?

Tricia: Siren tells the story of 17-year-old Vanessa Sands, a self-proclaimed scaredy-cat who's used to hiding behind her fearless older sister, Justine—until Justine jumps off a cliff and that's no longer an option.  While everyone else thinks Justine's death is a tragic accident, Vanessa knows better and returns to the scene of the crime to figure out what happened.  Along the way she finds romance and faces some of her greatest fears...including one that will change her life forever.

I'd been wanting to do something different from my younger books, so when the idea occurred to me, I ran with it.  And the idea came about because of my somewhat recent fear of all creatures of the deep!

Siren takes place in Winter Harbor, Maine - Is there such a place and if not did you base the town on a real place off the coast of Maine?

Winter Harbor is a real town, and I chose it after learning that it earned its name because the harbor never freezes, not even in the middle of winter.  That, as you know, plays a key role in the story!  But you won't find Betty's Chowder House or the Lighthouse Resort there—they were inspired by other New England places I've visited over the years.

Siren touches on alot of great themes for summer vacation - traditional ones like summer vacation boyfriends, townies versus vacationers, summer jobs and some non-traditional themes like murder, paranormal seductresses, and unusual weather patterns- did you have some experience with these as a teenager (either traditional or non-traditional)?

I've lived near water most of my life and spent many childhood summers at the beach, and my family and I also used to rent a cabin once a year in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.  Those experiences combined helped with the setting and tone of the book.  And I live on eastern Long Island now, which definitely sees its share of townies and vacationers.  Thankfully, I don't have any personal experience with murder, paranormal seductresses, or unusual weather patterns...at least not yet!

Vanessa is such a great character, fearful of alot of things though strong and true to her family and friends, whereas Justine is what I think alot of girls want to be - fearless and beautiful. Why did you decide to make these two very different girls into sisters?

I wanted to play with the idea that you may never know someone as well as you think.  Vanessa idolizes Justine for being all the things she wishes she were, but she'll eventually learn that Justine acted the way she did for a very specific reason...and that they were much more alike than Vanessa realized.

I was checking out your blog - Maggie Musings & More and it features alot of oddities from the sea - any favorite or book idea inspiring oddities you would like to share?

The Montauk Monster is a recent favorite.  It washed onshore two summers ago and no one ever decided what it really was; it could've once been a dog or raccoon, but that wasn't definitively confirmed.  This suggests to me that maybe there are OTHER mysterious creatures lurking beneath the surface that we don't know about...which is as intriguing as it is scary!

Vanessa has a very specific favorite breakfast food - do you have a favorite vacation or breakfast food? How much are your characters based on your or people you know? Do you see any celebrities fitting with your characters?

When my family and I vacationed in NH, my brother would make amazing breakfasts (pancakes, eggs, bacon—the works!), and we'd all eat together by the lake.  That's definitely a favorite pasttime!

The only character who's somewhat based on a real person is Vanessa, who has some of the same fears I do.  And I think Dakota Fanning would do a fabulous job playing her!  :)

Although many questions were answered by the end of Siren there were definitely a few about Vanessa's future that aren't tied up - do you have more books planned for Vanessa's story?

There are currently two more books planned.  The sequel will be out next summer, and the third book will be out Summer 2012!

Thanks Tricia for stopping by Darkly Reading!

Thank you for having me!

Where to find Tricia:
Website: www.triciarayburn.com
Blog: www.triciarayburn.blogspot.com
Twitter: @triciarayburn
Facebook: www.facebook.com/triciarayburn

To enter to win a copy of Siren from Tricia Rayburn (US only) please leave a comment with any questions you have for Tricia or any oddities of the sea stories or summer vacation tales you would like to share. You also need to follow Tricia on twitter to be entered  so be sure to leave your twitter name as well in the comments. The contest is open till July 18th.


Erika Powell said...

I've been to Winter Harbor! I went to college in Boston and we would drive up to Maine sometimes. I also remember when the Montauk Monster made the news, it is so strange looking! Can't wait to read Siren.

Trini said...

Hi Tricia,
Great interview! The Montauk Monsters looks creepy. Poor thing. Ok I have tons of questions but I'm always curious to know... Which character was the hardest to write and why?


Smokinhotbooks said...

Hi Heather no need to enter me just stopping by *waves*

I love the premise of this book - I heart book settings in Maine even though I've never been.

CrystalGB said...

Siren sounds good. I love the cover.
Following Tricia on twitter. @CrystalGB


Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I'm a Coloradan, so I don't spend time at a real beach. Not much sea life here (unless you mention Rocky Mountain Oysters.. lol). However, I've always loved mermaids and so you know I'm interested in this book! Thanks for the great interview!


Natalie said...

Siren sounds great, and it's awesome to hear that there are sequels in the works. I wonder if she's working on anything else besides the Siren series? I always like to hear what authors have in store for us in the future!



Anonymous said...

That Montauk Monster that washed up on the beach is creepy. I'm so excited for Siren. Congrats on the release!

I am following Tricia on twitter (@LisaMBasso)

-Lisa B.
angel28140 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

donnas said...

Congrats on the release! Sounds great, really looking forward to it.

I follow on twitter - @donnas1

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Christa said...

Hey. I love "weirder" fairy tales/myths being re-told. When I think about Sirens, I always immediately think of Odysseus and the version of the Odyssey I watched as a kid on Sunday night TV, lol.

Anyway, what is your favorite part of writing? Do you like the original concept? Or do you think revision is really fun? Or maybe world-building? And to go along with that: what do you find to be the most frustrating? Is it the blank page before you write those first few words? Or the middle where you know where everything's going, you just can't quite get there?

Thanks so much for the interview & giveaway.
ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Erika - I'm so jealous..Winter Harbor looks so beautiful! I guess now that I'm in CT I should really try to get to Maine..

@Trini- yeah I still can't figure out what exactly the monster is..so creepy

@K.C. - *waves* I love the New England on the water settings for books too..I need to start planning some vacation time!

@Crystal - I love the cover too - I am a big fan of purple and love the eyes of the cover model!

@Melissa - LOL..Rocky Mountain Oysters..ha! I guess instead of the ocean you have the lovely Rocky Mountains..not a bad trade-off ;)

@Natalie - Tricia also has a middle grade age group series that is pretty popular I think - the Maggie Bean series and she has a new book coming out too for that age group - Ruby's Slippers (it comes out next week)

@angel - I agree the monster is so creepy - I debated putting the pic in the post because I didn't want to scare people away ;)

@donnas - thanks for stopping by!

@Christa - those are some great questions! Are you a writer as well?

Christine said...

Thanks so much for the interview! I love the water, swimming and snorkeling (which is quite unfortunate fr me as I live very far away from any ocean), so i love any books featuring the sea, plus, the cover is so beautiful.

No need to enter my though, sadly, I´m international!

Tricia said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for the great comments!

Erika, I'm so jealous that you've been to the real Winter Harbor! I was actually thinking about heading up that way this fall. Any sightseeing recommendations??

Trini, Zara was probably the hardest character to write. I wanted her to be cold yet intriguing at the same time!

Natalie, I actually have a new 'tween book coming out next week called Ruby's Slippers! As for WIPs, I just finished the first draft of Siren 2, and am now working on a new middle-grade idea.

Great questions, Christa! There are many things I love about writing. I love when I'm struck by an idea that I can't stop thinking about, I love starting that idea, and I love finding solutions to difficult plot/character issues. The most frustrating part is knowing where I want the story to end up, but not quite knowing quite how to get there!

Heather, thank you again for having me!!

latishajean said...

Great interview I have not read it yet so no questions yet. I found out their will be another after it so thats what I wanted to know. The book sounds so good and have it on my wish list and look forward to reading it:) twiiter follower/latishajean

Julie S said...

Wow, I haven't heard of the Montauk Monster before but it is quite freaky looking! I'm a follower on twitter (@juliecookies)


Good Choice Reading said...

OMG that creature looks so freaky! I too believe that there are creatures out there living amongst us that we have yet to discover. What about all those fishes recently they discovered that had hands or something like that? LOL WOW so weird! Earth is really changing itself lol.

Anyway, thanks for the givewaway. I am following Tricia on Twitter from @GCReading


Unknown said...

I guess a beach story would be fine...when I was a kid we had one of those huge beach umbrellas that we would hang out underneath. This day was particularly windy and blew the umbrella across the beach. I wish you could have seen my mom running after it and the people's faces seeing a huge umbrella flying at them!

Thabks for the giveaway! I follow on twitter @JeremyWest.


~The Book Pixie said...

You know, I'd forgotten all about The Montauk Monster. I really don't think that was a raccoon or a dog. *shivers*

Tricia, if you could rename The Montauk Monster, what would you call it?



Eden said...

Siren sounds great and the cover is beautiful. I know you're not supposed to jude a book by it's ocver, but i do. Oops. Lol.
I can't belive the lake never freezes?! That's so cool.


Mary Kirkland said...

Love the cover for the book! The book sounds awesome! Love books like this. Ya know it's been so long since I was anywhere near the ocean or a beach, but I do remember being so scared of the seaweed when I was a kid. I thought it was a live and going to eat me.

following you on Twitter @scarymary66


Allison said...

Where did you get the idea for this series?

Twitter follower - allisonsbj3


Heather said...

Wish character from your book would you like to take a summer vacation with?

Twitter follower: @bibliophileprds


MannaB said...

When I first went to the ocean, My sister and I had found a weird thing on the ocean floor and we were poking at it with a stick, a little bit later a lady came over to see what we were doing and told us that we were messing with a dead jellyfish! EEWW!


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