Sensational Sophomores is a periodic blog series highlighting authors who are releasing their second book. Today, I am honored to be welcoming Chris Bedell, author of In the Name of Magic and Deathly Desires, for an interview!
If you are an author interested in being featured in this series please click here to fill out the Google form.
Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His debut YA Fantasy novel IN THE NAME OF MAGIC was published by NineStar Press in 2018. In addition to his YA Paranormal Romance novel DEATHLY DESIRES, Chris has other forthcoming books. A YA Thriller I KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED (Magnolia Press) and a NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing). Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016. You can find Chris on Twitter.
Hi, Chris! I’m so excited to have you here today! How different was the publishing and writing process between your first book, In the Name of Magic, and your second, Deathly Desires?
The writing process was really different. DEATHLY DESIRES required more developmental editing than IN THE NAME OF MAGIC. With IN THE NAME OF MAGIC, the developmental editing was more for flow than plot. But DEATHLY DESIRES needed an extensive rewrite to get it to a publishable form. That’s okay, though. As a result of the developmental editing, I cut a love triangle subplot and 2 characters from the book. Those changes were for the best. It can be easier to forget that commercial fiction/entertainment still needs a tight focus despite being a little more plot driven than something that is character driven. So, DEATHLY DESIRES really focuses on the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” situation in the version that’s gonna be published. And that’s a good thing. I had a good premise (the revenge/murder mystery blackmail game), so I needed to use said premise more.
Can you summarize Deathly Desires for us in three gifs?
Take us through one of your typical writing sessions. Do you write at a specific time of day, prefer a certain location, always listen to music?
I write for a lot of the day when I’m writing. So, mid/late morning to late afternoon/early evening. Usually, I always write in my bedroom, because it keeps me focused. Listening to music also helps keep me grounded when writing. I write a lot of darker stories because most of them are thrillers/mysteries. So, listening to edgy music helps kind of set the mood for writing. One band I like to listen to while writing my edgy stories is The Digital Daggers (some of their songs were featured in the TV show PRETTY LITTLE LIARS). Furthermore, I’ll sometimes listen to random edgier/darker music that I’ve found from the various TV programs I watch. When I’m writing, I typical write anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 words in a day. But I also build a lot of time off into my schedule to balance for those days when I’m writing a lot of words.
Let’s talk a little about the characters. One of them, Noah, is a grim reaper which isn’t something you see every day and I love it! What led you to include such a unique character in your story?
I included a grim reaper (Noah) because I wanted to write a Paranormal Romance novel. But I wanted to do something that really hadn’t been done before. Including a grim reaper also ties into the novel’s darker undertone because Cody and his friends are dealing with a “I Know What You Did Last Summer” situation. Having a grim reaper also allows the novel to have a slight speculative twist to it without having the complicated planning of writing a YA Fantasy novel set in a secondary world.
If your characters were to sing karaoke at a party, what songs would they choose?
- Cody would sing, “Criminal” by Britany Spears
- Veronica would sing, “I Did Something Bad” by Taylor Swift
- Brandon would sing, “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele
- Noah would sing, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
- Mason would sing, “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” by Taylor Swift
- Emily would sing, “The Devil Within” by The Digital Daggers
- Laci (Mason’s mother) would sing, “Love The Way You Lie” by Rihanna
- Frank (Cody’s father) would sing, “Secrets” by One Republic
Are you working on any new projects that you can tell us about?
Right now, I’m currently on submission to small presses with a YA novel. So, fingers crossed for that. I also have more books coming out in 2020. My next book after DEATHLY DESIRES is my Contemporary YA novel I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN. It’s being published by the same publisher as DEATHLY DESIRES (DeepHearts YA), and the anticipated release date is Early 2020. I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN is standalone novel, and is partially inspired by my mother’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent death in 2014.
Rapid fire! Cats or dogs?
Rain or sun?
What was your favorite movie as a kid?
The Wizard of Oz
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’d like to mention how I’m doing a preorder/first month purchase campaign for DEATHLY DESIRES. If you buy my book by December 14th, then I’ll email you a PDF copy of a short story that takes place several months before the novel begins. To enter: take a screenshot of your receipt. Email the screenshot to CJohnBedell@gmail.com with the subject line: DEATHLY DESIRES SCREENSHOT. To find out where you can purchase DEATHYLY DESIRES, you can visit my book’s page on my publisher’s website: https://deepheartsya.com/deathly-desires/
17-year-old Cody’s biggest problem isn’t his relationship with a grim reaper so he can get over a past unrequited crush. It’s his “I Know What You Did Last Summer” like situation him and his friends are trying to solve before they die themselves.
I know what you did last spring…
When his friend Veronica accidentally kills Mason, Cody’s unrequited crush, 17-year-old Cody successfully helps to cover it up. That is until the start of their Junior Year, when everyone involved receives a menacing note from someone who knows what they did.
The blackmail about Mason’s death quickly escalates to stalking, arson, and attempted murder. Cody and his friends must discover who found them out before they get killed themselves. And fast.
Noah has an altogether different secret. He’s a grim reaper, escorting people to the afterlife when they die. When his path collides with Cody, a spark soon forms between them. But whether they can make their relationship work is a different question. If Cody and Noah want a real chance at love, they’re going to have to be honest with each other about everything they’ve been hiding from the world.
If you like your PRETTY LITTLE LIARS with a hefty dose of Tara Sim’s TIMEKEEPER, Deathly Desires is the book for you.
This post does contain affiliate links. I will receive a small amount from any purchases made through Book Depository at no extra cost to you.