01 agosto 2016

Interview with Gaby Triana

Hello Nocturnos! How are you doing?
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview YA writer Gaby Triana about her next novel, Wake the Hollow, which takes place on the famous infamous city of Sleepy Hollow. I know what you're thinking and yes, you may be right, but we'll only know after reading the book.
The good news are that we won't wait so much, it will be released TOMORROW! Here is what Gaby has to say about this new novel, and as a bonus, I'll leave you the booktrailer and a little surprise at the end of this, hope you like it!

READ IT IN SPANISH
LÉELA EN ESPAÑOL

1. What was the starting point for this story? An specific scene, an image from dreams, a reading…?
The starting point was my love for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I knew I wanted to write something related to it, and I knew I wanted it to be relevant to today’s world as well.

2. This is the second time you use the Cuban heritage topic in your stories, and it’s directly related to an American city as Sleepy Hollow, how was is to link, let’s say, both cultures?
This is actually the 6th time I use my Cuban heritage in YA novels. I make sure to include it somehow in every book I write. In Backstage Pass, Desert’s boyfriend was Cuban, in The Temptress Four, two of the four Hispanic friends were Cuban, in Riding the Universe, the main character’s adoptive father is Cuban so Chloe was brought up with Cuban culture. Then, of course, there’s Cubanita about a girl who grows up straddling two cultures. All my books include this as an homage to my parents and their homeland. Without giving too much away, there’s a big link in WAKE THE HOLLOW to bring together two very different cultures, and that’s one of the biggest reasons I’m proud of this book.

3. Our main girl, Mica, has familiar heritage as you, would you say there’s a part of you in her or was she another product of your imagination?
Every single one of my main characters has me in her in some regard. With Mica, it’s not just because of Cuban heritage, but we’re linked through her personality, her love of gothic literature, her natural intuition, and more.

4. Whenever anyone, including myself, thinks in Sleepy Hollow, the first image that comes is the Headless Horseman. Are we readers going to see him in this story?
The Headless Horseman definitely makes an appearance or two but you may be surprised by the way he factors in. I can’t say anymore without giving it away. J

5. There are many retelling stories now, seems like the new thing for some writers, why did you chose Sleppy Hollow?
WAKE THE HOLLOW isn’t a straight retelling. It’s a re-imagining. The subplot resembles the plot of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with the love triangle between Katrina, Brom Bones, and Ichabod Crane, but the main plot is a completely new, engrossing story that has nothing to do with LOSH. In this respect, I tried to create something completely new and original.

6. It looks like we have a lot of goth elements in this novel: family secrets, gosthly voices, the not so typical city, misteries related to a death. Would it be correct to consider this as a gothic novel?
Yes, this is a modern gothic tale with all the elements you just named. This story is a love letter to my love of gothic literature.

7. Considering your other novels, this one is the darkest so far, was it on purpose?
If I would’ve had it my way, I would’ve started with this story. I grew up reading Stephen King and Anne Rice, so I have always loved paranormal tales, but early on, I was misdirected and told that paranormal books were “on their way out,” weren’t trendy anymore, and so on, so I was discouraged. A lesson to be learned here is to write whatever the hell you want, regardless of what others tell you.

8. Will this be a new series or a stand-alone story?
There’s definitely potential for a WAKE THE HOLLOW sequel. J

9. If you could go to Mica’s Sleepy Hollow, would you? Why?
I visited Sleepy Hollow a few years ago as research for the book and found it to be a delightful town full of vibrancy, intrigue, and culture. I would go there again in a heartbeat.

10. What are you working on right now (as Gaby Triana)? What plans do you have?
I have a few things in various stages of development, including a middle grade story about an 11-year-old ghosthunter, a 12-year-old competitive boy dancer, and a Phantom of the Opera re-imagining.

11. Is there any near event where readers could go to see you?
Yes, right now, I’ll be having my book launch for WAKE THE HOLLOW at Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL on August 3rd at 7 pm.

12. Many thanks for your time, Gaby! Hope to read you soon!
Thanks so much! J

Also, Miss Triana shared a little excerpt from the novel with me! Hope you like it!
"I hear the laugh once again, calm and satisfied. A solid wave of rage starts between my forehead and the back of my head, overtaking my entire body. Teeth clenched so hard, I hear them grind. I scream, “What’s so funny, you sick bastard!”
            Then a new sound, so clear there’s no mistaking it. A horse’s neigh, followed by the woody, hollow sound of hooves galloping right toward me.
Thirsty leaves rustle on the ground like littered newspaper in the wind. I stand paralyzed over my mother’s grave, eyes roving, searching for the source of the sound. A horse in the cemetery? Seriously? But there’s no one here! Yet the galloping feels a blink away.
Run, Lela!
I break free of the invisible straitjacket immobilizing my upper body. I plunge through the woods, boots pounding the earth in time with my breath, eyes focused ahead, dodging grave markers, logs, rocks, and fallen limbs in my way. Who’s charging me on a horse? The Headless Horseman is only a character in a story. A legend.
Isn’t he?
I run straight for the bridge, my breath short and choppy. Isn’t the horseman supposed to stop chasing his victims once they cross the bridge? How ridiculous that I’m considering the logistics behind a work of fiction. Maybe it’s not a real spirit at all, but someone playing a trick on me.
It’s unnervingly dark inside the covered bridge, but I have no other choice. The galloping is right behind me. I’ll have to go through it if I don’t want to sense a horse’s hot breath prickling my neck. I avoid eye contact with whoever is chasing me, in case paralysis freezes my body again.
I charge through the bridge, my breath loud in my ears, panicked footsteps echoing against the siding, plowing along the musty planks until I blast out the other end, nearly tumbling onto the ground. I check over my shoulder. Nothing followed me through. But next to the bridge, a hazy mist hovers above the ground in the shape of what could be interpreted as a massive horse with a rider on top. It stands at the edge of the river, watching me escape.
That’s no trick."

Greetings and hugs!
¡Un saludo y un abrazo!

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