Firstly, thank you so much to the lovely Talli for letting me borrow her blog for the day. I promise to return it promptly and in the same condition it was given (those scratches were there beforehand...honestly!)
Secondly, I’m going to take this opportunity to make a startling confession – I am not a girl. Yes, I know my first novel, Winter’s Shadow is a Paranormal Romance, a genre typically dominated by female writers. Yes, the story is told almost entirely from the perspective of a teenage girl and it’s true M. J. could stand for Mary Jane, (it was in fact the intention of my publisher to obscure my gender) but I would like to state for the record that I am absolutely, positively not a girl.
Michael James Hearle is a man...or a thirty-one year old boy, depending on who you speak to.
Being a man, and concerned with such manly things such as football and cars, one might think it was difficult writing a novel from the perspective of a teenage girl.
One would be right.
Unfortunately, the story that had popped into my head, the story that was making it difficult to sleep at night, demanded to be told in a seventeen-year-old girl’s voice. A girl named Winter Adams. Somehow I had to find that voice, but what did I know about teenage girls? Sure, I’d been through high school with a bunch of them, but I didn’t understand them then and age certainly hasn’t improved my understanding of these mysterious creatures. So, I decided to take a different tact.
I didn’t know anything about sensitive teenage girls, but I did know a fair bit about sensitive teenage boys – I would write Winter as though she was a boy. Winter became me – or a version of me, with alternate plumbing. Once, I’d finished the book I gave it to the three most significant women in my life – my mum, girlfriend and sister – to see if I’d succeeded or if I’d completely missed the mark. The feedback from all three was that Winter felt pretty authentic, however some of the finer details in my characterisation needed tweaking. Here’s a few of the notes I received:
He’s all that Winter Adams can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim’s Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.
But Blake isn’t all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the gathering darkness.
The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger.