If you haven't heard about the YA series that has me fangirling this September, then you'd better listen up!
L.H Cosway's Florence Vaine series is the perfect pick if you're looking for a book that will keep you enthralled and hooked until the last page.
The first book in the series - A Strange Fire - presented us with Cosway's heroine - a shy, slightly introverted teenager by the name of Florence (of Flo, as she prefers to be called). Flo is down to earth and troubled as any human being would be in her situation. Not only has she had to deal with having to bear the brunt of her father's verbal and physical abuse for most of her childhood, but Flo has a dangerous secret. She can see people's auras, and can even alter them. The book thrilled readers...the ending leaving us wanting more. (To read my review on A Strange Fire click HERE )
And this September, the second book in the series - A Vision of Green - is due to be released!! To celebrate, below is an interview with the talented author herself - telling us about her inspiration, the writing process and a few tidbits on the sequel!
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR L.H COSWAY:
1.) Flo has the most amazing ability - to see 'colours' around people, or their auras. Where did this idea come from?
Out of all the psychic talents a person could have, I've always been the most fascinated by the idea of an Empath. It's a very distinct visual to imagine someone being able to see colours, both beautiful and ugly, surrounding another person's body. I imagined a girl who was continually preoccupied with staring at colours only she could see, and not knowing whether she was really seeing them or if she was simply imagining it all. For Flo I think it was important to give her something that would prevent her from allowing her father's abuse to turn her into a bad person. A lot of people who suffer like that will tend to become cruel and abusive themselves. I very much believe in the saying, when fighting monsters, be careful not to become one and Flo's ability allows her to keep her sense of right and wrong because she can see the truth beneath the surface of people.
2.) Who's your favourite - Ross, Alex, Benji, Kevin or Frank?!
Frank and Alex are definitely my top two, the others are much more secondary characters and don't play as big a role in the storyline. Obviously Frank is my favourite, he's got that whole “bad boy with a heart of gold” thing going on. I love Alex too though, because he's cheeky and tends to enjoy making smart comments about people, which is always fun to write!
3.) What made you choose to give Flo a stammer?
Flo is the most socially phobic character I have ever created, she's shy to the core and anxious a lot of the time. I gave her a stammer to show how her anxiety affects her in social situations, and also to show how her upbringing has caused her to be afraid of new people because she's only ever been treated badly. In some ways she feels like people won't be interested in what she has to say, and she becomes so nervous when she tries to speak that it just gets all jumbled up. In book two you'll see her tackle her stammer head on, and she might just learn to overcome it;)
4.) Flo's relationship with her dad is complex. Do you think that she loves him, or hates him?
I think she loves him and hates him, or maybe she just wishes she could love him because kids are supposed to be able to love their parents. The problem is that her dad is so completely horrid and unlovable. Up until she goes to live in Chesterport she's never known anything other than her father being cruel to her, so in a way she can't tell the difference. She definitely has an irrational sense of loyalty to him that he doesn't deserve. As an Empath she feels the need to heal him emotionally, although it remains to be seen whether he will ever be in the position to become a better person.
5.) The first book ended with "I am not a victim. I am not timid. I am not a prisoner. My father's hate no longer matters. And I deserve to live." Do you think that this version of Flo was always within her, or did her experience throughout the novel help make her into this better version of herself - and what version of Flo can we expect in the next book?
She definitely always had the potential to be this version of herself, but her experiences in life shaped her for the worse. I think it was the things that happened to her since moving in with her Gran that enabled her to see the person she was meant to be, and at the end of book one she's taking a step towards becoming that person. It won't be easy though. In book two Flo is definitely more confident, but she finds herself quickly falling back under her dad's authority at the same time. She discovers that saying she's not a victim is a lot easier than actually not being one in real life. She has to struggle to really break the hold her dad has over her psychologically. It's definitely going to be hard for her, but she'll pull through in the end.
6.) Was it harder writing the second book?
Oh it was definitely harder, because when I wrote A Strange Fire I was only twenty-two so I could still understand how a teenager thinks fairly well. Now that I'm a little older my point of view is different, so I had to make a conscious effort to get back inside Flo's head and figure out what makes her tick.
7.) What can we expect in the next book?
In A Vision of Green readers will encounter some new supernatural beings and there is a big emphasis on the town forest, where strange things start happening. Flo's relationship with Frank deepens and evolves and there's also more emphasis on her friendship with Caroline, whose crush on Alex continues (but this time he might actually like her back!) Flo also makes some discoveries about where her Empath gene comes from and her powers continue to grow and surprise her. She meets new characters too, some good and some not so good.
**I would like to thank L.H Cosway for the chance to read her wonderful books and for giving this blog such an outstanding interview! I am just about to start A Vision of Green and I. Can't. WAIT!!**