Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Author Interview ~ Vanessa Garden, Author of 'Captivate'

2014 has brought many brilliant books into our local bookstores and onto our bookshelves. One of these is the amazing Captivate by author Vanessa Garden - the first book in the Submerged Sun series.

You can view my review of the book by clicking here

Here's a little bit about Captivate:

'In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems...

For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko...the King of this underwater civilisation.

Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets...' 

(Blurb from Goodreads)

I was recently blessed with the wonderful opportunity to interview Ms. Garden on her novel. A big thank you to both Ms. Garden and to Ms. Polina Madorsky, Harlequin's Digital & Marketing Executive, for making this interview possible.

I hope you enjoy the interview, and that it gives you all an insight into this new and - pardon the pun - captivating series!


Booknut: What gave you the idea for Marin - a secret civilisation which exists underwater?

Vanessa Garden: I think there are three things that contributed to the idea of Marin. I grew up by the ocean, so I was always swimming and imagining secret underwater worlds and wondering 'what if?'. Also, my great-grandfather swore that he once saw a merman in the Adriatic Sea - I used to love listening to this story as a child! And lastly, a vision of Marin came to me while listening to a song. It was the garden scene with Marko and Miranda, one of my favourites.  

Booknut: What inspired Captivate's plot?

Vanessa Garden: The garden scene came to me first, along with many questions. Who were these two people? What were they discussing? Right away I got the feeling that Marko was at home in this underwater world and that Miranda wasn't. Then I started wondering how she got there and why. The story started to write itself from that point on, which was so exciting! I could hardly keep up with the many conversations and scenes playing out inside my head. 

Booknut: Give us an insight into Captivate's main female protagonist, Miranda. What is it that makes her different from other YA heroines?

Vanessa Garden:  I guess what makes Miranda different is that she is very ordinary and much like most of us. She has no superpowers or specific strengths to help her out of the dangerous situation she has found herself in. But, over time, and after a few mistakes, I like to think that she does gain confidence in herself which then helps her to grow from page one through to the end. 

Booknut: Do you have a favourite part of the book?

Vanessa Garden: Can I have two? I love the scene where Marko discovers Miranda in his grandfather's room. It's where they share their first spark, so to speak. Also, I love Miranda's first look at the city of Marin, and I absolutely adore the way Robbie takes care of her after the shock of standing beneath an ocean sky begins to seep in.

Booknut: Who is your favourite character - Miranda, Robbie, or Marko?

Vanessa Garden:  This is such a difficult question to answer (they are all my favourites) but I'll have to say Marko as his backstory is so interesting and out of all of the characters I find myself wanting to know more about him.

Booknut: Miranda is faced many times with the following decision: to leave everyone she loves behind and stay in Marin, or to return home. Do you think this decision will become any easier for her over time? Or will there always be a small amount of indecision?

Vanessa Garden: Great question! I've just completed book two and I can say (without giving too much away) that Miranda will face newer and even tougher choices concerning her family.

Booknut: The cover is gorgeous! What inspired the design?

Vanessa Garden: Well Harlequin are just amazing with their covers so I knew I was in good hands. And I always dreamed the cover of Captivate would have an underwater kiss, so when they sent me the cover I simply died with happiness! It is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined :)

Booknut: Do you have any future books planned for this series?

Vanessa Garden:  Yes. I have planned for two more books to follow Captivate and also a prequel.

Booknut: Finally, do you any parting words of advice for aspiring authors?

Vanessa Garden:  Write the story you would love to read and don't be shy of 'weird' ideas. If the story thrills you, then it is likely to thrill and entertain a reader :)

Booknut: Thank you so much for your time! 

Vanessa Garden: Thanks for having me! It was an absolute pleasure :)


To find out more about author Vanessa Garden, feel free to check out any of the links below:
And don't forget to get your copy of Captivate via Amazon today! 

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