Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Haunting the Deep Event Recap

On Sunday, October 22nd, I was fortunate enough to attend a book event at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA hosted by Wicked Good Books. Adriana Mather and Kali Wallace packed in a huge room full of book lovers. Adriana and Kali talked a bit about their current novels and answered questions from the audience. A book signing occurred after the talk and hot apple cider and delicious donuts were served!

I was able to see Adriana last October when her debut novel, How to Hang a Witch, was published. She had an event at Hawthorne Hotel last year as well. It was amazing to see how many new fans she gained over the year. Last year the event was fairly small and this year the hotel staff had to find more chairs for attendees!

When Adriana was looking for a particular book the only place that had it was in Salem, MA. When she inquired about the book, the lady at the bookstore said Mather is name not popular around Salem. This sparked the idea to write How to Hang a Witch. When Adriana was at her grandmother's house, she found a desk with older letters and old journals. There she found a letter about the Titanic and how a relative survived. Of course, Adriana did her happy dance when she found the Harper letter. This letter was inspiration for Haunting the Deep. Did you know the Harpers that Adriana is related to is also the Harpers of Harper & Brothers which is now HarperCollins? Adriana mentioned that the third book in the series (if she writes it) will take place in Sleepy Hollow since she is related to some people there. Adriana hit the trifecta jackpot for being a descendant.

The audience asked some very interesting questions this year. One person asked Adriana if she makes her books into movies. For those who don't know, Adriana is also a screenwriter in California on top of being an author. Adriana shot her book trailers in Salem, MA and in CT at her mother's house which is at least 300-years-old. How to Hang a Witch is optioned as a TV show but Adriana can't let us know the network or any of the details yet.

In terms of historical research, one person asked how was the research with the Titanic compared to the Salem Witch Trials.  With the Salem Witch Trials, the research was limited due to how far back in time the events occurred. Adriana used letters and written accounts. For the Titanic, it was a blackhole since there were so many people involved and there were a lot of interviews to comb through. One of the stories that Adriana told the audience was about Ester Hart who didn't want to go on the ship but her husband insisted. She had a feeling something bad will happen. Because of this feeling, she slept all day and at night she stayed in her day clothes. Another story was about a ship cat  who took her kittens off the boat one by one on a ramp at the last port before New York City. Adriana also read a lot of conspiracies whether it be socioeconomic, sociopolitical or even environmental.

Adriana spoke about her favorite scene that she wrote. She likes writing about Mrs. Meriweather's bakery called Sugar Spells. Adriana loves everything to do with the bakery whether it be the interior design to the bakery's sweet treats. Adriana's favorite character within the How to Hang a Witch duology is Alice. She has a soft soft for people who can't keep their mouths shut and she loves a good flawed character.

One person asked Adriana if she would bring back Sam's mother or grandmother in the series. Adriana said she was toying around with the idea to bring back an immediate family member or even Jaxson's father. In terms of a prequel, Adriana possibly will consider the option especially if the How to Hang a Witch TV show kicks off. Everyone seems to love Elijah and would love to read more about him before he met Sam.

For inspiring writers, Kali recommended to "keep writing. Your voice matters. You're the only one that can tell the story. Go with what you you like. Do it! You have to love it!" 

Adriana mentioned, "There is no right way to write. Complete it and you can break it apart. Have fun and learn. Keep writing. You learn stuff you don't know. Write what is interesting and fun for you."

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