Sometimes beauty is the beast.
Mary Lindsey introduced readers to the thrilling dark underbelly of paranormal romance with Haven, the tale of an outsider named Rain who meets a fascinating girl named Freddie with a terrifying secret. Freddie is no damsel in distress, but she’s being hunted, and Rain is getting pulled into the chaos right alongside her.
We got the scoop from Mary Lindsey about her inspirations for the book (including an original song,) Rain and Freddie’s relationship dynamics, and what it was like to dive into a world of werewolves and raw strength!
When did you get your first ideas for Haven and how did you develop them?
My editor, Liz Pelletier, first approached me about Haven. She wanted a Teen Wolf–type book, but left the story up to me. I got the premise in my head after a trip to the Texas Hill Country with my husband. On a hike in the Enchanted Rock area, it seemed like every bush, tree, and rock had sharp edges or thorns and were out to get me, which was the perfect setting—brutal and natural. As we were on our way back down the trail, the sun was setting, and the scene where Freddie shifts in front of Rain for the first time came to me from nowhere. After touring a small winery the next day, the plot was set in my head.
Rain and Freddie’s lives are a twist on gender roles we see in the genre– he’s a little more insecure, she’s the anti-damsel-in-distress. Did you always intend for their personalities to work this way or did it develop with the story?
I’d always intended a powerful heroine, but the twist on gender roles was a surprise. By telling it from the hero’s point of view, his insecurities became more apparent, and hers less so. When I began planning out Haven, I originally believed it would be from Friederike’s point of view. Then Liz sent me an original song created for the book and it completely changed my mind. From that point forward, Rain was the only narrator for Haven and I love how he tells the story, giving us glimpses underneath his tough exterior as he admires and respects Freddie’s strength.
What do you think readers will love most about Rain and Freddie’s relationship?
I think readers will love Rain and Freddie’s independent natures that result in the equality of the relationship. Both have been dealt horrible hands in their lives and are coping the best they can while retaining the sense of purpose and decency most people would abandon under such hard circumstances. Finding each other, as broken as they are, makes them both stronger. They are forced to accept their shortcomings and use their weaknesses as strengths. Neither needs the other to save them, but rather, through their friendship and interactions, find ways to save themselves.
Who are your favorite tough, unconventional heroines in Young Adult and/or New Adult literature?
I adore Vivian Carter from Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. It was refreshing to root for a heroine who finds power and a voice not because she is born to it, but because she rises to it through determination and purpose. Moxie was probably my favorite book of 2017.
Starr Carter from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas blew me away. Were I still teaching high school English, I’d absolutely incorporate this book into my course curriculum. The sheer power of the story, in combination with a realistically-drawn, admirable character finding her voice and standing up against social injustice despite the dangers, makes it a relevant, important book.
Besides Rain and Freddie, how were your favorite characters to write in Haven and why?
Petra was by far my favorite, primarily because she was a surprise and not part of the original outline. Unlike Rain, I love surprises.
The police chief is also a favorite of mine andwas the trickiest to write. If you’ve read the book, you might understand why. As the author, I knew who she was, but she needed to come across as something entirely differentto the other characters and the reader, not only because I wanted her to, but because she wanted it as well.
What are the challenges of incorporating supernatural elements in your novels?
Supernatural world building is my favorite part of creating a story. I love that all magic has a price and that for every great power, there is a great vulnerability. The biggest challenge of incorporating supernatural elements is making them consistent, necessary, and, most of all, realistic. Every time I create a supernatural element, I give it the how and why test. I went to great lengths (and lots of research) to justify the existence and purpose of my supernatural creatures and elements in Haven. Grounding it in Germanic lore was helpful and a lot of fun.
What’s your writing process like?
My process varies, depending on the book. Some projects, like Haven, have more intricate plots revolving around mysteries, so an outline and stepping back occasionally helps a lot. Others seem to flow better if allowed to go their own way in long, continuous writing marathons with little pre-planning. I find the ones that I don’t outline end up with heavier edits.
Thank you so much for the fun interview and for featuring me today.
Haven is out now! You can order it via…
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing
ABOUT THE BOOK
“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.
Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.
Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.