Goodreads Book Description: Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.
Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer:
A white werewolf.
Lupine syndrome--also known as the werewolf virus--is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.
Kathleen Peacock's thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
My Review: Hemlock Review
Author Blurb: Kathleen Peacock spent her teen years crushing on authors and writing short stories about vampires. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending college, but tripped over them when office life started leaving her with an allergy to cubicles. Her debut, HEMLOCK, is coming May 8th, 2012 from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, and will be published in the UK under the title DEADLY HEMLOCK from Simon and Schuster Children’s Books.
1. I would love to hear more about how you became a writer. On your website, you mention a "practical" job. What did you do before writing and what was the transition like?
I wrote constantly before starting art school. By Christmas of my first year, I stopped. I don’t think it was a conscious decision; my workload was intense, my personal life was filled with the normal college drama, and I just didn't have anything left at the end of the day.
After art school, I worked as a graphic designer for IT startups. I spent long hours designing everything from logos to websites to tradeshow booths. Somewhere along the way, I realized I was working really hard to help other people realize their dreams and not chasing any of my own. And the dream that suddenly seemed most important was the one I’d held until I was seventeen: to be a writer.
2. I love your characters. Did you have a favorite character? What character was the most fun to write? Did any of them surprise you?
My favorite character was probably Trey. I have a ridiculous crush on him. Amy was the most fun to write because she’s like this terribly macabre version of the Cheshire cat; she pops up and speaks in riddles while leaving trails of blood in her wake.
Kyle and Mac were the most surprising. Originally, I had intended for them to be just friends. I was writing a scene where they were out near a lake, and they just started making out without my permission. I kept trying to force them back to their respective corners, but every time I tried to finish the scene, they’d end up kissing.
3. You have a great sense of timing of when to place a plot twist. Do you outline a lot or just get some great characters and see where they take you?
Thank you! Sometimes I wing it, but with the Hemlock books, I've started writing detailed outlines that cover each scene and what information is dropped/discovered when. My outline for book two, for example, was somewhere in the range of twelve pages.
That being said, I don’t always stick to my outlines. You can never fully predict how characters will act or what ideas will come to you as you’re writing. You have to still be flexible.
4. What is your favorite YA book of all time and what is your favorite YA book from this year?
My favorite YA book of all time is probably Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I’m ridiculously in love with Howl. As for my favorite YA book from the past year, I’m going to cheat a little bit and say Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (which I read a few years ago and re-read after it was released in January).
5. Who is your greatest critic?
6. What was the best and worst parts to writing a novel?
The best parts were getting to escape into my own fantasies for hours a day and hearing from readers after the book came out. The worst part was the self-doubt.
7. Why werewolves? What inspired you to write about them?
Given how much I loved The Vampire Chronicles and An American Werewolf in London as a teen, it was likely always going to be vamps or weres. The idea for Hemlock came in the form of a scene with Mac, Jason, and Kyle. It was obvious they lived in a world with werewolves, so that was what I ended up writing about.
8. What's your favorite CW show?
The Vampire Diaries—although I've only just started season three.
9. Can you tell us a little about the sequel and when you expect it to come out? Are you working on any other novels?
Book two is coming out this year, but I haven’t seen the final release date. Readers who have wondered about the werewolf rehabilitation camps will get a glimpse at what they’re like as well as the lengths to which Mac will go to keep Kyle safe.
I’m currently working on the third Hemlock book.
Kathleen, thanks so much for joining us today! So excited about your book and hope that other people pick it up soon, it's so much fun to read.
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