Wednesday, September 22, 2010


SF and I are thrilled today to interview Hilary Wagner, the author of the new classic, NIGHTSHADE CITY!

Let me start by saying that I was not sure what to expect with a book about rats, but boy was I hooked! Hilary is an incredible writer which makes reading about all of her rats fascinating and addictive. I predict this book has a shelf life like none other. It is destined to be a classic.

Hilary has been on a whirlwind blog tour and today we have the privilege of talking to her about all things creepy crawly :)

1. Why rats? Did the story evolve like this or did you consider horses, frogs and bunnies first?

Oh, I always knew it would be rats. I'm a kid at heart and being born just a few days before Halloween, I've always adored the holiday and the books and movies that came with it! In the stories I read and in animated movies, they tend to use rats as creepy background. Nothing more than bony, sinister-looking rats rummaging around a dark alley in the beginning of a movie or in a part of a novel where things really get scary! I decided it was time to make rats the main characters, to explore their world. If you do some investigation, you'll discover they're far more then creepy critters. In fact, they are smarter than most animals as a whole.

2. I love the world you created for them as well as all of their different looks and personalities. Did you have to do any research for this?

Yes indeedy! I love doing research! Who knew I was such a nerdy girl? Okay, I was always nerdy, but I had no idea I was this nerdy! I read several non-fiction books on rats, taking meticulous notes and scoured websites, even got in touch with some known rat experts who were gracious enough to help me. Even still, my rats are very different than the ones that roam the real world. They have "humanish" qualities and not just because I needed them to talk in the book. There is a secret reason for their uniqueness, one that even they have yet to discover.

3. You are so good with these intriguing animals. Do you have plans for any other types of creepy crawlies in future books? Is this going to be a Hilary trademark? :)))

I can't believe you asked me this!! KINGS OF TRILLIUM, Book II in the Nightshade Chronicles, which comes out next year, has some new and intriguing creatures and let's just say my inclination for creepy critters comes back into play and then some. Don't worry though, no talking spiders or anything like that--don't care for spiders, especially talking ones! ;) Also, I'm working on a new animal series, one I'm under lock and key from my publisher not to talk about. I feel all super spy! I'm very excited about it. I'm doing research now and learning about creatures I never even knew existed!

I suppose what I like so much about animal series is having a chance to explore their world--to discover what their lives are like--to try and feel what it would be like to have a long spindly rat's tail or the ability to travel deep under the ground or possibly up into the trees--the sky! To me, animals give us endless possibilities for wonderful storytelling.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog! Your questions were so much fun to answer! Every time I talk about my rats I get all inspired--has me thinking about Book III now! ;)

NIGHTSHADE CITY is available on-line, at Barnes and Noble stores nationwide and Indie Booksellers as well.


Katie said...

Oh how I loved this book! And wanted to be the first to comment.

(even though I wrote the post :)

Great interview Hilary! So much fun

Hardygirl said...

I'm about a hundred pages in and I'm loving it, too! I can't wait for my daughters to read it.


Christine Fonseca said...

I LOVE LOVE this book! Great post ladies!

Hilary Wagner ~ Debut Author said...

Thank you guys so much for the fantastic interview! You ladies make me smile! I just realized today my debut countdown is in the single digits!!! Less than 9 days until the rats take to the streets full-bore!!!

xoxo -- Hilary

Tamika: said...

Thank ladies! I love the cover for not making the rat too gruesome, since I'm terrified of them:)

My children have taken a special liking to animals, they would enjoy this tale!

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks for the interview, ladies! I'm buying this for my Mom's boyfriend's daughter for sure.

Elana Johnson said...

Katie, you are too funny (you commented first).

Great interview to go with a great book!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Super interview! I love Hilary! Can't wait for that sequel. I also love that you commented first :D And that SF commented second. Hehe. You guys are awesome.

Chandler Craig said...

Book III?? I like the sound of that! Also, Hilary, wasn't there a corpse-like book in the works at some point, or did I make that up??

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Such a fun interview! Now I'm all curious about the new creatures in book 2! :-)

Dawn Simon said...

Great interview. I enjoy Hilary's blog, too. NIGHTSHADE CITY is on my TBR list.

I have a rodent book in the drawer. I totally see the appeal. :)

Have a great weekend!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

congrads HIlary!

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