Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Interview with Jessika Fleck for Beware the Night

Beware the Night

by Jessika Fleck
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: March 12th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice...even if it costs her the boy she loves.

On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful--as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe. 

But when Veda's grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun's favor, she starts to see that the safety she's been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below. 

With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real--or dangerous lies.

Can you briefly describe Beware the night and their main characters?

First off, I’m so happy to be on a book tour with FFBC! What a perfect way to kick off the release of Beware the Night! Thank you so much for having me. 

Here’s a brief blurb for Beware the Night: When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice...even if it costs her the boy she loves. 

The story centers around three teens and several significant side characters. But as for the main characters…

First is Veda Adeline: Veda is a member of the Basso working class. She can out-fish anyone on the island, adores and is protective of her grandfather, and isn’t afraid to bend the law if it means survival. Veda has a heart of gold and would keep the entire island fed with fresh fish if she was allowed. She also holds a special place in her heart for Nico, her best friend since childhood, but knows, because of their society, they can never be more. Veda will discover, deep down, that she’s a warrior like her mother was.

Nico Denali: Nico is a member of the ruling Dogio class. He also happens to be the son of a very powerful family and with that comes heavy expectation. His friendship with Veda isn’t forbidden but is definitely discouraged and frowned upon. He loves his family but would do anything for Veda. Nico is quietly stoic, honest, and fiercely loyal. 

Dorian Winters: Dorian is a bit of a mystery… Aside from seeing him around the island, Veda’s only memory of Dorian is from childhood: Dorian would pelt birds with rocks in the market square and she would shout he leave them alone. But he unexpectedly resurfaces and, somehow, despite his sarcasm and playful attitude, he and Veda become quick friends. Dorian is all sass and strength on the outside but a total sweetheart on the inside. He also happens to hold a few dark secrets. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Probably Bronwyn, Dorian's sister. She originally had more screen time, but with the nature of revisions, her character got severely axed. Bronwyn loves animals, is quietly observant but also fairly cunning, and really enjoys baking and giving to others. She's loyal to her friends and family and, while she's not much of a fighter, will certainly do what she has to to protect what she loves.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

Usually, at least for me, ideas for stories come in waves. My inspiration for Beware the Night was no different. Originally, the concept was sparked after the horrific tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan in 2011. I began thinking about isolation and islands and was, at that point, veering more toward a post-apocalyptic story about a girl and her mother. But, as these things go, that early conception morphed and evolved and then eventually bloomed into what is now Beware the Night: a story about love, strength, loss, fear, and pushing against the status quo set on a remote island within a dystopian society.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

Definitely Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men. The lyrics, the mood, the haunting melody… It was the backdrop of many a writing session for Beware the Night. 

If your book was about to become a movie/TV show, who would you see playing as the characters in Beware the Night? 

Caveat—I am not amazing at this, lol. That said…

Veda: A red-headed Kiernan Shipka 

Nico: Tyler Posey

Dorian: Josh Whitehouse (but with blonde hair)

Since it is still cold outside, what hot drink do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

Love this questions! I’m going to have to say a nice, spicy chai latte—hot, like the sun but also earthy and layered with a mix of spices Bronwyn would absolutely love to bake with! 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish Beware the Night?

It’s not out until next year but Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal is going to be absolutely fabulous! Definitely pick up A Soldier and a Liar by Caitlin Lockner, it’s wonderful. And I have to always recommend one of my all-time favorite books EVER, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What’s next for you?

Actually, I’m working on several projects at the moment. Most pressing is the sequel to Beware the Night (title soon to be announced). It’s currently in edits. Writing sequels is HARD but the editing process is proving easier than with Beware the Night (yay!). I’m super excited about continuing Veda’s story! Aside from that, I’m working on edits for another YA fantasy/dystopian called DARK GENTIAN. It’s sort of an old west Count of Monte Cristo mash up. I’m also deep into my first middle grade project, A SWEATER FOR THE BURROW—a loose Robin Hood retelling but with knitting and dirigibles. It’s currently in my highly competent agent’s hands and hopefully will be going on submission soon.

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at

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