Monday, March 14, 2011

Guest Author Interview: Gretchen McNeil

 Please welcome today's guest author Gretchen McNeil!  Gretchen is the author of Possess.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

2007.  I'd never written anything before that.  It was a difficult period in my life and I felt like I needed to do SOMETHING to occupy my mind.  Little did I know that I'd actually like it.  No, love it.  Well, become addicted to it.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

My first novel was chick lit and when I started my second, I only had this image in my head of a girl walking down a road toward an isolated coastal Irish town in the middle of a hellacious storm.  The storm is actually trying to keep her from reaching the town.  The paranormal elements just sort of grew from there.

I love the idea of mixing the fantastical with the mundane, of being able to stretch my imagination but still kept things in the "real world."

EJ:  If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?

Invisibility.  This is going to sound super weird, but I'm a spy fiction fan at heart.  I love early 20th century spy fiction like John Buchan and the modern stuff like Clancy and Cussler.  And I've maybe been tinkering around with an historical YA spy adventure manuscript for awhile.  Maybe, just maybe, I've always fantasized about being a spy.  So somehow the idea of controling your visibility is so seductive to me.  I'd be the best spy ever!  ;)

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.

  POSSESS is much closer to the horror genre than a lot of YA out there right now.  I wanted it to be scary.  Really scary.  There's a doll shop scene about halfway through that really freaked out most of my readers (and made me so proud).  I feel like the "scary" has gone out of traditional horror elements like vampires, werewolves, ghosts and demons, replaced with a more romantic approach.  Which is great, but I love a good scare, and I'm hoping readers do, too!

EJ:  If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?

Tough one.  I didn't write most of the characters with any specific actor or actress in mind, though Matt Quinn the love interest is kind of modeled after a young Matt Bomer from WHITE COLLAR.  And Bridget's exorcism mentor Monsignor Renault would be even more awesome if played by Tom Wilkinson.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil.

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her overprotective mom, by the hunky son of the police officer who got her father killed, and by the eerie voices which she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Turns out the voices are demons--the Biblical kind, not the Buffy kind--and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them.

San Francisco's senior exorcist and his newly assigned partner from the Vatican enlist Bridget's help with increasingly bizarre and dangerous cases of demonic possession. But when one of Bridget's oldest friends turns up dead in a ritualistic sacrifice that mirrors her father's murder, Bridget realizes she can't trust anyone. An interview with her father's murderer reveals a link between Bridget and the Emim: a race of part-demons intent on raising their forefathers to the earth in human form. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the Emim's plan before someone else close to her winds up dead, or worse--the human vessel for a Demon King.

Thank you Gretchen for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Gretchen and her books, please visit her website.


  1. Gretchen...The interview was very entertaining and your book sound wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing with us. E.J. Thanks for bringing Gretchen to us.

  2. E.J., thank you so much for having me!

  3. Wonderful interview. The book sounds great! Another one added to my TBR lol. Thanks for introducing this new author :).

  4. I've been waiting on this interview & I loved it!!
    Love the idea of a more scary paranormal book, your right there aren't many out there that really get your goosebumps going. Great Questions E.J. & Love your answers Gretchen!! August is way too far away!!

  5. Hi Gretchen. I'm just dying to get my hands on Possess. It sounds like it has all the makings of a really great horror novel. Your so right about the horror not being present in most books these days. I'm ready for a little I patiently await the release of Possess.

    Great interview E.J.