Today, we are delighted to present part 2 of our 3-part interview with Rebecca Maizel, author of Infinite Days, our September Book of the Month! See Part 1 here.
It seems like everyone who writes about vampires has their own take on them. What can you tell us about the ones in Infinite Days? How are they different? (Why are they in such constant pain?)
I knew more than anything that Lenah would need a reason to want to be human. The stakes would have to be high – if she didn’t desire it more than anything else in the world, more than eternity with Rhode, it wouldn’t pay off for the reader why she was at Wickham in the first place. So I asked myself: what is the worst thing about Lenah’s existence? What is the one thing she wants more than anything else that is specifically human? To feel emotions and to touch. So I took that away from her as a vampire. By deadening the senses it only added to her isolation from the rest of the world.
If you met someone in a bookstore, and they were thinking about buying your book, what would you say to convince them?
Infinite Days is a story about coming back to life. Haven’t you done something in your past that you regret? Don’t you wish you could forgive yourself? Lenah is a 500 year old vampire and she’s just woken up mortal at a Boarding School. This book is about her second chance at life.
At Novel Novice, one of our main goals is encouraging teens to read. What would you say to reluctant teen readers to convince them to pick up a book (any book)? Why do you think reading is so important?
Reading takes you away, immerses you in a world where the characters can be as real to you on the page as the people in your life. Reading makes you smart. Think about all the wonderful places in time and space you can go! Reading can change your life, if you let it. Was that cheesy? Probably but I completely meant it.
Tell us about an educational experience you had that changed your life.
I had a tutor in high school who met with me in the library every week. I was a really scattered teen (still am) and didn’t know how to time manage very well. Also, I was completely moronic in math. Duringmy senior year, I was talking to her one afternoon and told her that I wanted to write films. That I was applying to colleges and I wanted to study screenwriting and film. This was something I really believed in at the time and writing in general was important to me. As our tutoring sessions came to a close, and I was accepted to a university, she bought me a bunch of books, all about film making and screenwriting. It was the first time an adult (outside of my parents) supported my dreams. She handed them to me, like, “hey, I bought you these because I know you’ll need them.” It was a formative experience in my life. That kind of encouragement, especially from someone outside of your family unit is very important to a teenager. It makes you feel like “wow, maybe I can do this!” Sadly, she died in a plane crash in 2005 – I was absolutely heart broken. I wish I had gotten a chance to thank her.
What question do you always wish someone would ask you during an interview?
I haven’t done enough to answer that question! I never know what I should be asked. Anything!