Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ania Ahlborn chats about Seed

Paranormal Wastelands is proud to present the most awesome author of “Seed”!!

Welcome Ania Ahlborn !

I just read your book and zomg…. IT WAS AWESOME!!  I can’t describe how freaking delicious it was. How did you come up with the idea?
Thanks so much. I’m really glad you liked it. When I first put out SEED I was worried everyone would hate it because it toes the line of so many taboos, especially when it comes to the ending. It’s always nice to hear that people enjoyed the story. It seems like readers have been waiting for a horror novel to kick the happy ending door down for quite some time.

I didn’t really come up with the idea as much as the idea has been haunting me since I was a kid. My first true exposure to horror was sitting in a dark room with no adults around and watching The Exorcist with my eyes peeled wide open. I was maybe nine years old, and despite being utterly horrified by what I was seeing, I couldn’t look away. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of demonic possession—can it really occur, and what would genuinely happen if it did? That was my approach, the question I kept in my head while writing SEED. Whenever found myself wondering if a scene ‘worked’, I’d go back to that question of realism. In the end, my ultimate goal was to write a novel that was as realistic as a story like this could be. I tried to tap into that childhood fear, but also that sense of fascination, and ran with it.

Did you ever scare yourself while writing it?
Oh, absolutely. I’ve wanted to write this story for years and years, but I was always afraid to do it. After I watched The Exorcist as a kid, I genuinely believed that demonic possession was possible, and that if you were afraid of it, you were somehow more susceptible to it. There were moments during my childhood where I’d have a flash of a nasty thought, and I’d immediately think “oh my god, it’s got me.” That’s a scary thought to have as a nine year old—the idea that you’re possibly not in control of your own thoughts, and if you know anything about writing fiction, you know that that lack of control is definitely present when you’re composing a novel. You may think you know where you’re going, prose-wise, but your characters will take you somewhere else. It was a little disconcerting to write about a family that was spiraling out of control while my own words were seemingly spiraling out of control. It made me edgy. It made the dark seem a little darker.

As a child, did you ever believe you had a monster in your closet or under your bed?
Ugh, yes. Yes a hundred times. I was scared of so many things, especially when it came to stuff in my room. I used to play the Ouija Board a lot—dumb, dumb idea. I’m still convinced that there was definitely something living in my childhood room, some sort of strange energy that shouldn’t have been there, and as a kid who only has one room to sleep in, that scared me to death. I locked that Ouija Board inside a chest at the foot of my bed, and I swear, after I did I heard weird scratching and knocks in the middle of the night, like that damn thing wanted out. My mother took a fancy to buying me porcelain dolls, which I secretly hated. I’d memorize their positions before I’d go to sleep and, again, I’m convinced to this day that they would shift in the night. Those dolls ended up at the top of my closet, where in I couldn’t go into my closet after dark anymore. And the dust ruffle around the base of my bed drove me nuts because I couldn’t see what was behind it, so I’d take a flying leap onto the mattress every night after I’d brush my teeth, and I wouldn’t allow a single finger to hang over its edge. And yet, here I am, all grown up, scaring others when I’m the biggest ‘fraidy cat I know.

Is there any of yourself in “Seed”?
I’m of the belief that it’s impossible for an author to write a book and not put some of themselves into the characters. Some writers will claim that only one character holds any semblance of them, but I think it’s inescapable to put a little of yourself in everything that ends up on the computer screen, and if you’re lucky, in print. As for myself in SEED, I’m everywhere, from my hopeless, almost girlish love of Louisiana to Charlie’s smart-assed comments. I am Jack, full of weird, lurking darkness. I am Aimee, who can’t stop worrying about the future. I am Reagan, who hams it up even when he’s freaked out, and Abigail, who’s scared of everything.

If you had a nightmare come true, what would it be?
My worst, most realistic nightmare would be for someone to break into my house while I’m sleeping and murder me and my husband. Its strange how, at night, we have these odd fears that don’t exist during the day. I’m home by myself all day, but I never worry about someone busting the door down and kidnapping me in broad daylight. But leave me home by myself at night and it’s all over. I have to sleep with the lights on, with the dog in the room, with my phone on my pillow in case I need to dial 911. I’m ridiculous.

Any hopes of a sequel to “Seed”?
Possibly. It would be fun to visit Charlie in her later years, see what she’s up to, but I’m in no rush to track her down. I like where SEED leaves off, I like that readers can dwell on the unknown. If I do write a sequel, it’ll probably be years down the road.

Thank you so so much for visiting the Wastelands! Anything you want to tell the Wastelanders before you leave?

Thanks for having me. It’s been great fun. My second novel, The Neighbors, comes out on November 27th, so you should all check that out after you give SEED a spin. And because Halloween is one of my most favorite times of year, I’m holding a giveaway for a signed paperback copy and an audio copy of SEED. You can enter on my website!

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