Monday, June 29, 2015

"Forbidden Darkness" by Alec John Belle





Title: Forbidden Darkness
Author: Alec John Belle
Genre: YA Paranormal / Fantasy


Being a sixteen year old Monster Hunter sucks. That’s what Heather Hawkins learns just days before her sixteenth birthday. After dealing with her best friend, Kristen’s, attempted suicide, the last thing Heather wants is any more drama. When the realistic dreams of Heather being haunted by a guy named Kadin begin, she learns the truth. She is a Monster Hunter, and on her birthday, she will undergo a change that will make her stronger, more powerful, and nearly invincible to Monsters. Along with having a hot new trainer named Philip, she believes that this will be a new beginning for herself. Unfortunately, Monsters aren’t the only thing Heather needs to worry about. With someone stalking her dreams, she realizes there may be more than just Monsters in the world, and that Kadin will do anything to stop her from helping the Monster Hunters. Even if that means unleashing an entity that was locked away by his people thousands of years ago. In this all-new paranormal young adult series, romances will be formed, evil becomes unleashed, and everyone Heather loves will soon be at risk. Because in a world where Monsters walk the earth, anything is possible.

Author Bio

Alec John Belle is an online high school student that resides in the state of Massachusetts. At the age of 16 he wrote his first novel, Before I Break. His hobbies include reading, writing, and obsessing over Pretty Little Liars. He writes about tough topics that many are too afraid to talk about like suicide, homosexuality, self harm, cyberbullying, anxiety disorders, addiction, among other teenage issues, and he often blends these ideas with the paranormal.



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Book Excerpt

The dinner table was always a little empty. My entire life I'd
been without a father, and for the most part, Mom seemed fine without
him. Any time I asked, she avoided the question, so I stopped asking
for several months. Seeing the kitchen table set for two, I felt a pang
in my chest.

“Hey, Mom,” I said. “When are you ever going to tell me who
my dad is?”

“How was school today?”She loved avoiding the subject.
I glared at her and didn’t take a bite of my food. “Mom. Why do
you always ignore that question?”

“Well, why are you ignoring me?”

She did have a point. “I fell down some stairs today and met a
gay friend who came over earlier. Now, when are you going to tell
me who my dad is? You never talk about him.”

Mom always said when I was older she could explain the
situation, but for some reason she believed that nearly sixteen was
not old enough. I was really hoping she'd open up, but doubted that
she would any time soon. Her response actually surprised me.

“I’ll tell you on your birthday, okay?” she said. “Everything will
make sense then, I promise.” Wow, cryptic much? I thought. “Now
repeat that again—you fell down some stairs and made a gay friend?
Sounds like your day was interesting.”

“It was. His name is Hayden Williams and we have English together.
When I fell down the stairs, he helped me out—unlike everyone else
who was too preoccupied with their social lives to help me. I invited
him to hang out with me and Kristen tomorrow.”

“He sounds like a nice kid,” Mom said. “Now why did you fall?
Were you feeling sick or something?”

I shrugged. “I felt a little dizzy. I might have had whiplash from
getting up from the table in the cafeteria. Must have been a little
delayed.” It sounded lame when I said it, but that was really the only
explanation I could come up with.

Interview with Alec John Bell during the BlogTour for "Forbidden Darkness"

What made you start writing books?
I started writing book because of Goosebumps by R.L. Stine.  He was the very first author I read books by and I thought the storytelling was great.  As a kid, he was my favorite author and I wanted to be just like him.

What author/actor or musician do you ‘fangirl/fanboy’ over?
I totally 'fanboy' over Keegan Allen from Pretty Little Liars.  He's an amazing actor and he's on my favorite show.  Keegan genuinely seems like a good guy, and I don't have many guy friends.  If I ever met him, I probably wouldn't scream and freak out like his girl fans, but I would definitely be happy about it.  He also has a photography book too, and does book signings.  I want to meet at one of his signings some day.

What does your perfect writing day look like? Do you plan when and how long you write, or does it happen without planning?
No planning goes into when or how long I write.  I usually just sit at my computer and see where it goes.

What genre is the most intimidating when you think about writing in it? Explain why!
I'd say paranormal YA because there's so much of it. You have to make your story unique, but it needs to be able to sell.  That is probably the most difficult part.

What do you like to do when you are not writing? What do you think your profession would be if you were not an author?
I love reading and watching TV.  I love Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, Chasing Life, Switched at Birth, and Wayward Pines.  If I was not an author, I'd probably be an actor.

In your opinion, what is the most important feature a book needs to have?
A book needs to have good characters.  Even if it's plot driven, your characters need to be well written.

What is the most difficult part of writing a book, (including the preparations and after-publication-process)?
I'd say editing is the hardest part.  Getting rid of chunks that you thought were great but turned out to be crap.  Rearranging scenes so they're not confusing.  Little things like rewording sentences to make them perfect is also a pain.  

Name three characteristics of your writing style that are important yet different from other authors.
In all of my writing, I blend in realistic issues like teen suicide, self harm, depression, homosexuality, anxiety, and more.  I believe these are important topics that need to be talked about.  In The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, I have a few characters that deal with tough situations.  I put them in those situations as a way to show people they're not alone.  Realism is very important to me, even in an unrealistic world.

Which of your characters seems to be the most independent, and has taken on a life of their own?
Heather Hawkins from The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles is very independent.  She's doing a lot of things I didn't originally think she would.  She was never going to be the main character, but ended up stepping to the forefront and said she wanted to be heard.  So now Heather is the one telling the story, and it works out perfectly.