Interview & Excerpt: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2013 11:39 PM
Red Hill
by Jamie McGuire
Expected publication: October 1st 2013

By Natalie Zutter for

McGuire shares with us why "Red Hill" is such a departure from her prior books, while still being a "McGuire novel"--plus, she dishes on her upcoming books, including a "secret novella," her New Adult science fiction novel "Apolonia," who she would cast in the "Beautiful Disaster" movie and what the Maddox brothers are up to.

Bookish: What inspired you to shift from New Adult romance into zombie fiction?

JM: Well, it's not really a shift. I never set out to be pigeonholed into one genre; I just like to write what I like to write. If it happens to be about angels and demons one day and New Adult the next and zombies tomorrow--well, that's just what I like. I'm not a genre writer. I just write what I'm interested in and what I think is entertaining [based] on what idea I have and whatever genre that happens to fall into.

Bookish: How is "Red Hill" different from paranormal romance?

JM: The one thing you can say about [all of my books] is, they are "McGuire novels." That's how I would like for people to see them. No matter what the story is about, it's going to be a "McGuire novel": It's going to keep you turning the pages, and it's going to entertain you for however long it takes you to read that book.

Bookish: What can you tell us about your forthcoming sci-fi novel "Apolonia"?

JM: I just--literally, yesterday--finished the secret novella that I'm working on. I can't tell you what it is. Today I'm going over it once before I send it out--and then, literally tomorrow, I get to start "Apolonia." I'm so excited. I came up with the idea about the same time I came up with "Red Hill"--so, again, this is going on four years in the making. I have the whole story in my head; I just need to [get] it out.

"Apolonia" is about a girl named Rory Reardon, who is an introvert; she doesn't have any family and very few friends. She's not the blonde-haired, blue-eyed heroine that we're used to; she's more like Lisbeth Salander from "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." She's pretty street-smart, and she's in college; this is another New Adult [book]. She takes an interest in this boy Cy--he's extremely smart. They met being research partners. To make a long story short, Rory and Cy become very close; he gets into some trouble; she has to get him out of it, and that's where she finds out who he really is, and all of his secrets. Basically, they both have to work to get him to a certain point and a certain time, or else the whole world is going to be in danger.

Bookish: When you return to the "Beautiful Disaster" series, you'll be writing a follow-up about Travis Maddox as well as his brothers Trent and Thomas. What can you tell us about that?

JM: The first book will be Trent's book; we have a title, but we're not releasing it yet. It's going to be each of their stories, [which] are all different. There's a reason why I have to write Trent's first, which is so I don't give away Thomas' story. I'm going to start writing them in January [2014]. They're not going to be prequels or sequels; they'll be their own stories. Of course, Abby and Travis will still have cameos. They're going to intertwine a little bit--especially Trent, who was in "Beautiful Disaster."

Bookish: How will Trent's and Thomas' stories mirror and be different from Travis'?

JM: We know the Maddox brothers are pretty ornery; of course, Travis is everyone's favorite a**hole. What's going to be fun about Trent is that he is Travis--which is an angry, fly-off-the-handle bad boy--times 10. So, Trent's story is going to be really fun to write, and push those boundaries and go even further than I did with Travis' character.

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"I know the world ended on a Friday. It was the last day I saw my children."

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