Sonia Hartl's new book is the YA vampire revenge story of my dreams: an interview
Sonia Hartl has been writing seriously for publication since 2005, when she penned her first novel. Like many writers, her journey to traditional novel publication took some turns, including a novel-writing pause while she wrote and published short stories.
"I spent a lot of years just learning how to craft a complete narrative arc," Sonia said, "and learning how to do so with fewer words gave me a lot of opportunities to see what worked and what didn’t."
Writing is, as any writer will tell you, a difficult task, so I'm always interested to know why people do it. Like, what would compel you on this path?
"I enjoy creating worlds and characters and living inside the head of someone else for a while," Sonia said. "It also allows me to work through things that I might not be able to do otherwise without having characters to filter emotions through."
In 2018, Sonia and another writer, Annette Christie, were Pitch Wars mentors. This is important to note because the author they chose to mentor was none other than Auriane Desombre, one of my very best writer friends, and I think that's a pretty cool connection.
Pitch Wars, for those of you unfamiliar, is a mentoring program for writers. I've personally applied three times and never been selected, and it's so easy to fall into a trap of rage, imposter syndrome, and jealousy. While I didn't ask Sonia about Pitch Wars directly in our email interview, she answered another question in a way that I think is perfect for anyone dealing with Pitch Wars jealousy...or just, general career malaise.
"Don’t let comparison rob you of the joy in writing," Sonia said. "Do it for yourself first, and don’t worry about the rest. Everyone gets where they need to be in their own time."
Honestly those words kind of stopped me in my tracks a little. Something I need to work on!
Sonia is the author of Heartbreak for Hire, an adult rom-com, as well as several books for young adults, including this year's The Lost Girls: A Vampire Revenge Story. The premise is basically that a young vampire teams up with her vampire ex's other girlfriends to kill him, all while falling in love with the ex's current girlfriend. Which — sign me up, I'm here for it.
Sonia said she came up with the story while "messing around" on Twitter, but once she got it, it stuck with her and she thought it would be a fun story. Again: it absolutely sounds like one!
"It’s been really great having so many people respond to the premise!" Sonia said. "I thought it was fun, but I didn’t know if anyone else would be as into it, and it’s been extremely exciting to get messages and be tagged in posts from people who have really connected with this story."
Sonia did caution that she didn't intend the book to be a rom-com.
"I’d always meant for it to be a bit more serious than my contemporary YA books," she said, "even with a fantastical premise, and I think some people might not be expecting that."
As for other books people should pick up (obviously, this is in addition to The Lost Girls), Sonia recommended I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre, calling it "the f/f romcom of my heart," as well as Out of the Fire by Andrea Contos, a revenge thriller. Finally, Sonia recommended Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey, saying it is "the messy girls trying their best contemporary of my heart."