Title: The Outside (The Hallowed Ones Book Two)
Author: Laura Bickle
Genre: paranormal YA
One girl. One road. One chance to save what remains…
After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.
And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?
In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?
Advance Praise for The Outside:
“Top-notch. . . . A horror story with heart and soul.”
—Kirkus, starred review
“At once horrifying, hopeful, and hauntingly beautiful, this gorgeous read with its rich textures and spine-tingling suspense kept me glued to the pages in utter fascination. Laura Bickle is a master storyteller.”
-Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling author of The Darklight Series
Praise for The Hallowed Ones
"This is a book to make you fear the shadows--a horrifying and gruesome tale of faith, and things that blink red eyes in the night. I began reading in the daylight, and read on into the late hours, leaning close, biting my lip. I could not look away; I was obsessed. Katie is an unbreakable soul."
—Lauren DeStefano, New York Times Bestselling author of the Chemical Garden Trilogy
"What an eerily believable, unique story! I can't stop thinking about it--or shivering."
—Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely Books
"Tight pacing, suspenseful scenes, Wow! moments of tension, and exposure into a world I knew little about, The Hallowed Ones is an exciting, terse read. . . . Laura Bickle's debut novel for young adults has quickly become my favorite dystopian novel of 2012. . . . It left me wanting more, so much more."
"Readers will find it hard to put down this suspenseful, scary, compulsively readable adventure."
"Katie's an original character, and her thoughtful rebellion makes her an interesting addition to supernatural fictions's gallery of strong heroines."
About the Author:
Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science, and when she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs (she also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams).
Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and six mostly-reformed feral cats.
1. What inspired you to write this book?
I live not too far from a large Amish settlement, one that I visited often as a child. I used to see the Amish girls my age and wonder how their lives were different from mine. I admired how strong and self-sufficient they seemed. It later occurred to me that these traits, combined with their incredibly strong sense of community, could make the Amish uniquely equipped to survive certain types of disasters, such as the one that devastates the world in THE HALLOWED ONES and THE OUTSIDE.
2. What characters do you connect with most?
Katie is my favorite. Katie was an interesting character to write because she's very strong in a quiet, enduring kind of way. She struggles to develop her own moral compass, independent of her parents and community. That requires a great deal of fortitude, just as much fortitude as dealing with the evil creatures in her world.
3. What's your favorite book-turned movie?
How to Train Your Dragon, hands-down. I want my own dragon in the WORST POSSIBLE WAY.
4. If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?
Alex is an injured man Katie found outside the boundaries of her community in the previous book, THE HALLOWED ONES. Katie brought him inside her barn to recover, but couldn’t be sure what kind of evil he was bringing in with him.
I like Alex because he challenges Katie. He’s an anthropology student in the outside world, and he both infuriates her and makes her consider ideas that she might not otherwise encounter. His presence forces her to take risks, and she learns a great deal about herself and her own ethics in attempting to protect him. They’re stuck together learning to survive in a devastated world, and Katie has to learn to make peace with his viewpoints in order to develop a workable relationship. In terms of their romance, they’re very much opposites, but they are able to respect each other.
5. Can you tell us about any other books you're writing?
I’m working on another YA project with supernatural elements. Stay tuned for details!
6. What do you do in your spare time?
I collect Tarot cards and I’m owned by a herd of cats…those usually keep me pretty busy. My husband and I are also amateur astronomers. I also collect comic books and action figures.
I took bellydancing classes a couple of years ago. I still dance occasionally (usually where no one can see me!). It was a lot of fun, and I still have some jingly coin belts hanging about the house that have survived being dragged around by the cats.
7. Who's your inspiration?
This will sound cheesy, but my mom is my inspiration. She was a school librarian, and I spent a whole lot of summers tucked in a sunny corner at the library, reading mythology books. I blame my love for reading and writing squarely on her.
8. If you were stranded on a desert island which character do you want by your side?
Definitely Katie. As a young Amish woman, Katie knows a whole lot of things that would be useful in a survival situation, like how to find and grow food. She’s accustomed to a world without electricity and modern conveniences, so I’m certain she’d have a whole lot to show me about survival!
9. Team Edward or Jacob?
10. Team Peeta or Gale?
11. What are you reading now?
I’m always reading more than one book. Right now, I’m reading Kathleen Peacock’s HEMLOCK, Cat Winters’ IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, and Lauren DeStefano’s SEVER. All are incredible!