WILLIAMSVILLE, NY — One of the many authors invading Havenwood Falls this year, Kristen Yard, recently released her debut book, about none other than the Alversons. That family is chock-full of secrets that should never come out in the open. The question is whether Yard adhered to the agreement with the Court of the Sun and the Moon to write a work of fiction or if she disclosed truths that could be a danger to us all. The Sun & Moon Tribune shares this exclusive interview with Yard as we all hope to learn more about her and her intentions.
What inspired this particular storyline?
I couldn’t tell you. The characters and most of the plot came to me within under a half an hour while I was waiting for my coffee at my own local coffee shop. I have always wanted to write murderous mermaids. I actually pitched it to Kristie as “Carrie meets the Little Mermaid” (I definitely referenced at least one of them in this book!). I guess my fear of water and the subconscious need to explore it is where this came from.
What made you choose these particular creatures?
They chose me, but I have been obsessed with mermaids ever since Ariel. As I grew older, I dreamt of writing dark mermaids, because what’s creepier than something that can pull you into a bottomless grave?
What’s your favorite line?
“I refuse to be the dead chick who peaked in high school. I have people and industries to conquer.”
What did you enjoy most about writing this story?
I loved how involved my daughter was in the process. She and I are very close, and I have been pursuing publication since she was a baby. Now that she is almost old enough to read the genre I write, it’s cool to see how into it she is. I don’t even have the words for how much her enthusiasm and belief in me meant. She named most of my characters, and gave me lots of advice, and was a beta reader! Also, the fanny pack/belt bag scene is a real thing from our summer together *sigh* I am Nikki and Max, in that moment, and she is Logan. It will always be a belt bag in my eyes.
Have you ever lived in a place like Havenwood Falls? How does Havenwood Falls compare to where you call home?
I live in a village (I love saying that, lol!) so I am familiar with the small-town vibe. We have different festivals, including an island carnival every summer, which inspired the Carnival at the Falls (although unlike Havenwood Fall’s carnival, our carnival is not a ruse for murder—although I guess that hasn’t technically been proven…)
We also have a small waterfall that is walking distance from where I live. That was the inspiration for the Alverson’s mini waterfall in their backyard. I often wrote next to it over the summer! It was priceless to be able to describe waterfalls, while listening to one, given how important they are to Serena’s story.
What made you decide to write a Havenwood Falls story?
Serena and Nikki decided for me! Kristie approached me with the idea, and during the conversation Kristie and I had, sirens and witches took over my mind, dominating the conversation. I pretty much had a plot worked out before Kristie and I finished talking!
Writing for a paranormal/ supernatural TV show has always been one of my dream jobs. I love the idea of comradery and collaboration with other writers, so when I found out that I could basically achieve that dream in real life, working with amazingly talented authors (who I am so not worthy of working with) it was a no-brainer!
If you lived in Havenwood Falls, what kind of creature would you be and why?
I have been dreading this question because how do you choose just one?! I don’t think I could handle being a siren. I know where that storyline is going. They terrify me, and so does water. The witches have way too much drama and responsibility (we’re talking The Real Housewives of Havenwood Falls). I think I would be very human, like Irene Beckett. She’s a retired school teacher who is hyper-aware of the supes in town. Irene couldn’t care less if a mouthy teen is merely a mouthy teen or a dragon shifter. She will put them in their place, regardless. I envy her fearlessness and confidence! When you think about it, humankind has a unique beauty in their brief lives, chased by mortality, with the ability to be evil or good. We already have it all.
What has been the most surprising aspect of writing in this Shared World?
I wouldn’t say that this is the most surprising aspect, but instead, the most rewarding… The friendships. The sisterhood.
I hit it off with everyone, but Randi Cooley Wilson and I share a writer-brain. She created the hunky, mysterious Roman Bishop, who is the on-again-off-again flavor of the month of my character, Ada Daryn. Those two have become quite entangled, and we are somehow always on the same page, so it’s been a cool thing to participate in!
In The Fall, Serena and Nikki share a special frenemyship with another of Randi’s characters, Callie Montgomery, the owner of Callie’s Consignments. That was also hilarious to collaborate on with Randi, because our girls have a strange little snarky symbiotic relationship.
I love how all of the author’s shared characters make cameos in each other’s stories. That magic adds dimension, breathing life into the town and the creatures living within it.
This is what makes Havenwood Falls stand apart—art imitates life, in that these characters are only as much of a community as the writers who are behind them. We all genuinely get along. It’s like a big cyber party in our private group, where we meet and share ideas. I feel like that chemistry cannot be faked, and adds to our stories and the sincerity of our little town.
Would you do a project like this again?
Yes, and I am! I am lucky enough to be signed on for two more novellas, continuing Serena, Nikki, Logan, and Max’s stories in 2018!
In other words, this author won’t be leaving town anytime in the near future. At least she contributes plenty of dollars to the local economy with all the coffee she buys at Coffee Haven and the purchases she makes at Callie’s Consignments. If you have questions for Yard, want to know more about her and The Fall, she’ll be doing a live Q&A session with the Havenwood Falls Book Club on Thursday, Nov. 2, starting at 4 pm MT (6 pm ET).
About the Book
Seventeen-year-old Serena Alverson is drawn to water. She spends much of her time by the falls, sketching the beauty of life’s sustenance. An introverted “late-bloomer,” she has no interest in a social life aside from her two best friends, Logan and Nikki. She’s never had a serious boyfriend and has rarely left the safety of Havenwood Falls.
Serena has big dreams for her future, things she wants for herself after high school—to travel and study the great artists of the world while developing her own craft. To break free from the sleepy little town she outgrew by age eight. But her carefully laid plans fall asunder when she receives a gift from her aunt, a mysterious necklace with the power to sear her skin. With each burn, she questions her sanity. It doesn’t help that an ominous figure starts shadowing her steps.
When Mother Nature finally comes knocking, she hands Serena not only her womanhood, but also a wicked lifetime curse with the potential to destroy everything and everyone she loves. For water also has a dark side. Water is birth, water is life . . . water is death.
About the Author
Kristen has always had an intense fear of water–maybe it can be attributed to the dark world of sirens lurking under the surface of her subconscious. Or it’s just because… cannot swim. When she isn’t reading and writing, she’s exploring creepy historical things with her daughter, or attempting to cook (it’s debatable which is scarier). You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Oh, and if you’re a dude going swimming in the wild, don’t forget to bring a rubber inner-tube– it could buy you a couple of minutes.