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After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren’t identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.
After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he’s crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver’s former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver’s death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver that can be accounted for by mere chance.
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Vigilante Nights is my young adult debut novel with romance, suspense, and supernatural all thrown into a contemporary setting. It’s about the risks a 17-year-old boy will take to get revenge on the street gang who killed his twin sister…until he falls in love and risks more than he expected.
The first novel I wrote when I was eighteen, was originally inspired by S.E. Hinton’s classic novel, The Outsiders, one of my favorite all time novels. Memories of gang activity and street racing from my teen years also played a role in the plotting. The story had stayed with me for years, and I always wanted to update and write it with a fresh outlook and more experience. Despite hearing that the market was soft for books written from a boy’s POV, Lucas’s story clamored to be written and published. I couldn’t ignore my muse. Vigilante Nights bears only slight resemblance to that long-ago story, but Lucas’s coming of age in a time of tragedy and justice remained constant.
What are some of the challenges/hurdles you had in writing this book?
The biggest challenge was writing from a 17-year-old boy’s point-of-view, in first person, no less. It’s not like I could channel a teenage boy, you know? Writing three romance novels with alternating female and male POVs helped greatly. I had already read a lot of novels with male POVs. I took it a step further and read some “boy” books from popular YA authors to see how they handled a boy’s POV. In fact, I didn’t know if I had actually accomplished it until an editorial director of a big NY publisher read & critiqued an early version of the first fifty pages and told me I had nailed it. Of course, I also wanted my book to appeal to females, and writing in a love interest was a natural progression since all my books have a romance element!
You’re published in different genres. Any particular favorite thus far and why?
My muse has multiple personalities! When I started writing adult romance novels that’s what I was reading. People say write what you read. Plus, I loved speculative fiction, so everything had to have a paranormal, fantasy or light science fiction element. But I really wanted to go back to writing young adult. I gave it a go and wrote my first YA novel from a girl’s POV. I had so much fun writing from first person POV. After that book, I was hooked on writing young adult. The next book I wrote was Vigilante Nights. I don’t plan on giving up on writing adult romance, but I’m really digging writing for teens. There’s something fresh and innocent about teenagers coming of age in any setting, whether contemporary, supernatural or SF&F, that appeals to me. It takes me back to my own childhood and the type of books lacking back then.
What project are you working on now?
I’m revising a YA science fiction novel that I hope my agent will send out on submission soon. Here’s a short blurb: On a human-colonized planet that’s slipping into perpetual darkness, a telepathic Finder, a young Resistance fighter, and a charming alien lord race to restore the planet to the past before the darkness destroys their future.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Persevere. Don’t ever give up chasing your dream. Even when you’ve gotten hundreds of agent rejection letters or been turned down by every publishing house and you want to chuck it all, keep writing. It only takes one editor or one agent to like your first, third or even your tenth book. You’ll eat a lot of chocolate (or your favorite indulgence) to get there, and it will be worth it. If writing is in your blood, you’ll never be able to give it up no matter which path you take with your writing.
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Food: Mexican all the way!
Most Hated Food: Anything that lives in the water
Drives a: Corvette or Camaro…depending on my mood…or whether it’s raining! I’m a fanatic about my muscle cars. :)
If I could be a superhero, I would be: Jean Grey-Summers otherwise known as Marvel Girl or Phoenix. She’s one of the founding members of the X-Men. She has super cool telekinetic and telepathic abilities. I’ve always had a fascination with psionic abilities and would love to have them! It’s why you may find characters with these powers in my novels.
About Erin RichardsBuy Wicked Paradise (Crimson Romance)
Erin Richards lives in Northern California. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and American muscle cars.