BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS BY MEG KASSEL
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
INTERVIEW WITH MEG
Top 5 Things readers need to know about the book
- It’s a standalone novel with a companion coming out next fall.
- It’s a paranormal romance with a hot harbinger of death.
- The antagonist is a deeply misunderstood guy.
- The antagonist is also a deeply scary guy.
- The cover is beautiful and I had nothing to do with the design of it.
Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it seemed so unattainable for so long. I always wrote, but it wasn’t until I finished a whole novel, one rainy Maine summer, that I realized if I could do it. And if I could write one book, I could write another. And so I did. It took me seven years from that first (truly horrible) novel to holding a finished book in my hands. Seven or eight complete manuscripts didn’t make it to publication. Lots of fragments of ideas never even made it to the planning stage.
Did your story end up differently then what you had originally imagined?
Of course! Initially, the house next door was haunted and the harbingers of death cleared out the ghost. I had this whole idea of a ghost story weaving in with the plot and by the end of the first draft it was completely cut. There was enough going on without a subplot about ghosts that didn’t do anything but slow everything down. I don’t hesitate to cut what isn’t gelling.
Which of your characters would you say you are most like?
I’m mostly like Reece. We both dislike keeping secrets, love hockey and are fiercely loyal to those we love. Also, we are both not always the best judge of character.
If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?
I have no idea. Honestly. A decade-younger Scott Eastwood would be the closest fit to Reece, I guess? And for Angie, I can’t even. She’s a colorful mix of personality and characteristics, but in my mind, her face is different to me every time I’ve revised her.
Did you have to research anything for your book?
I researched the lore of crows with human culture—why they are associated with doom and evil in western societies. I also read as much as I could about the myths of harbingers of death, although there isn’t much concrete stuff on them. They aren’t an established creature, like bigfoot, or anything. I also did extensive research on the nature of a certain geological event, but if I get more specific than that, it will give too much away.
What is the one book you recommend to everyone?
EVERYONE? That’s a tall order. Don’t laugh: A.A. Milne’s, Winnie the Pooh. For real. These short stories are funny, sophisticated and expert examples of character development. Ignore Disney and go with the real deal. The writing is superb.
In 5 words how would you describe Black Bird of the Gallows ?
Creepy love story with bees.
If your characters were in the hunger games who’d win?
Rafette would win, that jerk. It helps to be able to turn yourself into bees and turn everyone else mad.
Which Hogwarts house would your main character be in?
Angie is solid Gryffindor.
What’s on your playlist?
Milosh: Couldn’t Sleep
Unclubbed2 (feat. Zoe Durant): Need To Feel Loved
London Grammar: Hey Now
The Presets: Promises (Nils Frahm Rework)
First Aid Kit: My Silver Lining
Does the music go with your book?
Eh, not all the lyrics, but the vibe does. These are just some of the songs that I listened to while writing and revising the book.
Meet the Author: