Veronica Wolff on Killer Islands and Seductive Vamps

Behold, figs! Today we present the second installment of Veronica Wolff’s answers to our most burning questions about her new book Isle of Night, a paranormal thrill ride about down-and-out teenager Annelise, who meets a sultry stranger and gets whisked off to an isolated island for the fight of her life. (Psst—read it on Figment!)


Islands are often considered getaway destinations, but you use one as a battleground. What inspired you? 

I liked the idea of someplace so isolated, so nestled in the middle of the cold, roiling sea, that it’s a place of total otherness, where anything could happen and any creature might exist. A place where you’d find a desolate castle set amidst eerie standing stones. Where the wind is violent, the people are scarce, and the skies are dark more often than they’re light.

My real-life inspiration came from the Northern Isles off Scotland—one of my favorite places in the world to visit. There, you can experience gray rocks underfoot and even grayer skies overhead, a seemingly endless boat ride to the next populated island, and a sunset so early as to convince you that it’d be the dream home of any vampire.

Aside from wanting to leave her less-than-desirable life behind, why do you think Annelise agrees to go with Ronan, the vampire who promises her a way out? What about the unknown attracts her?

The girl has hit rock bottom. There are no choices left to her. She’s struggled and strived, and even with all her hard work, she’s hit the end of the road. Add to that the fact that she’s always dreamed of more. She’s always imagined that there is a bigger, better self deep inside her—something great that, if given the chance, would rise up and shine. How many of us have felt stuck and fundamentally unrecognized in that way? Well, that’s Annelise Drew, only she’s completely without options or a safety net. In walks Ronan, who seems to recognize the better Annelise that she carries inside. As someone who has been slinking through life lonely and unseen, she finds this undeniably appealing.

Need more Veronica? See her answer to yesterday’s question.

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