Interview with Veronica Rossi, author of Riders - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Interview with Veronica Rossi, author of Riders

RIDERS BANNER

Strap in for an action-packed adventure with Riders—bestselling author Veronica Rossi’s latest fantasy, out today!!! I’m thrilled to welcome her to the blog to talk about the novel and what readers can expect as they meet War, Conquest, Famine and Death… the four horsemen of the apocalypse!

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Synopsis

Feb-16For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen–Conquest, Famine, and Death–are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now–bound, bloodied, and drugged–Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for–not to mention all of humankind–he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

Interview

Vilma: So happy to talk with you Veronica… on Riders’ release day too! Congrats!

Veronica: Thank you so much! Happy to be here!

What inspired this story? The myth of the four horsemen is an exciting topic to explore.

Veronica: Honestly, I’ve always been a little terrified by the four horsemen. But, if you take a close look at Revelation, they’re actually instruments of God. The idea always fascinated me – such seemingly dark forces as positive agents. I saw a real parallel with what we ask of our servicemen and women. A soldier or a police officer might have to do terrible things in the name of protecting ideals, or innocents. It just seemed like really rich territory to explore. We ask so much of our protectors. We ask them to live in this really gray area. I couldn’t resist delving into that.

Vilma: The novel begins with Gideon bound, bloodied and interrogated by the government. Through his perspective, we get to know him, as well as what’s transpired. It was a really interesting framework to employ… what made you choose to tell the story this way?

Veronica: Every book I had written prior to RIDERS had a linear narrative. Things happen synchronously. With this novel, I was ready to try something different. There’s so much I want to learn as a writer. I always want to keep challenging myself. So this storytelling delivery method was one way to do that. As for a specific point of inspiration, you could say I drew from THE USUAL SUSPECTS, one of my favorite films, which is also framed as an interrogation/questioning.

Vilma: Gideon has lots of anger inside of him, much of it connected to the death of his father, with whom he was particularly close. How would you describe Gideon and his journey in this novel?

Veronica: I think he finally allows himself to properly grieve in this novel. He resisted doing so for a long time and lived in a space somewhere between denial and numbness. In RIDERS he can’t do that any longer. He has to face the pain – and he does. And, if I might add, I believe he carried a lot of anger but that he also carries a tremendous amount of loyalty and love for his sister and mother. He feels intensely on every emotional front.

Vilma: Let’s talk about the horses. How awesome were they?! What kind of research did you do to bring both the horses, and their horsemen, to life?

Veronica: Thank you! I did spend some time around horses. I took riding lessons and spent a week riding in Wyoming about a year and a half ago. Also, I’d had some experience with horses growing up. That said, I didn’t restrict myself to what I learned or know. I wanted to be creative with the horses. In the story, I flipped the prey mentality that horses typically have to its opposite: predator. These are bold, aggressive creatures when they want to be. Rather than getting scared, they get mean. But that’s only one aspect. They have distinct personalities and they’re emotionally wise, too. Almost soulful – and that soulfulness corresponds to their rider. War’s horse, for example, matches War in many aspects. His personality, his fire. His pride.

Finally, I made the horses…super horses. There’s really no other way to describe it. They have the ability to transmute to elemental forms—fire, light, shadow, and ash. That was really fun to play with.

Vilma: Because you had to set up the story and its characters, we get to know Gideon the best. Will we get to know Marcus, Jode and Bastian more in subsequent novels?

Veronica: You’ll get to know the others a little better. The next book, SEEKER, is actually told from two points-of-view: Gideon (I couldn’t give him up) and Daryn. I have imagined books for each of the other horsemen, told from their perspectives, but at this time it’s only a two-book series. So, to answer your question properly, yes, you’ll get to know the other horsemen better, but Daryn is the character you’ll really see more of in the next installment, which will be released in about a year.

Vilma: Overall, what can you tell readers about Riders? What can they expect from the novel as they dive into it today?

Veronica: If they are readers coming to RIDERS from my other series, the first thing I’d tell them is that it’s pretty different than Under the Never Sky in terms of the voice (since it’s in first person, present-tense, and a “modern” character, versus the third person, past-tense feel of the UTNS series.) I truly hope readers will find that an enticement. Rather like a favorite chef whipping up a new course, perhaps! Different ingredients, but hopefully something familiar and delicious in the handling and the flavor. 🙂

Also, I’d tell them to strap in for laughs, adventure, some romance, some scares…and a lot of fun. I loved writing this book and I absolutely love these characters.

Vilma: Thank you so much for giving us the scoop about Riders! And see you in a few weeks at ABF! 🙂

Veronica: Thank you for having me, Vilma!

About Veronica

Veronica RossiVeronica Rossi is a New York Times bestselling author of fiction for young adults. She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. When not writing, she enjoys reading, painting, and counting down the minutes until she can get back to making up stories about imaginary people.

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One Comment:


  1. Rebecca said:

    Great interview! Loved this book and cannot wait for the follow up!

    Reply

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