Q&A Session on This Morning I Woke Up Dead, by Mindy Larson

1.  What is the title of your book?

The title of my book, is a little crazy, and has received more attention than I thought it would, it’s called, This Morning I Woke Up Dead. And believe it or not, it’s actually a love story!

2.  What is the genre and age rating?

Hmm, my book is pretty unique and pretty much falls under a few types of genres: paranormal, romance, spiritual, and maybe even a little suspenseful.  It opens with the main character realizing she’s dead, what’s more suspenseful than that?  Way more than your average love story, it’s a ‘what if’ story. As for the age group, probably high school on up. It deals with some heavy stuff, death, afterlife, spirituality. There is some mild swearing and mild adult situations.

 3.  Give a brief synopsis, using your own words.

 This Morning I Woke Up Dead takes place in the afterlife and on another realm in which everyone is dead. The catch is, no one knows they’re dead. They’re existing just as we do now, they fall in love, have careers, go on vacations, ect. A powerful love story, between soul mates, Hadley and Dominic, is at the core of the story.  They believe they are on the brink of their happily ever after and are even planning their wedding! But everything changes when Hadley crashes her car and ‘dies’, she realizes her true state and is forced to move onto another plane of existence, away from all of her loved ones. She can see them. Hear them. But can’t make contact.  Hadley must learn to exist without them and her soul mate, Dominic. It doesn’t go well.  It pushes her, as well as her beloved Dominic, to the brink of unraveling. I hated leaving Dominic behind, ‘alive’ and full of angst and torment. It was difficult tearing them apart and so early on!

Hope kept me going.  Hope kept them all going.

 Being realistic, Dominic wonders if he’s losing his mind when he begins to hear and see Hadley.

New friendships form as Hadley explores new worlds and sees her old one in its true light. Old friendships reunite between Dominic, and his sister, Emerson. They bond over their miseries of losing loved ones.  My book is about endless bonds, spiritual awakenings, friendship, true love, and leaves you wondering what if.

 4.  Is it part of a series? Is the series completed? What made you decide to do a series rather than an epic?

This Morning I Woke Up Dead is going to be a series. I am currently working on the second book, entitled Thirteen Choices, hopefully I’ll have it ready to publish by the fall. I didn’t plan to have it be a series when I first began writing, but there is just too much to explore for one book! And, I miss my characters and often wonder what they’ve been up too. It didn’t take me long to realize that there’s much more left of their story and I began the process.

 5.  Visually describe your main character and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

Hadley

Without realizing it, Hadley was inspired by Jennifer Lawrence. Growing up in the shadow of her older prettier sister, Harper, left her in the dark about her appeal and the pull Dominic has for her. She feels pretty average looking with her blonde wavy hair, icy gray eyes, and average height and weight. She is twenty five years old, the age in which she always felt her life would begin. Little did she know it’s when life would actually end.  Once upon a time, she spent her days working at a retirement home and caring for the elderly. Now she spends her time between reaching out to Dominic, and as a spirit guide for the Unknowns. Hadley is the keeper of truths, which means that she encourages her charges to speak only the truth.Subtly Hadley guides them by whispering inspirational messages.

 6.  What are his or her biggest faults? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?

Hadley had a lack of patience and is fueled by a strong desire to be with her beloved, and often makes desperate attempts to make contact with Dominic. Sadly she is mostly unsuccessful and her temper rises as does her frustration and rebellious streak.

Excerpt:

“Do you feel me, baby? Can you please realize something for me, baby, you’re dead too.”

He doesn’t respond. Now, it’s my turn to cry. In a way, I feel closer to him. We are both sobbing. It’s almost kind of nice to be doing the same thing. But frustrating as hell, too. “Dominic, open your eyes!” I wail.

“Okay, kid, your times up,” Logan says firmly.

“No!” My world is crashing in. I need more time with him. “Why did I have to accept that I was dead? Why? I want to be with him. I need more time, please.” I look at Logan beseechingly. I don’t know what powers Logan personally has over this situation, but I hope he has some.

Another Excerpt…

Things haven’t been going my way. I am done with the rules. I am so completely over it all.

“You can’t be done. That decision is not yours to make.”

“Oh, yeah? Really?” I spat out angrily. “That’s just great. What can I decide to do? Huh?        Anything?  Anything at all?” My temper is flaring.

 7.  What are his or her best qualities? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?  

Although Hadley is suffering and missing Dominic, she has a strong desire to help others.

 Excerpt:

One thing strikes me as odd during this seemingly average conversation is that she is lying. I sense it. As clearly as I feel the warming lavender rays on my skin, I feel the chillness of her lies. Do I break the rules and go to her? Do I whisper words of gentle encouragement to speak only truths? The girls continue, interrupting my thoughts. “When are you going out?” the shortest girl of the group asks politely, running her hands through her mid length mauve hair. “Um,” she darts her eyes away, considering before she says, “Tonight.” Another lie slips through her lip, leaving a vinegar taste on her tongue and coldness on my skin.

A chorus of giggle erupts. I miss being their age. If I had to guess, I’d say they’re about fifteen. The one telling the lies isn’t laughing. Her face is bright purple, almost magenta. Her periwinkle eyes are bugged out slightly. I can smell that she is sweating. I can’t just stand here and watch her writhe uncomfortably. In her ear I whisper, “Tell the truth.”

She swats at the air, at me.

“What’s wrong, Arabella?” the tall one asks. “You don’t look so good.” If we were on Earth, she probably would have told her she looked a little green. But here, she looks like a blueberry on the brink of spoiling.

“Something was buzzing in my ear.”

They hold each other’s gaze for a moment and then quickly shrug it off. I wonder if I made a mistake in intervening.

“Anyways,” the tall one rolls her almond shaped eyes and continues, “What are you guys going to go do?”

Arabella’s posture shifts. Her thin arms wrap around her midsection. I am willing to bet her insides are a mess. Twisting. Turning. Agonizing about what to lie about next, and how to go about weaving white truths into blackened lies.

“Well?” someone prods. The friends are getting antsy for more.

I attempt round two. “Tell them the truth.”

Arabella opens her mouth to speak. Closes it and breathes out, “Never mind. We’re not going out. I was just kidding,” nervous giggles erupt. She waves her arm, dismissing the previous statement.

8.   Is there a romantic interest for your MC (main character)…or maybe more than one? Would you describe it as antagonistic, angsty, steamy, romantic, and or loaded with sexual tension?

Oh yeah, there is heavy romance involved! It’s very complicated to say the least! Talk about a long distance relationship.

9.  Visually describe the romantic interest(s) and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

Dominic

Again without realizing it, he was inspired by an actor, Ian Somerhalder.  After Hadley’s passing, Dominic barely manages to keep himself in check and gets by on auto pilot. He is full of morose and angst with dark brooding good looks to match. His dark thick hair grows long into his warm brown eyes, shielding him from the pain of others looking at him with pitiful looks. To help kill the time in between shifts at the hospital, he’s a doctor, he takes up running, and is able to maintain his healthy physique.  He has a complicated relationship with his mom, and forms a strong relationship with his sister, Emerson and his niece Ruby. They bond over being left behind by a loved one and even go on a Disney vacation together in hopes of escaping their pain.

10.  Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?

Logan is my favorite!! He is the typical bad boy, he wears a uniform of black T shirts, distressed jeans, motorcycle boots, a lopsided sarcastic grin and a chip on his shoulder complete his look. He’s older than Hadley and has had lots of experience with life and the afterlife. Hadley is intimated by him at first, but quickly sees through his bad boy act and finds out he is just a big softy. He’s loved and lost, and like Hadley, he’s just trying to make his way in his new situation.

11.  Were any of your characters inspired by people you know or have known?

I’d like to say that they are all completely and totally original, and they are to some extent, but, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that parts of each of them were also inspired by my loved ones.

12.  Post a short excerpt (1-2 pages max) that you think that readers will love…

Despondently, I walk to my room and shut the door. Shut the door on anything and everything. Collapsing onto my bed, I sigh deeply before I say aloud, “Hadley, where are you?” she is everywhere and nowhere, all at once.

I wait for an answer but only for a moment. My eyes feel heavy and I willingly allow them to close. It’s only ten thirty. It’s dark out. It’s still early for me to be in bed. But I don’t give a fuck. I am tired. Always. Rain is tapping rhythmically on the window. The growl of gentle thunder and the lovely tapping of rain lulls me into a peaceful state. Slowly, I breathe in and out. As I feel myself relax and begin to drift from consciousness, I think of her., and how she loved rain storms. She would be so happy right now. If she were here. Lightning lights up my room, leaving a bluish tinge upon everything in sight. My chest rises and falls and I count the seconds after I see the lightning light up my room again.

One.

Two.

Three.

Ten seconds all together. Another crack of thunder. I do this for a while. Ride out the storm. Count the thundering seconds. Before I succumb fully to sleep, a thought enters my mind. I do not know how or why I thought of these words. But I did. As clear as I hear the grumbling thunder and soft taps of rain, I hear the words echo in my mind: ‘What if? What if? What if?’

What if?

Those little words. Dreadful words that they are. Nothing good ever comes from wondering what if.

Or does it?

What if I were dead too? Could we be together again? Hadley and I. Together again. Could we?

My insides tingle. It spreads and my entire body tingles. It’s a happy ticklish feeling. I feel it spread from my head down to my toes. I am warm. My eyes pop open. And it’s as if I have slept eleven hours. Not thirty minutes. As the lighting sends more blue incandescent light in through my window, I see her. Hadley’s face appears to me. She is smiling. Her gray eyes stare back at me. She is so beautiful.

Crack.

She is gone.

It’s dark again. I count to ten. Hoping to see another flash of lighting. Another flash of her. Anticipation eats me up. Its unbearable. Those few seconds. Blue light. Hadley. My love. She looks nervous this time. Expectant. My brows squint. She too is riding out the storm.

Crack.

Gone again.

Tingles begin to form in my hair and spread. My neck. Shoulders. Arms. Stomach. Groin. Butt. Legs. Feet and toes. And then they spread back up again. It’s exhilarating.

Crack.

Again, she is gone. Come back!

Seconds pass and she is back. I see her clearly.

The storm has opened up a portal. A portal to her.

Either that, or, I am dead too. That is why I can see her.

She nods. I swear she is nodding and smiling at me. A thought hits me and she fades. Hadley is fading and melting into the bluish tinge like a yellow crayon in the sun. Damn my realistic thoughts. I cannot be dead. I cannot deny that I feel alive. I am too excited.

Can dead people be excited? I don’t know. I’m still ringing with those weird tingles. My head is playing deceitful games with me. The storm. It must be the storm.

Thirty seconds have passed.

There is no more lightning.

No more Hadley.

The yellow light on my alarm clock catches my eye. I see that it is 3:33. I was dreaming. When I came in, it was ten thirty. I truly had thought that I was awake and had seen her.

God dammit.

If only. If only. If only.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into This Morning I Woke Up Dead, by Mindy Larson…Want to see more? Just click on one of the links below to purchase a copy!!

Also, be sure to check out her webpage, or fan/follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads! 

mindy larson

 To Purchase:

Become a fan, and follow her on her blog and/or Goodreads Author page!

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