Tuesday, August 17, 2021

BLOG TOUR: Dagger Hill by Devon Taylor

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Devon Taylor's Dagger Hill! Today, on our tour stop, we have a short Q&A with the author to share. Plus, let's celebrate this new release with a tour-wide giveaway! So... Be sure to check it out and grab your copy now! Follow the tour, HERE.

Young Adult
Publish Date:
August 17, 2021

Stranger Things meets One of Us Is Lying in this creepy paranormal mystery about four friends who find themselves hunted by a malevolent presence in their sleepy hometown.

It knows your fear...

Summer, 1989. Four best friends—Gabe, Kimberly, Charlie, and Sonya—are preparing for their last summer together before senior year, after which they’ll all be splitting up to start college in different parts of the country. They make a promise to always find their way back to each other, no matter how far away from their sleepy Pennsylvania hometown they get.

But their plans are destroyed when a plane crashes right on top of their favorite hangout outside of town—and right on top of them.

In the catastrophic aftermath of the incident, Gabe, Sonya and Charlie are plagued by eerie visions and messages from an unknown watcher. They soon realize that the plane crash was no accident, and now they are being hunted by a sinister presence. And everyone is still searching for Kimberly, who has been missing ever since Gabe saw somebody wearing a gas mask carry her out of the woods the day the sky fell down on them...


*Q&A with Devon Taylor*
1. When and/or how did you know you wanted to be a writer?
The Cliff Notes version of the story is that I was a second grader with his nose perpetually stuck in a book (Magic Tree House books to be more specific). And one day I was sitting on the floor of the school library, reading one such book, when it occurred to me that I would love to have Mary Pope Osborne’s job. Getting to use my imagination and tell stories all day? Stories that connected to other kids like me? It was the biggest A-Ha moment of my life and I’ve never looked back.

 2. What was the inspiration behind Dagger Hill?
Dagger Hill is, at its heart, a love letter to the horror genre. Not long after I fell in love with storytelling, I fell in love with horror. I love speculative fiction of any kind, but horror was always so gritty and terrifying and visceral. I picked up Stephen King’s IT at a yard sale when I was twelve and was immediately obsessed. Books, movies, TV shows. Anything horror that I could get my hands on, I went after. Another piece of inspiration for Dagger Hill was my love for 80s nostalgia. I was born in 1990, so it was a lot of fun to go back and delve into a decade that I had just barely missed out on.

 3. Why should new readers pick up/read Dagger Hill?
Dagger Hill is a terrifying fever dream of all my favorite horror tropes and styles. If you like old, campy horror flicks and psychological fear and monsters and government cover-ups and small towns with lots of secrets, this book is for you.

 4. What are you working on next?
At the moment I’ve got a couple of ideas in the air that haven’t quite landed, but one that I’m most excited about can only be described as Motherland: Fort Salem meets Terminator. Which makes zero sense to anyone who isn’t me.

 5. Who gets to read your first draft when you are writing?
Generally, my wife is the first one to read anything I’m working on. And even if she’s not reading it directly, it’s all I’m talking about, so she’s offering her input along the way. I spent a lot of late nights working on Dagger Hill because it had a few major hiccups, and she was immensely supportive and patient, as always.

 6. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing?
I would either be a storm chaser or a stand-up comedian. And actually, I have a day job currently where I get to string and play guitars all day long, which is a pretty sweet gig in its own right.

 7. If you could do a book collaboration with any author (living or dead), who would it be? Why?
My first instinct was to say Stephen King. Because, duh. But when I stop to really think about it, I’d have to say his son, Joe Hill, instead. Stephen King was my initiation into horror and spec fiction, but I had many other teachers along the way who were of a more literary bent, who toiled over language and the rhythm of the words more so than the story. Joe Hill’s work is a lovely mashup of those two worlds. His stories are riveting and inventive, and his prose reads like a piece of music. I don’t think I have the chops to even keep up, but I’d give it my best shot.

 8. Of all your books, what characters were your favorite to write? Why?
It’s hard to pick favorites because you spend so much time with these characters, trying to figure them out, that they become kind of like your kids. All you want is for them to succeed and do good things (until you have to kill one of them off). But one of my absolute favorite characters that I’ve written is Treeny from the Soul Keepers duology. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read those books, but her story arc is a rollercoaster ride and I love it.

 9. What is your favorite activity you do with your family when you are not writing?
We like to get up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and go to the diner for breakfast. It’s become kind of a ritual for us most weekends and I always look forward to it.

10. What would your advice be to aspiring writers/future authors?
My advice is this: If you want to write, then write. If you want to be an author, you have to learn how to unwrite as well. Being simply a writer is just you in a room by yourself, scribbling down pieces of your imagination. Being an author is you as part of a team, taking those pieces and forming them into something that resembles a story. And you always end up having to leave some of those pieces behind, often the ones you think are your favorites. They don’t call it killing your darlings for nothing. But if you can figure out how to both write and unwrite, then you can probably get where you want to be.

There you have it! Thank you Devon for giving time for your readers to get to know you with this Q&A!


Praise for Dagger Hill

"A wild and satisfying romp through small town friendships, government conspiracies, bloody histories, long-kept secrets―and all of your deepest, darkest fears." ―Katrina Leno, author of Horrid

"Taylor (the Soul Keepers series) layers horror styles―found footage, monster, paranormal, and psychological―while switching perspectives among the Almost Nobodies and townspeople. ... Visceral descriptions (“bullets shredded into meat”) and the introduction of a shape-shifting figure lead to a jolting read in the style of Stephen King―one with plenty of 1980s nostalgia and a tender LGBTQ romance." ―Publishers Weekly


**About the Author**
Devon Taylor was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters. His day job consists of sneaking around the house with ninja-like stealth to avoid waking up his kids. When not writing, reading, or tediously typing out text messages with all the correct spelling and punctuation, he spends his time with his family. He is the author of THE SOUL KEEPERS, THE GHOST SEEKERS, and the newly released DAGGER HILL.

Stay connected with Devon Taylor


***The Giveaway***

Giveaway Open Internationally
- ends August 26, 2021
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

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