A. Ah! The idea for the series . . . I get asked that a lot. UNDERTOW is a combination of the war stories of my grandfather (who was a WWII Marine and landed on Iwo Jima), my obsession with Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Peter Benchley’s novel, JAWS, and my love affair with Cape Cod and its “everybody knows everybody” vibe. As for the number of books, there are 4 main novels, and one novella. Only the first 2 novels are out right now – UNDERTOW and STORMFRONT (as of August 13, 2014). UNDERTOW is now on summer reading lists for high schools.
Q: The local kids from Cape Cod are saying the stuff in the books is REAL! They are messing with me, right?
A. The series is based on a REAL version of Cape Cod. In fact, one of the characters owns an ice cream shop named The Milk Way. While “The Milk Way” is fictitious, it is 100% based on Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville (a REAL town, were fictional Eila lives). Four Seas knows they are in the book and they host book signings. Other things in the book that are real to Cape Cod (so you can basically visit here and do all the things that Eila and her crew do) are:
- Eila’s house – The home the main character inherits, and thus sets off the chain of events for UNDERTOW, does exist in the historic area of Centerville, not far from Four Seas Ice Cream. It used to be owned by a friend of mine and we hung out in it all the time when we were young. She now resides in Hong Kong as a pilot, so we catch up on Facebook and she gives me more secrets about how the house was built. FYI – don’t go knocking on the door, because someone else owns the house now.
- Barnstable High School – Totally real and totally cool public high school that does some crazy thing. The students and faculty know they are in the novels (and even decided to begin building their own book trailer based on the series), so they allow me to come in and walk the halls as needed to make sure I stay true to the story. And yes – it is so huge that I need a GPS to find my way out. 2000+ students go there. Their award winning theater department became part of a major TV network series known as High Drama a few years ago. American Idol contestant Siobhan Magnus was a student there.
- The Jeep Subculture – Again, totally real. On Cape Cod, Wranglers are the most beloved vehicles of all. Most families have one, and if you drive one, other Wrangler drivers will wave to you when you pass each other – like Harley riders do. And yes – you can drive them out onto some of the beaches (MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHICH ONES!)
- Witch Balls, The Crimson Moon, and Eila’s Bracelet – All real. Witch Balls are made at any one of our beautiful, glass-blowing shops (and yes – you can watch them actually blow glass, which is so cool). The Crimson Moon was based on The Lavender Moon, which is no longer in business. It was owned by a real coven of witches and when you would go in there, you could buy healing stones, herbs, crystals, oils, etc. Don’t worry – Dalca didn’t work at the real version! Eila’s bracelet is a staple of Cape Cod and there are several variations, though the original is simply called a Cape Cod Bracelet. They come in various sizes, so having a two-year-old with one is not unusual. The ball screws the bangle together, which means that sucker ain’t coming off, so don’t get it caught on anything or your arm may go with it.
- Town Neck, the Bonfire party, and the infamous bridge – All real, though I did take a few creative liberties. So, Town Neck beach is part of the town of Sandwich. It has the boardwalk, just as described, and the long beach at the end, AND, yes, the river. Kids can jump from the bridge (yup, I’ve done it too, and IT IS FREEZING). However, you cannot drive a car out on Town Neck and you are not supposed to bonfire there – all those things can be done on SANDY NECK or NAUSET (where Raef hunts), so I kinda sorta blended the two beaches.
- Barnstable Harbor and the Ferry – Totally true and yes, you can sit and people watch. You can also catch a Cape Cod Baseball League game in the nearby field. The Cape Cod League is famous because so many players get called up to the Majors.
More of Cape Cod appears in each new novel in the series and I do blog often about the Cape, writing, and the series on my blog at http://capecodscribe.com
Q: DUDE! I saw Raef at the mall!!! Like – REALLY HIM! I was totally fangirling!! How is that possible?
A. Because all the cover models are real kids from Cape Cod and none were professional models. We found them through Facebook (yes – I stalked teenagers on Facebook). They needed to match the characters that were already written and their parents needed to agree to let them become the faces of the characters. I have a fabulous, young photographer named Alex, and a full television studio that we use when we do photoshoots. Each shoot takes about seven hours. It is weird to be there during the shoots as ALL the characters are hanging out, laughing and sharing music. The kids also come to book signings and sign as their characters and pose with fans. They have been on TV, in newspapers, and on blogs. Their complete profiles and who the real kids are behind the faces can be found on my blog, CapeCodScribe.com.
Q: How can I contact you? Enter to win Swag? Find out when the next book will launch? Meet you in person?
A. My blog is a great place to start (CapeCodScribe.com), but I also have a Facebook Page, Instagram (K_R_Conway), and Twitter. On Amazon, you can sign up to get an email when a new book releases. Fans who post Facebook statuses about the book, tweet, Pinterest, Instagram and what not can win swag from me.
Publication date: August 15th 2014
Not long ago Eila Walker’s choices were limited: death by a bullet to the head, or at the hands of her beloved bodyguard, Raef. Now, five weeks after Raef triggered her power and she nearly leveled a historic mansion, Eila is dealing with the fall-out of her decisions. While she doesn’t remember dying in the arms of the soul thief who loves her, she knows that Raef remembers everything about the night he nearly killed her.
Now on the mend and attempting to keep one step ahead of the FBI, Eila and her team of misfits are desperate for a bit of normal. Eila is trying to navigate high school, while her BFF Ana is cautiously hanging with past-boyfriend and soul thief, Kian. Shape-shifter, MJ, is trying not to piss off his mother, while Raef is coping with his fears that Eila will never be safe.
But just as “normal” seems within their grasp, a powerfully built newcomer arrives. Raef knows the scarred man as a Blacklist Dealer – a soul thief, who peddles the names of humans who deserve to die. Eila, however, knows him as the protective hunter from the woods, who she nicknames Thor. Before long, Raef and Eila realize they’ve met the same killer, and he has one hell of a story to tell the five friends . . . if Raef doesn’t murder him first.
STORMFRONT is the second book in the Bestselling UNDERTOW series.