I am SO here for all the vampire stories. Give them to me I’m back in my vampire phase. So when I read The Lost Girls, I knew I had to see if Sonia Hartl, the author, would let me ask all these questions! If you’re as obsessed with vampires as me, then you’ll have to read!
The Lost Girls
Getting over Your Vampire Ex is as Easy as Killing Him and Stealing His Girlfriend
Holly Liddell has been stuck with crimped hair since 1987 when she agreed to let her boyfriend, Elton, turn her into a vampire. But when he ditches her at a gas station a few decades into their eternity together, she realizes that being young forever actually means working graveyard shifts at Taco Bell, sleeping in seedy motels, and being supernaturally compelled to follow your ex from town to town—at least until Holly meets Elton’s other exes.
It seems that Holly isn’t the only girl Elton seduced into this wretched existence. He turned Ida in 1921, then Rose in 1954, and he abandoned them both before Holly was even born. Now Rose and Ida want to kill him before he can trick another girl into eternal adolescence, and they’ll need Holly’s help to do it. And once Holly starts falling for Elton’s vulnerable new conquest, Parker, she’ll do anything to save her.
To kill Elton for good, Holly and her friends will have to dig up their pasts, rob a bank, and reconcile with the people they’ve hurt in their search for eternal love. And to win the girl, Holly will have to convince Parker that she’s more than just Elton’s crazy ex—even though she is trying to kill him.
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What was it like to draft and come up with THE LOST GIRLS especially considering your previous books (with less vampires)?
I loved it! The actual drafting was tough because I had a pretty tight deadline given in April of 2020, when all I wanted to do was stare at the wall or watch Austen adaptations, but I got to play in a new genre and try new things, which I think every writer should do at least once. It definitely tested my skills in different ways since there were things I had zero experience with (like writing fight scenes). It was incredibly rewarding though to challenge myself in that way. It also made me want to dip my toes into more paranormal, since I had so much fun with this one.
Were there any changes to Rose, Parker, or Ida throughout the drafting process?
Yes, but mainly because I’m mostly a pantser. I did have to do some plotting because I sold this book on proposal, but I really learned who these girls were as I was drafting them, so it did require to me to go back and make changes to earlier versions of them who no longer fit who they’d become in later versions.
Can you talk about your inspiration for Elton?
Elton is symbolic of a smooth-talking attractive charmer who appears to be perfect on the surface, but is truly a monster underneath. He’s not based on anyone in particular, but I wanted to write someone who very clearly wouldn’t be given a pass on abuse just because he was described as hot.
Was THE LOST GIRLS: A VAMPIRE REVENGE STORY always the title? Or did that change throughout drafting?
The Lost Girls was the title I sold it under. My publisher wanted to change it because they feared it wouldn’t stand out, but about a week before the title change was set to take place, a “how it started/how it’s going” tweet I made about the book went viral. It was then decided it might be better to keep The Lost Girls because so many people had seen my deal announcement in that tweet, but they added ‘A Vampire Revenge Story’ onto it for standing out purposes. That allowed me to keep the original title, so those who searched for it by that could still find it.
How did you balance the high stakes and the action with the tender moments of friendship and love? I felt like this balance was one of my favorite elements of THE LOST GIRLS.
I’ve always been a contemporary writer, so friendship and romance are at the heart of most stories I tell. I wanted to take those elements into this high concept premise and create something that was still me, but with fantastical twist.
Did you always know that they would be vampires? Are you interested in writing about any other supernatural creatures?
I did always know they’d be vampires! It was what drew me to the idea in the first place. I haven’t thought about writing different supernatural creatures, but I’m never willing to rule anything out. I might say I’ll never write X, and the next thing I know, I’m thinking about writing a story with X in it. My goal is to always push myself and try new things. It keeps writing fresh and interesting to me.
About the Author
Sonia Hartl is the author of the romcom, Heartbreak for Hire, which has been featured in PopSugar, BuzzFeed, Vulture, and Life Savvy, among other publications, as well as the YA novels Not Your #Lovestory, Have a Little Faith in Me, which received a starred review from BookPage and earned nominations for the Georgia Peach Book Award, YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, and ALA’s Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, and The Lost Girls, which is an Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best Young Adult and has gone viral on TikTok with over 900,000 views. When she’s not writing she enjoys board games with her family, attempting to keep her garden alive, or looking up craft projects she’ll never get around to completing on Pinterest. She was the Managing Director for Pitch Wars 2020, and lives in Grand Rapids with her spouse and two daughters.