A.D. Vancise grew up in a small Canadian farming town. She has one (now all grown up) daughter, three dogs, and two cats. She enjoys working out, volleyball, gardening, all kinds of music, books—many, many books—and, of course, writing.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
I wish I had a fantastic story behind the title but it’s rather boring, truly. I was searching through a title generator for a short story that I’d written when it spit out Hidden In the Shadows. I jotted it down, thinking that maybe it might be a great title for something someday. I love reading or writing mystery/horror/thriller stories and figured that it might come in handy. Turns out I was right.
How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?
Both are a mix of feelings (surreal, exciting, numbing, unbelievable, and nerve-wracking, to name a few) that I hope never go away with each book I write. It truly is an incredible feeling. The moment I was sent the cover, my body encased itself in goosebumps, both for the haunting image (and reflection) and for the fact that the creative team nailed the book’s essence on that cover. Holding it? There isn’t an emotion that can quite nail that one down. Perhaps it could be compared to holding your child for the first time, like “Is this really mine?”
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
Hmmm. Yes, there was a particular person but not who you might expect. I knew I wanted to write from the first time I held a book in my hands but told no one of my desire. Pretty funny when you think about it. I stayed hidden in the shadows.
I’d secretly take courses and write short stories or poems. I stopped that and reading books as both only fuelled my fire. I felt embarrassed by it. I thought, who am I to write? I thought my family and friends would think I was crazy, so I buried it deep within and tried to forget about it until my brother died. At age 48 (eleven years ago this October), he was gone, just like that! His death had me longing to write again. It made me realize I didn’t want to die without living my dream. He constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone while alive. Turns out he continued after he passed.
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
Giving a voice to those who have none. When I started on the journey of Hidden In the Shadows, I had yet to learn where I was taking the story. The photo is real. It belonged to my grandfather, who, just like Evie’s grandfather, never wanted to talk about it. It was from his very first case as a police officer. The secret of what really happened died with him in September of 1991. I would look deep into the photo to try and find the answers but to no avail. I tried researching to find any information I could, but that only took me down an entirely different path and into the tears of survivors. The killer scenes are based on actual testimonials from those survivors. After reading the dreadful comments, I knew I had to let them know that someone heard them, someone believed them. Out of that came my story.
How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?
Working with Atmosphere Press has been the most incredible experience. I felt heard and fully supported every step of the way. And even after my book was published, all of that continued (like Cameron reaching out for this interview, for instance). My questions were continually met in a professional, caring manner, and the encouragement for my book gave me the strength to put it out there. I would tell other writers not to hesitate to pitch their manuscripts to Atmosphere Press. I can’t thank you enough!