At Death's Door by Astrid V. Tallaksen

Debut author Astrid V. Tallaksen grew up in North Alabama. She was fortunate to be raised with a heart for stories of creatures and places outside of this world. Her love of reading quickly became a love of writing.

She spent several years creating content and helping writers to improve their craft on the online world of Althanas, a creative writing workshop in the guise of a roleplaying forum.

A self-avowed nerd, Astrid loves science fiction, comic books, and eighties fantasy movies in the vein of The Princess Bride and Labyrinth.

Her geekiness extends to annual volunteer work at the massive sci-fi convention known as Dragon*con every year in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the odd times that she's not immersed in geekdom or writing, Astrid loves to sing karaoke, crochet, and spend time with her family and pets.

The world is a pretty straightforward place. Even for medium Sara Stone things seem pretty simple, aside from the whole talking to spirits bit. But when the spirits get too hard to handle and Sara ends up admitted to a mental hospital, the world starts to seem a lot less straightforward. First her family disappears, including her four year old son. Then she gets the sneaking suspicion that not only are the staff at the mental hospital somehow connected, but they also have no intention of ever letting her leave the hospital.

Everything changes when Sara has her first visitor in three months. Daniel is handsome, friendly, and a complete stranger. When he promises to spring her from the hospital and swears that everything she's experienced is completely real, Sara has no choice but to believe him. But once she reaches a run-down Victorian house in the tiny Alabama town her rescuer calls home, the last thing she expects to discover is that every memory she has is a lie.

Daniel reveals a world filled with angels, demons, and an impending war humans know nothing about. Sara wants to ignore her role in the whole mess – all that matters is solving the mystery of where her son has gone. But the forces of Heaven, Hell, and the Heart have other plans for her. Can she find her child before the world comes crashing down?

Page Foundry

Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
It honestly started out as a writing exercise. I was feeling really distraught that I hadn't written in ages. The prompt I think I started with was “A broken wristwatch and a hug that lasts too long”. There was lots of revision after the fact but that's where it all began. Beyond that though, I love fantasy and paranormal books, but there are SO many out there with werewolves and vampires and elves and dwarves and fairies. But there aren't many with angels (that I've read anyway) so that's where my brain went instead.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
The rough first draft took me about a month. Which is INSANE. But I literally was writing four or five thousand words a day. Of course, the editing and revision process probably took longer than the original writing process. But that's how it goes.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
I'm making something. Creating something where there was nothing. To watch random ideas take shape is something I will never get tired of.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
Not knowing if what I'm writing is worth a crap. Because even when you think it might be amazing, you always turn around and second guess everything you've done.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why? 
Does Tom Hiddleston have a girlfriend? Because I'd totally be her. I would drink that man's bathwater.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
There's a jar of pickles that's over a year old. I should probably throw them out.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future? 
The second book in the Freefall series will be out in March, and then the third will come about six months after that. I'm also at the very very beginning of work on a fantasy series dealing with a girl who's an assassin. There are several other projects I have off on the horizon, but they're so far out I haven't a clue what they'll become, if anything.

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