The time it was about Pitch Dark

Posted February 18, 2018 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 3 Comments

I really enjoyed Shutter by Courtney Alameda and she’s delightful in person, so when I saw the sign up for the blog tour of her new book, Pitch Dark, I couldn’t wait.

Before we get to the interview, let’s check out the book!

Author: Courtney Alameda
Pub. Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 384
Find it: Macmillan | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter.

Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space.

Laura belongs to a shipraiding family, who are funded by a group used to getting what they want. And they want what’s on the Muir.

Tuck and Laura didn’t bargain on working together or battling mutant aliens who use sound to kill. But their plan is the only hope for their crews, their families, and themselves.

In space, nobody can hear you scream . . . but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you’ll hear.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for Pitch Dark.

PITCH DARK is what would happen if Lara Croft and Indiana Jones took on the Alien—it’s about two teens who are forced to work together to save their starships, their families, and themselves in the face of an unrelenting enemy.

2. Which came first: the world or the characters?

The characters always come first for me. I saw Laura walking into the pitch darkness of a busted ship long before I knew what the novel even wanted to be. In general, I start with the human element of a novel, and let the world develop itself around it naturally. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me.

3. Why do you love Tuck and Laura and why should we root for them?

Laura and Tuck are both loosely based on my favorite tomb-raiding characters from video games: Lara Croft and Nathan Drake. For those of you who aren’t gamers, you should know that Lara Croft was originally Latina archeologist Laura Cruz, and her name and background were changed in the 90s by TOMB RAIDER’s original publisher, Eidos. (It’s true! Here’s an article on the history of Lara Croft!)

Since I never got my awesome, butt-kicking Latina heroine in the games I loved as a kid, I decided I could go adventuring with her in one of my books. I adore Laura—she is bold, intelligent, and fiercely loyal to her family. She is, however, independent to a fault and not always willing to lean on others for help (even when she needs it!), which helps lead to the novel’s main conflict. I particularly loved writing her because she has a precise, descriptive eye and a big heart.

Tuck, on the other hand, takes more of the spirit of other male tomb raiders, rather than their names. He is the cocky, self-assured adventurer we’ve all come to know and love . . . and yet he’s not. After what he has endured upon the USS John Muir, Tuck has come to use his brazen, devil-may-care attitude to mask from the depression he’s suffering from (both from the world and from the reader). Most of us wouldn’t be happy if we woke up in deep space with no hope of rescue on a ship full of monsters. Tuck’s no different.

4. What was the weirdest thing you googled while researching?

I Google a lot of strange things while writing PITCH DARK, but trypophobia was probably the most bizarre. Trypophobia is a pop-culture psychology term for a fear of objects with small holes in them (think honeycomb, lotus seed-heads, and some types of coral formations). At the time, I was researching human skin conditions that I could use as interesting textures for a monster I was describing, and stumbled upon the infamous “trypophobia hand,” which was created by YouTuber QUEENKINGSFX.

Gross, right? So of course, being a horror author, I covered a creature in this stuff.

And then I put tiny tentacles in the holes. Because eww.

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

The best action sequence I’ve ever written (at least to date) is in this book: at one point, a horde of monsters chases Laura and Tuck into a large tram station aboard the USS John Muir. The two teens split up to try and outwit their foes . . . and of course, something goes horribly wrong.

Despite the fact that it took me multiple drafts and hours upon hours to get it right, I’m quite proud of the scene as a whole.

Speed {ish} round:

1. You find out that you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

Surreal. I think I was sitting in my office at Barnes & Noble when I got The Call. I told my boss I was going home early and sat in my car for an hour with all THE FEELS.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

A hatchet, flint, and EMT-grade first aid kit. I write horror, which means survival is priority number one.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics series. It basically never ends. (I know, I’m cheating.)

4. What book character would you want to date and who would you want to be your BFF?

Can I have two book BFFs instead? I’d definitely pick Harry Crewe from Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword, and Kamala Khan from G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

There will be days you want to quit your job, just like anyone does. Write anyway!

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently?

I’m less Bella and more Buffy—I’d team up with the Cullens and fight paranormal bad guys in style.


A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novels include the science fiction/horror mashup, PITCH DARK (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends 2018), and SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, an urban fantasy set in Japan. (Co-authored with Valynne Maetani. HarperTeen 2018).

Courtney holds a degree in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five-pound cat with a giant personality. Member HWA, SFWA, SCBWI; and SDCC Creative Professional.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads


Huge thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for the invite and to Courtney for taking the time.  Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for all sorts of goodies and keep scrolling for a giveaway!

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