Hello, my lovelies, and Happy Wednesday!
Welcome to the final post in my FABULOUS AUTHORS interview series. Today you're going to meet lovely L.A. Weatherly - known to her friends as Lee - and get the chance to win her ZOMGAMAZING paranormal romance, Angel. Cue Goodreads synopsis:
Alex is a ruthless assassin - of angels. Forget everything you've heard about them before. Angels are not benign celestial creatures, but fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans, draining them of their vitality until there is barely anything left. As far as Alex is concerned, the only good angel is a dead angel...until he meets Willow.
She may look like a normal teenager but Willow is no ordinary girl. Half-angel, half-human, Willow may hold the key to defeating the evil angels. But as the hunter and the hunted embark on an epic and dangerous journey and Willow learns the dark and terrifying secrets of her past, Alex finds himself drawn to Willow...with devastating consequences.
Eoin Colfer reinvented the fairy, Stephenie Meyer reinvented the vampire, L.A. Weatherly reinvents the angel! This is a heart-pounding, knuckle-whitening, paranormal romance action-adventure for fans of the "Twilight" series. This is the first in a devastating new trilogy.
*Pause while you a) fan yourself or b) wipe the drool from your face*
Angel has been a super-selling smash hit here in the UK, and is poised to repeat its success in US with Candlewick Press (yes, that's my US publisher too! Fangirl squee!) in May.
The book has been re-titled Angel Burn for US release, and has been given this very different, yet equally beautiful cover for its hardback edition, which I'm completely in love with (the colours! The swirly bits!) and have already pre-ordered, because I'm going to be giving one of you guys my UK paperback version and I can't do without it.
I know, I know, any excuse to order pretty US hardbacks through the Book Depository.
On with the interrogation!
First of all - welcome to my blog, Lee! I loved ANGEL to pieces and can't wait to read ANGEL FIRE and find out what happens next (bites nails). We're honoured to have you.
Thank you, I'm honoured to be here! (And I love ANGEL too, so I'm thrilled that you did!)
Question One: When writing ANGEL who or what was the core of the story for you, the element you loved the most or which was most important?
Great question, and one that I haven't been asked before. It was without question the love story between Alex and Willow: the hunter falling in love with his sworn enemy. I enjoyed the paranormal aspects - they gave the story its drive and action-focus - but I would have had no interest in writing Angel without the romance.
Question Two: You've written over thirty books under different pen names and are an industry veteran. What do you think has changed most about publishing since you stared out, and what should aspiring authors keep in mind?
'Industry veteran' makes me feel very...old. ;) Just so you don't think I'm ridiculously prolific, I should point out that over twenty of those titles are relatively short series fiction (Glitterwings Academy and Pocket Cats), and were written in the space of around two years. Child X, my first published book, came out back in 2002 - so I've been around for nearly 10 years now.
I think the main change I've seen in that time is that the market is much, much tougher than it used to be. The bookstores have a lot more power in the industry now, and EPOS means that books don't always get much shelf-time - so even once you're published, it's not necessarily a done deal that your titles will be on the shelves where the public can find them. You really need to get yourself out there and promote the book yourself. I think this is what I'd advise aspiring authors to keep in mind - basically, it's a tough old market, and so if you're going to write for children, you need to do it because you really, really love it. No other reason will be enough to keep you going. (Or will give your stories the spark and passion that you'll need to get published.)
Question Three: What is your writing process like? (ie. Do you type straight onto a laptop or use pen and paper? Where do you normally work? Are you a planner or a pantser?)
My husband leaves for work fairly early, and I always get up when he does so that I can start writing early - around 6.00 am most days, though if I'm alone for any length of time I love to get up at truly ridiculous hours and write in the dead of night. I use pen and paper for notes sometimes (and am quite addicted to buying notebooks!), but never use paper for the actual writing itself, unless the perfect line comes to me and there's no computer to hand - in which case I'm often scribbling on the backs of old envelopes.
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I've become far too attached to writing in bed recently - what can I say? I feel like the sloth of the world, but there's just something lovely and cosy about writing propped up on a pile of pillows! But usually around mid-day I'll shift myself over to my office, which is a converted spare room. I try to write at least 2K words per day; on good days I go for more.
I do LOTS of planning, but what I've found with longer novels is that it doesn't mean a thing. When it comes down to it, the characters are going to do what they want, which is as it should be (they wouldn't be real, living characters otherwise) - all I can do is give them a good action structure to do it in. So I guess I'm a mix. Yes, I do plan, but when the characters start glaring at me, I have to listen and let them do it their way!
Question Four: Can you tell us something - any tiny little intriguing detail - about your next novel ANGEL FIRE, which we are all squeeingly eager to read?
First, can I just say that 'squeeingly' is now my new favourite word, and I plan to use it lots.
I think the main intriguing detail about Angel Fire is that there's a new boy character in it, who I have to say I'm totally in love with. I won't say too much else about him yet - just that Alex might have a teensy bit of competition ahead of him! Angel Fire is probably darker in tone than Angel - the situation with the angels is heating up, and pressure is mounting. The action takes place mostly in Mexico City. (Before you ask, no, I haven't been there - yet! I'll be going later this year to see a lot of the settings for real.)
Question Five: If you had to pick a song to listen to right now, what would it be?
Let's go with a song from the Angel playlist, which was put together by the lovely Anna Howarth at Usborne, and which I absolutely love - it's amazing to have had such a great 'soundtrack' created for the book! How about 'Make Me Wanna Die' by The Pretty Reckless? (If you want to check out the whole playlist, have a look at www.angelfever.com).
THANK YOU LEE!
Now, how tantalizing was that? And *how* excited are you to get hold of a copy of Angel now? Very? Very, very? Very, very, very?
Excellent. Then I shall begin. The giveaway to win a copy of Lee's book has the same rules as the previous FABULOUS AUTHORS giveaways, which I shall now quickly sum up:
- Giveaway open internationally.
- To enter, spread the word somehow, whether on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, whatever.
- Provide a link in the comments.
- If you spread the word in more than one place, put each seperate link in a SEPERATE comment for additional entries.
- No chatting in the comments this time, please - it messes with the random number generator's mojo.
- Giveaway will close next Wednesday and I will pick and announce the winner then.