Friday, May 25, 2012

Interview with Alyson Noel, author of the Immortals series and Fated

Today I have a great interview with Alyson Noel, the author of The Immortals series, and her newest release, Fated. Here's more about that:

The first book in a magnificent new series about a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël.

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before...but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.

It definitely sounds awesome! It's next on my reading list after I finish a different book for a tour. That review will be up on June 1st.

Want to know more about the author? Well you're in luck!

How did you come up with the idea for Fated?

The inspiration for FATED grew directly out of the research I did for THE IMMORTALS series. I’m really big on research—I like to make my fantasy worlds as grounded in the truth as I possibly can. So after reading a ton of metaphysical books, taking a three-day psychic development class with world renowned medium James Van Praagh, and undergoing several sessions of past-life hypnosis, I was struck by how often mentions of Shamanism appeared. It wasn’t long before I became so intrigued by the concept, I knew it was the next idea I wanted to write about, and thus the idea for THE SOUL SEEKERS was born!

How different is this series from your Immortals books?

Whereas THE IMMORTALS was set in glitzy, sun-drenched Laguna Beach, CA, THE SOUL SEEKERS is set in the dark, mysterious, fictional town of Enchantment, New Mexico—a place brimming with magick, mysticism, and vortexes that link the spirit worlds between the living and dead. THE SOUL SEEKERS also deals with a whole new mythology that includes themes of Shamanism and Native American lore.And the protagonist, Daire Santos, is a very different narrator from THE IMMORTAL’s Ever Bloom. Raised by a single mother who works as a Hollywood make-up artist, Daire has spent her entire life surrounded by celebrities, moving from movie-set to movie-set. It’s a life that seems glamorous on the surface, and there’s no doubt it’s made her very self-assured and fiercely independent, but it’s also left her terribly lonely and longing for stability.  It’s only when she moves to Enchantment, to live with the grandmother she’s never met, that she learns the true value of home, family, and her true destiny as a Seeker. But in order to succeed, she’ll have to undergo a brutal initiation and allow herself to become vulnerable in ways she always sought to avoid . . .What the two series do have in common is plenty of magick, mystery, suspense, and a smokin’ hot romance!

Was it difficult starting a new series after so many books in the Immortals series?

I always say that my favorite book (of my own) is the next one I’m scheduled to write! There’s something so irresistible about a shiny new idea that’s yet to be explored. So as much as I missed spending time with Ever and Damen, I was equally eager to create the brand new world of THE SOUL SEEKERSand its whole new cast of characters!

What was the hardest part about writing Fated?

The hardest part about writing any book is the attempt to translate the movie I see in my head into words that live on the page.

How much freedom as an author do you have over the presentation of your book?

I feel really fortunate to work with such an amazing team at St. Martin’s Press—I’ve been with them for my entire career. From my debut novel in 2005—FAKING 19—to my 18th novel in 2012—FATED—they’ve given me loads of input on covers, trailers, format, marketing, etc. They are truly the best!

Was there any research involved with writing Fated?

Research is my favorite part of the process, and as far as I’m concerned, the more hands-on, the better! Since I knew from the start that I wanted the series to take place in New Mexico, I traveled to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, and numerous small towns in between, to soak up the atmosphere, eat lots of blue corn pancakes (!), and interview local teens and Native Americans about what it’s like to grow up both in town and on the reservation. In addition, I read a lot of books on Shamanism, Native American lore, took a three-day “Introduction to Shamanism” class, and had a private session with a Shamanic healer. I try to learn as much as I can about the world I’m creating, so I know how to tweak it to fit the world of the story I’m telling.

What are you working on right now?

I just finished writing ECHO, book 2 in THE SOUL SEEKERS series (in stores 11.13.12), and have started writing MYSTIC, book 3, (Spring 2013). The series will conclude with HORIZON in Fall 2013 . . . then I’ll dig through my “idea file” and see what comes next!

Love triangle or one true love?

One true love that is only realized after undergoing a daunting series of trials, tribulations, challenges, and risks—where nagging doubts, and the siren song of temptation lurk at every corner . . . Only when those obstacles are properly overcome and the lovers have proved themselves worthy, should they be allowed their Happy Ever After!

Thanks for the interview!

Thanks so much for the great answers Alyson! I definitely learned something. I've actually met her a couple times (and the OC isn't that far from me), and she's very sweet.

What did you guys think of the interview? Is Fated on your summer reading list? Let me know in the comments!

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