Wednesday, March 9, 2011
ETA: Contest is closed and winner notified.
Today I would like to welcome the lovely and funny Gwen Hayes to the blog. She was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions, though I tried to spare her from all my needy demands for WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NEXT BOOK?!?! ::clears throat:: I'm mature like that.
Anyway, read on for the interview with Gwen Hayes and a chance to win a copy of Falling Under, which I reviewed here, thanks to her lovely publisher.
1. Are there going to be more books after Falling Under, and if so, how many?
I’m getting ready to turn in book 2 this right now!
2. “Madame Varnie” is one of my new favorite characters of the year. Where did you come up with the inspiration for this very layered and awesome character? Are we going to find out more about Varnie in the future?
Amelia is so special that she needed someone extraordinary to fall for her. Varnie certainly is off-center from normal. He is in book 2—whether or not he gets what he wants is something you’ll have to read to find out.
3. I loved the secondary characters in this book, especially Theia’s group of friends. They each had such vivid personalities and their bonds were so strong and real. Were their personalities and relationships something you’d always envisioned or did they develop more organically?
The friendships were one of my favorite surprises when writing this book. I loved how different the girls were from each other but it still worked. When I set out to write a book, everything happens organically. I don’t know anything until the character finds out most of the time. It’s fun—but a stressful way to write.
4. Who was the easiest character to write?
Haden. For some reason, I know him very well.
5. Who was the hardest?
THEIA. Oh my God. She’s still difficult. She refuses to listen to reason. I think part of the problem is that she struggles so hard to be something she’s not, so sometimes she does things so out of character—but not really—that I just have to shrug and go along with it. There were times I tried to persuade Haden to go for Amelia instead, believe me. (Queen B says: While I adore Amelia, I'm glad Haden didn't listen to you :P)
6. Haden is a very intense guy. Did he ever surprise you with his intensity?
I adore Haden. That said, I would never have dated him myself…but he’s been a dream to write. I love getting to dig in to his angst and splatter it on page.
7. Theia goes through a pretty hard time while coming into her own in the last half or so of the story, did the story ever take turns that you weren’t expecting? Was it ever hard to write?
I really never know what is going to happen, so everything is a big *surprise*. It was hard to write some of the things she did—I really didn’t like the lengths she went to for love sometimes. She’s not exactly a feminist. (Queen B says: There is something to be said for going after what you want, though :D)
8. Haden’s mom is a pretty scary person. Will we be seeing more of her?
9. Will we learn more about Haden’s dad?
The absence of Haden’s father and Theia’s mother drive the characters in so many ways. I feel bad for Haden, but no….his father’s legacy to Haden is that he isn’t there.
10. This is my first time interviewing a YA author and I’m very curious about the genre. How much sexual content and darker subject matter is allowable in YA? Also, given the nature of who and what Haden and Theia are, will there be sex at some point?
The genre doesn’t dictate the subject matter in this case. What’s allowable is what works in the story, I think. But, when you put sex and drugs or what have you in a YA, you have to know you are going to alienate a big chunk of your audience—so it’s a fine line. We all know some teens have sex. Some swear. Some drink or smoke or do drugs—and I’m not writing public service announcements, I’m writing about teenagers. Some books broach those subjects better than others.
As for my books, I tend to write very evocative, romantic scenes, but at this point in my career—at least with the characters I’ve worked with so far—if they have sex, it won’t be on the page.
11. Are we going to see more of the relationship between Theia and her father?
Yes and no. Ha! Don’t you hate that? I don’t want to give too much away. (Queen B says: Yes. Yes I do hate that. LOL)
12. What was the inspiration for some of the more colorful and macabre settings and characters?
I think I channeled a little bit of Tim Burton when I was writing the scenes in Under. Wouldn’t that be cool if he did the movie? (Queen B says: That would be squeetastic!)
13. Can you give us any hints for any upcoming books?
Darkness had a taste of Theia…and it comes back for more. (Queen B says: Yeah, you're not a tease or anything. I can't complain though, I like it too much :P)
I want to thank Gwen for answering my questions and for being such a delightful tease today. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book ::rubs said hands together in anticipation::
Now on to the giveaway!!! Thanks to the publisher I have one copy of Falling Under for a lucky commenter. To enter you must leave a comment on this post and be sure to leave your email address in the comment. One entry per person. Open to US and Canada only. Giveaway ends Monday March 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm PST. I will announce the winner on Tuesday the 15th. Winner will have until Thursday the 17th to respond or I will redraw.
Good luck and happy reading!!