Yep, it's another contest!
Claudia Gray is the fabulous author of the Evernight series. Here's what she had to say about Personal Demons:
—“Personal Demons is as scary—and sexy—a book as I’ve read in a long time.”
Back when she interviewed me on her blog, she asked if I'd like to do an ARC giveaway for Afterlife, the fourth book in the Evernight series! I'm like, ARE YOU SERIOUS! (See! I'm always thinking of you guys!) So, I have a signed ARC of this amazing book, which doesn't release until March, and here's your chance to win it AND a signed copy of Personal Demons.
Claudia was nice enough to answer a few questions for us. Here they are:
Most people focused very strongly on the lies characters told each other --- because a loooooot of lying goes on at Evernight Academy, particularly in the first couple of books. Bianca, , the Oliviers, Mrs. Bethany: All of them have secrets they keep for different reasons -- some of them excellent -- but it still clouds their relationships. Others looked at people who feel guilty, like Raquel or especially Balthazar. I was really surprised to see how much readers had picked up on some very brief mentions in the books to get a really deep grasp of what even incidental characters were feeling.
One of the things I enjoy most about your writing is your vivid description of settings. Do you physically map out places such as the Evernight Academy?
I had to, to some extent! Though to this day, I get confused as to whether the north tower is the girls' dorm and the south tower the boys', or vice versa. (I have it written down to check; I could never, ever just remember.) The geography of the school really is critical to a lot of the story, so I had to work a few things out. That said, I left myself a few "gray areas" to fill in later as needed; you never know what might come up.
Right from book one in the there are some great, and very unexpected, plot twists. Did you always know where the series was going, or has it evolved in the writing?
I'm a big outliner, so yes, I knew pretty much where the series was going from the start. That said, it's evolved too; knowing some big events that are going to happen isn't the same as knowing how the characters will react to that. It's a little like taking a road trip; you may make some unexpected detours, take the scenic route or go see some stuff you hadn't planned to see on the way, but you know your destination. (At least, that's how I work with my outlines.)
In your interview with me, you asked about Frannie’s parents. I’m going to turn the question back on you. It’s refreshing that Bianca’s parents are so involved, but they have some major secrets in the beginning of the series. How does this affect their relationship with Bianca?
I really had fun with Bianca's parents, because while they are in some ways a very typical, if especially loving and close, Mom and Dad: They want the best for their little girl, dote on her, push her toward what they think will help her, and so on. And yet I wanted to make it clear they had a very different set of expectations than most parents. I mean, yes, right, they want her to be a vampire -- that's different! But in terms of what that would mean, long-term, the Oliviers expect to have a relationship with their daughter as adults and equals for the next few centuries. So there's a closeness there, and yet higher expectations. And those expectations mean that they keep secrets. In order for their dreams to come true (and, honestly, what they think Bianca needs most), they need her to look at only one option for her future. When it comes to being dishonest, in the Olivier family, it definitely works both ways. They love each other so much, which is why they lie -- it's a tangle. A tangle I enjoy.
We’re all chomping at the bit for Afterlife, and one lucky blog reader will be receiving it. Without giving anything away, can you tell us if it’s the same cast of characters? Is there anyone new you want to introduce us to?
It's almost entirely the same set of characters, though a few wraiths who have had only small roles so far (like Maxie and Christopher) come much more into the story. There's one new character in a smaller role, a human girl named Skye, who really has no idea what she's getting into. She actually comes into the story by being a friend of Lucas', not Bianca's, though she has no connection to Black Cross. So there's a little of Bianca's reaction to Lucas having a girl friend (as opposed to a girlfriend). But obviously -- given the end of HOURGLASS -- those two have much bigger issues to deal with.
Thanks for taking the time to fill us in, Claudia!
So, the contest:
To enter, you must be a follower here on the blog and comment below by midnight Monday, November 15th. You get an additional entry if you follow me on Twitter (@LisaDez) as well. One entry per person, please.
And, for those of you in Chicago, I'll be signing this afternoon from 4-6 at the Borders at 755 West North St. Come hang out with me!
Good luck! =)