Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Author Interview and Giveaway–Susan Ee
I was so excited that Susan Ee overlooked my super fangirl-ish email and agreed to answer a few interview questions about Angelfall. As I’m sure you’ve heard me mention every time I get a chance, I thought Angelfall was one of the best books of 2011 and also one of my favorite books of all time! If you haven’t read this, you are seriously missing out, and right now, its just 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can’t beat that!! Also, Susan Ee will be giving one lucky winner an eBook copy of Angelfall! Thanks so much, Susan, for stopping by The Happy Booker today!!
1. As I told you in my email immediately after finishing your novel, Angelfall was one of my favorite reads of 2011. Can you briefly tell my readers about Angelfall?
SE- Angelfall is the story of what happens after angels come and destroy the modern world. Six weeks later, street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
2. I think Angelfall would be appealing to both YA as well as adult readers. Would you consider Angelfall to be YA or Adult fiction?
SE- Good question. There's a debate among the readers about that. Many of the readers are adults who read YA. It seems that most people classify it as mature YA. Just as we humans don't suddenly go from young adult to adult, I think Angelfall is also in that gray area. I'm happy to have it be considered either YA or straight up urban or dark fantasy.
3. I was so impressed by how you handled the matter of religion in Angelfall. Was handling Christian concepts like the apocalypse and archangels without focusing heavily on religion a challenge for you?
SE- Thank you. Because the story is told from Penryn's point of view, handling the religion was fairly straight-forward. She's too busy surviving to focus much on religion unless it has bearing on her or her family's survival.
4. I found Penryn's mother with her struggle with mental illness to be particularly fascinating. Which characters were the most challenging to write and which were the easiest to write?
SE- Raffe was the hardest to write. He's a tough one to get to know. I wrote a lot of pages in his voice from his point of view to try to get to know him better. Penryn was probably the easiest to write. She was pretty open with her thoughts with me.
5. As I said in my review, Raffe is my new fictional crush. Did his character change at all from how you envisioned him when you first began writing the book? What would you say are his strengths and weaknesses?
SE- I'm a huge fan of Raffe. I'm glad I'm not the only one. :) I learned about him as the story unfolded so I hadn't really envisioned him before writing. I'd say he has a few traits that are both strengths and weaknesses. Examples are the bond he feels with his warriors and his determination to get his wings back. Penryn, of course, turns into both a strength and weakness for him as the story progresses.
6. The not quite relationship between Raffe and Penryn was so incredibly well done, with the slow progression from distrust to mutual respect to attraction. He has explained to Penryn why a relationship between them is impossible but... they are going to eventually work it out, right?
SE- Ah, I have my hopes… but I actually have far less control than you might think. I can't really interfere with what the characters do or the decisions they make. I'm just here to tell you what I discover about the story. (I am rooting for a happy ending, though.)
7. Toward the end, Angelfall went in an almost sci-fi direction, will you continue in this direction in subsequent books?
SE- The story will continue to explore Penryn's discoveries in the basement but that'll be closer to dark fantasy/ horror than sci-fi. I'm far more concerned about the story of the characters than I am about what genre the plot falls into, so the genre may drift a bit. Just as I'm fine with people debating whether Angelfall is YA or straight up urban fantasy, I'll be fine with some discussion over whether the stories are tinged with sci-fi or not. So long as the readers are absorbed and entertained with Penryn's story, I'll be happy.
8. What type of research did you do for Angelfall?
SE- I dove into the Book of Enoch, which was one of the discoveries of the Dead Sea scrolls. It talks about the Watchers and their nephilim. Fascinating stuff. I also did some research into fighting techniques through women's' self defense classes, jujitsu books, and consulted with a black belt martial artist. Then, I spent an evening with a weapons collector to figure out what kind of angel sword a petite girl could carry, as well as what types of guns the Resistance would carry. We decided a gladius would be the best sword for Penryn. I got to swing one around and felt the heft and balance of a gladius. It was fun.
9. What books or genre started your love of reading and inspired you to write?
SE- I have a life-long love for science fiction, fantasy and horror.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book?
SE- That my subconscious does all the good writing. :) My primary job as a writer is to get out of the way and carve out the time and space for it to do its job.
Just for fun:
11. If you had to wake up in a world created by another author, which book/world would you choose and why?
SE- I'd love to wake up in Hogwarts. It would just be so much fun. :)
12. What are five songs currently on your playlist?
SE- Music is so atmospheric. But I need a clean slate to be a conduit for the story. I need to be open to the mood that's happening in the story itself and don't want to impose one on any given moment. So unlike a lot of writers, I don't listen to music while I work.
13. If Penryn was to write a Christmas list, what would be on it?
SE- Chocolate for Paige. Pills to soothe Mom. Snowy wings for Raffe. A hidden stash of food, enough for her whole family. Really comfy hiking socks. A long, hot shower. A moment of peace with Raffe.
Last but not least:
14. What can we expect to see from you in 2012 (Please say a sequel!!)
SE- Yes, a sequel! :)
Thank you so much for having me on The Happy Booker!
Thanks Susan!! You can connect with Susan and find out more about Angelfall on her blog - http://susanee.com/, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
Buy a copy of Angelfall for just 99 cents at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!
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