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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fab Five Questions with Judith Graves, Author of Under My Skin

All her parents wanted was for Eryn to live a normal life...

Redgrave had its share of monsters before Eryn moved to town. Mauled pets, missing children. The Delacroix family is taking the blame, but Eryn knows the truth. Something stalks the night. Wade, the police chief's son and Redgrave High's resident hottie, warns her the Delacroix are dangerous. But then so is Eryn--in fact, she's lethal.

But she can't help falling for one of the Delacroix boys, dark, brooding--human Alec. And then her world falls apart.

A normal life? Now that's the real fairytale.

Under My Skin is about Eryn, a teenage girl dealing with not only the shock of missing parents, but a town full of things that go bump in the night. Can you tell us a little bit more about the book and give us a favorite line, scene or passage?

Well, it’s not your typical teen angst novel. ‘Cause Eryn isn’t your typical emo kid. She’s troubled, sure, with a messed up home life. And, yeah, she used to cut herself. But not because she was depressed or wanted attention. Eryn discovered blood. Warm. Alive. For a while she gave into its pull. Cutting was a release for the beast waiting under her skin. But she has that under control; she’s reined in her wolven side. Or so she thinks. When her parents disappear and are likely dead, Eryn has to find new ways to cope with the increasing strength of her wolven half. She doesn’t have access to the drug her father had been feeding her since birth—the only thing that stifled her abilities. To top it off, all this has made her dangerously unpredictable—–even to herself. Eryn is beginning the change—but thanks to her father’s chemical manipulations—she’s doesn’t know for sure what she’s changing into. Not exactly the best time to strike up a friendship with a crew of teen hunters tracking her kind…no matter how hot their tall, dark, and dead-wrong-for-her leader, Alec Delacroix, might be.

I do have a favourite line, I made it the tagline for the whole series: A normal life? Now that’s the real fairytale. My favourite scene is with Eryn and a werewolf in the Polly’s Pet Emporium…and all the bunny blood.

Under My Skin introduces a new supernatural world which includes werewolves, whose appearance and lives are explained through some interesting folk lore. With so many novels on the market with paranormal themes, what do you think separates your novel from the rest?

Good to hear you think the lore is interesting. ;) In UMS there are werewolves (soulless beasts acting on the will of their master), and wolven (humans with the ability to shapeshift into human form – although it’s often more like wolves who assume human form when it suits them). These are opposites in many ways, one is a pawn and the other has free will. Yet both can be destroyed with silver and are at their strongest on the full moon.

UMS is unusual in that Eryn, the main character, is the female lead role, and SHE’S the paranormal creature who just might take a bite out of anyone who gets too close. Eryn is a strong character, yet she’s fragile as well. She has love interests, sure, but she’s more than the girlfriend – she’s the hero.

What three words best describe Under My Skin?

Temptation. Blood. Hunger.

Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced to publish Under My Skin? Is there anything about the process that you would do differently, knowing what you do now?

UMS is the first book I wrote. It was my etcha-sketch, learning bit of fiction. I re-wrote the novel seven times, and I understood more about the craft of writing with each draft. I fleshed out two more books in the series during those re-writes, rounding the series out to three stories.

I could have given up on UMS and moved on to other tales, but I loved the characters and was determined to get the plot / motivations just right. I still have tons to learn and am amazed at some of the fabulous debut novels out there. Being a member of the Class of 2k10 (www.classof2k10.com), I’ve discovered the debut author experience is different for everyone. Some authors wrote several books before getting published. Some landed a contract with their first (and with little revision).

I don’t think I’d do anything differently. The process of writing, rewriting, hacking, slashing, crying, bitching, and starting over again the next morning was necessary.
I guess what I’m saying is….if you want to write – you will. If the story is meant to be told – you’ll find your voice and tell it.

When Eryn moves to Redgrave, she quickly learns it's a town full of its share of monsters. If you had to pick one type of supernatural creature to be for a day, which one would you pick and why?

I’d love to be any creature that can fly….a sprite, one of the fey, whatever. I hate planes, but perhaps if I had control and could soar under my own power – I’d never come down from the sky.

Thanks for having me, Kim!
by Judith Graves

Under My Skin (Leap Books (March 5, 2010))
Second Skin (Leap Books 2011)

Learn more about Judith Graves
Official Website

Residing in a northern Alberta community, similar to the fictional town of Redgrave, where Under My Skin is set - Judith unhappily endures snow in the winter, and runs away from bees in the summer.

A firm believer that Canadian teen fiction can be sexy, action packed and snarky as hell - Judith writes paranormal stories with attitude.


Leona said...

Nice interview :) I'm looking forward to getting a copy.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This sounds great. Awesome interview.

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