There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes. ~William Makepeace Thackeray
NIGHTSHADE(October 19, 2010, Philomel)
While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.
1.Nightshade is a story about Calla Tor, a born warrior and alpha female of a new generation of Guardian wolves. Can you tell us a little more about the book, and perhaps share a teaser with us?
Nightshade is Calla's story and she was the inspiration for the book. I tend to write from characters and Calla was floating around in my head for a week or two before I started putting her story onto the page. I knew she was a girl who was also a wolf. I knew she was strong, but also in serious trouble. I couldn't figure out how someone so powerful could be in that sort of a fix. That's where Nightshade's world emerged, it was all about building a history and society that explained Calla's predicament.
2. What three words best describe your novel?
Seductive, exciting, addictive
3. What do you love most about the main characters of Nightshade?
I love that they’re all individuals with strengths and flaws. They are loyal to each other, but they make mistakes too. Their quirks and unique interests always keep me on my toes when I’m writing.
4. Do you remember the first words you ever wrote for Nightshade, and are they still in the novel today?
Oh! That’s a great question. I don’t know if I remember the first words, but the first scene I wrote was between Ren and Calla at a club. That scene is still in the book and it’s still one of my favorites.
5. Do you have anything in common with Calla’s character? Do you ever base your characters on people in you life?
Calla and I both love coffee and have the same favorite book, but otherwise we’re very different. I generally don’t base my characters on real people – the characters are real enough on their own. The only exception is that I loosely based Calla’s brother Ansel, on my own little brother. But Ansel is still definitely his own person too.
6. If Nightshade was to be made into a movie, do you have certain actors you envision for the lead roles or do you think unknowns would be best suited to play them?
It’s tough – I think Ben Barnes would be a good Ren and Max Irons looks like I’ve always envisioned Shay. Calla is the hardest to pick – the closest I’ve come is Dianna Agron.
7. If you could inhabit the life of one literary character and dive into their world for just one day, who would you choose and why?
I’d love to be Isabel from the Mortal Instruments series. That world is fantastic and I love her whip and clothes!
8. What were you like when you were in high school? If your teenage self was to read Nightshade now, what do you think she’d say?
I was a drama geek, friendly and pretty happy, but a little insecure. I do think my teenage self would have loved Nightshade, which makes me smile. It’s the kind of book I’ve always been drawn to – which is probably why I wrote it!
9. As a writer, why do you think the genre of paranormal fiction appeals to so many people? What do you think separates your novel from other offerings available in the market?
I think paranormal fiction is appealing because it let a reader experience mystical and magical worlds without completely leaving our own – it expands the realm of the possible. What I think is different about Nightshade is that all the characters are central to the story. Though it’s Calla’s journey, it’s also the story of her pack and the way all of their fates are intertwined.
10.Can you give us any insider scoop on Wolfsbane, the second book in the series? Any upcoming projects or new series in the works?
I can’t give away the plot of Wolfsbane without spoilers – and I have a strict no spoilers rule. Sorry! I can say that readers will learn a lot more about Calla’s world and the Witches’ War. After Wolfsbane, which will be published in summer 2011, comes the third book in the trilogy, Bloodrose (summer 2012) and then a prequel – no title yet - about the origins of the Witches’ War (fall 2012).
Andrea Cremer spent her childhood daydreaming while roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin. She now lives in Minnesota, but she thinks of her homeland as the “Canadian Shield” rather than the Midwest.
Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional writing. When she’s not writing, Andrea teaches history at a very nice liberal arts college in St. Paul.
In the little spare time she can find, Andrea stares up at trees, rescues infant rabbits from predatory cats, and invents names for pug puppies with her husband. She has an unfortunate tendency to spill things – white carpets beware!
Her debut novel, NIGHTSHADE, the first of a YA fantasy series, will be published in fall 2010 by Penguin (Philomel).
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