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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ten Tantalizing Questions for Leah Clifford, Author of A Touch Mortal!

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Leah Clifford, author of A Touch Mortal which releases March 1, 2011. Leah stopped by today to talk about the book- check out our interview where we discussed death, angels, writing for teens and much more. See below for details on how you can win a SIGNED copy of the book. Let's get started!

Leah Clifford has been an extreme-cave-tour guide, a camp counselor, a flight attendant, a pizza delivery girl, a waitress, and a grocery store clerk. Now she adds author to that list. She lives near Cleveland, Ohio. This is her first book. Official Website of Leah Clifford

1.  A Touch Mortal, is a story about Eden a girl who gave her heart to a Fallen angel and now finds herself caught in the struggle between heaven and hell. Can you tell us a little more about the book and share with us a favorite line, scene or passage?
The story of Eden and Az is pretty complicated.  I mean, he finally finds a girl he loves that he can be with and in trying to protect her, betrays her big time.  Eden meanwhile, is struggling to come to terms with her new (un)life, and powers she didn't ask for and doesn't understand.  Worse, it turnsout being dead doesn't keep her safe from the Fallen after all. 

Since you started off with the Eden and Az aspect, I'll go with that for a snippet! 

The blond one was in a dark green polo, the color setting off his hazel eyes.  With the short sleeves and his tattered-to-be-trendy jeans he had to have been freezing.  Suffering just to pander to underage cheerleaders.  Clearly a winner, she thought, and then second guessed herself.  Something about him set her gaydar screaming.  Lover’s stroll? She eyed the other one.  Brown curls, dark sweater, paired with cargo pants.  Be gay.  Be gay and keep walking.  He noticed her giving him the once over and smiled in a way no gay boy in history had ever smiled at a girl.  She shifted her eyes back to the water, but they stopped next to her.  Perfect. 
When she turned toward them, the one who had smiled at her brushed his hair back from his face. 

“Your eyes are blue, like the ocean.”  She raised an eyebrow in annoyance, unable to believe he went with a line so pathetic.  Slightly behind him, the other’s mouth cocked an apologetic half smile.  At least he knew his friend was an idiot.  “I think I'm lost at sea,” Lover boy continued, his voice sincere.  A snort of laughter burst from somewhere between her throat and nose.

 “You can’t be serious.”  She stood, brushing the sand from her black leggings. 

“Damn. Gabriel, did you hear that?  That was the sound of my heart shattering.”  His face twisted in mock pain as he gripped divots into the sweater.  Next to him, Gabriel rolled his eyes. 

“Come on, Az.” 

“Fuck off,” Eden enunciated each word, trying not to sound as amused as she was.  “The water’s not even blue, jackass.” 

            She turned toward the stairs to the Boardwalk and the guy grabbed her arm.  Even through the material of her thermal top his fingers were frigid.  He offered up another smile and shrugged.  “Storm-tossed seemed a bit cliché.”

2.        What three words would you say best describe A Touch Mortal?

 Dark twisty treachery!

3.        There seems to be an ever increasing demand for books centering on angel themes in Young Adult Fiction. As a writer, why do you think this genre is so appealing to so many readers right now?

 Oh gosh there are so many ways to answer this question. I mean, there's the theory of the impending nervousness about 2012 and the world ending and such.  My theory though?  Paranormal elements in books, like werewolves and vampires and fallen angels are fun because the mortal characters who know about them are special, and as a reader, it makes us feel special too, knowing their secrets, even if only through the written word.  But most people believe werewolves and vampires don't exist in the real world.  "It's just a book."  It IS however, socially acceptable, because of religion, to believe in angels.  And if it's acceptable to believe in angels, well, then it's acceptable to believe in fallen angels, and everyone knows all fallen angels are hot bad boys! They're like, ALLLLMMOOSSST obtainable! ;)

4.        What do you love most about the main characters of A Touch Mortal? 

They're loyalty to each other.  They try so hard to do what they think is the right thing, and they don't always have the same ideas of what the 'right thing' is.  

5.        If A Touch Mortal was to be made into a movie, do you have certain actors you envision in the lead roles of Eden and Az, or do you think unknowns would be best suited to play them?

  Oddly enough, I don't have actors picked out for Eden and Az.  There is a model who looks VERY much like Gabriel, and I have someone in mind for Kristen and Libby, acting-wise. 

6.        If you had to pick a theme song for Eden which one would you pick and why?

Glittering Cloud by Imogen Heap has always been one of Eden's two theme songs.  In A Touch Mortal, there is a confrontation scene the morning after they go to a rave.  That scene is there because of lyrics to this song!  The whole feel of the song, being out of control, and mentions of domino motions started by touch (Touch).  It's just too perfect. Plus, I freaking love Imogen.

7.        What were you like as a teenager and did you have any books in particular that were your favorites? If your teenage self was to read A Touch Mortal, what do you think she’d say?

Oh god, me as a teenager...I just never really had a group that I clearly fit into.  I wasn't goth enough to be Goth, I didn't play sports or do any clubs, I wasn't in band, I hung out with the burnouts, but didn't do enough of that kind of thing to actually BE one of them.  I was a fringe girl, always on the outside edge of everything, and never fully a part of any of it.  But books were different.  I could get lost in books.  I read so many, constantly.  Everything I could get my hands on.  I loved anything by Anne Rice or Stephen King, or anything scary that seemed like it COULD happen.  I had someone describe A Touch Mortal as a contemporary novel with some fantasy in it.  I've always wondered about the worlds we don't know about.  To me, growing up, books were an escape from life, so I really want to make my books with worlds that seem real enough to BE real somewhere we just don't know about.

8.        If you could inhabit the life of one literary character (your own included) and dive into their world for just one day, who would you choose and why? 

 I've spent so long staring at this question! lol There are just SO many possibilities! Okay, I'm gonna force myself to choose.  I'm gonna go with Emily Black from I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert. Emily's a rockstar, literally, and she's rough and unapologetic and a bad ass lead singer.  

9.        What would you say is the best advice you’ve been given as an author?

When stuck, "Have something come through the window."

10.     A Touch Mortal, your debut YA novel releases in February 2011. What can we look forward to from you next? Any new series or other upcoming projects in the works?

I'm just finishing up book 2 in the trilogy, so that will be the next project out.  There are some old and some new points of view and it picks up just a few weeks after A Touch Mortal ends.  Other than that, I have a few ideas playing around in my brainparts.  One of them involved going to a 30 Seconds to Mars concert as research...but I never know what will pan out, and I can't write on them until I finish book 3.  They are QUITE shiny though!

ing in on the third book as soon as that’s wrapped up. So I have a lot of projects in the pipeline!


1 SIGNED copy of 

A Touch Mortal

Eden didn't expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.

And that's only the beginning of the end.

Official Rules:
1.You must be 13 year or older to enter.
2. Open to entrants with a valid U.S. mailing address only. 
3. Entries must be received by Midnight EST on February 28th 2011
4.To enter to win, simply fill out the form below. Good luck!  


Margay said...

Love stories like this.

donnas said...

Congrats on the release. Looking forward to reading it. Sounds great.

Vivien said...

How do you pick your characters names? Can't wait to read this novel. Sounds interesting.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great questions. She sounds like a very interesting gal.

Jessica said...

Ahhh Leah! I've heard so many good things about A Touch Mortal. I hear Az is quite the drop dead gorgeous man as well :). Loved your answers! Thanks for sharing!

AliciaNicole said...

Hi Leah!
I was wondering, how did you come up with the idea for "A Touch Mortal"?
Thanks for stopping by.

Tina said...

Thanks for the snippet, you have my interest. I'll be checking this book out.

Julie S said...

This book sounds really good. I think it's neat when authors plan a trilogy up front so everything reads seamlessly.

marian said...

dying to read this book!!

Juana said...

Your book sounds like a keeper. I will purchase it on my next book shopping spree.


Pamk said...

sounda like an interesting read. Love books I can share with my son. He loves to read and then he gets to share with this girls in his class so for him its a double pleasure lol.

Wrighty said...

I've seen this book several places and I can't wait to read it! I'm so glad to hear it's a trilogy too. It's sound like a great debut. Best of luck!

latishajean said...

I wanted to read this book right away when I heard about it! It sounds so good and thank you for this great giveaway!

linaramz said...

I've been looking forward to reading this and it's already on my wishlist! It sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win!

clenna said...

I don't normally read this style of book but this one is pulling at me. I gotta read it!

clenna at aol dot com

Alice said...

great interview! i cant wait to read this book! thanks for the great giveaway :D

Kristina said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book! I can't wait

minhchieu said...

heard about this book alot! did you always want to be a writer?

minhchieu said...

i've heard alot about this book and seems great! have you always wanted to be a writer?

aanchal said...

I love books like these it is definitely on my wish list

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

I've heard great things about this book and it's at the top of my wishlist, can't wait to read it!!



Minas said...

Great interview! I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I love the cover, can't wait to read it!