Dark Faerie Tales is extremely excited to bring you today’s interview with Gena Showalter. The first book in her Lords of the Underworld spin-off series Angels in the Dark, Wicked Nights, was released last week. You can read an excerpt from the book here. We are also featuring this series in our UF/PNR Reading Challenge 2012.
Gena Showalter sold her first book at the age of 27 and now, four years later, is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen books, with eleven more on the way in a thrilling blend of genres: breathtaking paranormal and contemporary romances, cutting edge young adult novels, and stunning urban fantasy.
Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, MTV, Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated in French, Italian and Korean. The critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories”, while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.
Learn more about Gena at her Website
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about Wicked Nights?
Gena: Wicked Nights comes out June 26th, and it’s the first Angels of the Dark novel, a spin-off of the Lords of the Underworld series. It features an army of bad boy (and girl) “Sent Ones” in danger of falling. These rough and tough men and woman have been tasked with defending humanity at any cost—and they might just fall in love along the way.
DFT: Could you tell us about your main characters in Wicked Nights?
Gena: Zacharel, the leader of the Army of Disgrace, is cold as ice. And I know, I know, that’s a terrible name for his army, but it’s kinda deserved. These winged warriors have lost their faith, torched their hope, and given up on love. (cough Zacharel cough) Some are as cold and callous as their leader. Some are just plain cranky, while some have embraced the dark side a little too tightly.
Annabelle has spent the last four years in an institution for the criminally insane. (She’s innocent, though. Really.) Yet still she has managed to retain a sense of sweetness and light.
Z doesn’t know what to make of her—he just knows he’s fascinated.
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line in Wicked Nights?
Gena: You know, the book that will appear in stores isn’t actually the book I first wrote. To be honest, my original draft of Wicked Nights seemed to be written by a different person. During edits, I rewrote a huge chunk of it, but one scene remained the same. Zacharel and Annabelle have fallen out of a cloud. He’s injured, and his wings aren’t working. He knows they’re going to crash. He also knows he’s going to do what he can to protect Annabelle, and yet, he doesn’t try to sugar coat things for her. He tells her how badly she’s going to hurt. I loved the brutality of his honesty, even then.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in the Lords of the Underworld/Angels of the Dark series and why?
Gena: Zacharel has been a big favorite since he first walked onto the pages of The Darkest Secret. He is encased in this cold, seemingly unbreakable shell. He’s untouchable, cares about nothing and no one. I knew that if he ever fell in love, it couldn’t be through melting. The ice would have to shatter. Enter Annabelle.
DFT: How much research went into creating this series?
Gena: I read (and love and believe) the Bible, and I didn’t want to stray from the truths there by having biblical angels falling in love with humans. So, I created the “Sent Ones.” (And I can’t recall if I introduce the term in book one or two, Beauty Awakened.) They are warriors who fight evil, they live in a realm in the heavens, and they have wings, which is why they were labeled angels, but they are actually children of the Most High. (a fact that comes up in book 2, though I don’t mind sharing that detail now.) That’s why they are stronger, healthier, live longer, and far more powerful than the average human.
DFT: What is your favorite part about writing this series?
Gena: The happy endings. Seriously. I know more about these characters than I’m able to tell in the books. Their pasts, their pains, their hopes, their dreams, and it’s always a pleasure to see them settled at the end.
DFT: Do you have a long term plan or goal for this story universe?
Gena: Redemption. That’s my goal.
DFT: How do you maintain a story arc though the course of a series while still delivering a conflict and resolution in each book?
Gena: Dangling threads are like a loose tooth: bothersome. I just keep pulling until that thing is finished.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or ritual?
Gena: I prefer to write in the mornings, and I love to write to music. It inspires me.
DFT: What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) do you draw from while writing?
Gena: I have the most amazing family, and I draw many snippets of dialogue from conversations we have.
DFT: What can you tell us about any other projects you are working on?
Gena: The White Rabbit Chronicles is a young adult series that begins with Alice in Zombieland on September 25th. This is, perhaps, my favorite book that I’ve ever written. Alice loses her entire family in a car crash and wakes up to a world of zombies and zombie slaying… and a bad boy who will either save her or ruin her.
I’ve also got Last Kiss Goodnight, the first book in the Otherworlder Assassins series, coming out December 26th. A twisted menagerie exists, and otherworlders are the main attraction. Any time this zoo is about to be shut down, it vanishes and reappears somewhere else. When Solo’s latest mission is compromised, he wakes up in a cage, the newest “animal” on display. Vika is his new handler—as well as the zoo owner’s daughter, and she’s been tasked with his care and feeding. I LOVED writing this book.
Basically 2012 is a year of firsts.
DFT: What is your favorite faery tale? Why?
Gena: Beauty and the Beast. There’s something so wonderful about love being able to see past the ugliness and into the heart.
DFT: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Gena: Thank you for having me!
Available June 26, 2012 from Harlequin
About the Book:
Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless–and if he isn’t careful, he’ll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost…until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he’s never known before.
Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation–or her ultimate damnation?
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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