Dark Faerie Tales is thrilled to be part of the Dreaming Awake Blog Tour. We’re celebrating the recent release of the second book in the captivating Falling Under series. Falling Under is simply a fabulous read. Gwen is here today to talk about the series and you also have a chance to win a copy of the book. As always, details are listed below.
GH: Thanks for inviting me to your blog! I’ll try not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read Falling Under…..let’s see…
One night, Theia Alderson dreams about a dashing young man in a strange world…and the next day, he appears as a student at her new school, Haden Black. As their forbidden love blooms, it brings with it a host of new dangers from the place where Haden comes from…Under, the realm of nightmares. In the second book, the fallout from their sacrifices crashes around them. Theia has been irrevocably changed, maybe for the better and maybe not. There is a romance, angst, and some seriously disturbing danger.
DFT: What initially sparked the main idea for your world?
GH: The very first scene in Falling Under is the original spark. I didn’t know what it was or what it meant…I just knew I had to write it. And it was creepy.
DFT: If you could describe your main characters with only 3 words, what would they be?
GH: Haden: dashing, enigmatic, scorchablyhot (okay, I cheated)
Theia: complex, coy, conflicted
DFT: Tell us something about your research process and the choices you make when creating the story.
GH: Because I write about made-up things, the research I do is mostly just to spark things in my world. Sometimes, I’ll read about myths and say, “Well, what if this happened instead?” Also, sometimes I have to Google things like hot actors for inspiration. It’s a tough job I have.
DFT: What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) did you draw from while writing Dreaming Awake?
GH: Everything! Music, books, movies, art—they all go into the stew pot and come out as something new and hopefully delicious. I admire the writing style of Joss Whedon a lot. The music from Neverending White Lights really nails down the mood for Under. And Madeleine L’Engle’s books are probably the reason I write.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
GH: Donny. She’s the funnest. And easiest. She says the things I really want to say to Theia sometimes.
DFT: Romantic tension is an art. How do you create that tension with your characters?
GH: Romantic tension is my favorite thing to write. I don’t feel like I create it with my characters, I feel like it’s already there and I just write it down. Theia and Haden were ridiculously easy to write tension for because they had this huge attraction to each other, but neither knew what to do about it. And there were valid reasons why they shouldn’t be together despite the magnetic love between them.
DFT: How important is romance in the Young Adult genre?
GH: Romance is important in LIFE…but I don’t know that I think it’s important in all young adult books. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love love stories, especially in YA because young adults and teens feel things so intensely. Love is new and fresh and alive. As you get older, you become more careful with your heart—which isn’t a bad thing, just not as much fun to write.
DFT: Is it important to have HEAs in Young Adult?
GH: I’m more of a Happy For Now than Happily Ever After when it comes to Young Adult. Falling in love for the first time should feel like forever, but it sometimes isn’t. That’s life. The bittersweet memories are so worth giving your whole heart, though, even if you end up not getting it back unscathed.
DFT: How do you keep all the details of your world organized?
GH: Um. Yeah. Next question?
DFT: What other projects are you working on that you would like to tell us about?
GH: Super Secret Stuff. There’s a boy, a girl, a bad thing, some kissing, and maybe something explodes.
DFT: Why do you think there is the misconception that young adult books are not as deep or as complex as books for adults? What is your response to this misconception?
GH: I don’t pay attention to it. I also read and write romance which means I’m used to not being taken seriously be a lot of close-minded people. I really just don’t care. They aren’t my target audience anyway. People like to look down on each other to make themselves feel better—I shrug it off.
GH: I’m a huge fan of Rachel Caine’s Morganville series. I also read a lot in the romance genre, mostly historicals. For instance, I don’t think Tessa Dare could write a “meh” book. I love everything she writes.
DFT: What is your definition of a “bad writing day”? How do you deal with bad writing days?
GH: When I have too much on my mind to lose reality and sink into my world, it’s a bad writing day. I try to get at least 1000 words a day done. If it’s difficult, I make myself get half done and give myself permission to get back to it later, hopefully tackling some of those things preventing me from writing while I’m away.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or any writing rituals?
GH: Sometimes, I listen to my playlist and play solitaire for a few minutes, but mostly, my story is just always open and I put words in it as I can throughout the day. I’m not very disciplined.
DFT: What creature are you afraid of most?
GH: Clowns. And China dolls. But mostly clowns.
DFT: If you could be any paranormal creature, which one would you be and why?
GH: Not a vampire—veins squick me out. And I don’t want to live forever.
I can’t think of any that are appealing…I’d have to make one up. I could be a demon species that is humanoid but can eat anything without gaining weight.
DFT: Thanks for taking the time to stop by.
Gwen Hayes lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real life hero, their children, and the pets that own them. She writes stories for teen and adult readers about love, angst, and saving the world. Gwen’s first novel, Falling Under, was released in March of 2011 by NAL/Penguin.
Want to read more from Gwen Hayes?
This giveaway is provided by Penguin/NAL
One winner will receive a copy of Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes
Available on January 3, 2012 from Penguin/NAL Trade
About the Book:
She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…
When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.
Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.
And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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