Today, I have YA Fantasy Author Ednah Walters here for an interview. Her debut novel, Awakened, just released in September 2010. She is currently working on the next installment in The Guardian Legacy series titled Betrayed. The Guardian Legacy is a series of books about the Guardians, beings with super powers charged with guarding mankind against demons.
You decided to write not about vampires or werewolves but instead about fallen angels. Do you think fallen angels are the next big thing?
Ednah Walters: I don’t know, but I sure hope so. That’s not to say the fanged ones are yesterday news. Vampires are here to stay although I believe vampires are but one race of beings that came from the union between fallen angels and humans. And so did the werewolves. That’s why in my book, I mention both vampires and shifters.
What advantages do you think fallen angels have over vampires and werewolves?
Ednah Walters: First, who would want to snuggle with a winged-being…fly or kiss a winged being. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Fallen angels have amazing abilities vamps and werewolves can only dream of. Sure, vamps have the speed and forever young thing going for them and wolves have the strength, but angels have it all—beauty, forever young, controlling elements, teleportation, time-travel and mind-control to name a few (okay, so vamps can do mind-control thing too…but fallen angels do it better). Certain restrictions vamps have, like sensitivity to light, fallen angels don’t. And they were the original bad boys who were willing to give up everything for love.
I can tell you've done a lot of research about fallen angels just by reading your website. What have you learned writing about fallen angels?
Ednah Walters: It’s hard to summarize what I’ve learned because there so much info out there. The bottom line is, fallen angels fell because they loved humans…women. How can you not love being who rebelled against authority for love?
They also taught us a lot, from cosmetics, astrology to weapon-making. And most people believe that in every mythology, whether you’re talking about Egyptians, Titans, Norse or Hindu, the gods and the legends were really the children of the fallen angels. There so much the fantasy genre can play with when dealing with fallen angels.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing Awakened and how did you over come that challenge?
Ednah Walters: The hardest part was letting Lil follow her heart. I so wanted her to fall for the charming and carefree Sykes, but something about Bran called to her. I kept on thinking, why him? He’s impossible and arrogant and his brother is the Devil’s spawn. Why, why, why? Lil just told me to shut up and write. And later, it turns out he’s exactly what she needs. He’s caring, loyal to a fault and totally believes in her. I mean, this guy will do anything for her. He completes her.
At times, we as writers try to force our characters to act a certain way and then we hit a roadblock and don’t know which way to take the story. I’ve come to learn that it’s better to listen to my characters and let them lead me wherever they want to go. I’m just the conduit they use to tell their story. But I’ve got to tell you though, I’m looking forward to writing Sykes’ story. He’ll meet his match one day.
What was the easiest aspect of writing Awakened?
Ednah Walters: Interactions between Lil and her human friends. I have teenagers and understand girls. Seeing them through Lil’s eyes was interesting. I keep wondering who will be first to learn about Lil’s secret and how they’ll react.
If Awakened were made into a movie, who would you cast as Lil and Bran?
Ednah Walters: I’d need a warrior for both of them. Lil is vulnerable yet proactive (I don’t like the term strong…it is so unflattering). So I’d go with Emmy Rossum (Dragon Ball Evolution), tough girl. Bran…yummy body, broody, tough…who else but Jared Padalecki (Sam from Supernatural. I love the Winchester boys).
You've written children books that you used to read to your own children. Now you have shifted to writing YA. What has writing for a young adult audience taught you? Do you read a lot of YA novels?
Ednah Walters: Writing YA books taught me that I must think as a teen to write for teenagers. I can’t talk down to them. I can’t treat their love like it’s a passing phase. Every emotion and every decision means something to the characters and must be treated with respect. A beta-reader who read the manuscript asked me why I had Lil and Bran falling in love at such a young age. I had to explain to her that when teen fall in love it is real for them and just like when adults fall in love.
I read a lot of YA books. I read Hush, Hush….loved Patch
Read Mortal Instrument series…love Jace, Circle of Magic, Bartimeus/Eye of Golem, the Uglies, Vampire Academy, Marked….
What are 5 things most people do not know about you?
- I was born in Kenya.
- I have a PhD in chemistry.
- I took up art and taught myself how to paint.
- I become miserable if I don’t workout.
- I cannot stand Mac & Cheese. *gasp* I love Mac and Cheese!
Thank you Ednah Walters for stopping by!
Most teens turn sixteen and get the license to drive, Lil Falcon gets the license to kill demons, but no one told her she is not supposed to fall in love with one.
Orphaned as a child and raised by an eccentric grandfather, Lil is concerned with surviving high school and is unaware she's a Guardian—a being with super powers charged with killing demons and protecting humanity. But when she meets Bran, a mysterious boy with amazing abilities, his psi energy unlocks her latent powers.
But Bran has a secret that can destroy their growing relationship. He's part demon. But in her heart, Lil knows Bran is not evil. So when her grandfather is kidnapped by a powerful nature-bender and Bran is the only one who knows where he's being kept, Lil convinces the other Guardians to trust him, not knowing her grandfather is just the bait. And the truth that she discovers in the demonic enclave may just destroy everything she believes in, unless she makes the right choice—love and sacrifice.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
Thanks to Ednah Walters, I have an ARC of Awakened, a Guardian Legacy T-shirt, pen and notepad, and a *signed* bookmark to giveaway to one winner!! Giveaway is open Internationally. Comments are appreciated, however, you must fill out the form below in order to enter the giveaway. Please read the Contest/Giveaway Policy for complete list of rules. Giveaway ends Friday, October 29th, 2010. Good luck to all who enter!