Friday, July 31, 2009

An Interview with Alyson Noel

  1. What made you decide to write a novel like Evermore?
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been interested in the paranormal—Casper the friendly ghost was my favorite cartoon! But it wasn’t until a few years ago, when I experienced a period of tremendous grief and loss—losing three people I loved in five months, and shortly after that nearly lost my husband to leukemia (he’s in full remission now!), that I really started thinking about things like life and death, mortality and immortality, the bonds that tie us even after a loved one is gone, and how our youth loving culture sort of seeks physical immortality by trying to remain youthful looking for as long as we can—and yet, what would happen if we really could achieve it? What would it mean for us, our loved ones, society in general? I started researching all kinds of paranormal phenomenon by reading tons of books on the subject, taking classes, and even under going hypnosis, and it was through those experiences that Ever and Damen’s story was born.

2. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Sure! Though I warn you, it’s kind of boring, not at all sexy or glamorous, and I’m sure you’ve heard it before—but that’s only because it works! So here goes:
  1. Read! Read often and widely, because the books that you love- as well as the books that you don’t—they all have something to teach you. When you get to parts that you like (or don’t like!) analyze what the author did to make it work so well (or not work so well). Reading a lot of books will give you a natural feel for storytelling rhythm and structure. It really is imperative.
  2. Write! Get into the habit of writing as often as you can because the more you write the better you get. Also, allow yourself to write without judging your work. You can always go back and revise it later. I revise my books countless times before I hand them into my editor, and then, even after that, I usually revise them again. When your work is finished, put it aside for a few weeks if you can, it’s amazing what you’ll see when you revisit it with fresh eyes!
  3. Learn! If you have writing classes available in school take them! If you’re out of school, there are a lot of online classes you can take, as well sites geared toward craft and industry info. Read agent blogs, join online groups as well as professional writing organizations, and, once again, read books! Some of my favorite books on craft are actually geared toward screenwriters, but whether it’s a movie or a book, the story elements are basically the same. One is STORY by Robert McKee- it’s big and thick and packed with insight. The other is SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder (he has a really good blog too:
  4. I also like ON WRITING by Stephen King.
3. If you could have any other job, besides writing, what would it be?

We’re talking dream job right? Because if not, I’d still be wearing my old polyester flight attendant dress!
Well, I actually have two:
  1. Rock star, I really admire people who can tell a whole story and evoke such emotion in a three-minute song.
  2. Great painter (canvas, not houses!). I love art and really admire the people who create it, and again, it’s yet another form of storytelling!
3. Damen is a lovely character, what is your favorite thing about him?

I love the fact that he has a past. When I first stated writing him, he didn’t, but then I realized that someone that good looking and that gifted who’s lived for that long definitely has some baggage he’s accumulated along the way! But I love how despite his six centuries of existence, he’s not at all world weary or jaded—he’s still full of wonder and optimism—and he only wants what’s best for Ever, no matter what the cost to him.

4. How did you get the ideas for the Immortals books?

Well, the series idea was born out of grief as I mentioned above, though the actual ideas that are found in the book stem from my interest in the mystical and paranormal and Eastern based philosophies. My research on those subjects really influenced the stories.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?

Well, I’m thrilled to announce that SHADOWLAND (book three in the series) will now be released on Jan 5, 2010, instead of February as originally planned! And the following three books (no titles yet!) will be released in 2010/11.
Also, Riley, (Ever’s ghostly little sister), will be getting her own series set to debut in Fall 2010—and I can’t wait to get started, I think it’s going to be a blast to write and hopefully to read as well!
And, if you haven’t been to the new IMMORTALS website yet, then run, don’t walk to:
There are excerpts, chakra charts, you can even download your aura and send it to a friend! And every time you click on a tulip you will hear an audio clip from a scene not included in the book! And those who subscribe will be notified when new audio clips are added!


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read BLUE MOON. I just finished EVERMORE. :) Great interview!

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