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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Author Cynthia Hand is Interviewed plus Giveaway

So as some of you may know, we love going to book signings and bookish events. Well, at the latest book signing we attended we got to do something pretty spectacular. We got to interview Cynthia Hand. So how did we land such an awesome gig? Well, it’s really thanks to the amazing Maggie from NYMBC. She asked us if we’d want to interview one of authors attending that night and we were elated at the opportunity so of course we said, YES!! Also in attendance at the signing were YA authors: Brodi Ashton who is author of the Everneath series and Bree Despain author of Dark Divine series. Cynthia Hand is the author of Unearthly and Hallowed. Her third and final book in the Unearthly series is due January of 2013.

UPDATE: You can also check out the interviews that Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads did with Bree Despain and Tara of Tator's Tall Tails with Brodi Ashton. Nancy from Tales of the Ravenous Reader

So without further ado here’s our interview:

Patricia and Jaime: Hello! Thanks for letting us interview you.

Cynthia: Sure!

Jaime: First question, can you give us any news on book 3 or any teasers or hints?

Cynthia: Yes, it has a title that I will be announcing this week. I’ve seen the cover and it’s my favorite cover so far to date. It’s a dark pinkish color but that’s all I’m willing to share right now.  It’s a really beautiful cover.

Patricia & Jaime: We can’t wait!

Patricia: Was it your intention for us to totally love Tucker in Unearthly and just to push him aside in Hallowed, so that we could fall Christian?  I know that happened to us.

Cynthia: I hear that a lot. [laughs] For me they’ve been sort of equal in my mind. When I conceiving them in the series. The way I knew the characters, I loved them both really sorta equally.  And then I started to understand very quickly that people very much favored Tucker in the first book and I “got” why but for me not looking through the lens of the whole series it was hard for me to be all about Tucker and not Christian. But I will say that I never intended for us to get to know Christian in the first book.  I always thought that it would be more interesting for that relationship be like the kind of relationship that I had with hot guys in high school. Which was that: I saw them. I thought about them.  But I didn’t really know them outside of what I thought they were supposed to be. I think Clara never really gets to know him outside of what she thinks he represents in the first book. They start down that path little bit but they don’t. So in the second book, I devoted a lot of energy to us getting to know Christian better. That way we get to know both characters better. Unfortunately for Tucker that means that he comes off being really, really incredibly attractive and perfect in the first book and then we get to see his flaws a little bit more in the second book. So we get to know Tucker in a sort of more negative way and Christian in a more positive way. But I want them to both have flaws and great qualities. I really want us to get to know them both. This really sucks for Clara to be able to decide who she wants to be with.

Jaime: Do you have a set time when you write or do you write when inspiration hits?

Cynthia:  You know I have a different story of what my writing process is for every book. So, I think in a perfect world, where I was just sort of free to do my own thing. I would write in the mornings for several hours. Say from 8:00 to 11:30. Yea in a perfect world that’s what I would do.  And then I would do the blogging and the marketing in the afternoon. Like when my kids go to school that’s what I envision. But in reality I just have to write when I can, however I can and make it work. And so I end up writing in great spurts of huge amounts. Unearthly I wrote very steadily. I wrote a thousand words a day for it every day for six months…steady, steady, steady.  It was at the same time every day from 1-4pm when my son took his nap. But the books since then, I’ve always had a little less time and a little more on my plate so I just have to make it work. I’m working on a new project now and I find myself writing on it a lot because I want to see where it’s going. So then I just find extra time to slip in to write. So that’s fun to be back in that space, where I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I have to sneak away and find out.

Patricia: I was wondering who was your favorite character to write and why?

Cynthia: I have two favorite characters to write outside from Clara. I really love Clara, I really feel for her.  I really understand her voice. If I was being really truthful, I would say that Clara is my favorite character to write.  But outside of Clara, I think my favorite characters to write are Angela, because she’s unpredictable. I like unpredictable characters because I just don’t know what they are going to do and it always a fun surprise to find out what she’s going to say or do and where that’s going to lead. And then the other character that I really like is Samjeeza, the black wing that we see a little bit of in Unearthly and Hallowed and a lot more of in the third book.  He’s so interesting to me because he just sort of rides this line between good and evil; what drives him and what doesn’t. He’s also very unpredictable so for the same reasons that I like to write about Angela, I like to write about him. But he has this kind of weird vibe that’s different from my other characters. So, I like going there and seeing what he’ll say.

Jaime: How did you come up with the idea for Unearthly?

Cynthia: That’s always sort of a big mystery for me. I’d been writing a literary novel for years and then not writing, I was just sort of lost in the desire to write. And really felt like I needed to ask myself if I wanted to really be a writer. I’d been in a lot of school for writing and I was just feeling if I don’t want to write—Am I writer? I just kept having that question over and over. I wasn’t writing and I wasn’t reading anything. And then just one day, I was sitting watching a movie with my husband with the sound turned down really, really low so that we wouldn’t my child as it was past his bedtime. And I remember the feeling of wanting to write just washed over me. Then within about twenty-four hours of that I had the idea but where exactly it came from or was there any specific moment of inspiration…not really. It was just me getting a bunch of little pieces and putting them together. I heard a narrative voice in my head, I think that writers are the only people who hear a voice and go “Eh, you’re crazy, let’s get you some medication.” [Jaime and I giggle at this].  So I heard Clara’s narrative voice and talking about this idea of purpose and then I saw my job as asking questions to that. Why? I knew that she was special but I knew she wasn’t a vampire or a werewolf so I hit on this idea of like the Nephilim. I remembered this old scripture, which always seemed weird to me, from the bible about the children of men and angels. And I thought that would REALLY weird. Wouldn’t that be that be weird if that was you. How would you feel about all of these big questions if that was your lineage? So I thought...that’s perfect! Because purpose fits right in with that. I wanted there to be a forest fire so that lead me to the setting and then the setting led me to Tucker. Tucker is born out of that setting. So it just sort of unrolled itself after that. But what are the actual first seeds of it? I honestly don’t know. It’s a happy mystery.

Patricia: I love that you said that Tucker was born out of the setting versus you just already having him in your mind. It’s very interesting to me.

Cynthia: In my literary works, I always felt that setting always led to character and then the characters led me to the story. Like for me, whenever I teach, I always start with setting. For me my career took off when I embraced my setting. So when I wrote Unearthly, I knew the setting had to be big. A big part of the story.

Patricia: Who was your most difficult character to figure out and what made them so?

Cynthia: I have a couple of answers to that: I would say that Christian is one of the hardest characters for me to write. I have actually written a little side piece from Christian’s POV and that was surprisingly easy but he’s so quiet and into him. Like inside himself that it really hard for me and other people to get a read on what he actually feels so that’s hard because I want to express that but it’s just hard for me to. His personality is quiet and for me to express him and still keep him a little mysterious because part of his “hotness” is that he’s so mysterious. [We agree] But to really get inside Christian that’s hard. And then Jeffery in similar way, he’s very uncommunicative and he doesn’t talk a lot about what’s going on with him and hides things. Actively hides things. That makes it harder because I never know quite how to get Cla-… I think one of my flaws in my first drafts is that Clara doesn’t push Jeffery enough to try to find answers for his behavior. As someone who has a little brother, I have to ask myself…Well, would I really push him that hard? That sort of thing; he just doesn’t give that information up very easily. So both of those characters are hard, I would say Jeffery is harder than Christian because we already have such energy around Christian.

Jaime: He totally reminds me of my brother, by the way. [Patricia totally agrees about her own brother as well].

Patricia and Jaime: Thank you so much allowing us to interview you. It was a real pleasure.

SIDE NOTE: Cynthia also shared with us the title to book three. However, we are sworn to secrecy. As we mentioned above, she’ll be sharing that with everyone very soon. Also as mentioned, she is working on some supplemental goodies but it’s up to her publisher when they will be released. (Hopefully soon).

UPDATE: Cynthia has announced the title of book 3 on her blog HERE. So we can officially share it with you, it's....BOUNDLESS!! YAY! It's an awesome title and we can't wait to get our hands on Boundless :) :) 
Top Row: Tara, Nancy, Mindy, Patricia, Jaime, Debbie, Jean Bottom Row: Bree Depain, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton 
Now on to our giveaway, we have a little something from all three authors from the signing. First up from Cynthia is a pair of signed bookmarks one of each from Unearthly and Hallowed. Second we have necklaces from Brodi Ashton’s Everneath book, it’s a chain necklace with a couple of guitar picks hanging from it. And lastly, we have a bookmark and nail polish from Bree Despain’s Dark Divine Trilogy. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks again for the opportunity, Maggie. It was so much fun!! We hope to see you soon :)

  2. Yes I did.
    Haven't really read these yet so I learned a lot about the characters and the setting :D

  3. I didn't know that Cynthia wrote Tucker from the setting. That sounds so cool how that happened! I couldn't imagine that. Great review!

  4. The interview was amazing! :)

  5. Great interview, I can't wait to hear the title for book 3, you are so lucky to know it!!

  6. I loved finding out who Cynthia's hardest character to write was. It doesn't surprise me that it's Christian, but I didn't know that.

  7. Great interview girls, I love what she said about Christian <3

    - Jen

  8. Thanks for the interview! It's always nice to learn new things about amazing authors.
    wendynjason04@gmail dot com

  9. great interview..iam really enjoy while read this interview..
    success for they..


  10. I think it's interesting you start with setting and I can see how it can lead to characters. I think once you're in the world almost anything is possible :)

  11. Great interview! It's always fun to read interviews because you learn a bit about the author and how they write, so I always enjoy them. Thanks so much for the fantastic giveaway as well!

  12. The interview was awesome! Interviews are always my favorite blog posts. I love to learn new and interesting things about the authors whose books I love to read.

  13. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one fretting over who's better, Tucker or Christian.

  14. Very fun interview! Thank you for the giveaway!

  15. Thanks for the interview! First learned title of book 3 here. :D


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