I thought I'd do a quick blog post on some of the most common questions I get asked, especially nearing release date of Half-Blood.
When did you start writing Half-Blood?
I started writing Half-Blood in early 2008. Yep, around three years ago. At that time, I was reading a lot of adult novels and very few YA novels. I can literally count on one hand the YA novels that I read: Twilight (because who seriously hasn't read that), Harry Potter series. The rest were all adult, but when I was younger, I lived on YA novels. That's why I started writing YA. I can't read YA when I'm writing, so for about a year, I don't think I read any book. One thing I liked about the adult novels at that time was their female protagonist were very strong, to the point of stubbornness. I wanted a female character like that in YA.
How long did it take to get published?
Well, since I started writing HB in 2008 it didn't get picked up until Fall of 2010. That's two years of writing, revising and submitting. When it was accepted, it went through a couple of more rounds of revisions, but that original plot, characters, motivations and themes all remained the same.
How did you come up with the world of Half-Blood?
I get this question a lot and I love how readers are curious about world building. Since I've always been interested in Greek Mythology, I've also been fascinated with ancient civilizations. Societies back then were highly stratified, meaning there were strict sets of social class. You had those in power, which were the few, and the many who had no power. That kind of society always meant trouble in the long run. So when I knew I was going to write about Greek Mythology, I wanted to incorporate the life that existed when people believed in the gods. There are other books out that probably have the same social set: those in positions and power and those who serve them. It's not really nothing new since every society had a time where they basically abused those who didn't have their wealth or power.
Why Greek Mythology
Because I've always been obsessed with it. You don't get to see much of the "gods" in Half-Blood, but you will in future books. Oh, you will. The whole pure-blood and half-blood came from the demigod myth, which is a child of a god and a mortal. I took that myth and extended it to a child of two demigods (a pure-blood) and a child of a pure-blood and a mortal (half-blood).
How did you come up with Aiden St. Delphi and Seth?
Aiden was always easy for me to see in my head. I liked the fact that he had no reason to help Alex other than that being the kind of person that he is. He's a character shaped by his past experiences, which isn't always pretty. The relationship, if there is one between him and Alex, is forbidden. And not in the same that people frown upon it or you lose your job or something like that, but it's completely forbidden by the gods for pures and halfs to mix. There's a reason. Why forbidden love? Because there is nothing more heart pounding than wanting something you can't have in a million years. And the consequences of such a thing are severe.
Seth is pretty much the opposite of Aiden on every level. There isn't much I can say about him that isn't spoilery. But I like to think he's a pretty unique character. One thing I've seen in reviews is either he's not mentioned at all or the reader doesn't know what to think about him.
How many novels are in the Covenant Series?
There are a total of four planned, and two novellas. One of the novellas is out already (Daimon) and the other novella is planned for 2012/2013 and is from Aiden's POV.
Was I inspired by an author or books while writing Half-Blood?
I always feel bad when I answer this question truthfully. I'm not sure any author is inspired by another author to write a certain book. Other than reading a book I didn't like at all, no, I wasn't inspired by any author or book. That doesn't mean I wasn't inspired to write by an author, though. Growing up, I was a huge fan of LJ Smith. She's probably the only author to make me cry. There was also RL Stine and Christopher Pike. But I feel like I should be throwing out other names, but nope. That's about it. I do have a ton of author crushes though: Rachel Vincent, Jana Oliver, Leigh Fallon, Gwen Hayes, JK Rowling and so on.
When will ARCs of PURE be released?
I've been getting this question a lot recently, because a few people have read very, very early versions of PURE. Generally they won't be available until December, but you can request a copy for review from the publisher now. Please see FAQ on how to do that.
How do I feel about PURE?
I'm super excited about PURE, probably more so than Half-Blood if that makes any sense. There is so much that happens in that book, and it takes the whole world in a new, fresh direction that I don't think anyone is expecting.
Is there a cover for Deity?
Yes. I've seen it. I LOVE it. Not sure when everyone else will see it, though. But I can tell you that the cover is red.
What is the title for the 4th book?
It has one, and I think I actually saw it in the e-arc of Obsidian, but it's not something I'm allowed to share yet. But I can tell you that the color of that cover will probably have some amber in it. =)
Is there anyplace where readers can talk openly about Half-Blood?
Yes. On the facebook fanpage under Discussions, there is a thread where you can talk about the book.
Is any other publication I have coming out going to affect the publication schedule of the Half-Blood novels?
Simply put, nope.
If you guys have any other questions, please leave them in the comment section and I'll answer the best I can.