Today I am so excited to have Jessica Shirvington here to talk about her US release of Embrace!
If you would like to see my review you can read it HERE.
What inspired you to become a writer?
Reading heaps of fantastic stories. I always loved to write, but I never really entertained the idea of becoming a writer. Even when I started writing Embrace, I wasn’t doing it to be an ‘author’ – I just wanted to craft a story. The desire to do that stemmed from reading so much and reaching a point where I realized I had a story I wanted to tell. It was then, in writing, that the inspiration to be a writer came – if that makes sense…
Why did you decide to publish Embrace as a teen novel instead of an adult novel?
Because I read more YA than anything else. It is the genre I love above all others and when I started to write Embrace it wasn’t about if the novel would be YA or Adult – it never occurred to me that there was a choice. YA is definitely the most fun to write.
Were there originally more steamy scenes in Embrace, did you have to cut some of them out to give it a YA feel?
Not exactly. I made a promise to myself when I started writing that I wasn’t going to make sex the focus of the story. The funny thing is, as a result there are a couple of steamy scenes, but that is because I didn’t want the story to rely on the sexual tension to get the reader to the end – you know, the stories where it takes the entire book for you to finally see the love interests share a kiss. It frustrates me as a reader and I didn’t want to do it in my story – so, there is a pretty full-on kiss early in the book. As for cutting things out, I did cut out a couple of small scenes, but that was more to do with pace than it being YA. Violet is 17, not 14. Romance and racing hormones is par for the course!
Since I am in love with Phoenix I have to know, how did his character come about as you were writing?
There is something about Phoenix that is just honest. In some ways I guess he fits that mysterious bad boy image, but in others he so doesn’t. He is a conundrum, an exiled angel that has been forced into an existence that was never of his choosing and even when he has accepted what he is, there is a softness in him that he can’t seem to prevent from shining through at times. When I started Phoenix’s journey I actually wrote an introduction to him, a scene that was never intended for the book, just for me. It addressed his long existence and the sadness it evoked in him. It was a look inside his mind before I brought him barreling onto the page in Violet’s life. This really helped me identify the qualities – and flaws – in his character from an early stage.
There is so much angel lore in your book and so many great quotes at the beginning of the chapters, how much research did you have to put into writing this series?
Thanks! The research was huge. There is just so much out there and sometimes you have to do a lot to get a very small amount that is appropriate for your needs. I spend a lot of time compiling notebooks on different mythology highlighting possible story threads they could offer. As for the quotes, that started originally because I kept coming across lines that stayed with me long after I had read them. When I read the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote from Chapter 1: “Outside, among your fellows, among strangers, you must preserve appearances, a hundred things you cannot do; but inside, the terrible freedom!” – I knew I had to use it. It was such a perfect encapsulation of growing up, of society and appearances. It felt totally YA, and honest. Then I started compiling more and from there I made the decision to lead every chapter with a quote. It is a big job when there are almost 40 chapters per book and I obsess over each one. But they are worth it.
What are you currently working on, more YA, perhaps an adult novel?
I’m still working on the Embrace Series – I am just about to start the edit on Book 4, Endless. Apart from that, I have been working on a stand alone YA novel that I really love. As for an adult novel … not yet, but I would like to explore the genre eventually.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I wish I could say I skydive or something equally thrilling with all my free time, but when I’m not writing I’m dropping the kids to school, making the kids dinner, taking the kids to the park, cleaning the house, reading, and hanging out with my husband – you know, the normal stuff!
Big thanks to Jessica for joining me on the blog today!
After hearing about her fantastic book I’m sure you are all really excited to get your hands on a copy! Come on you have to want to read about great angel lore, two hot guys, and a great battle between good and evil. Plus I’m sort of obsessed with Phoenix so you all should go read about him.
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