I am happy to have L.A. Weatherly at the blog today! I toured a copy of Angel Burn a few weeks ago and Candlewick was nice enough to let me ask the author a few questions. If you would like to read some of the reviews, go HERE.
You were born in Little Rock, Arkansas, fill us in on how you ended up in England.
It's all my English husband's fault. I met Pete in the UK when I was here for six months at the age of eighteen, and we stayed in touch over the years as friends. There was always a spark between us that was more than friendship, though, and finally when I was twenty-seven we got together and I moved here for good.
What are a few things you miss about the United States?
It's funny, it's always the little things - like being able to order iced tea with my meal in restaurants (I'm from the south; this is very important to me!), seeing fireflies in the summer twilight, and the sound of crickets and cicadas.
You first thought about the characters of Alex and Willow twenty years ago. What was it about them that you kept going back to?
It was more a case of them refusing to go away! I think it was because I spent so many years working and reworking the book in which they originally appeared (which was never published, and rightfully so - it had a LOT of problems.) I loved both the characters enormously, though, and couldn't just forget about them even when it became obvious to me that the book was fatally flawed and I made the decision to put it aside. Alex and Willow were always in the back of my mind after that, nudging at me and demanding that I find the right story for them.
ANGEL BURN was published in the UK as ANGEL, do you see any major differences between European fans and your US fans?
Not really, but then Angel Burn has only just come out in the US, so I haven't really had a chance to compare. Ask me again in six months! ;) From early reviews in the US, though, I feel very lucky that readers here seem as enthusiastic about the story as those in the UK. I was thrilled when Angel was published in the UK, but as a transplanted American it means a lot to me that the story's also being published in the US. It's such an American story that I'd have been kind of heartbroken if it hadn't been!
What was the most difficult scene to write?
(Spoiler alert!) Definitely the scene in the cabin where Willow has to make the decision to leave Alex. Even though I KNEW (more spoilers) that everything would be OK between them in the end, I really hated writing that; I loved both characters so much that I just didn't want to put them through it. As a result, I really backed away from the tension at first, so that in the original draft I had Alex being very passive (Alex, passive?!), just kind of asking Willow not to go but understanding why she had to - it was WAY too mild. My editor was the one who had to suggest that they'd have a blazing argument at that point, which I was reluctant to do, but she was completely right. Now I can't picture that scene any other way - even though it made me cry a lot while I was writing it!
Would you like to share anything spoilery about the sequel, ANGEL FIRE?
It's mostly set in Mexico City, where Alex finds himself in charge of a new group of Angel Killers. The situation's even worse in the world now, so the stakes are higher than they were in book 1. The AKs have another chance to stop the angels and they have to take it, no matter what. There are also internal tensions; both Alex and Willow have a lot to deal with, both together and singly. So their love faces many challenges - not least of which from a new boy character I'll be introducing, who Willow finds herself extremely drawn to...!
Any plans to come back for a US tour?
I'd absolutely love to. Fingers crossed.
Thank you Lee and Candlewick! If you haven't read the reviews from the tour, go HERE for some very brief ones and links to the readers full versions.
Check out the official trailer: