Apr 10, 2012

Embrace - Interview with Author Jessica Shirvington

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
March 6th, 2012 from Sourcebooks Fire

I am happy to have Jessica Shirvington at the blog today! She hails from Sydney, Australia and has written The Violet Eden Chapters, AKA the Embrace series. Here, we chat about publicity, her books, and her great characters. Welcome, Jessica!

How did it feel to see your name and book in Cosmo for the first time?
It's great. To be recognized and have a presence in any of the well-established and hip publications like Cosmo is awesome.

I read that EMBRACE started with the character of Violet. What flowed next? The plot or other characters?
First, I concentrated on getting a grasp on the key characters. It was really important to understand who I was working with, rather than just creating cardboard cutout characters that exist just to move my plot forward. Characters are the key and once I had them I was able to focus on the plot and the research.

EMBRACE doesn't cover too much of the religious aspect of angels. Was that a conscious choice or it just happened to write that way?
It was conscious. I never set out to take a viewpoint. I am not trying to manipulate this story into a neat bundle that lands in the lap of religion. It is more about the question that existed before religion - good and evil and if they are as separate as is often made out. Choice and consequence and how one person's choices can have a flow on effect that can never be predicted. And free will and destiny and if the two could in fact work together. These were the topics I wanted to deal with and bringing angels into the mix was a great way to do this. If I took a viewpoint on the "God issue" it would change the tone of the story, and the believability of Violet's character, in my view.

You wrote in a great ole-fashion love triangle in EMBRACE. Do you find yourself torn between Phoenix and Lincoln?
I find both Lincoln and Phoenix's characters to be interesting. As I have developed the story of EMBRACE and worked on the sequels I've discovered that they are both on their own journey and carving their own path. It is a constant surprise to me to see where they end up going. Am I torn between them? Of course. I'm completely invested in my characters and like children, I love them equally! And unlike Violet, Luckily, I'll never have to make any final decisions about them.

How do you deal with critics when it comes to schmexy times and cursing in your books?
I value all opinions. I can see why others would take different viewpoints on content and I respect that, but as a writer, I have to write the story that rings true with me. If I didn't, and if I couldn't stand behind the book because of that, the story would suffer. In saying that, everything has a place and has to be dealt with carefully. I take a lot of time in making those final decisions. I um and ah over ever curse word and more often than not, I will take them out (yes, there are more in the early drafts!). In the end, I don't think I end up with a huge amount and what is there is there to add impact and realism to the scene. I can only hope that it comes across that way to the readers too.

You have some beautiful international covers as well as your original. Which are you particulary fond of?
I love them all. I have been incredibly lucky to have publishers that have all taken their time to develop a unique look for the series. Which one do you like?
The US version, of course! 

What film will we find your favorite fictional angel?
Seth - Nicholas Cage's character in City Of Angels.

Thank you, Jessica for the interview and I hope your American release was awesome!

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You can find Shirvington at her website
You can find the official US Embrace website HERE
Check out the book trailer: