Please welcome today’s guest, Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly and the soon-to-be released Hallowed. Make sure you read on the discover more about the series and a particularly delightful Christmas story!
** If you haven’t read Unearthly yet, you can purchase the ebook for only 1,09$ on Amazon**
1- Unearthly received raving reviews from readers and fellow writers alike, what do you expect with Hallowed?
I think that most people who liked Unearthly will like Hallowed, for most of the same reasons. Hallowed is a middle book, and sometimes readers don't fancy the middle book as much as the first. I'm like that, actually. I am generally not as thrilled with sequels because I miss the initial rush of getting to know the characters and their world. But Clara is still Clara and Tucker is still Tucker and their story carries on. Hallowed is a more serious, contemplative book than Unearthly, but I also think it is more emotionally powerful, for that reason.
2- Where will Clara take us this time around?
We're still in Jackson, Wyoming, but the world has definitely changed for Clara in this second book. In Unearthly, Clara very much saw the world in black and white, but in Hallowed she comes to live in a world of grays. We'll find out a lot more about angel-bloods in general, about Black Wings and White Wings, purpose, and, of course, we'll find out more about Christian.
3- How did you manage to keep the tension, to not say love-triangle between Christian-Clara-Tucker alive?
Ha, I love these love triangle questions. What cracks me up about the reviews for Unearthly is how often folks talked about the love triangle. I don't think I even thought the words love triangle when I was writing Unearthly, simply because I didn't mean for the reader to truly get to know Christian. Clara has a crush on Christian in Unearthly, but it's a crush on who she imagines him to be, not who he truly is. And she really gets to know and love Tucker. So there's no contest, really. That said, in Hallowed, she really does get to know Christian, and she's attracted to him and all that he represents, so it very much is more of a traditional triangle. I'm not really trying to manipulate the reader into being team Christian or team Tucker. I'm just interested in getting to know the characters and seeing what they do on the page.
4- How many books can we expect in the series? And when will the next one release?
Sigh. Well there were originally going to be four books in the series. Harper Collins only bought the first three, but I was working on the third book this summer and fall with the idea that there would be a fourth book. But my editor has recently convinced me that the story would be better served as a trilogy--that I didn't quite have enough there for four books, so I am revising the third book to be the final book of the series. This makes me sad, in some ways, to leave Clara's world, but it's also exciting because there are some other projects I've been itching to work on and now I can get to those sooner. I don't know what the release date will be yet.
Now onto some Xmas-y questions:
5- What was your favorite part of Christmas when you were a kid?
I think I loved the beauty and pageantry of Christmas best. I loved the lights and the tree and the candles that we used to light while we sang Silent Night at church on Christmas Eve and the all-in-all glowiness of Christmas.
6- Is there one present you received that really stuck to your memory?
I have a funny story about this. I'd been having some doubts about the existence of Santa, but when I confessed this to my parents, they said I would have to prove my theory. Or, in other words, disprove Santa's existence. Nice, right? I tried to do this for a couple of years. I stuck notes up the chimney giving Santa instructions to bite off the gingerbread cookie's left arm (if he really came down the chimney, he'd find the note and follow the instructions) and I tried to stay up late to catch my parents, but it never worked. I had savvy, savvy parents. Then one year I hit on an ingenious idea. We made our yearly trip to see Santa in the mall, and I told him I wanted a sewing kit. But I told my parents that I told him I wanted a specific kind of doll (what I really wanted). Oh how clever I was. Mwa ha ha. It was too good not to share, so I told my piano teacher all about my insidious plan. And I made her promise not to tell my parents. She promised. (She did not, however, promise not to tell ANYBODY, as I found out years later that it was her mother who called my parents and ratted me out). So Christmas morning. I bust downstairs to look under the tree, and there it was. . . the sewing kit. I was so astonished. Maybe Santa was real after all.
Oh, lots. We open one present on Christmas Eve. We always read The Night Before Christmas on the night before Christmas (and The Grinch who stole Christmas) and we don't open presents until at least 7am, and I like to make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.
8- What would a typical Christmas be like for Clara?
I actually wrote a quick Christmas scene in Hallowed that was eventually cut, where Clara and Billy were decorating the tree. But I think Christmas is pretty ordinary for Clara. Maggie always wanted her kids to have normal upbringings as much as possible, so I think they had pretty standard traditions. That said, I'd guess that there would be a lot more angel jokes than usual around this day.
If it got you curious, here’s a bit more about Hallowed
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
Cynthia would like to offer one of you an ARC of Hallowed!
Giveaway Ends January 4th, 2012.
All you have to do is fill the Rafflecopter form below.
The only mandatory entry is to provide your name and email addy =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Cynthia Hand divides her time between Southern California, where she lives with her husband and son, and southeast Idaho near the Teton mountains. She teaches creative writing at Pepperdine University. She is the author of Unearthly.
You can visit Cynthia here.
More of Cynthia Hand‘s books: