Part 2:Â Interview with Claudia Gray, to read Part 1, go here!
Following Afterlife, I believe Balthazar has his own stand-along book coming. Is there anything you can tell us about that? And have you picked a name, or will it stay Balthazar?
It\’s going to be Balthazar& That was what I wanted all along& I\’m still working out the outline to some degree; I know that he ends up in High School again, but this time in a very different high school and in a completely different context.
And an old enemy from his past, somebody who hasn\’t been involved in the Evernight series at all is going to appear, and not only is that going to provide a window for us to look into all the different centuries, eras, and wars and everything that Balthazar has lived through, but it is also going to present a very real danger in the here and now. And also& he gets a little luckier in love, although he couldn\’t much unluckier in love, could he?
I was very excited to hear that you have two new series coming out: the Spellcaster series and a werewolf novel, Fateful, (onboard the Titanic!). Both sound extremely exciting!
Are you able to tell us anything about either novel?
Fateful (a standalone novel)
Werewolves on the titanic& The main character is Tess, an English servant girl, [working] as a ladies maid in 1912. She works for this very upper class family& and she just wants to get out of there to start this new life for herself, and of course, she thinks that the minute they get to New York, she\’s going to be able to do this.
Among the many complications along the voyage she meets this very wealthy, handsome guy Alec (the wealthy mother of the family she works for is trying to set him up with her daughter). He\’s handsome, and he\’s wonderful and he\’s nothing like the snobs she\’s had to work for.
But it seems like he\’s leaving Europe in a big hurry& and there are all these whispers about how he used to be tied up with this French actress, she died recently, but it couldn\’t have been him because that person was torn apart by dogs& So what could be going on?
There\’s all the danger going on with him and essentially they would be having a really full trip even if the ship made it to port safely, which it does not.
Lia is a young witch, about 16, and it\’s a world like our own, but the idea is that witchcraft is secret, it\’s practiced only by women, and the person who teaches you is usually your mother or a close female relative. When you enter adolescence& that is when you really come into your power.
Not quite a year before this story starts, Lia\’s mother, very suddenly, left her father, left the family, wanted a divorce and really doesn\’t want any contact. This would be devastating for anybody anyway, but for Lia there\’s the added burden that she\’s been brought up in this life, learning these skills, and just at the moment when she aught to be learning to master all this, her teacher is gone, and she\’s left on her own.
[Her] dad is very heartbroken, he\’s taking them to this new town [and] the minute they get there, she realises there\’s very deep magic in this place, and can sense that there is this sort of malevolent source at work&
This guy Mateo, who is obviously cursed, thinks that he is going crazy; he doesn\’t understand that it\’s magic working on him. She sees it. There are other terrible things going on in this town, something is just not right. So essentially, she has to find and go up against this dark sorceress on her own, without the guidance of her mother.
It\’s a lot of fun!
I believe that before revising for the Evernight series, your original manuscript was a Chick-lit novel. What was your novel about?
The Jetsetter\’s Guide. It was a cute idea, but looking back, it really wasn\’t a book& This young woman has been allowed to field test a new guide; travel book, [written by a guy who] had a nervous breakdown, so everything in it is wrong, and she\’s having all these misadventures in this little country and there is only one American official there and of course, he\’s a cute guy and he\’s having to come and get her out of trouble all the time.
On that topic, are you able to describe some of the publishing processes you went through?
I\’ve been insanely lucky. When I told [my agent] the idea of the Evernight books, she said, â€˜I want you to start work on that. Right now.\’Â Because, Twilight was out and it was doing well, it wasn\’t anything like now& but it was popular enough, and at the time, there really wasn\’t much paranormal YA out there and she said, the fact that you have something else paranormal YA, there\’s going to be a bigger appetite for this kind of thing… And essentially that was the week that every publishing house in New York said â€˜we need something paranormal\’ and we were there. So I got very lucky.
YA fiction is becoming more and more popular these days. Why do you think that is?
My theory is& YA fiction, we all relate to, I mean after you get out of school, everybody\’s lives become very different& everybody\’s lives become a lot more varied, whereas in high school, even though your experiences are different, everybody remembers falling in love for the first time, everybody remembers those fights you had with your friends that seemed like they were going to end the world, everybody remembers trying to be independent for the first time, and both desperately wanting that and also not being at all sure that you can do it.
I think everybody connects to those emotions and so books written about that time and in that voice, take you back to that, resonating for a lot of people. Nobody every gets over being sixteen. We wish we did but we don\’t.
And finally, any special plans for Melbourne?
For Melbourne, I hear this is a great food city. And I feel like I should be more sophisticated and say something besides eat. But that is my main plan; I wish to eat here.
Release Dates for Claudia\’s next books:
- Afterlife will come out in Australia next year on February 22nd, which is actually a couple of weeks before the US release date. So Claudia has asked, that everyone be good, and not post the spoilers online.
- Fateful in September 2011
- Balthazar in March 2012
- Spellcaster around September/October 2012 (nothing confirmed as yet).
Well that about wraps it up. A big thank-you to Claudia Gray for sparing the time to talk to us; it was an absolute pleasure. We wish her all the best and will be sitting in eager anticipation for her next books to be released in Australia! Keep your eyes open.
Available now: HarperCollins RRP$19.99