Book Nerd Interview
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
Actually, my all-time favorite book is outside my genre! It’s an adult novel: Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk. I reread it every few years. It’s a book I can just completely curl up into, relishing the use of language and the vividness of the characters.
Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing the Angel Series?
Definitely Willow. She started out being a kind of sweet, quirky girl, but she always had a core of real strength, and this is challenged a lot throughout the series. One of my favorite sections in Angel Fever is when she’s on the road by herself. I realized then how much she’d grown as a character – from being a somewhat naïve teenager to a strong, capable woman.
What do you feel is the most significant change since Angel Burn?
There’s a real darkening of tone as the series goes on and the story events become more desperate. In Angel Burn, it’s still pretty much the world as we know it, but by the time we get to Angel Fever, earthquakes have leveled all the major cities and humanity is captive. You could almost say that the series shifts from urban fantasy to dystopia.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Ha! I love this question. I think Willow and Katniss would be completely kick-ass together. Can you imagine the two of them teaming up together for a fight?
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Alex?
That he spoke fluent Spanish! I genuinely had no idea of that until I got to a particular scene in Angel Burn and it just happened. It wasn’t something I’d planned, but it had a huge impact on the series: because Alex could speak Spanish, the story travelled south to Mexico in Angel Fire.
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
It was actually an after-school job: I worked at the now-gone and much-lamented Publisher’s Bookshop in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was THE bookshop in Little Rock when I grew up there: a glorious independent that stocked absolutely everything and was staffed with an eccentric cast of characters. I loved working there so, so much. All my friends thought I was the luckiest person alive (I was!)
Who was your first boyfriend?
When I was in the seventh grade, a boy named Brennan asked me to ‘go’ with him. He took me to see a movie and the woman behind the counter looked at us and asked, “One adult and one child?” (Yes, he was a few inches shorter than me!) He was CRINGING. Both of us dissolved into pools of inarticulate embarrassment and broke up soon after that. (So, yeah…thanks a lot, woman behind the counter.)
Tell me about your first kiss
I was sixteen, and a boy I really liked named Steve came over to the apartment where I lived with my mother. We went for a walk – he didn’t have a car – and as we were heading out through the apartment gates he put his arm around me and kissed me. It was over so fast that I hardly had time to think, “First kiss! Yay!” (It got better after that!)
When was the last time you cried?
I was watching The Shawshank Redemption. I hadn’t seen it since it first came out, and I’d forgotten how great it is. That final scene had me in bits, as we say in the UK.
Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Ouch! I think I’d have to go with true love with the heartbreak. At least you’d have happy memories to look back on in your old age.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I actually think the 80s were a pretty cool decade to be a teenager in – but if I had to choose a decade that wasn’t my own, I’d go with the Roaring Twenties.
Top Ten List - Things you would change about your high school years if you could go back in time.
Rethink the dress with the bat-wing sleeves.
Actually start a film club, rather than just talk about it.
Show up for PE occasionally.
But on one of the times I do show up, refuse to go over the horse vault so that I don’t sprain my ankle and end up on crutches for six weeks. (Though on the other hand, this did result in sexy Rob carrying me to the nurse’s office. Hmm, tough call.)
Avoid Latin like the plague.
Refrain from giving myself that ‘wispy bangs’ haircut.
A few years later, similarly refrain from succumbing to that 80s perm.
Not go to the party where my wannabe-rock-star boyfriend went Metallica-berserk with his guitar and the mic stand. (It was exactly like that scene from Back to the Future. Everyone just went silent and stared at him. And he’d made me wear a t-shirt with his band’s name on it. THE HORROR HAS NOT FADED.)
Try to pass algebra this time.
Not worry about my (completely normal) weight.
Top Ten List - Your favorite guy characters from your books, including random facts about them.
10: Brendan from Angel Fire: From Portland, Oregon. Has wiry reddish hair. Used to work at Powell’s Bookstore. LOVES to talk.
9: Wesley from Angel Fire: Mother was a CIA agent. One of the few who’s known the truth about the angels from the start. He’s extremely shy, which can come across as unfriendly. Looks like a young Will Smith.
8: Scott from Angel Burn and Angel Fever: Star quarterback at Pawtucket High. Brown hair and rugged good looks. Willow’s best friend Nina had a crush on him for years – ended when they finally started dating. Scott was just a bit too in love with himself. By the time we see him again in Fever he’s a nicer person.
7: Cully from Angel Burn and Angel Fever: Like a father to Alex. Real name is John Culpepper. A Southerner with an intriguing past: the hell-raising son of a preacher-man. Used to bootleg alcohol. A whiz at poker and an expert about angels.
6: Jake from Angel Burn, Angel Fire and Angel Fever: Alex’s older brother. Though we only see him in flashbacks, his death had a huge impact on Alex. Slightly taller than Alex, with the same dark hair and blue-grey eyes. He was always the more cautious one.
5: Jonah from Angel Burn and Angel Fever: Used to be Raziel’s assistant, then realized the truth about the angels. The loss of his faith in Angel Burn was the worst thing to ever happen to him. But he builds another life for himself and is much more self-confident when we see him again in Fever.
4: Raziel from Angel Burn, Angel Fire and Angel Fever: The quintessential bad guy. Has a dry sense of humor, endless ambition, and no scruples whatsoever. Yet he becomes fascinated by Willow as the series goes on – the concept of having a daughter really intrigues him.
3: Sam from Angel Fire, Angel Fever: From Dallas, Texas. Big, blonde and muscular. In Angel Fever Sam really comes into his own, and is challenged in ways he couldn’t have imagined. Has a sneaking liking for Elton John.
2: Seb from Angel Fire and Angel Fever: The world’s only other (known) half-angel. Has spent his life admiring the angels’ strength while abhorring what they do. Extremely private. It’s easy to think you know him better than you do. A bit of a flirt, with a mischievous sense of humor. Has always been aware of Willow and in love with her.
1: Alex from Angel Burn, Angel Fire, Angel Fever: Raised as an angel-killer from the time he was a small child. Looks older than he is. Emotionally, has been an adult since he was about 14. Blunt, doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but also very kind and endlessly sexy! It’s Alex’s destiny to be a leader, though he has reservations about it. Willow is the first (and last) girl he’s ever loved.
As half-angel Willow strives to save the world from her parasitic otherworldly kin, romance and tension heat up to a climactic finale.
In the devastated remains of the world, millions of people live in “refugee” camps provided by the angels who have all but enslaved humanity. As this angelic stranglehold tightens, Willow and Alex are recruiting and training new Angel Killers while struggling to hold ground on the celestial battlefield. But Willow continues to have feelings for Seb, and her love and resolve are tested as a shattering revelation sends Alex on a separate journey. Now that the final battle versus the angels is about to begin-and the fate of the world hangs in the balance-each of them must face the consequences of their own choices. Will love endure? Will the human race survive?
Usually when the final book of a series is released, I find myself diving back into the previous ones in order to refresh my memory. However, this wasn’t the case for this series. Weatherly’s writing is truly amazing. Her writing etiquette is so refined and smooth that it felt like Angel and Angel Fire were etched into my mind. The finale that she delivers is one that will not be forgotten. The emotional roller coaster that she has engineered and controlled had me on the brink of tears.
Alex and Willow’s own emotional ride is one that holds a place in my heart. It seems that they have been through it all and it was exciting to read what was the next step in their story. It could have been any relationship in a book but it was Weatherly’s writing that truly brought out the emotional feelings between two people that it was easy to feel every one of them. No matter what situation was, it is clear that Alex and Willow are perfect for each other.
They say that all good things must come to an end. Fortunately, this was the case with the Angel series and its conclusion, Angel Fever. The first two books have racked up a mountain of questions and readers will appreciate the attentiveness spent in having all of them answered. Perhaps the most awarding part of a well-written series is how a reader is still able to come up with a continuation even after all of the doors have been closed. Weatherly cleverly constructed a story that touches all known human emotions that it becomes easy to relate with the characters. The option of accepting the story has ended is thrown out the window because it just becomes too difficult to undertake the idea of these characters to cease existence after the timeline of a story. The abundance of paranormal/fantasy/romance books can be overwhelming that most follow suit to the general acceptance of what these books should be. However, all the rules are ignored and Weatherly steers off-course and leads a path that many readers have been waiting for.
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