I had the pleasure of meeting Raine Thomas recently at the 1st annual UtopYA Con in Nashville, TN. After reading Becoming,the first book in her Daughters of Saraqael series, I am eager to read the rest of her series; however, first, I knew that I had to interview her for my blog :). Check back tomorrow to read an excerpt from Becoming and leave a comment below to be entered into a drawing to win your very own e-book (taking comment/entries until Friday).
Tell us a little about yourself. When did you start writing and why do you write YA paranormal?
RT: Thanks so much for having me on the blog! A little about myself, hmm? Well, I’m a wedding planner by day, YA author by night, as well as a wife and mother. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but my first books (the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy) weren’t published until last July. Since my days of whipping through the Goosebumps series as a young adult, I’ve been a fan of paranormal. Once the Twilight craze hit and my daughter came along, I decided that YA paranormal was the genre for me!
I am always interested in world-building processes. The Estilorian plane was an intriguing mash-up of the world that we know and a world that we can only imagine. How did you decide how that world would look?
RT: Isn’t world-building a fun process? When you write paranormal and fantasy, the world of your characters can be anything you want it to be. I decided to keep the Estilorian plane much like the earth would have looked centuries ago, while adding some “modern” amenities and mystical elements unique to their world. It was important to me that readers connect with the Estilorian world without me having to go too in-depth with descriptions and explanations. I want them to use their imaginations.
While I was reading, I tweeted that I was enamored of the diversity in your novel. I think that diversity manifests in a lot of ways in the series, not the least of which is in the vastly different and rather refreshing backgrounds of Amber, Olivia, and Skye. Was it a deliberate choice to represent a diversity of experience in the series?
RT: It was definitely a deliberate choice, and I’m delighted to have your comments on it. When I moved to the city of Atlanta at the age of 18 to attend college, I was exposed to so many different cultures and kinds of people. That was really eye-opening! I made a wide variety of friends and worked with numerous youth, so including characters of all different backgrounds in my books is essential.
The romance between Amber and Gabriel is sweet without being sentimental. What, to you, are the most important factors to think about when writing a romantic relationship?
RT: Thank you for saying so! Their relationship is definitely near and dear to my heart. To me, the most important pitfall to avoid is “insta love,” something I worried about when writing Becoming. Amber and Gabriel are friends for years before Becoming begins, but their relationship takes a big leap rather early in the story. That strong connection is necessary to further the story, however, so I had to work with it.
Another important element to writing romances is ensuring there is some conflict and differences between the characters to generate interest in their scenes together. For example, where Amber is sarcastic, socially awkward and prefers to stay in the background, Gabriel is friendly, outgoing and a natural leader. Together, they make it work
One of the things that I loved about Becoming was how powerful and evocative certain moments are (I won’t ruin it with spoilers for the readers). Any tips for writing those types of emotionally charged scenes?
RT: I’m so glad that you got so much out of Becoming! I’d say my biggest tip when writing emotionally charged scenes is to set the mood with music. Look up the soundtracks for your favorite movies and play songs that resonate with you. You’ll likely find that your scenes come together with the right feel when you write them alongside a playlist.
What project are you working on now?
RT: I’m in the process of coordinating my launch tour for Shift (Book 2 of the Firstborn Trilogy), and I’m writing Elder (Book 3). Shift releases on August 24th. I’m aiming for a late-November release on Elder. This will be my sixth book in the Estilorian series, so I plan on moving into another series at the end of the year.
Any last words?
RT: Thanks again for having me on the blog! I’m very much looking forward to digging into Interlopers soon. If any of your blog readers would like to connect with me, they can find me here: