Shadows Blog Tour, Day 22 Blog Tour
1. Gaby is a regular girl until Rafa shows up and rocks her world with a few startling revelations. What sources did you draw inspiration from for this book?
First up, thanks for having me.
The Rephaim series started with an idea about a guy and girl who are attracted to each other and who have a complicated past that only he remembers. He knows that if he takes advantage of the fact she doesn’t remember it, he’ll be in serious trouble if/when she remembers who she used to be. I knew there were supernatural elements in how she lost her memory and that they were part of a part of a larger, fractured, society.
To work out their history, I needed to build the world around them. I looked at a few mythology/folklore options, including vampires and dark faeries. In truth, I was trying to avoid writing about fallen angels because I knew there were plenty of fallen angel books out there (although I honestly didn’t know how many, and how varied, until Shadows was first published in Australia last year). Long story, short, when I finally started looking at fallen angels, I came across the Book of Enoch. It includes the story of Semyaza and two hundred angels who were kicked out of heaven because they couldn’t resist seducing human women. I started thinking about what might have happened next and how that could relate to Rafa and Gaby. The ideas came thick and fast and I knew fairly quickly I could build on that myth to create the kind of world – and conflict – to fit the story I wanted to tell.
As far as more general inspiration, I’d be remiss in not mentioning some of my favourite TV writers: Joss Whedon (Buffy and Angel were favourites, and I’m also a huge Firefly fan), and Eric Kripke and Sera Gamble (Supernatural).
2. Rafa is pretty much the most amazingly Australian nickname I have ever heard for Raphael. What did you most like about his character?
I like that he has layers. Yes he can be a bit of a dick at times, but there are reasons why he acts the way he does – particularly when it comes to how he responds to Gaby. He has a long and complicated history with her but because she doesn’t remember it, she treats him differently, which confuses the hell out of him. I like keeping him off balance. I also like the fact he’s a brutally efficient fighter, because it makes it interesting when he can’t solve a problem with his fists or a sword. Over the four books of the series, his growth curve is going to be almost as big as Gaby’s.
3. Did the chemistry between Gaby and Rafa come easily for you?
It doesn’t always work this way, but their dynamic felt right as soon as I got them out of my head (where they had been for months) and finally put them on the page.
Before I knew much about them – except for the original idea I mentioned above – I wrote some scenes for fun, just to see what would happen. It flowed so well I wrote 20 pages in that first session. (The scenes included the moment Gaby meets Rafa in the bar, which ended up in Shadows.) From the start, I’ve felt I know both characters well, and they come more easily for me than some of the others. I’m definitely still having fun writing them. Especially when they argue.
4. Gaby writes gory action scenes that freak her roommate out, is this the same for you? Do you enjoy writing violent action scenes?
I’ve had a range of reactions from friends and family after reading Shadows, from ‘Is that what really goes in your head?’ to ‘Well, that explains a lot.’ I quite enjoy writing action scenes, and I’d like to think I include the gory bits where they’re necessary for the story. Plus, if you’re writing about supernatural beings fighting with sharp objects, someone’s going to get hurt…
I’m all for a good fight scene on the page or the screen, but I definitely believe the ‘real’ world needs less violence. For me, violence in urban fantasy (or any kind of speculative fiction) is tempered by the fact the stakes aren’t as always as high: the people/beings involved tend to have greater capacity for healing – and are harder to kill. I find violence between humans far more unsettling to write/watch/read.
5. Jacaranda trees. They get a lot of page time in this novel compared to any other. Have anything to confess?
Okay, it’s true, I love jacaranda trees. There are a lot of them where I live in Australia, but they only flower for a few weeks every year. They are gorgeous and fleeting. Generally, they bloom in late spring and early summer. Most of our trees here in the sub-tropics don’t change with the seasons, so that makes jacarandas (and poincianas – another favourite) particularly special.
6. How much research did you do for this novel? Must have been fun delving into all of that apocrypha!
I started with Google (of course) and was surprised at how much information is out there about angels, fallen angels and demons, from a range of viewpoints.
I liked the idea of using an historic document as the basis of the mythology in the Rephaim series. As you say, The Book of Enoch is an apocryphal text (generally not accepted as doctrine), but when it was written two thousand or so years ago, somebody believed the stories in it were true. Although my world building takes the story in a whole other direction, it was good to have a solid starting point.
Once I decided I was going with fallen angels, I read more widely to see what other traditions existed in angel and demon folklore. I got my hands on other new and old testament apocrypha, checked out Dante’s Inferno, and researched a wide range of the beliefs about angels, from the Middle Ages to New Age angel-centric websites.
The beauty about being a writer is that you can pick and choose the bits that work for your story, and make up the rest!
7. There’s a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this book, are we going to get to find out Rafa’s big secret in the sequel?
Hmmm…well, there are some answers in Haze. But there are four books in The Rephaim series, so most of the big questions won’t be completely answered until the end of book four (some will though, including a biggie in Haze). There are more twists and turns to come, and a lot more to learn about the Rephaim and their world.
Shadows by Paula Weston
It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.
And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.
Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?
Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2013 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2013
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2013
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2013
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2013
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