Here you can find the continuation of yesterday’s Unhinged celebration, with an author interview and giveaway following the sequels review. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions for Anita to answer. They were lovely and I had a great time getting them answered!
First and foremost, thanks so much for joining us! We loved getting to review Unhinged and can’t wait for the final chapter in Al’s story!
Thanks for having me, and I’m so excited to share book 3 this coming January!
Unhinged’s ending was incredibly astounding. What made you want to end things the way you did?
Thank you! When I first pitched book 2 to my editor, it was written as a book blurb with no ending. It was basically an extended and more detailed version of the Unhinged blurb on GoodReads. That pitch, along with the success of Splintered’s reception with readers, was enough to convince my editor they wanted the book. So I began the process of writing. I’m a very organic writer, which means I basically let the story and characters lead me. So as I began to see the struggle Al was having trying to balance her two sides, I knew it wasn’t something that could be resolved in the span of the second book. She was going to have to be broken. And the only way to do that was to put her in the one place she feared most. And anyone who has read Unhinged knows what I’m referring to. By that point, the book was already over 300 pages long, so that had to be where it ended.
Throughout the series, how do you find the characters maturing? And, if at all, do you find yourself maturing through their characters?
By book three, everyone is coming to embrace who they are and will sacrifice things to save the worlds they love. Even Morpheus has his shining moments (although true to form, he also has a few carefully orchestrated plans to serve his best interests). As for me maturing, I wouldn’t say it’s through my characters as much as it is through writing itself. With each new book I pen, I learn more about the craft, the give and take of the editing process, and where my lines are drawn—what things I won’t bend on in order to stay true to my story vision and my characters.
What really helps to inspire writing about Wonderland? We know you have playlists for the books, but are there any specific artists that really help to get the juices flowing? Are there also any books besides Lewis Carroll’s works that have inspired the series?
I look at tons of pictures because I’m a very visual writer. My pinterest boards are filled with Wonderland-ish images that inspire me. As for a favorite musical artist, I adore Les Friction and Johnny Hollow for this series. But, I have very eclectic musical taste, and my favorite singer/group for the day will often be the one who parallels the scene I’m writing, either in mood or lyrics. Another thing I do to get my muse energized for this series is search through Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll for elements I can tie into my books. The only other book that inspired me was Alice, I Have Been. It’s a historical fiction account of Alice Liddell’s life and helped me come up with the idea to have my heroine be a descendant of Alice Liddell.
Have you ever considered writing a spin-off Wonderland series?
Do you mean would I—later down the line—do another series set in Wonderland with possibly a few of the same characters? Because the answer to that is an enthusiastic YES. I love this world and its characters too much to close the door forever. J
Is there anything new that you’re working on, now that the Splintered series is coming to an end?
I’ve written a short horror story for a YA anthology due to come out next year. The title of the antho is Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, and the stories are inspired by horror films, both classical and modern. There are tons of wonderful authors contributing, including but not limited to Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, and Carrie Ryan.
I’m also editing a new-adult novel that my agent and I plan to submit to publishers sometime this year in hopes of finding a home for it. There’s some information about it here.
And, I’m preparing to pitch another YA book to my current publisher. I’m leaning towards a standalone Phantom of the Opera spinoff that I’ve already started and love.
Do you, personally, think you’d be more compatible with Morpheus or Jeb? And if you or Alyssa don’t need him, can I please borrow Morpheus for a weekend or two? J
Haha! Well, on a daily basis, I would be more comfortable with Jeb. He’s very much like my husband. Protective. Noble. Loyal. Strong moral code. But I can’t deny that Morpheus appeals to my sense of adventure. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him for long, though. I’m lacking the netherling gene that would make me his equal. Fortunately, Alyssa has it, so she’s a good match for either guy. And sure, you can borrow Morpheus! But it’s up to you to distract him from chasing Alyssa long enough to get his attention.
In honor of Ensnared and the cover reveal recently (which, by the way, that is one hell of a gorgeous cover), I have to ask, what can you tell us about the third book in the trilogy?
As far as content, I’m limited in what I can share about book 3 since we’re still in editing phases, but here’s an excerpt from the first chapter when Alyssa’s standing inside the memory train, silently contemplating how her dad will be affected by being reunited with his disturbing past. It’s a glimpse of how tough and determined she is in this book:
It’s better Dad face that memory alone. Otherwise, he might try to protect me. And I don’t need it any more than he does. It took me losing my mind to gain my perspective. If that’s what it takes for him, too, so be it.
And here are some “Carrollian” elements you can expect to see warped and woven inside the pages:
• Red and White Knights
• Rock lobsters from “The Lobster Quadrille”
• The lion and the unicorn
• The Caucus Race
• Bill the Lizard
• Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat poem
• The Queen of Hearts
If you’d like a few more teasers, there’s an Ensnared pinterest board with pictures that inspired me while writing it.
At the end of the series, is there anything in particular you want readers to come away with?
As much as I wish I could, I don’t expect to satisfy or appease every reader with the ending, especially since there’s a love triangle hanging in the balance. Also, I hope I’m not compared to other authors or what they did to end their stories, because I won’t let what another author did dictate how I end mine one way or another. There is no perfectly original ending to any triangle. It’s all been done before. What makes it unique is the telling of the story and the process of the resolution. I was truthful to my characters and their choices and their storylines—through and through. So what I hope for is that even if a reader doesn’t like the resolution, they can look back over the trilogy as a whole and realize I was being honest, and most importantly, entertained them and provided escapism from their everyday life for just a little while.
In honor of some of your topsy-turvy fans, we’ve also included a few fun questions! So, if you had to pick one song to sing on karaoke night for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Are there specific actors you think would fit the roles of Jeb, Alyssa and Morpheus, if the series were to be turned into a movie?
On Alyssa’s necklaces: Do you have any visuals? We’re all dying to know what they might look like in real life!
Greatest guilty book pleasure?
Anything by Ann Rice. And the only reason it’s a guilty pleasure is because once I fall into her lush prose, I lose track of time along with housework, which makes me feel guilty (although not enough to stop reading). J
What is the worst gift you’ve ever received…and the worst gift you’ve given?
Received was a box filled with threadbare men’s underwear (my brother’s and cousins’ idea of a joke). And the worst I’ve given was a set of toy drums for one of my friend’s sons. She wanted to kill me for about a year until they finally wore out.
Worst Halloween costume and year? Also: please tell us you’ve dressed up as Alice before.
Worst costume was a big cardboard box that hung on me with shoulder straps. It was thrown together last minute for a school party. I think I was seven. I showed up at school and of course the other girls were in frilly princess dresses. And no, I never dressed as Alice. But I did dress my daughter as Alice when she was six and my son as the white rabbit (he was three). They were an adorable pair. Little did I know then that one day I’d be writing stories about their twisted counterparts in order to earn money for their college educations. ;)
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Anita!
Thank you for having me! These questions were fabulous and I had so much fun answering them. :)
Alrighty, now it’s time for the free stuff! In honor of the Splintered series we’re running a Rofflecopter contest.
Up for grabs will be these très cool mini Alice in Wonderland inspired DRINK ME bottles pictured below.
Aside from these cuties we’ll also be giving out A.G. Howard swag packs. Each will include one Splintered bookmark, one Alice in Wonderland bookmark, and a bookplate.
I also have some extra books and swag from authors like Amy Clipston, Tara Kelly and Kelly Creagh so you are very welcome in advance because I’ll probably surprise a few of you with extra goodies.
Now, I’ve decided to have a bit of fun with this so we’ll be running this particular giveaway a bit differently.
Off the bat, we will be giving away one lucky winner a mini Alice bottle and a swag pack, but for every fifty people that enter, we will double that.
So, basically, here’s the lowdown:
50 people – 1 winner
100 people – 2 winners
150 – 4 winners
200 – 6 winners
So get to it! Tell your friends and enter to win below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway