Interview with Aprilynne Pike!

Posted on May 25, 2010

One of the books from the previous ARC giveaway was SPELLS, the second book in the WINGS series from Aprilynne Pike. She’s taken time out of her crazy-busy touring schedule to answer a few questions about her inspiration, love triangles and parents in YA fiction. Interested? Read on …

CG: Aprilynne, tell us what we can expect to see in SPELLS!

AP: In SPELLS Laurel is summoned to the Academy of Avalon to learn how to be a Fall faerie. While she is in Avalon, we get to see more of Tamani as a person, rather than just fulfilling his role as a sentry. We get to see Laurel and David as a couple and Chelsea also gets to play a bigger part!

CG: Your WINGS series calls on some traditional fairy lore but also has a pretty radical twist on the idea. How did you come up with that twist, and what are the different ways that you get to play with it in SPELLS?

AP: I was tossing and turning one night at like four AM and I came up with this idea of this Goth faerie who lived with these three old women and couldn’t go out after midnight because there was no power from the sun. It seemed like a really cool idea at 4AM . . . and not so cool at 8 AM. But from that little seed of the idea that faeries could get their power from the sun I started to wonder why. And the obvious answer was that they photosynthesize. That was the “ah-ha!” moment that really started everything. The rest of the lore just exploded from there.

I actually do more playing with the culture and history than the faerie genetic make-up in Spells. We learn a lot about the culture of the faeries and that does involve their plant-nature, but I don’t really get back to the physiological make-up of the faeries in depth again until Book three.

CG: I’ve come to believe the middle books in series are maybe the toughest to write. Would you agree or disagree? And what else would you say about the unique challenges and pleasures of writing a series as opposed to stand-alone books?

AP: SPELLS was the hardest of the books for me to write thus far. Book three actually came pretty easy. Maybe because I had been thinking about it longer. Which I guess is the pleasure part.:D I feel like Book four is already half-written because I have been running through the book in my head for three years! Your characters become familiar and homey. On the other hand, it is nice to take a breather and play with new characters now and again. I always try to work on something non-Wings between each of the Wings books.

CG: Our main characters each share a quality that’s somewhat unusual in YA literature: Both Laurel and Bianca have warm, close relationships with their parents. Why did you go that direction, and were you aware when you made that choice that you were sort of going against the grain? What’s your guess as to why so many parents are absent or dead in YA literature?

AP: I made that decision very consciously because I grew up in a really happy home and almost felt left out because of that. The fact of the matter is that a lot of kids have close relationships with their parents. But mostly what we see in our novels is estranged relationships to the point that some of those kids do feel different. I wanted to have a book that told teens who actually like their parents that it’s okay. That being said, Laurel does have some issues with her mom in Spells. This is not the Brady Bunch!:D

The obvious reason that so many parents are absent in teen novels is that parents do get in the way. They like to help solve their kid’s problem and would not generally let them go out and do the world-saving that needs to be done! In both Wings and Spells, Laurel does a lot of lying. With . . . interesting results.:D

CG: You have a strong love triangle at the heart of your story. What appeals to you about writing a triangle? What do you think it’s important to do (and not do) when you’re showing a character torn between two possible love interests?

AP: I adore love triangles! I think every girl (I’m still a girl at heart!) loves the idea of being fought over by two guys. I sure do! I think that is the main reason I like them. When writing a love triangle, I think it’s important to not turn your character into a player. They can’t just go from making out with one boy to the other and back and forth. The reader will lose sympathy for them. And this is a personal choice, but I like to have both of my guys be equally appealing. I love seeing my fans argue about who Laurel should be with. Because their are a lot of people on both sides! That tells me I set up a balanced love triangle!

CG: What’s coming up next for you?

AP: I am just finishing up line edits on Book three, and this summer I will write Book four! I also have a stand-alone ghost book that I will start edits on later this year that we haven’t quite pinned down a publication date for yet.

And I might have a sparkly new idea for a series that I’m forcing myself not to work on yet.:D


Thanks to Aprilynne for stopping by! Meanwhile, if you want to enter this week’s giveaway, you have until Friday, so get a move on!