Thursday, 7 February 2013

Author Spotlight: Lily Crussell (ROYA #5)

Last week I reviewed Lily Crussell's Young Adult Paranormal Romance Of Darkness and Light (Shadow of the Nephilim #1).  Luckilly for me, Lily has been good enough to share her inspiration on writing this debut novel, as well as answering some all-important questions regarding my favourite character, the fallen angel. 


If you caught last week's post, you'll  recall me mentioning that Lily Crussell's angel romance is definitly one for the girls. Fear not, my lovely non-girly readers, this interview is not as exclusive. The book, of course, is aimed at teen girls, and the rest of us teen-girls-at-heart.  Lily is similar to myself in this respect. We both prefer Young Adult books. "I have no desire to read about people going shopping all the time!" she told me. I agree wholeheartedly. Can you imagine reading anything more boring? Maybe a book about golf? (Feel free to leave your opinion in a comment below)

Lily sees Of Darkness and Light (ODAL)  as being a little more on the grim side to most other teen fiction she's encountered.  It certainly does have some very gruesome parts. I enjoy a little macabre merryment (yes I do). Elora, the female protagonist in the Shadow of the Nephilim series, certainly takes a bashing. All the same, she's a tough cookie. Her pragmatism and her delightfully cynical outlook, albeit slightly paranoid, make her great to read.

"Poor Elora is me," Lily confesses, "but an improved version of me. Her temper isn't quite so bad, and she's a lot braver and stronger than I am. I think all authors put pieces of themselves in their characters. It's unavoidable really because you can only write about things you've felt or seen as far as emotions are concerned." Absoloutely. That's one thing I have to give Lily credit for: whatever method she's using, she certainlyknows how to craft a well-rounded, complex heroine. One wonders though, if Elora and Lily have the same romantic experience in common...? "I wish I'd had a relationship as loving and special as Elora's, but it hasn't happened yet!"

"Girl meets boy. Boy has Wings"

That's how Lily describes her debut novel. However, it isn't the first book she's ever started writing.  Turns out,  she simply couldn't get  Elora and the angels out of her mind. "I had to write. It was like a compulsion. I'd lock myself in toilet cubicles at work and scribble maniacally on scraps of paper, then type then up when I got home." Of her writing method, she says, "The creative process isn't something I think through, it just happens. I don't plan where the story is going because it always changes as I write it." Must admit, this is where our creative methods differ. I like to have a general destination to aim towards. It is the journey my characters take to get there which tends to remain less planned. But what works for  one writer, may not work for the next.

For example, angels, or any other winged people, are simply not part of my writing repertoire, nor have they ever been. For Lily, they are ideas that have been in her mind for years. "I've always been obsessed with wings and feathers, I first got the idea from watching the movie The Prophecy."  A Christopher Walken movie that I haven't seen yet? How did I miss that?

I Love Lucy

Our writing methods differ slightly, but we do share an understanding of how a smaller character can suddenly take on a much bigger role. When I was writing the first chapter of The Ferryman's Wife, Percy Dunwrite literally appeared out of nowhere.  It was as though I turned around an there he was. I immediately knew he was going to play a major part in my story. As it turns out, Lily had a similar experience when creating my favourite character in ODAL, Lucifer.

"My darling Lucy!" Lily exclaims."He was supposed to be in one scene, but he wouldn't let that happen!"  I asked her what the inspiration was behind this thoroughly likable character, "I've always been fixated on the idea that no one is all good or bad, and Lucifer was one of God's most beloved angels until we came along. He's had a long time to stew, but he's not evil, he just has a different sense of right and wrong."

The fallen angel fast became my favourite character, as he brought humour and excitement with him to the story. That's not to say the rest of the book isn't funny. In fact, even at some of the darker parts, Elora's take on things put a smile on my face. "Life has moments of ridiculous humour when you least expect it," Lily explains, "I don't think any life is completely devoid of humour and laughter, even when things are falling apart around you." There's an almost Monty Python profundity to that. I like it.

 A Heavenly Host?

As ODAL is the first in a series of three, you can expect more  of Elora and her angels. However, there's more to come from Lily yet.  "One of my other YA Paranormal Romances is currently being critiqued, so that will probably be the next one out. Completely unrelated storyline, but the same genre."  And of course, she's also one of the authors featured in Dark Company, the anthology where all proceeds go to the charity buildOn. If you can't wait, then there are some deleted scenes from ODAL, as well as a sneaky peak at Of Blood and Feathers, next book in the series, available to read right now! Hop on over to Lily's Blog to find out more.

Connecting with Lily is easy. You will find her on: Twitter -- Goodreads -- Facebook -- Wordpress

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Lily's blog to read the first chapter of book two... Until next time!

Remember, if you have something that you think would be of interest to ROYA, email me at with ROYA and your name as the subject.

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