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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Author Interview with Skyler White (Includes Contest!)

Skyler White is the author of the dark fantasy novel ‘and Falling, Fly’ which came out this week. Here second book, ‘In Dreams Begin’, is due out in December. I have yet to read 'and Falling, Fly' but the blurb and the reviews have me excited about this new author to the genre.

So enjoy the interview with Skyler and enter the contest for your chance to win a copy of this new authors debut.


Amber – Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your debut book 'and Falling, Fly'? It looks like it is going to be a good read!

Skyler – Thanks! I certainly hope people enjoy it. ‘and Falling, Fly’ is, at its core, a love story between Olivia, the fallen angel of desire and a vampire, and Dominic, a self-medicating neuroscientist. Having realized everyone you don’t love tastes the same, Olivia goes home to Ireland, to the Hotel of the Damned, only to meet Dominic there. He’s a radical scientist whose research is fueled by his attempts to cure secret, inexplicable flashbacks to things before his birth, things he’s sure never happened. He tries to enroll Olivia in his research study. She says medicine can’t cure mythology, and that his “seizures” are memories of past incarnations, which is completely unacceptable to him as a scientist, even if it would actually explain what he’s been experiencing.

Amber – How did you come up with the idea for the series? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?

Skyler – The core idea for The Harrowing, to which and Falling, Fly belongs, is also the core idea of my personal philosophy or world view; and yes, developing that was a long process. Using it as fiction, as a setting for a novel, was fairly easy though. ‘and Falling, Fly’ took about a year and a half to write.

Amber – Are you anything like the main character in 'and Falling, Fly'? Are any of your characters based on people in your life?

– There’s quite a lot of me in all my characters. Like Olivia, I have to police a tendency to be cynical. She’s a fallen angel, a frustrated idealist – or a frustrated ideal – which is certainly a battle I’m familiar with. Dominic and I share a curiosity and an almost dogmatic faith that there are answers “out there” if we can just work through it. He’s an idealist too, although he wouldn’t recognize himself as such. But his very belief in the human capacity to understand is a kind of idealism, really.

Amber – Ok, have to ask this one! Who chose the title? Why that title?

Skyler – That’s me! The title developed pretty early in the draft stage as kind of an expression of the book’s journey. It is because Olivia has fallen out of Heaven that love is possible for her. It’s something I believe, about any of us, actually, that you have to come down out off the pedestal a lover can construct for you and be real, fallen, dirty cuffs and all, to be truly loved. Your true love is in the gutter with you, finding his stars in your eyes. But the title was also a statement about risk. You can’t fly standing on the precipice. You have to step into the void. I put it there as a challenge to myself. ‘and Falling, Fly’ is a very personal book and I needed the reminder to keeping putting everything at stake in writing it. You can’t learn to dive in the shallow end, right?

Amber – What kind of research do you have to do to write a book? Anything interesting, or is research boring?

Skyler – I’m a total wonk! I *love* research. I have to be very disciplined about the amount of time I put into research, or I’ll never get the writing done. And I love to travel for research. It’s a wonderful way to put a trip together because it takes you into the strangest places and gives you a mission once you’re there. Once I decided to set the second section of ‘and Falling, Fly’ in Ireland, I went back through the travel blog I’d made of a trip there in 2005. That was a lot of fun, looking at the pictures and reading all my old notes again. And I got to re-read Dante and Milton for architectural notes building my Hell. Finally I got to poke around in neuroscience quite a big, which I loved so much I’m still following several of the field’s best journals, blogs and podcasts.

Amber – How many more books will there be in the series? Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?

Skyler – ‘In Dreams Begin’ is the next book of The Harrowing, but they aren’t really a series. They just inhabit the same story-world. Dreams is set in Ireland, England and France beginning in 1889, but it’s a time-travel piece so it moves between the Victorian occultists and Irish nationalists, and the present day. It’s the story of a contemporary graphic artist who falls asleep on her wedding night in Portland, Oregon and wakes up in the body of Maud Gonne, a famously beautiful, six-foot tall, red-headed Irish revolutionary who may have been part faerie. The woman who channeled Laura into Maud then introduces her to WB Yeats, and the two – Victorian romantic poet and time-shifted, modern cynic – fall rather helplessly in love.

Amber – Have you always wanted to be an author? and why did you pick this genre?

Skyler – It didn’t occur to me as a career until about five years ago. I’d made a foray into online retailing that hadn’t worked out the way I wanted, so I sat my husband and my best friend down with an Excel spreadsheet of What The Hell To Do With My Life. Writing emerged as the common thread between my past, somewhat checkered careers. As for genre, I write what I write, and then my editor tells me what genre it is. I like speculative fiction/SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal or whatever you want to call it, because its readers are the most generous. They’ve learned to deliberately hold their minds open for you, to bring no pre-conceived notions to the table, and I am both challenged and inspired by that.

Amber – How do you pick the names you use in your books? Do they have any special meanings?

Skyler – I wondered if anyone was going to pick up on that! Yes. There’s a meaning or at least a game in every character’s name. With the vampire girls I’m playing with Eve and ova, so they almost all have a “v” in their names. I like it visually too, it has an almost anatomical quality. But they all have a “v”, or an “ia.” Dominic O’Shaughnessy, in addition to being a good Irish name, which he needed to have, also goes by his initials in a couple of places, which allows me to make a D.O. (dio) play on the name for god being implied in his name. It’s my way of saying, “he comes from this, from Ireland, from religion, even if he would claim to have no part in those things.”

Amber – What is the easiest and hardest part about being an author?

Skyler – There’s nothing easy worth doing! Writing is hard. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything, and I could list a bunch of things about it that I love, but I honestly can’t think of one that counts as easy.

The hardest thing for me has been having something so personal be so public. I don’t think I’d really thought about that when I wrote the book, but it puts my most fundamental self on display, and that feels very vulnerable. I know we’re not supposed to need external validation, but it really matters to me. When I hear that the book connects with someone, that a reader or a reviewer “gets it,” it soothes something in me. I feel less alone. It’s a complicated and not wholly gentle world I’m inviting people into, and it feels exactly like asking a busload of strangers into your home. You hope they enjoy themselves, that your coffee’s good, that they won’t ridicule your possessions, that they wipe their feet.

Amber – How do you relax? Do you have any hobbies?

Skyler – Hobbies: I read a ton. I dance. I still see quite a lot of theater. I love to cook. I relax by talking to my husband. I have a few very close friends that I talk to as well, but he and I sit down at the end of every day and talk it all over, his stuff and mine, and that unwinds me more than anything else. That, and maybe a glass of wine.

Amber – A lot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music influenced your books?

Skyler – There is, actually. The soundtrack of ‘and Falling, Fly’ is a one-hour loop of thunderstorms that I listen to while I write, but there are a number of songs that found their way into the book. There’s Tool, U2, Cradle of Filth and Stravinsky. And Collide in the book trailer.

Amber – What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?

Skyler – I read a really wide range of things. I couldn’t pick a favorite, but I’ll tell you what I’m reading now: The City & The City by China Mieville, Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness by Ned Hallowell, Gaiman’s The Sandman: World’s End, and the complete works of Arthur Rimbaud.

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?

Skyler – That’s a fun question! A dragon. They can fly and swim. They have no financial worries. They get plenty of alone-time. And I think it’d be really satisfying to breathe fire sometimes.

Amber – Thank you for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog! Good luck with the new book!

Skyler – Thanks so much for inviting me over!


Contest Time!

This week I will be sending one lucky winner a copy of Skyler's debut novel 'and Falling, Fly'.

How to enter?

New release or something that caught your eye? Tell us what the last book you bought was!

No Book = No entry!

Earn more entries for each place you link this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Amazon links below and around the site!

The contest will stay open until Sunday 14th of March 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.

Good Luck!


ninefly said...

hopefully this is open to Canadians? I've been wanting to read this for a while now =)

book: I finally bought myself a copy of Rosemary and Rue 8D

tweet: http://twitter.com/angeltyuan/status/10128788544
sidebar: http://angeltyuan.blogspot.com


Roxy said...

Love the title!

Just yesterday I bought Nalini Singh's Archangel's Kiss. I haven't started it yet because I'm in the middle of another book but I'm really looking forward to it.

Becky said...

Great interview! This book sounds real good.
A book that caught my eye is "The Misfits" by Barbara Elsborg.
Also hopefully next weekend I will be picking up a copy of Terry Spear's "Legend of the White Wolf".

Thanks for the contest.

LuAnn said...

The last book I purchased brand new was "The Other" by David Guterson.

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

KMichelleC87 said...

Oh please enter me in this contest. I really want this book! The last book i bought was Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs a couple of months ago.

Thank You for the great giveaway!


Deirdre said...

Latest book I bought was Haunted by Anna Leonard from the author!

Sarah said...

I'm not sure if this is international (I'm in the UK) but if it is I'd love to enter.

I really love the sound of And falling fly & would love to win a copy of it :o)

I just placed an order for Dark Protector (the first book in the Paladins of Darkness series) by Alexis Morgan

Llehn said...

The last book I bought was Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Karen W. said...

I'm so excited about AND FALLING, FLY, and I love the cover!

The last book I bought was ROADKILL by Rob Thurman.

karenwitkowski AT aol(dot)com

elaing8 said...

I can't wait to read this book.

The last book I bought was Shift by Rachel Vincent

tweeted http://twitter.com/elaing8/status/10148175023


Persephone said...

Let's see, the last book I bought used was Charlaine Harris' Living Dead in Dallas. The last book I bought full price at a bookstore was Chalice by Robin McKinley.


patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

Kimberly B. said...

My last book purchase was four books: Deadtown by Nancy Holzner, Queen of Song and Souls by C.L. Wilson, Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine, and As Shadows Fade by Colleen Gleason. That ought to hold me for awhile! Thanks for the great giveaway!

Unknown said...

I SO would love to read this book! Thanks for the contest!

Yesterday I was in a shopaholic craze and bought 5 books online: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (have heard so much praise about the Mercy Thompson series, I'm really curious to read it), 2 Ilona Andrews books and 2 Kresly Cole books. :-)

I tweeted about the contest here: http://twitter.com/Stella_ExLibris/status/10164049387

Thank you!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

SandyG265 said...

The last book I bought was Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep. And i pre-ordered the new Mercy Thompson book Silver Borne.

Van Pham said...

the latest book i bought brand new is Hourglass by Claudia Gray.

Thanks for the contest.

Van P.

skyla11377 said...

New Release Or Something That Caught Your Eye?
Well Something That Has Caught My Eye Other Than 'And Falling, Fly' Has Been Hush, Hush By Becca Fitzpatrick And Fallen By Lauren Kate. When I First Caught Their Book Covers I Was Intrigued. Then I Had Heard So Many Things About Them From All The Books Blogs That I Had To Put Them On My To Be Read Pile.

Tell Us What The Last Book You Bought Was!
Well, The Last Books (I Bought Them Together) I Bought Were Faery Queen Book 2 And Stone Queen Book 3 By Michelle M. Pillow. The Are Part Of Here Realm Immortal Series. I Had Just Finished Reading Book 1 King Of The Unblessed And Fell In Love With It.

I Posted This Contest On My Facebook Page.

I Tweeted About This Contest On Twitter (@skyla11377). http://twitter.com/skyla11377/status/10172829471

I Posted This Contest On My Myspace Bulletin (Raquel At myspace.com/skyla11377).

D Q said...

Thanks for the interview.
The last book I bought was Ironside by Holly Black.

Anonymous said...

The last book I bought was City of Souls by Vicki Pettersson.


whitewolfreads said...

The last books I bought were Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison and Evolve, a Canadian vampire anthology.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the interview. Your latest book sounds like a must read. I just finished reading Legend of The White Wolf by Terry Spear and I just bought Dead By Midnight by Beverly Barton.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to include my email....

mariska said...

I'd really like to read this book. it has been on my radar for couple days !

New release or something that caught your eye?
--> Sing me To sleep, by Angela morrison

- the last book that i bought was Karen Rose's book, Count to Ten.

i tweet'd : http://twitter.com/becunique/status/10196355380

heatwave16 said...

I just bought: Queen Victoria - Demon Hunter. Its a gift for a friend, and I'm sure she's just going to love it.

tweeted - http://twitter.com/Heatwave316/status/10201256591


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read and Falling, Fly.

I just bought FADE by Lisa McMann and ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost.

angel28140 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

Unknown said...

alyssa day, atlantis awakening

Rosie said...

The one I'm reading now isn't paranormal, but it's really good . . . The 19th Wife.

throuthehaze said...

The last book I bought was All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks.
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

justpeachy36 said...


Please enter me in the giveaway. The last book I bought was, The Dark Divine by Bree Despain.

wanda f said...

The last book I bought was A Highlanders Destiny by Melissa Mayhue

All This Silence... said...

The last time a bought a book, I bought more than one. Like...8... But the last one I read out of those books was "Swallowing Darkness" by Laurell K. Hamilton. AMAZING book!!

Kathy said...

The last book I bought was "The Third Kiss" by Heather Killough-Walden for my Kindle. I read the synopsis and it looked interesting.

Deirdre said...

I picked up Night Serpent and The Haunted from Laura Anne Gilman who writes as Anna Leonard over the P-Con weekend where she was a guest!

jellybelly82158 said...

I last book I bought was Rachel Vincent's Shift

Bookie said...

The last book I bought was Fire by Kristin Cashore.

I tweeted. http://twitter.com/dawnpnr/status/10389609903



Angela @ Reading Angels said...

This looks great :-) The last book I bought was It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder, her new release.

I put this in my contest sidebar

dukesangel002 (at) yahoo (dot) com

SiNn said...

awesome post!

the last book i baught was agroup really i ordered Release, by beth kery, hellions of hillsteadhall saberina jeffries


Mardel said...

The last book I bought was Bloody Good, by Georgia Evans. It's a vampire/human book set in England during World War II. It was an impulse buy- I'm taking part in a "Typically British" book reading challenge, and Georgia Evans is from England.

I read an excerpt of And Falling, Fly. It does seem good and I'm interested in reading this book.

BTW - Love the Dreadlocks

wandasissleat yahoodotcom

Dawn said...

i bought carpe demon. it was pretty good but getting ready to read the new jeannine frost book.

Unknown said...

The last book I bought was The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacquelene Kolosov and Generation Dead by Daniel Waters. I've seen posts of these on the blogosphere and when I saw them available at the used bookstore I had to grab them! I loved the covers too!

Please include me in the giveaway. Many thanks!

rubs.escalona [at] gmail.com

Diana Dang said...

Last book that has caught my eye? I would say Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. Last book I have read is Never After by Dan Elconin

faked_sugartone at hotmail

demmi said...

the last book I bought was Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Audra said...

LAst book I bought was Anya Bast's
Wicked Enchantment
PLease enter me into the contest


Gail said...

The most recent book I purchased is Kim Harrison's Black Magic Sanction. Awesome book.
I'm looking forward to reading Skylar White's book, 'and, Falling, Fly.

I posted on FB:


jellybelly82158 said...

The last book I purchased? I just bought was Kelly Armstrong's Men of the Otherworld
Please enter me.



Unknown said...

The last book I purchased was Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn. Love her books and I'm always actively searching for them. This is my contest entry..lol.


budletsmom said...

The last book I purchased was the Vampire and the Virgin.

budletsmom at yahoo dot com

Ina said...

I can't wait for Running Scared by Shannon K. Butcher - it will be out soon!!! and Nalini Singhs new Psy/Changeling book will be out in June (I think)...
and the last book I bought was Shadowglass - just finished reading and I will definitively read the next one too!
thanks for a great interview!
greetings, Ina

Anonymous said...

The last book I bought was "Shift" by Rachel Vincent.