Welcome to my stop on The Dark World blog tour! Today I have an interview with the author to share with everyone - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above or see the schedule at the end of the post.
The Dark World (Dark World #1)
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league.
Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.
My first two novels, Spellbound and Spellcaster, are set in New York, and it can be daunting to write a novel set in New York City when its geography is so familiar. I can't exactly move the Empire State Building to suit my story's needs, for example. But I went to high school here, and at this point in my life, it would have felt disingenuous to write about the high school experiences of someone in a smaller town when honestly, I have no idea what that's like. The idea for a demonic version of New York City was, in part, inspired by these challenges: Here's a way I could take New York and really change it to suit my story's needs.
Once I had the idea for a demonic alternate universe, I spoke with my cousin, Jennifer, about it. She was intrigued and told me to "Get some characters there, and I'll read it." At this point, I had been working on a few different ideas, but none of them resonated as strongly with me as the idea for The Dark World. However, I did really like the characters I was coming up with for these other stories. I really wanted my main character to be strong, to be a fighter, and to be every bit as much of a hero as the "hero"—and that's who Paige is. So, I took Logan and Paige out of other works-in-progress and plunked them into this demonic world. Hmm… they're probably pissed at me for that.
2. Are any of your characters ever based on yourself or people you know?
While no singular character is directly based on any one person, all the characters are influenced by a wide variety of people. I've used the names of friends and family members for my characters, and even used direct quotes as lines in the books. (Calling someone "Captain Creepy," for example.) And throughout all my books, I include little nods to people who are important to me. Case in point: Paige's apartment is actually in the building my cousin Jen and her sisters lived in on 44th street.
3. What kinds of research did you have to do for the book?
I grew up in New York City and went to high school here, so that was already years worth of research in the bag. Beyond that, I spent a lot of time visiting neighborhoods and taking notes and pictures, considering ways I could demon-ify that area. For example: How can I make the peaceful tree-lined streets of the Upper West Side look sinister? Also, I had to check out baby books and research names: As Logan says, all the names associated with the Dark World have heavy symbolism, so it was important to me that the paranormal characters' names hold a significant meaning. I studied Latin for four years in high school, so I often used Latin words as the basis for some of these names. A nod to my own demonic torment, if you will (hated it).
4. What made you want to become a writer?
I don't know that I've ever had a defining moment when I realized that I wanted to a writer—I just always felt like I was one. When I was a kid, I used to write plays that a friend and I would act out on my grandparents' porch at the Jersey Shore. English was always my favorite subject. When I went to college, I gravitated towards the school paper, and when I graduated, I worked as a music journalist. It was all different kinds of writing, but all under that "writer" umbrella.
5. What's up next for you?
I'm wrapping up work on the second Dark World book, The Dark City—and about to jump into the final book in the trilogy!
A huge thanks to Cara for stopping by the blog and chatting with us today!
Cara Lynn Shultz is the author of Spellbound and Spellcaster. She's a proud graduate of Fordham University and her work has appeared in Teen People, PEOPLE.com, Alternative Press, The Guardian UK, and countless posts on Facebook (Facebook.com/CaraLShultz) and Twitter (@CaraLynnShultz). She lives in her native New York City with her husband, cat, and eight million other people.
Each tour stop is offering up a copy of The Dark World, and one winner will receive a fantastic grand prize package from HarlequinTEEN!
Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.
Wednesday May 14th - Step Into Fiction - Character Interview
Thursday May 15th – Harlequin Paranormal Blog - Guest Post
Friday May 16th - All Things Urban Fantasy - Guest Post
Monday May 19th - Swoony Boys Podcast - Character Interview
Wednesday May 21st - A Dream Within A Dream - Author Interview
Friday May 23rd - a GREAT read - Guest Post