Today we welcome Blaise Lucey for an interview:
1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
It was a lot of brainstorming. Once I had the initial idea - what would happen if angels and demons lived among us - it was a matter of figuring out what they were doing there. What had happened to make it important for angels to be on earth? And what did the demons really want? How did that fold up into a bigger conflict?
I really love building fantasy worlds, so my favorite part was thinking about what the worlds of Glisten & Slag looked like and how they had formed, then weaving in those elements into common world history & mythology, like Atlantis. The guiding idea there is that the demons, who thrive in chaos, are trying to figure out ways to control the humans... and they've been doing it for hundreds of years. Angels believe that humans should have free will and be free to make their own choices and their own mistakes. So historical events we know were actually influenced by demons and angels as they battle across The Field (Earth) in secret.
When I choose character names, I like to think about how the name sounds when you say it. A name is a reflection of identity and often kind of drives our destiny in a weird way. "Jim" is a really unassuming name, while "Claire" sounds complex and layered. I think that's a great representation of the characters themselves. Jim is used to being invisible at the start of the book and doesn't expect that to change. Claire is always thinking and overanalyzing situations.
3.How much are you and the characters alike?
I always write parts of myself into characters, but then they take lives of their own. I'd say I'm a bit more like Claire than Jim, especially because Claire is so observant and thoughtful about what's happening around her. That also tends to drive her crazy as she learns more about what she's supposed to do when she grows her wings.
4.Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
I'm always reading! I try to keep my literary diet really diverse. I'm just as likely to be reading a fantasy book as I am to be reading a long history book about the mafia. The book that I finished recently that I absolutely loved was Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance, which is a collection of Vance's fantasy writing. Cugel's Saga in particular is just a mind-blowing adventure novel where you're always encountering some new location or exotic species.
5. What made you decide to go Young adult?
I've always been drawn to the power of the characters in young adult novels. The protagonists are usually learning new things about themselves and always trying to uncover truths about the world that, in a lot of cases, actual adults might be too jaded to see. There's also the explosive power of first loves - and first losses - which offers a rich emotional tapestry for the characters to explore as they find their place in the world.
6. How did the cover come about?
I love the cover of Blest! I think it does a great job at hinting at a lot of the secrets that get uncovered as Jim and Claire figure out who they are... and what that means for their families, their friends, their relationship and, ultimately, the world.
7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
I'm really excited about my next project, The Amnesia Complex. It's a young adult adventure novel set in the 2090s, so the not-to-distant future. The main character, Jade, is living on a farm with her dad and her dad's friend. She's never been more than a mile away from the farm and her dad tells her the rest of the world is totally destroyed and dangerous. One day, a boy, Luke, shows up outside the farm with his parents. I won't go into much more detail - I don't want to spoil anything - but let's just say Jade and Luke embark on a crazy journey on their own to figure out what actually happened to make the world the way it is.
I just finished it and now I'm working to find an agent who can help publish & market it. But I'm hoping it comes out next year!
8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
During the day, I work for a tech startup. I do a lot of writing for my job, too, so I'm always writing.
9. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
I've been writing for pretty much as long as I can remember. My earliest "novels" were called Goosechicks and they were a total rip-off of Goosebumps books but starring baby chickens. They had illustrations, too! I wrote them in 1st grade. I think my dad still has one of them in the basement somewhere.
10. One last thing do you collect anything personally?
I do! I actually collect weird watches. I like the idea that we've built machines just to keep track of "time" as we know it. I try to limit myself to only getting new ones when I accomplish a big goal... like publishing Blest! The watch I got for Blest is called the Zinvo Blade and has a rotating second hand that looks like a helicopter blade, like it's flying above the rest of the watch's face. I thought that was appropriate, seeing as how Jim, Claire, and the rest of the angels and demons do so much flying in Blest.
Thank you so much for stopping by our blog and letting us get to know you better.
Learn more about Blaise and the book Blest here: