Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.
In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.
Mortal Danger is the start of Ann Aguirre's brand new YA series and is published in the US in hardcover and eBook on August 5th.
To celebrate publication, publisher Feiwel and Friends has organised a blog tour, and my stop is an interview with author Ann Aguirre. More info on the blog tour can be found below.
Thanks to Ann for answering my questions!
Q+A with Ann Aguirre!
Wondrous Reads: Hi Ann, thanks for answering my questions!
Ann Aguirre: Thank you for hosting me!
WR: Firstly, Mortal Danger is very different to the Razorland series. What inspired you to write this story?
AA: Many teenagers struggle with depression and serious issues like bullying, and I wanted to combine social problems with a supernatural horror story. It also reverses the heroine’s character arc from Razorland. Deuce was very strong and highly skilled at combat yet she needs to learn about social cues and raise her empathy in order to become a whole person. Whereas Edie is very cerebral and has never used her body for much of anything. Before the end of the series, that will change and she’ll make some tough choices about who she is and who she wants to be.
WR: Revenge is one of the main themes of Mortal Danger - did you enjoy coming up with ways for Edie to wreak havoc at Blackbriar Academy?
AA: Some of the consequences are pretty horrific, so enjoy is the wrong word. I came up with ideas that made my skin crawl and made me feel especially freaked out when I imagined it happening. The book should evoke strong reactions when certain things happen; that’s for sure.
WR: Edie and Kian have great chemistry together and are both fun characters. Do you have a favourite?
AA: I’m always at least half in love with any hero when I’m writing him, so naturally I adore Kian. He’s just such a knight or rather, he wants to be, but Edie isn’t keen on letting chivalry take over when she’s trying to be the heroine of her own story. And I completely agree with her. (But that doesn’t mean I don’t think Kian’s adorable).
WR: Can you tell us a bit about your writing process for Mortal Danger? Did it take you a while to write and edit?
AA: Math is my process.
Basically, I figure out how long I have until the book is due. Then I divide up total words by number of days. That number is how much I have to write until my deadline. If I have enough time, I take weekends off. If not, I write that number of words until I have a book-shaped thing. Which sounds really simple but it doesn’t take into account days when I feel lazy, or there’s a house problem or a sick pet or a sick kid or I can’t find any peace and quiet. Keeping to the schedule is kind of a miraculous feat and I get rewards every time I do it.
I do edit after I draft as well. Because the first draft is all about discovery, quite a lot of it will need improving. So I revise once on my own and then I revise again for my editor to make sure the book is as polished as possible. With Mortal Danger, I think I revised four times in all.
WR: The cover is really brilliant and makes it look menacing and intriguing at the same time. Are you happy with how it turned out?
AA: Yes, I love the cover. The stark tones are very ominous and visually compelling, plus the trickling red blood on the infinity symbol definitely clues readers in that there will be scary bits. I adore the simple elegance of the design and I can’t wait to see it on a hardcover novel. Not much longer!
WR: Is there anything you can tell us about future books in this series?
AA: There will be two more books. Public Enemies will be coming out in 2015 and Infinite Risk in 2016.
WR: After penning books for both adults and teenagers, what have you found to be the main differences when writing for these audiences?
AA: For me, it's not different. I don't change my style or pull punches. I use all the same storytelling, worldbuilding, and characterization techniques from writing fiction for adults. The primary difference is the age of the protagonists, which informs their levels of personal experience and emotional development. Other than that, I write the same kind of book; my work tends to be gritty, dark, and action-packed.
Blog tour schedule:
Sunday, July 27 - The Midnight Garden
Monday, July 28 - Bevy Bibliotheque
Tuesday, July 29 - Chapter by Chapter
Wednesday, July 30 - Birth of a New Witch
Thursday, July 31 - Two Chicks on Books
Friday, August 1 - Rainy Day Ramblings
Saturday, August 2 - Wondrous Reads
Sunday, August 3 - Alice Marvels
Monday, August 4 - Magical Urban Fantasy Reads
Tuesday, August 5 - Mac Teen Books