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Monday, February 15, 2010

Interview with Skyler White, author of and Falling, Fly

I am very happy to introduce you to author Skyler White. Her first novel, and Falling, Fly will hit the shelves on March 2nd, so keep reading on to discover the whole different world Skyler has built for our pleasure!

Product Description (amazon.com):
In a dark and seedy underground of burned-out rock stars and angels-turned- vampires, a revolutionary neuroscientist and a fallen angel must put medicine against mythology in an attempt to erase their tortured pasts...but at what price?

Olivia, vampire and fallen angel of desire, is hopeless...and damned. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions. When his research and her despair collide at L'Otel Mathillide-a subterranean hell of beauty, demons, and dreams-rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and damnation that threatens to destroy them both.

In this fractures Hotel of the Damned, Olivia and Dominic discover the only force consistent in their opposing realities is the deep, erotic gravity between them. Bound to each other finally in a knot of interwoven freedoms, Dominic and Olivia-the vision-touched scientist and the earth-bound angel, reborn and undead-encounter the mystery of love and find it is both fall...and flight.

and Falling, Fly is your first novel. How would you describe it?

and Falling, Fly is a dark fable of desire between a fallen angel turned vampire and a self-medicating neuroscientist. It’s a ‘primal scream’ of a novel – all the things that had been cooking in me for years, in allegorical form.

Vampires are always a big hit in fantasy novels, and angels seem to be a new trend. How do you think your book stands out?

Well, there are a couple of ways in which and Falling, Fly is different from much of what’s out there right now. First of all, it’s not YA. It’s a deliberately adult novel. Another difference is that my heroine is a vampire, not a vampire hunter, and the hero is the human. Most stories I’ve read recently, if there’s a mythological, demonic or angelic being, it’s the male character, with a female human in relationship with or against him.

I think and Falling, Fly is different, too, in that it wrestles with some pretty big questions. Olivia is the fallen angel of desire. She is desire incarnate. Everyone who looks at her wants her, but she has no idea what they see. She literally can’t see herself in a mirror unless someone else is looking at her. Without the desire of others, she has no image, and no sustenance, because she feeds on that hunger she inspires. It’s sexy, yes, and it was fun to write, but it also gives me space to let readers play conceptually

You are now working on a second book. It's in a similar world to and Falling, Fly, but they are not a series?

That’s right. In Dreams Begin (December 2010, Berkley) exists in the same universe and there are a few cross-over characters, but Dreams is a dark time-travel/horror/romance between a modern, newly-married woman and the Irish poet and occultist WB Yeats. They meet in 1889 through the body of Maud Gonne, a radical Irish freedom-fighter and world-famous beauty who channels Laura from the twenty-first century by mistake. What makes this project particularly different (and fun) is that all of the characters are, to a greater or lesser degree, real people.

You have this kool feature on your website where readers can upload pictures of themselves with your temporary tattoos. Are you tattooed?

I’m not. I’m too indecisive for tattoos. My husband has one that runs from his second toe to his navel though, and I’ve loved it consistently for over thirteen years, so maybe I’m not as fickle as I thought.

Now some questions to get to know you better =)
It seems like you had many jobs before starting your writing carreer, what would be the most surprising job you've had?

I was a ballet teacher for a while; is that surprising? Also, I worked in a Ramen Noodle factory. Some people seem to be born knowing what they want to do with their lives. I was never one of those. A wise person once told me, “the path is where the trees are not.” Let’s just say I’ve been blessed to walk in a very dense forest.

What kind of music do you listen to? Favorite signer/band?

I like a lot of different music. Right now, I’m beginning to stew over a new book I want to write, and music is going to play a critical role in it, so I’m listening to some very specific things for that, but I can’t tell you what, because it’d give too much away. ;-P

Is Skyler White your real name or a pen name?

‘Skyler White’ is the name I use every day. ‘Skyler’ is a nickname; my given name is ‘Laura,’ but I’ve been ‘Skyler’ or ‘Skye’ to everyone who knows me for more than twenty years.

Your favorite perfume?

At the moment, I have five, all from this funky company called Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, but I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of their collection, so that’s subject to change.

What's the craziest thing you ever did?

I’ve done a lot of crazy things that I’m not proud of, that were stupid or dangerous. Honestly, writing this book, selling it and now having it “out there” where other people can come and peer into my psyche is probably the most truly crazy. But since the creation, sale and marketing of the novel plays out over three years and was really very deliberate, I’ll say the craziest thing I’ve done was putting myself and my family into a reality TV show. My husband and I switched houses with a dear friend and her sister for an episode of Trading Spaces about four years ago. And for anyone familiar with the series: Yes, we worked with Hildi and No, it did not go well (though we did get a beautiful room redesign out of the deal).

Thank you very much for your time Skyler, and best of luck for your upcoming release!

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

18 People left their mark' :

  1. Great interview. I'm adding this book TBR list. I'm going to have to hunt down that episode of Trading Spaces now.

  2. This is my next book on my TBR pile, it looks so good, and White just sounds so cool. Like someone I'd like to get a beer with.

  3. This book is on the top of my wishlist.Great interview.

  4. Hi :)
    Thank you for the interview with Skyler White and much thanks to Skyler for sharing here. I enjoyed the conversational tone and learning more about Skyler & her writing. Thanks for the link to the tattoo pics on her site!
    All the best,

  5. Your book sounds great..it's in my tbr list. It's great that you've worked at a ramen noodle factory and you were on trading spaces... maybe that's why you look vaguely familiar to me ;)

  6. This book has made it to my TBR list, first of all it just sounds awesome! And the author sounds like someone totally chill.

  7. Have been watching the info on this book by Skyler and have it on my Wish List and To Buy List and someday it will be mine. Thanks for the lovely review and all the interesting info Tynga.

    jackie b central texas

  8. Okay, great interview! And this sound like a book that needs to be added to my wishlist. Thanks for letting us know more about this book and author.

  9. I read the excerpt and now I really want to check it out. Great review.

    Do I ask the question here? Just in case:

    Who are your favorite authors? What are you currently reading? Name some of your favorite books.

  10. My daughter use to watch Trading Spaces all the time but I only watched occasionally. I think that was cool. I wish I could get someone to come and redecorate my home. It's drab..Got lots of ideas but little money now that I am retired. LOL
    I enjoy finding out facts about authors and your jobs were diversed and interesting. Congrats on this new release.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  11. Wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing.

    Skyler, what made you decide to write a book? Is there one defining moment or event that you would be willing to share with us?

    Kate aka Yzhabella


  12. My questions is what was your inspiration to write this book? Who and what inspires you?

  13. I'm really looking forward to And Falling, Fly, however I'm much more intrigued with the next novel featuring William Butler Yeats and Maud Gonne. As an English major I've studies a lot of his poetry and I've read some of his "A Vision," which shows his views and his obsession with the occult. So I guess my question is are we going to see a lot of Yeats fascination with the occult in the next book?

  14. Great interview. I know you said it's deliberately not young adult. So, my question is have you thought about branching out into YA eventually?

  15. Hi All, sorry I slipped behind in getting questions answered!
    BookAddictGir: I'm glad you gave me an option w. the favorite author question, cause I could never pick just one! RIght now I'm reading "Alcestis" by Katharine Beutner, Gaiman's "World's End" Rimbaud, and
    The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness by Ned Hallowell. I like to keep a novel, a short story collection or graphic novel, a book of poetry and a non-fiction going. A little scattered maybe, but at least there's something for every mood!
    Kate: Yeah, actually, there was a defining moment when I decided to try writing novels. My husband (Thrall from the website) and my best friend (she of the book trailer) had followed me into a previous venture I'd concocted making dogma-free prayer candles. It wasn't going well and the three of us sat down and had a "what the hell is Skye going to do with herself now?" talk. Trying my hand at wrting seemed (ha!) like the most rational option. If I'd know then what I know.... etc.
    Cindy: Problems inspire me. The problem behind this book was the question of desire. I needed to try and understand what it meant and how it worked in my life and the lives of people I love. But any time I'm faced with a problem, I make a model of it. An analogy or metaphor for helping me think through it. Small problems need small metaphors. Desire needed a book.
    jmspettoli: Yeats's fascination with the occult is what drives the book. (I'm having *way* more fun than I ought to with this.)
    Bookie: I don't know that I'll ever write YA. I'm working on a children's chapter book now, and I can see doing more of that, and certainly more adult, but, I'm not really sure I understand the YA space well enough to write in it. I wouldn't rule it out, but it's not something I feel drawn to now.

  16. The book sounds great.

    What made you want to write about this sort of subject? How did you deal with rejection ? Did you get your family to read the book after it came out? What did they think about it ?

  17. This book is absolutely going to be on my to-read list. My question for you is: Are there moments where you'd find it hard to continue your story? Or would you plan the whole story before you write the novel?

  18. Vampira2468: Oy, so many questions! Just feeling like I needed to tangle with desire was what made me want to write about it. It's a sorta prickly, spider-between-the-shoulder-blades sort of unease around an idea or subject that makes me want to take it on. Rejection... I dealt with rejection by expecting it and trying to learn from it. Rejection is part of the game. My husband has read the book almost as many times as I have. He's my first reader and constant re-reader. My larger family... well. I gave my parents a galley when I had them. I wasn't worried they would be angry with me for some of the risks I take in the book, but I wanted them to know in advance, before they started telling their friends, just in case they wanted to keep it quiet. They are amazingly open-minded people, but know some who aren't. This way they're able to talk to the friends who are equally tolerate and warn off some of the others.
    Aik: Yes and yes. I had the whole story planned out, but there were still moment where it got very difficult. It's such a deeply personal story that it got very emotional to write sometimes and I had days where I just didn't want to go there. And often the story will dog-leg on me. I'll know where I intend it to go, but once I get down in the weeds writing it, I see it has to go another way. Then you have to zoom out and re-map, and that can be very difficult. Overall, (for me, anyway) writing, the actual first draft new-words-on-pages, is hard. I have to really want to tell the story to make it worth putting myself through that. The other parts, the early concepting and planning, the research, and the later parts, the editing and revision work is easier and more fun.