I fell in serious cover love when I saw Illuminate by Aimee Agresti. I got my hands on an arc and was instantly transported. The setting is lush, the story is fascinating and the characters are interesting. Not to mention there are two swoony boys!When the sequel, Infatuate, came out, I devoured it. I needed more Lance of the story and I couldn’t wait to delve back into the world Aimee created. And it didn’t disappoint…
Haven Terra is still recovering from an internship that brought her literally to the brink of hell when a trip to New Orleans leads to more trouble. Graduating early from high school leaves the spring semester free, so Haven and her friends Dante and Lance head to the Big Easy to volunteer with community service projects. But their true mission becomes clear when they run across an enclave of devils known as the Krewe.
New Orleans is a free-for-all for these shape-shifting devils, who are more reckless and vicious than any Haven, Lance, and Dante have encountered. And they soon discover their French Quarter housemates are also angels-in-training, and together they must face off with the Krewe in their quest for wings.
But Haven’s resolve is tested when Lucian, the repentant devil with whom she was infatuated, resurfaces and asks for her help escaping the underworld. Can he be trusted? Or will aiding him cost Haven her angel wings–and her life? Thrilling, romantic, and full of surprises, this gripping sequel to Illuminate takes the battle of good and evil to the next level.
Sounds good, right?
Now, I’ve been bugging Aimee about coming to the west coast so I could meet her since her first book came out. Alas, it hasn’t happened. Yet. However, she did agree to do an interview with me!!
1. Where did you get the idea for the series?
The very first spark came from the idea of updating one of my favorites, The Picture of Dorian Gray. High school is such a tumultuous time, I kept thinking: what would you have sold your soul for to make those days go a little more smoothly? And I decided if folks were selling their souls to a pack of devils, then we certainly needed some angels. That’s when I hit on the notion that these angels were still earning their wings: what could be a better metaphor for growing up?
2. You’re killing me with Lance and Lucien: two swoony boys who are total opposites. Who is easier for you to write?
Oooh, such a good question! They’re both just so much fun. In the topsy-turvy world of Infatuate, they’re both really evolving and in that process there are these moments where they almost swap personalities–that was tricky. Lucian gets to be unusually sweet and vulnerable at times, and Lance shows flashes of, well, unsteadiness and unpredictability. Drama!
3. When you started writing, did you know the overall ending right away?
I knew the answers to the major questions from the very start. But the thrilling part for me as a writer has been discovering how to get there. There are always those twists and turns that don’t start flying at me until I’m writing. I love when that happens!
4. And speaking of endings, after that ending in Infatuate, did you sit back and laugh at all of the flails your readers would have?
It’s pretty wild, isn’t it?! I really wanted to raise the stakes heading into Book Three. I was hoping that it would be so surprising and exciting that readers couldn’t resist wanting to see how it all gets resolved…and that they would forgive me if I gave them all heart attacks.
5. Will there be kissing in book 3?
Haha! Of course, always! That’s the best part, right? Stay tuned to see who’s doing the smooching!
Speed [ish] round:
1. What’s your go to guilty pleasure thing to eat?
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! I’m seriously addicted to M&Ms.
2. What are you reading right now?Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell. She’s a stunning talent, her writing is just otherworldly and so original. And I also happen to love that she’s a fellow Northwestern alum–go ‘Cats!
3. Who are your favorite swoony boys?
I go for the classics: Holden Caulfield and Mr. Darcy. Sigh!
4. Are there any authors that you fangirl over?
Back in my previous life as a celeb reporter, I had a MAJOR fangirl moment with Helen Fielding. I adore Bridget Jones’s Diary, so I just had to totally gush! She was very sweet.
A huge thanks to Aimee for putting up with answering my questions. And major props for spelling her name with 2 e’s!! [All of the cool kids are doing it :D] Infatuate is out now, so go get it!
Haven’t had a chance to read Illuminate? Well, enter below to win a signed copy!! FYI: I ordered the copy of Illuminate from Aimee’s launch party in Virginia today [3/9/13], so there is a chance that the giveaway will be over before I actually have my hands on the book. As soon as I have it, it’ll be sent out. :)
Rules for the giveaway are on the “terms and conditions” section of the Rafflecopter widget.