Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Interview with Linda Poitevin + Giveaway

Today I am incredibly happy and honoured to welcome to Ex Libris urban fantasy author Linda Poitevin, who is here today to celebrate the release of her debut novel Sins of the Angels, Book #1 in the Grigori Legacy series which got released today! Yay! *Stella puts on party hat and throws confetti*

As someone who was lucky enough to read Sins of the Angels prior to its official release trust me when I say that this is one mindblowing urban fantasy series! It has everything: fast paced action, rich worldbuilding, wit and humour, deep and layered characters, sizzling chemistry and much much more! (You can read my detailed review here.)

So read on to discover more about the series, the characters and Linda, the author behind the thrilling debut that is Sins of the Angels! (psst. there is also a fantastic giveaway waiting for you at the end, but to buy Sins of the Angels and read it right now just click on the links.)





Angels Gather Here Blog Tour - Click to view schedule


Stella: Hi Linda, welcome to Ex Libris! First of all CONGRATULATIONS on the release of your debut novel Sins of the Angels which was released today! I am extremely happy and honoured you are holding your virtual release party here :-D

Linda: Thank you so much, Stella, and thank you, too, for stepping in to offer me a last-minute party place—I’m thrilled to be here!

Stella: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Linda: I live just outside Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital, I’ve been married to the same wonderful man for 24 years, and I have three children—identical twin girls who are 20 years old and a third daughter who is 17. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom the entire time, and spent the last nine years home-schooling our youngest…which could explain why writing Sins of the Angels took almost 10 years! :-) In addition to my novels, I’m also a freelance writer and editor. I love to garden and read, and I love taking long walks with my dog, Charlie.

Stella: The writing style and lyrical descriptions of Sins of the Angels was breathtakingly beautiful and moving. Is this the first book you have written or are there previous stories you have penned which haven’t been published (yet)?

Linda: Thank you so much, Stella. I take the craft of writing very seriously, so your compliment means the world to me. :-) I did have one other novel published by a small press—it was a contemporary romance and didn’t actually make it onto bookstore shelves, but the few people who did read it seemed to enjoy it! No publication apart from that, but I’ve been writing ever since I learned how, so I’ve certainly had lots of practice.

Stella: Sins of the Angels is the first novel in the Grigori Legacy series. Can you tell us a bit more about the unique world your stories are set in?

Linda: I pulled heavily from traditional angel mythology in writing the series, wanting to combine the stories with which we’re familiar (Lucifer’s fall, the Grigori watchers, the half-angel/half-human Nephilim) with our very modern world. I tried to stick with the mythology as closely as I could, but I wasn’t averse to exercising my creative license wherever needed: the One (God) is a woman; I rearranged the angelic hierarchy, and still have a few more surprises up my sleeve in the rest of the series.

Stella: What can we expect of Sins of the Angels?

Linda: A kick-ass novel that crosses a number of genres (mystery, police procedural, urban fantasy), making it appeal, I think (hope!), to a wide variety of readers. There’s lots of action and a few twists, and it even has a strong romantic element for paranormal fans. :-)

Stella: Can you please give a short profile introduction of the main characters?

Linda:

Alexandra Jarvis
Height: 5’10”
Build: Athletic
Hair: Long, blonde, worn back in a ponytail most of the time
Eyes: Blue
Distinguishing marks: None at the beginning of the book, many by the end.
My favorite quote: “If you say it’s not that simple one more time, I swear to God I will kick you in the balls—angel or no angel.”

Aramael
Height: 6’4”
Build: Think Greek god
Hair: Dark
Eyes: Gray
Distinguishing marks: None. Angels bear no permanent scars.
My favorite quote, when Alex asks what kind of angel he is: “Not the nice kind.”


Stella: Alex is a tough, independent, yet vulnerable and scarred young woman. Will you explore her past and childhood more in the subsequent book(s) or will her story mostly move forward?

Linda: While there may be a few glimpses of her history, Alex’s story will mostly move forward—she simply isn’t the type to dwell in the past.

Stella: And Aramael *sighs* He is quite the hero: tall, dark with such an intense charisma that the buzzing energy was palpable between the lines. It was interesting to see him (and a few other angels) show such a different image from the usual meek white robed peaceful pure goodness angels: he is cursing, dangerous, an intimidating warrior! Is it his specialty or are all the angels in the Grigori Legacy series more human and complex?

Linda: All the angels in the series are definitely complex, but Aramael’s kind (the Powers) are probably the most volatile due to the role they play. They get to do Heaven’s dirty work in tracking down and exiling Fallen Ones, and the kind of negative energy required to do so really leaves its mark on them.

Stella: You have quite a complex angel hierarchy established in your Grigori Legacy series, could you just quickly give a brief overview of it to the readers? Will all nine choirs of angels appear in the series?

Linda: Starting from the top: Archangels are the highest (ninth) choir and most powerful of all angels; Seraphim make up the eighth choir and are Heaven’s administrators; Dominions are the seventh choir and supervise the Powers, who are next in line as the sixth choir and are the hunters of the Fallen; Thrones, the fifth choir, have yet to make an appearance in the series; Principalities are in the fourth choir and are Heaven’s scribes; Cherubim are in the third choir and (so far) I have no plans to use them; Virtues of the second choir are the administrative assistants; and Guardian angels of the first choir play the same role of assisting humans in the Grigori Legacy as they do in mythology.

Stella: Can you tell us your plans about the future, what shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule?

Linda: At the moment I’m working (frantically, might I add!) on revisions to book 2, Sins of the Son which are due in three days’ time. (Pardon me a moment while I hyperventilate!!!) I’m only contracted for the first two books at this point, but I have a total of four planned—and, being an optimist, I’ve already started work on the third. Beyond this series, I also have an idea for another, so I’m doing some early research for that, too. In the immediate future, of course, I’ll be continuing on my ‘Angels Gather Here Blog Tour’ for Sins of the Angels.

Stella: Sins of the Son, the second book in the Grigori Legacy series is planned for release in the spring of 2012. Can you tell us if Alex and Aramael will be the hero/heroine of this novel as well or will some other main characters take their turn in the spotlight?

Linda: Alex and Aramael both return, but the story very much centers around Seth. I also introduce another prominent figure in the character of the Archangel Michael. Oh, and you’ll get to meet Lucifer, too *shudder*.

Stella: Can you tell us what inspired the Girgori Legacy series? Was there a specific moment/event/idea which set the idea of the story in motion?

Linda: My stories tend to begin with a scene or two in my head. In the case of Sins of the Angels, the song Angel by Sarah McLachlan inspired such a scene which eventually grew into a story (that was supposed to be a paranormal romance). A good friend of mine read the early draft and we started talking about the whole realm of angel mythology—she had a Catholic school background and was a fountain of information. I started doing some research on my own and thinking a lot of what-if questions and pretty soon the single story had morphed into an entire urban fantasy series filled with subplots and darker undertones, and even an element of mystery. Interestingly, the scene in my head that inspired the novel never made it onto paper even in the earliest drafts.

Stella: The angelic hierarchy resembles a lot the religious one. Which makes me wonder what kind of research did you do?

Linda: For the angel part of the book, I did a lot of reading both on the Internet and at the library. For the police procedures, I’m lucky enough to be married to my own personal reference center—my husband is a sergeant with the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and is a real stickler for getting the police details right. If he doesn’t have the answer I need, he usually knows someone who does. His former partner, a female officer, acted as one of my beta readers as well, and really helped inspire a lot of Alex’s character.

Stella: The Grigori Legacy series is an urban fantasy series. What kind of books/genres do you like to read?

Linda: I have very eclectic reading tastes. I do read in the UF genre (my favorite authors are Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Charlaine Harris, and Patricia Briggs), but I also read a lot of whatever my family brings home or friends pass on to me. This has included Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods, A Short History of Nearly Everything and others); Tom Clancy, James Patterson, John Grisham, Kathy Reichs, and many YA authors. I also love some of the classics, including Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo.

Stella: And when you are not reading or writing what do you like to do in your free time?

Linda: In addition to my creative writing, I do freelance writing and editing from home, so there isn’t a lot of ‘free’ time, lol. I do try to maintain balance, however, and so I garden, try to meet with friends for coffee a couple of times a week, and take lovely long walks in the woods and along the river with my dog, Charlie.

Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?

Linda: If my husband is away and I’m alone at night, I’m petrified of something reaching out from under the bed to grab me as I get in. Seriously. I have to be in bed and covered up before I can turn out the light…and if the light switch is too far away, I line myself up to leap into bed from about three feet away. It’s sad, I know, but true.

Stella: Thank you very much Linda for stopping by, it was a pleasure!

Linda: Stella, thank you for having me! You were an absolute angel (the nice kind!) to juggle your schedule so I didn’t have to party alone today and I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate it!

Now tell me, do you have a favorite angel character and if so, who? Do you prefer your angels to be mild and heavenly or strong and warrior-like?


Linda Poitevin is the author of a new urban fantasy series, The Grigori Legacy, from Ace Books. Book one, SINS OF THE ANGELS, will be out September 27/11. Book two, SINS OF THE SON, follows in May 2012. In her other life, Linda is wife, mother, friend, gardener, coffee snob, freelance writer, and zookeeper of too many pets.


You can find Linda at her website, blog, Twitter and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY RULES:

Penguin has generously offered 2 copies of Sins of the Angels to 2 lucky commenters!


If international readers win they will receive an ebook copy through NetGalley, US/Canadian residents will have their choice of paperback or ebook.

All you have to do is:

1) leave a comment answering Linda's questions above: do you have a favorite angel character and if so, who? Do you prefer your angels to be mild and heavenly or strong and warrior-like?

2) and leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.). 

International Grand Prize Giveaway:

Linda will be giving away 3 paperback copies to international readers drawn from all the comments left on the blog tour. If you would like to be entered in this part of the contest, please say so in your comment!

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 12 November 2011!

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