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Friday, June 15, 2012
Hi, everyone!

As I'm sure you all know, or should, is that I recently read Aimee Agresti's Illuminate and beyond loved it. It is possible my favorite book that I've read this year. But if I say that, then all the other books I've read will get jealous, so I leave you to draw your own conclusions. :D

Aimee was nice enough to allow me to interview her when I asked, and I know that we both had a lot of fun! I think personally that it is a really stellar interview if I do say so myself, and she even revealed to me the title of Gilded Wings Book 2 to pass on to you! So keep on reading to find out what it is! (I absolutely love it, by the way!)
Hi, Aimee! It's so nice to have you here at Sparkles and Lightning. Let's start with something I'm sure everyone would like to know: what is the author's favorite line from Illuminate?
What a great question! Let's see, I would say the first and last lines are probably my favorites because I spent a ton of time making them just right. There's so much pressure on those lines in any book! Since I don't want to give anything away, I'll just give you the first: "Up until that point, English class had been unremarkable." I like how it signals, in an understated way, that this is the moment in Haven Terra's life when things get very interesting.

Before writing Illuminate, you wrote for Us Weekly, among other magazines and journals. How did this influence you as you were writing your first YA novel?
I absolutely loved writing for magazines and had such a blast at Us! All of my magazine work was in the world of entertainment and that definitely seeped into ILLUMINATE. There’s a real sense of glamour in the book and Haven finds herself swept up in this grand lifestyle that’s foreign to her. Anytime you see her at a fabulous party, awed by it all, that pretty much came from my time as a party reporter! In my first job out of college, I worked for a movie magazine and got to cover movie premieres, which was just as exciting as it sounds. No matter how many I went to, I still always had to pinch myself to believe I was actually there!
Haven is one of the realest and most relatable heroines I have come across in YA lit. Do you consider yourself to be a lot like Haven when you were in high school?
Thank you so much for saying that, I’m so happy you liked her! There are certainly some similarities between us. Like Haven at the beginning of the book, I was studious and shy in high school (I was actually voted “Quietest” of my high school class!) and I definitely could’ve had more confidence. I probably still could even now!
The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorite classics, but I would never have thought to do a retelling. What inspired you?
I love that you’re a Dorian Gray fan too! I’ve always loved that book and I couldn’t resist updating it. I just kept thinking: What would you have given your soul for in high school to make those days go a little bit more smoothly? It’s such a tumultuous time and I’m sure we all had days when we would’ve sold our souls to make everything go our way.
Your characters have the best names. They’re unusual enough to sound different, but not too weird. How do you name them?
I’m so glad you liked them! It felt like I was naming children, I worked so hard trying to find the perfect names. Dante is a nod to the great Dante Alighieri, whose Divine Comedy is an inspiration. I wanted Haven and Lance to evoke a certain strength and comfort. Lucian and Aurelia both have meanings involving light. And for the Outfit, I wanted romantic and beautiful names since they’re all supposed to be so seductive!
What types of books did you read when you were a teen? Any specific titles?
I’m the daughter of a librarian so I grew up reading everything in sight! I loved strong heroines: I adored Jo in Little Women and the whole Nancy Drew series, she was so smart and fearless and always solving these wild mysteries. I wanted to be her! I loved the whimsy of Alice in Wonderland and anything by Roald Dahl, and the romance of Jane Austen. I read tons of classics!
If I asked you to describe Illuminate in only one word, what word would you use?
Oooh, that’s so tough! How about: Alluring!
What can you tell us about Gilded Wings, book 2? It’s one of my most highly anticipated unreleased novels. Anything special you can share with us?
Thank you, that’s so nice to hear! I’m actually polishing it up right now and it should be out next year. In Book Two the gang heads to New Orleans to face a new pack of devils!
When can we expect to see a title and a cover? And, of course, the all-important blurb.
Good question! I’m sure we’ll have all of that soon and I’ll be sure to keep you posted. Oh, heck, I’m a terrible secret-keeper. Here’s one scoop I can give: The title will be….INFATUATE!!
Please tell me Lucian comes back. (As much as I love Lance, I admit that I love Lucian just a little bit more.)
I love that you’ve declared yourself Team Lucian! Well, you’ll be very happy to know that Lucian does indeed return in Book Two! Stay tuned!
Illuminate recently received the Sparkles and Lightning Boyfriend Seal of Approval. Did you think your book would mostly be read by women, or were you hoping to attract men to read it as well?
I’m honored to have earned your Boyfriend Seal of Approval—thank you! I’m so grateful for all of my readers! I was just hoping to attract folks who love mystery, romance and strong heroines!
Where do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing or reading, I’m hanging out with my hubby and our 10-month-old son. He’s got lots of energy and keeps me busy!
Thank you, Aimee! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!
Thank YOU so much for having me and for all of your fabulous questions! 

Tell me that wasn't fantastic, roses. And don't you love the title. Infatuate. INFATUATE. I've been driving myself insane trying to figure out what it means! I don't have to read it to know it's going to be awesome, but I do have to read it to know what happens!

I really enjoyed this interview, and I hope that you did too! I love knowing new things about authors and their books! This has helped to tide me over until Infatuate and at the same time has made me want it even more :) Still, I am sure we will being seeing a cover within a few months, and seeing the gorgeousness of that is really something to look forward to!

Lovelovelove,

4 comments:

  1. That is a totally great interview! I love the questions. I need to read Illuminate now! Haha! INFATUATE is a supremely epic title. Just saying. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is an absolutely fanTASTic interview!! OMG, Retelling of Dorian Gray?!?! I must get my hands on a copy NOW. I haven't read Dorian Gray yet but plan on it very very soon (and I know the story...). Thanks for sharing this interview - it peaked my interest 10000X!! :D

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great interview! I want to read this boo SO BADLY!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great interview!!! I loved all the question and answers! They were fantastic! I loved the one word description "Alluring"

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from my readers! All comments are greatly appreciated :) If you're a fellow book blogger, include a link so I can come and visit you! I adore you all so much! <3

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