Yesterday I reviewed Pretty Souls by Julie, which was a great read. Julie was more than happy to answer some questions, so here's the interview with her, which includes links to more material!
1) A werewolf and a vampire, working together while pretending to be normal teens makes for a pretty funny read. Do you know why you opted for the two different species (three if you include the later addition) work together to solve paranormal crime?
My initial plan had been for one of them to be human, but every time I tried to write it that way, something felt off. So I started thinking about these girls and how they were kind of thrown together and looked at what would be the most naturally antagonistic races. Most mythology that deals with both has werewolves and vampires hating each other. So, the idea of them not only working together but having such a tight bond really appealed to me. Plus, it allows for some fun dynamics when their natural instincts try to take over.
2) Cass and Elle are closer than foster sisters, even if they don't always like each other. In future books, will there be more dwelling into their past which was briefly touched upon in Pretty Souls?
Yes, book two is Cass's book, and she has a very, very messed up past (as sad as it sounds, hers is worse than Elle's). I'm not sure how much of it will come out in the actual book (definitely some, but there's a lot of it since her powers came at birth). However, I have a couple pieces of flash fiction written for her backstory that I will probably publish on my website right around release time. As for their friendship, I have a story that I published a couple years ago with an online magazine that deals with how they first met (http://gothhuntress.com/crimson/volumeone/0609welcometotheclub.html), and there are periodic little flash pieces that will make it onto the website (here's a funny little one that's up now: http://www.julieparticka.com/Julie_Particka/Free_Reads/Entries/2011/3/13_Theres_No_Such_Thing.html), but for the most part, there will just be little tastes of the year they spent together prior to Pretty Souls interwoven into the novels as they fit.
3) Is there any particular reason why you chose to tell the story from Elle's point of view, rather than Cass's?
For this particular book, I knew it was at it's heart about Elle finding herself. As Elle says in one section, she's the heart, Cass is the brains. As such, it was "easier" for something to push Elle toward understanding. For Cass, the push is going to be much bigger because she'll try to reason her way through everything rather than react to it. So ultimately, Elle had to go first. Plus, from a romantic angle, this one was completely Elle's story. Like I said though, book two is from Cass's point of view, so you'll get to see a lot more of her there.
4) How much research about wolves, and stalking animals, and all the heightened senses which wolves have did you have to do? Did you need much research on the other dark denizens in PrettySouls?
I've been fascinated by wolves since I was a little girl, so most of the research into actual wolves was done ages ago. There were some things that received creative license. (For example, hunting is naturally a pack activity and lone wolves have a difficult time bringing down game unless it is sick or domesticated. I didn't feel wrong tweaking that for the simple reason that she was hunting in a suburban area and the prey species in the Portage/Kalamazoo area are truly as "brave" as I made them out to be. Very very easy prey.) Also, one great thing about writing the supernatural is that you get to create the natural laws of the creatures in your stories. So Elle's heightened senses got to be a combination of animal senses with both human and wolf interpretation. Best of both worlds. To go with that, most of my other characters/creatures have bits and pieces of information garnered from research melded with what I wanted as far as limitations for the world. And, yes, I may at some point in the series return to that dreaded Punnett Square and see what other sorts of mischief I can concoct.
5) A few easy ones: when is your preferred time of day for writing? What's your favourite snack and drink while writing?
I do my most productive writing at night after the rest of the house is in bed. I sit in the (mostly) dark, and it helps make the rest of my responsibilities disappear. Music helps for that too. Ugh. I'm supposed to be watching what I eat, but I've been really bad the last couple days. Two favorites are pretzels (the saltier the better) and chocolate (I love Ghiardelli's dark chocolate squares). As for drinks, we'll pretend I never imbibe in alcohol and go with either Diet Mt. Dew or Cherry Coke Zero to help keep me awake (if you wanted the other...it changes a lot LOL).
Thanks for the interview Jessica! And I will be posting on Facebook and Twitter as soon as I have details about book 2 :)
Thank you Julie! Lots of interesting things here - it's nice to find more people who like wolves (I liked them before learning about shape-shifters) I'm definitely looking forward to book 2.