Lee is our ‘author in residence’ this month, so we’ve put a few questions to her..
Who were your favourite authors when you were a child?
I loved reading both fantasy and real-life fiction, and some of my favourites included Lloyd Alexander, S.E. Hinton, C.S. Lewis, Tove Jansson, Barbara Wersba, and Norma Klein. (Several of those are American authors whom your readers might not have heard of, but I’d really recommend checking them out!)
When did you know you wanted to write?
I’ve literally almost always known. One of my earliest memories is of sitting at the little school-desk that I had in my bedroom, writing and illustrating a story. I was very serious about it; I was determined that it was going to get published! I was lucky in that both of my parents loved to read and read aloud to me from an early age, so I suppose it was only natural that creating my own stories was something I wanted to do.
For those who haven’t read Angel yet, tell us a little about it.
Angel imagines a world in which angels are real…but instead of being kind helpers who look out for us and have our best interests at heart, they’re actually predators, who drain humans of their energy and leave them irreparably damaged. Alex is an AK, an Angel Killer – one of the few who knows the truth and is committed to destroying the angels who have invaded our world. And Willow is a half-angel. Against all odds, the two of them fall in love. (Plus, there’s a road trip!) I had always wanted to write a big, epic story, so Angel was lots of fun to do.
Your depiction of angels is interesting and unusual – where did the idea come from?
I was standing in a bookstore one day, looking at all the non-fiction books about angels, and I suddenly thought – what if angels aren’t what they seem? What if they have their own agenda, and are actually beings to be feared instead of admired? Angel happened very quickly after that!
What can we expect in Angel 2?
Without giving too much away, Angel Fire is going to have mostly an urban setting instead of the wide, open spaces of Angel. We’ll have many of the same characters (including Alex and Willow, of course!), as well as some new ones. Both Alex and Willow will find themselves and their love for each other tested in ways they never imagined – and meanwhile, the angel threat is now poised to take over our world completely, unless something is done to stop them.
You grew up in America, but now live in England. What do you miss most about America, and what do you love most about England?
Ooh, good question! The things I miss most about America tend to be just silly little things – being able to order iced tea in a restaurant; seeing fireflies at night in the summertime; enjoying lots of bright, hot sunny days (I grew up in the south!). And what I love most about England is just that it’s my home now – plus I love the countryside (and here in Hampshire we really have some gorgeous spots), and the people with their wry sense of humour.
What do you like to do with your free time?
Free time? Um, I don’t understand the question… Just kidding! In my mythical free time, I love to read, and also really enjoy cooking. I also do silversmithing, and like to make my own jewellery – though I haven’t had time for that in a while!
Thanks, Lee! If you’ve questions you’d like to put to Lee, post them in our forum or on our Facebook wall and Lee will pop by and answer them.