Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spotlight: Steadfast by Claudia Gray

Steadfast (Spellcaster #2)
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive's Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth...or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia's magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn't know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic...which has begun to call Nadia's name.

Spellcaster ♥ SteadfastB&NAmazon 

Author Interview 
How has writing the Spellcaster series differed from writing your previous novels?
For me the main difference has been telling a story through multiple points of view. All my previous novels had only one POV character - which is a lot of fun in terms of fully immersing into that character, but also very rigidly structures the storytelling. The reader can only get information when and how the character learns it. With multiple POVs, like I have with the SPELLCASTER series, I get to play with suspense a little more -- sometimes characters can't share what they know right away, or choose not to. Plus I find it fun to sink into all these people's minds and world views. It adds a lot of variety to the writing experience.
Who is your favorite character in Steadfast? Why?
In STEADFAST, it's Verlaine. She's the "best friend" character in the first book, but in this second book she really becomes a second lead. She even gets her own love story, which is probably even more dramatic than Nadia and Mateo's! Also, I love picking out vintage clothes for her to wear. (I even have a Pinterest board devoted to stuff she'd like!)

What does your writing space look like? 
I'm lucky enough to have an office, which -- after writing about seven books on my old sofa -- is a luxury I greatly appreciate. It's in the back of my house, so there's not much street noise, and I have both a desk and a smaller sofa to work on. Plus my bookshelves are in there, so I'm surrounded by stories; I find that comforting, when I'm writing. There's no view to speak of, which is probably for the best. And fairy lights hang alongside the window. For absolutely no reason I can name, I love to write by fairy lights. I think I'm actually more productive that way. Should schools have fairy lights in the classroom? I say yes.

If the Spellcaster series had a theme song what would it be?
It's probably "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. It's all about the nearness of evil, the way it hides everywhere in the world and within us, and how powerful temptation can be. The first lyrics:

Take a lit
tle walk to the edge of town
Go across the tracks
Where the viaduct looms,
Like a bird of doom
As it shifts and cracks
Where secrets lie in the border fires,
In the humming wires
Hey man, you know
You're never coming back
Past the square, past the bridge,
Past the mills, past the stacks
On a gathering storm comes
A tall handsome man
In a dusty black coat with
A Red Right Hand

If you're looking for a love theme, though, it's "Cosmic Love" by Florence & the Machine.

I took the stars from my eyes, and then I made a map
And knew that somehow I could find my way back
Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you

The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart

I know it's still early but can you tell us anything about Sorceress?
Actually, SORCERESS is in final edits right now! I can't give away too much without spoiling STEADFAST, but I can tell you that yet another disaster strikes Captive's Sound - but this time, people in town realize it might be supernatural in origin. The "witch hunt" for a culprit becomes very literal ...

About The Author
Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn't choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn't), because I'd always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven't) or even because I'm hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

I live in New York City. So far, in life, I've been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading, and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.

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