Hey everyone, so you might’ve seen my review of Madhuri Blaylock’s THE GIRL a few days ago. Recently, I got the chance to ask her a few questions about her book, what the publishing process has been like for her and what she enjoys most about writing. You can read the synopsis below and be sure to check out Madhuri Blaylock on Goodreads. Also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and her blog!
1) What was your inspiration for THE GIRL?
First off, thanks for having me here at RealityLapse, I really appreciate it and am super excited to chat with you, Eli.
So my inspiration for THE GIRL…I love fantasy and paranormal fiction, but I felt like I was reading book after book about girls with unrealized powers who needed a boy to clue them into whatever those powers might be. And not that there’s anything wrong with getting a little help from folks here and there, but seriously? You need a boy to tell you what is the what every time? Come on. I decided I wanted to create a girl who knew her own worth and power, was aware of her capabilities and was extremely confident, and thus came Dev.
2) What was your biggest influence while you were writing?
One of my influences was reading Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which is both unique and beautiful. I wanted to see if I could write something as gorgeous as I found Taylor’s storytelling. I don’t know how others feel, but I am pretty pleased with my result. My other influence was the simple desire to create an intelligent, powerful, beautiful girl who knew from the get-go that she was the sh*t.
3)Your characters are all very unique, special and different, my favorite being Jools or Ryker. They were both great support for Wyatt and I loved the way they added to the story. What were you thinking about while you were writing your characters?
For this trilogy, I actually have a lot of handwritten notes, starting with the names of my characters and their personality traits. I knew Dev right away, from her name to exactly what she looked like and how she acted. Wyatt and Ryker’s friendship came very naturally, as did the dynamic between Wyatt and Jools. Interestingly, those three characters had different names in my original notes: Wyatt was Riley, Ryker was Jojen and Jools was Zelda. Now, a book and a half into this trilogy, they could never be anything but Wyatt, Ryker and Jools. Actually, as soon as I settled on those names, and I did so pretty early into my writing, they clicked.
I think as I was writing, I wanted to stay true to a particular trait for each character. For Dev, it is strength, the strength to move past the loss of her family and trust someone else. For Wyatt it is loyalty, first to Ryker, then to Dev. Ryker is love and Jools is determination. I feel as if my exploration of these qualities within each of these characters continues in Book Two: The Boy.
4) What character do you feel you relate to the most?
Honestly, I would have to say Wyatt. I am fiercely loyal, sometimes to a fault, and can relate to that aspect of his personality. I also sympathize with his need to appear as if all is perfect when, in fact, there is quite a lot of crap going on behind the scenes.
That said, Darby is the girl I always wanted to be.
5) Do you have a writing routine?
Strangely, I’ve developed quite a habit of writing on my commute on the Path train into and out of Manhattan. I email myself a draft, read the last paragraph and then start writing in the Notes on my iPhone. It’s a short commute, under twenty minutes each way, but I manage to accomplish quite a bit. I also write every night after putting my son to sleep. The only things that seem able to cause any sort of disruption to my nighttime routine are Breaking Bad and Homeland.
6) What was your favorite or least favorite parts to the publishing process so far?
My favorite aspect of the publishing process is getting positive feedback from folks who read and enjoy BOOK ONE. I’ve also enjoyed getting the support of my friends and family throughout this process. I have a great crew around me and without them, a lot of this wouldn’t be happening.
My least favorite aspect is the marketing – it’s brutal and can become all-consuming. I found myself the other day so taken up with checking sales, tweeting, seeking interviews and reviews that my writing was taking a backseat, so I had to stop and regroup. And I am so glad I did because I just wrote a really beautiful chapter for BOOK TWO. Plus, I’m happier when I’m writing.
7) So, in your honest opinion, demons or angels? Werewolves or vampires?
What do you think is the most important element Dev takes from each side to herself? It’s not really a matter of taking elements from any of these Magicals; it’s more about being something that has never existed, but apparently has powers that eclipse any and all others. Being the product of a demon and an angel, the highest on the food chain when it comes to Magicals, Dev is a being like no other: highly intelligent, otherworldly strong, a brilliant warrior and an equally talented sorcerer, immortal for all intents and purposes and to top it all off, stunningly beautiful.
I don’t think she would ever consider any of her traits to stem from Magicals such as vampires, trolls, werewolves and the like, as those beings pale in comparison to demons and angels. As she herself says, “ I am one thousand percent a girl. A most powerful, awesome, brilliant girl who…can creep into your mind and persuade you to kill yourself. I am immune to your silly, little Raven blades and Shields of the Gods. I am smarter than your most intelligent officers. I am half angel, half demon and all power. You have never seen anything like me, nor will you ever again. I am unique and wonderful…”
8) What was your favorite scene while writing THE GIRL?
When Wyatt comes to Dev’s suite after a long night of hashing out old secrets and exposing hidden truths, knocks on her door and simply offers her his hand. I love it. It’s so simple and yet, full of hope and promise.
9) Any hints at what’s next for Wyatt, Dev and the crew?
There is more Darvin, the strange vampire who I rather love, and we meet Ryker’s parents, Ace and Dot, both renowned Warriors for The Sanctum. But I can’t really give anything else away right now, except to say that I hope to have BOOK TWO ready by early Spring.