AC: You co-authored the Beautiful Creatures series and now you have a new solo
series, the Legion, coming out. The first book, Unbreakable, is completely
thrilling. What was the solo writing process like for Unbreakable?
Unbreakable is a combination of my favorite genres and topics: paranormal
romance, suspense, ghost hunting, secret societies, superstition, thrillers,
and ordinary characters who are thrown into extraordinary situations.
Unbreakable was inspired by “Red Run,” a short story I wrote about a girl who
is hunting the ghost that was responsible for her brother’s death. Of course,
there’s a twist, and the situation is not what it seems…
solo is very different. Coauthoring a novel is a collaboration, which means
someone else is part of the process –- providing feedback and weighing in on
the work. If you write something terrible, or you veer too far from the story,
the other person will call you on it.
went through a mini-depression after finishing Reached, the last book in your
Matched trilogy, and I know I'm not alone. It's so hard to say good-bye to a
series you love. What was it like to finish writing the series?
It actually felt good to finish the series, like I had taken the characters to college
or something and I knew they were ready and that it was time for me to let go.
I think the characters are what I will miss most about that universe. I spent
the better part of five years with Cassia, Ky, and Xander, and so it’s a little
sad not to spend time in their world anymore.
AC: What is
the best part about creating a new world and characters?
As someone who grew up reading urban fantasy, creating the mythology of the
supernatural universe is what draws me into a story first. I also rely heavily
on the history of the places I write about. In Beatiful Creatures it was the
south. Unbreakable is set in both Washington DC and haunted locations in the
Northeast. It’s easier for readers to suspend disbelief if the setting and
historical details are accurate.
the characters are the heart of the story for me. I need to know everything
from what kind of music they like to their deepest fears and darkest secrets.
KG: There is
a serious love triangle in your series. Tell us the truth . . . who would be
your perfect match, Xander or Ky?
have to give the same cop-out answer I always give—which is the truth: I
couldn’t choose. I put half of my favorite things about my husband in Ky and
half in Xander. So I guess the real answer is that my husband is my perfect
match. I’m not saying he’s perfect, or that we’re perfect together. We have to
work at it, as I think most people do.
do you write? What would the perfect writing day look like for you?
I write in my office, which functions as a huge inspiration board. One wall is
completely covered with photos, drawings, and quotes related to the characters,
mood, and setting in the Legion series. There is a shelf with cubbies on
another wall, where I keep Mason jars filled with rock salt and iron nails;
protective charms; and ghost hunting weapons like the one Priest (one of the
characters in Unbreakable) creates. My office is basically a look into the
world of the Legion series.
KG: Okay, now
I'm dying to know what's in your writing
I like to have a real desk and chair—I get too slumpy if I’m writing on a
couch, etc. I find that having natural light—my office has a great window—makes
a big difference for my mood. I have a set of images—often to do with the
setting—on a pinboard next to the desk, and a playlist of songs to
get me in the mood for the book (lately a lot of M83 and instrumental