Friday, May 1, 2009

KB Interviews S.J. Day *Book Giveaway*

Eve of Darkness was such an incredible read for me that I just had to ask S.J. Day some questions about this great book and this new series that is sure to be some of the most wanted books this summer...

KB: How did you come up with the idea for Eve of Darkness and the Marked series?

S.J. Day: I was in the shower washing my hair when the idea just popped into my head fully formed. I haven't had that happen before or since. (The scene that came to me is in the one just after Cain kills Abel in Eve's living room.) I wrapped a towel around me, sat down at my laptop, and started writing before I forgot anything.

KB: You don’t gloss over the issue of religion in Eve of Darkness. I really did want to go back and read the bible after I finished reading. Did you have some concerns about readers being a bit wary because of how involved the bible stories and characters are to the plot?

S.J. Day: I was concerned, yes, but there was nothing I could do about it. The story came to me that way and I couldn't change something so fundamental to it. However, I was careful with my research. While I painted the picture with fiction, the defining lines are solid research. So far, I've heard three different takes on it--one, it wasn't a factor; two, it made the reader want to read the Bible; three, they had to completely divorce the story from the Bible and look at it entirely as fiction. I'm grateful that it hasn't offended anyone... yet. Hopefully, it won't.

KB: How long did it take you to write all three books in the Marked series?

S.J. Day: I wrote the first few chapters for the proposal back in Summer '06. That took a couple months. The rest of the first three books were written over 15 months.

KB: Did you use the bible for research? Were there any other sources you used?

S.J. Day: Yes, I used the Bible. I also used non-canonized texts such as the Book of Jubilees, Books 1 and 2 of Adam and Eve, the Book of Enoch, as well as the Qur'an. I also built a collection of books on the holy angels and demons of various cultures, and I purchased documentaries from A&E, the History Channel, and the Discovery Channel.

KB: The covers for all three books are great! Did you have any input on them?

S.J. Day: I submitted a cover art form that requested a graphic novel-type treatment, an Asian American heroine, daytime scenes (I think the whole nighttime/moon scenes are overdone), and palm trees. I think Tor did a phenomenal job of giving me what I asked for. I'm grateful that they were so open to author input. A lot of publishers aren't.

KB: What made you decide to use a new pen name for this series?

S.J. Day: I wanted to make it clear that Eve's story isn't a romance. That was important to me in regards to reader expectations and also for bookstore shelving. Changing my name helped to ensure that the books would be placed in the SF/Fantasy section.

KB: I loved how both Alec and Reed are so very different from one another with their personalities and how they interact with Eve. How important was that to get across?

S.J. Day: Cain and Abel are two men who are more alike than they care to admit. Their goals, their plans, their likes and dislikes are very similar. Unfortunately, they see the worst sides of themselves in each other and I think that's contributed to the dissention between them. I think their outward appearances are their way of distinguishing themselves from each other. However, they do have some fundamental differences that make each unique and they share those traits with Eve, because they trust and care for her. It's been a real treat getting to know them. They're both such distinctive personalities, yet they're clearly brothers. I don't envy Eve having to deal with two such alpha males. She manages them far better than I would!

KB: If you found yourself marked, what would you do? Which brother would you want to be your mentor?

S.J. Day: I have no idea what I'd do in Eve's shoes. Having children was important to me, as it is to Eve, so I'm not sure how I would feel about having that taken away from me. I guess I'd start out by learning the motivations of those around me so that I could work on my own agenda while staying out of the way of theirs. As for mentors... both brothers have valuable information--Cain is king when it comes to killing things, but Abel is the better politician. I'd need to learn from both in order to survive.

KB: So… which brother does Eve choose?

S.J. Day: LOL Honestly, I wish I knew! I consider myself more of a narrator than a creator. I don't know what's going to happen until it happens. Right now, I'd say it's Cain. But Abel could surprise me. He already has on a few occasions. Like Eve, I love them both but for different reasons.
The next two books in S.J. Day Markes series, Eve of Destruction and Eve of Chaos will be released back-to-back in June and July.

Tor was so nice to send me a copy of Eve of Darkness. I would love to give this book away! Just leave a comment here or a question you may have for S.J. and when I come back from merry Old England I will pick a winner.



I Heart Book Gossip said...

Have a great time in merry old england Katie. My question for SJ is where do you go to write these books? Is there like a favorite place where all the juicy details come to you or do you stay up at the wee hours of the morning for them to come? Please include me in the contest.

Aymless said...

I've already acquired a copy (all your fault *g*)!

Great interview!

bridget3420 said...

I would love to win this!

nightdweller20 said...

This is awesome! My question is, did you always want to be a writer?

S.J. Day said...

I Heart -- The best ideas come to me when I'm driving or in the shower. :)

Aymless -- Thank you for picking up a copy!

bridget -- Good luck! ;)

nightdweller -- Since I was 12 years old. I'm thankful every day that I make a living doing what I love!

orannia said...

I have to say I think this book sounds fascinating. I love the grey (rather than black and white) this story hints at.

All the best with the release SJ!

Strangeways said...

Awesome. I tend to avoid religious themes, but this one has piqued my interest I gotta say.

Have fun on your travels! We've been having uncharacteristically good weather here in the UK, so that's a bit of good luck.

Arkansas Cyndi said...

I have a copy. It's one of the very few keepers I have on my shelf. I had to pipe in to echo Katiebabs' comments. Excellent book. Dying to read next in series

Mishel said...

I've heard such great things about this book. It sounds like a great urban fantasy with its own unique twist. I'll defnitely be getting myself a copy if I don't win this from KB.

Sara said...

I've been a little reluctant to purchase the book because of the religious material, but the more I hear about it the more I don't think it'll be a problem. I'd love to win a copy!

Wendy said...

Hi, S.J.! Great interview and I have a question - while I haven't read Eve of Darkness yet (can't wait!) I do know that of course it's a 3-book series but have you thought about revisiting this world in future books?

Kytaira said...

Like Sara and Strangeways, I tend to avoid religious themes. And like both of them I suspect that this will be one of the books I will love. Have you already gotten feedback from someone that normally avoids religious themed books but loved your book?

S.M.D. said...

Oh, I'd love a copy! Thanks for the giveaway!

Take care!

Blodeuedd said...

Great interview and giveaway :)

My question is: Which authors do you love to read?

S.J. Day said...

orannia - Thank you!

Cyndi - I'm thrilled you enjoyed the first book so much and that it's a keeper for you!

Mishel - Thank you. I hope you enjoy the book, however you get it! :)

Wendy - These three books were always planned as launch titles for a continuing series, so I'll definitely be revisiting. My editor was talking about subsequent books while I was still writing the first one. :)

Kytaira - I've heard from several devoutly religious readers, but I haven't heard from anyone who stated a wariness for religious themes. So far, no one has contacted me with a negative reaction to the book. I tried very hard to remain true to the Biblical stories, without being preachy or irreverent.

Blodeuedd - My preferences go all across the board. I love Koontz and King, as well as Kleypas and Krentz (w/a Quick). I love Briggs and Leigh. I'm a sucker for a great premise, so I'll buy new-to-me authors just to see what they do with them. I've purchased a dozen books in the last couple of weeks and I've never read any of the authors before.

Cathy M said...

I love urban fantasy stories and can't wait to start this series.

Wendy said...

That's great! I'm happy to hear that. :)

Pia Veleno said...

Thanks for the interview. I'd love a chance to win that book.

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Wow, that's really cool that Tor did the books covers close to what you wanted them.

I've heard great reviews on this on several different blogs and sites, especially on the other contests.

Loved to have a chance to win the book too.

Pissenlit said...

These have been on my TBR list since I heard about them awhile back. I am SO glad the first three are back-to-back releases!

Congrats on the release of Eve of Darkness!

donnas said...

Hope you had fun in England. This sounds like a fantastic new series. Cant wait to see how it turns out.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Caffey said...

Hope you're having a great trip KB!

I can't so wait to get book one! I so wanted to get out the door today with my hubby off but my body didn't cooperate with me today :( I was pulled in when I first heard about this series from the uniqueness of it! I've seen themes that are similar and I love them but too I love finding something that's a new theme and this is with the Marked series. I love Sylvia's historicals that are on my keepers shelf here and knew I wanted these too and also another book, not sure if its a stand alone, by your other name out this month or next Sylvia?

limecello said...

Great interview, ladies - and I'm really fascinated by this new series! I watch History channel OBSESSIVELY these days -and it's always interesting to see what is the same/different as to what they present and what I've learned. Especially when it comes to theology.
Lol - wow; love how you got the idea, SJ - too bad that doesn't work for everyone! ;)

Hope you're having fun in England, KB!

Maered said...

Have a nice time in England!

Great interview! I haven't read any in this series so would love a chance to win a copy. Thanks!

Brooke Reviews said...

Wow, the release days are so close! I bet that is stressful and kind of exciting? :)