PLUS Inara has generously offered not one but TWO giveaway copies. Check out the entry rules below, and give a warm (and maybe even fiery!) welcome to Inara!
DELACROIX ACADEMY: THE CANDIDATES is the first in a new series about Dancia Lewis, a girl with powerful -- but uncontrollable -- psychic powers. When Dancia is recruited to attend prestigious Delcroix Academy, despite her lackluster grades and concerted attempts NOT to be noticeable, she can't help but wonder why. And then there's the attention she's getting from the hottest guy at the school, and the conspiracy theories from her new friend Jack. Dancia's going to have to unravel the mystery, before it's too late.
Holly Cupala: Delacroix Academy looks fiery and fabulous. Where did you get the idea for it?
Inara Scott: My favorite genre when I was in high school was fantasy (David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey) and there were always very clear good guys and bad guys in those stories. I wanted to explore the idea of a world in which there were mysterious, paranormal forces, but no clear way to tell the good from the bad.
For me, it came down to a question -- what if you had a superpower, but bad things happened when you used it. Would you use it anyway? Hide? How would you deal with the pressure, and the responsibility?
HC: Did anything unexpected (or even telekenetic!) happen, during the writing or publishing?
IS: I guess the unexpected part is that someone wanted to publish the book! I had written two adult romance novels before Delcroix and I always thought that would be my genre. I knew very little about young adult literature, and other than Meg Cabot, hadn't read very many other YA authors. So I was shocked that of all my novels, Delcroix was the one that sold.
HC: How did it change as you wrote and revised?
IS: The story evolved quite a bit, especially after my editor got a hold of it. ;-) Two awesome changes she encouraged me to make:
1) She suggested I remove any current cultural and pop references, so I didn't date the book. I appreciated this because I've never been particularly good at keeping up with pop culture anyway, and the pressure of trying to figure out "cool" teen clothes/music/books/slang was enormous. I wasn't cool when I WAS a teenager, let alone now.
2) She wanted to stretch out the timeframe of the book. In adult romance, things tend to happen very quickly, and I followed that convention in my first draft of Delcroix. But my editor encouraged me to slow down the story and let it build over a much longer period. She wanted a full year; I wasn't able to slow it down quite that much, but it did go from two weeks to five months. I think this made for a bigger payoff at the end, and deeper relationships throughout the book, both between and among the characters, and between the characters and the reader.
HC: What do you think is the central idea of the novel?
IS: Life is messy, and the choices it presents are rarely black and white. But if you refuse to take sides, you'll never really experience what life has to offer.
HC: Oooh, I like that. So will we be hearing more about that in a sequel?
IS: Book two in the series, Delcroix Academy: The Watchers, will be out in August 2011, and I'm in the final editing process for that right now.
Fantastic! Thank you, Inara!
NOW, THE GIVEAWAY:
For a chance to win DELACROIX ACADEMY: THE CANDIDATES, comment below on one of the following:
- Why you're dying to telekenetically communicate to us that you Want. This. Book.
- What would you do if you had a superpower, but bad things happened when you used it?
- If you've ever been challenged to stand up for what you believe in, and how that changed you.
Until then, check out this terrific trailer: