I'm super excited to be on the blog tour for Melissa De La Cruz's Gates of Paradise, the final book in the Blue Bloods series! I just finished it and oh man it was amazing! One of the best, really, it was, and I can't wait to share with you an interview with Mel!
1.) The Bookshelves: What was the inspiration for Gates of Paradise? How was it like writing the finale?
Mel: It was hard at first, definitely starting it was difficult, it was very emotional to let go of the Blue Bloods series -- writing it has been part of my life for almost a decade. The inspiration came from Paradise Lost, and also the finales of all the series I've loved: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings mainly. Also I was feeling London hard that year, so I set it there. Seemed appropriate.
2.) TB: What character resembles you the post and why? Was there any "you" in any of the characters?
Mel: I'm in all of them -- mostly in Sky, Mimi, Oliver I think. The three of them have parts of my life, my voice, my sense of humor. Mimi's definitely my bitchy side, Sky is my gentler nature, and Ollie has my sense of humor and sense of the absurd.
3.) TB: Tell us about that cover! How was the process to getting the cover art like? Did you love the cover?
Mel: I love it!! I have been trying to get a guy on the cover forever, so it was great to see a little of Jack's face in it finally! I love the Blue Bloods covers, they're so beautiful and romantic, Hyperion does an awesome job. Oh I think in Lost in Time you also see the male model's back, and we were sad we couldn't show his torso because he had great abs! ;)
Mel: 2012 was all about Code Name Verity for me. One Wish is for lessening gun violence. An addictive TV show--I don't watch a lot of TV at all, basically only Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and Girls. But I'm huge fans of the shows I do watch. I await each episode impatiently. I used to love reality TV but I really don't watch any of it anymore, I think the fakery has gotten to me.
5.) TB: Tweet Review! In 140 Words or less, tell us about Gates of Paradise!
Mel: Heartbreaking finale to the epic Blue Bloods series. Love, loss, sacrifice and secrets revealed!
6.) TB: How was the writing process like? Any tips for inspiring writers?
Mel: It was a blur - pain and then fury and then a race to the end. I outline a lot, and I figure out a lot of backstory beforehand. My tip to aspiring writers: work as hard as you can rewrite it as much as you can. when you hit a wall keep going. You'll never get better if you don't bleed on the page. Each book demands a huge chunk of your life and your soul.
7.) TB: What can you tell us about any future books? Are you excited to write them?
Mel: Yes! I'm terribly excited. My new series HEART OF DREAD, the first book FROZEN comes out Sept 17th and it is co-authored with my husband. Mike and I worked on the Blue Bloods, Wolf Pact and Witches of East End series together, and he finally gets the credit he deserves in this one. It's about a 16 year old blackjack dealer who has a deadly secret, and is trying to escape the post-apocalyptic world of an ice-covered New Vegas in search of another land, called 'the Blue". She hires a runner, a mercenary team to get her there. But can she trust him? And will be fail her? Magic, mystery, adventure, romance. It's all there in Frozen! We call it "Lord of the Rings in reverse" in that it's not the story of magic leaving the world, it's the story of magic coming back to the world, and the word of science and technology is dying.
Also I have plans for a new cycle of Blue Bloods books. It is an adult spinoff in that it will be published by my adult publisher - who publishes Witches of East End. And Oliver Hazard-Perry will be the main focus of the second cycle. The Vampires of Manhattan: new rules, new coven, new blood. :)
My other new series is tentatively titled The Court of the Last Princess, and it's a rich, fun, Blue Bloods-style soap opera. I can't talk too much about it yet. It comes out sometime in 2014.
8.) TB: What is your current YA read? How are you liking it?
Mel: I don't read a lot of YA actually. I tend to not read in my genre. I read mostly adult literary fiction or memoirs. I think my last YA read was Looking for Alaska by John Green. It was fantastic. I'm sorry I didn't read his books earlier, but now I'm reading them all.
Thanks so much Mel for the interview! I loved reading the whole series and stop by later on the blog for a review of Gates of Paradise! :D