Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Author Interview - Liz Braswell

Can you tell I'm excited? Is your screen just buzzing as my enthusiasm jumps off the page and smacks you in the face?

No? Well it should!

There has been a lot of talk lately about Liz Braswell's series, The Nine Lives of Chloe King.  Recently it was picked up to be made into a TV show and will premier on ABC Family June 14th.  My interest was caught when I happened across a preview for the show while channel surfing.  A super cute girl with cat abilities whose life is in jeopardy from some crazy mysterious assassins?  I'll take it!  Next thing I know, ABC Family is hosting The Nine Paths to Chloe King game and A Journey of Books was asked to participate along with a group of bloggers, journalists, and anyone else who chooses to sign-up for the treacherous journey that will lead us to The Uniter.

Buzzing yet?

In anticipation for the premier, I went about researching the show and discovered that it was in fact based on a young adult book series, The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Braswell (previously published under Celia Thomson).  Of course I immediately went out and purchased The Fallen, book 1 in the series.  Three hours later I was searching for the next book, The Stolen, and about a day later I went out searching for the last book in the series, The Chosen (still hunting for a copy).  What a great series!  Seriously, if you haven't already, I suggest picking up the books before premier date.  Braswell has a way of creating a very realistic environment within a fictional story that makes for one enticing and engrossing read.

Of course, my fascination with these books isn't entirely what this post is about.  As with any book that I fall in love with, I typically find myself left with questions and curiosities for the author.  True to form, I sought out Ms. Braswell, shot her an email, and threw my questions at her.  Lucky for me, she was nice enough to answer them!  Let's all give a warm welcome to Liz Braswell, creator of The Nine Lives to Chloe King book series and soon to be TV series.


The Fallen (Nine Lives of Chloe King)I'm sure this has been asked a dozen times, but I can't seem to find the answer for it. What was your inspiration behind The Nine Lives of Chloe King?

The inspiration for Chloe came one night when I started running. Seriously! I am not an exerciser by genetics, birth, or habit. But it was a beautiful night and I had just started to understand the enjoyment of physical exercise, and the line *the run is the prayer* came to me (with help from books about Native Americans, which explain that the Snake Dance *is* the prayer). Mix that in with some eternal anger that I can't run *where* I want *when* I want because I'm a girl and some places aren't safe, but gee, what if I had claws... And presto. Chloe and her ancient Mai race.

Claws would certainly be more handy than those annoying cans of pepper spray where you're more likely to shoot yourself than your assailant.

As of writing these questions, I'm currently in the middle of The Stolen, the second book in The Nine Lives of Chloe King. We're just starting to learn more about the Mai and their history. How much research did you have to do for the story? This book has definitely peaked my interest in Bastet and Sekhmet!

I majored in Egyptology! :) So a lot of research. A lotta memory.

I majored in Biology and then Business - nowhere near as magical!  Sorry, don't mind my wistful staring off into space...

Did the characters evolve as you expected and/or were there any major unplanned changes that occurred throughout the series?

Chloe's best friend changed without my planning on it. Amy grew up under my nose... And she's leaving high school a year early!

Amy - how could you?!  

The Nine Lives of Chloe King: The Fallen; The Stolen; The Chosen
The combined edition of all three books has a beautiful new cover - thoughts?

I *love* the matte white cover. There has been a lot of dark shiny books in young adult... It really stands out. And the eyes are very mysterious. I love being able to imagine your own version of a character, rather than having one right there on the cover.

I have to agree.  I'm an eye person and the eyes are what drew me to that cover.  How did you first find out that your series had been picked up for a show?

My old pal Sara Shandler at Alloy called me up. I was stunned! It was eight years since I had written the books!

Talk about out of the blue!  Any thoughts or feelings on the matter? I always get super excited when I see a great story picked up for a show or movie. There can be that nervous aspect, too. How do you think the characters and story from the show are going to relate to your books?

Spoiler alert? I've seen the pilot, and they do a *great* job with getting the Chloe/Paul/Amy chemistry right, which is so much of the series. Brian's pretty dead-on too. I'm not nervous about them taking a different direction; there are many cases where both the tv/movie version of something and the books are completely different, are great, and stand on their own. Fight Club, for instance.

The Stolen (Nine Lives of Chloe King)You know, I've never read Fight Club.  Now I think I might have to!  Do you have anything special planned for premier night (June 14th)?

My good friends are letting me throw a little soiree at their tribeca apartment. There will be champagne, a birthday cake (it's Chloe's 16th that starts the whole thing!), and possibly some cat-ear headbands...


Have you seen an increase in awareness of your books since the previews for The Nine Lives of Chloe King aired? What are fans saying?

What's funny is that the teens who read the books eight years ago are now adults super excited about the show, and teens now who watch ABC Family (or have seen the trailers in front of Priest and Thor) are going out and buying the books! Everyone seems pretty positive about both the books and the show.

I'll admit, I hadn't heard of the books until I saw the preview for the show.  That being said, I have now read two of them and absolutely love them!

I noticed that you're playing ABC Family's Nine Paths to Chloe King game along with bloggers, journalists, and anyone else that finds their way to the website. What are your thoughts on the game so far? I know it's definitely making my excitement level for the show (and series) skyrocket.

I *love* the game. I was a video game producer for ten years and this almost made me go shoot, I want to be doing *this* again. It's amazingly well designed and deployed--both the 'viewer' version and the super uber journalist version. I almost died when the Fedex guy handed me the box! It's a beautiful thing, all wood and carved and covered in runes. Just like out of a good video game...

The Chosen (Nine Lives of Chloe King, Volume Three)I received my package at work and had a hard time keeping my coworkers' hands off the beautifully designed box.  Is there anything else you'd like to share with readers? Are there any new projects in the works?

I am working on a book called Super... Fans of Chloe King will enjoy another powerful, extraordinary girl hero. And I'm drawing on my major once again, a fantasy series the slightly younger Chloe King fans, about a modern boy and some cantankerous Egyptian gods and an ancient Egyptian girl and the magical mayhem that ensues.

Sweet!  I love stories based on any sort of ancient mythology and it seems that the Egyptian gods are too underutilized.  I'll be keeping my eye out!


Thanks so much for stopping by Liz!  

Remember, if you haven't already, go take a peek at The Nine Lives of Chloe King, starting with The Fallen.  If you're having a hard time finding the books, try looking under the name Celia Thomson.  In June, an edition will be published combining all three books into one volume.  That book will be under the name, Liz Braswell.

For more information about Ms. Braswell or her books, take a look at her website.  Ready to take your place among The Circle of Strangers and help us find The Uniter?  Head on over to ABC Family and sign-up.  Remember to use the password "Circle" on the right hand side of the screen to win your very own Circle charm.


Rhianna said...

:) So glad you picked up the books and got this interview going Cinnamon 'cause I definitely wanted to do the same. lol I made sure I pre-ordered the show-tie-in omnibus last week.

I was just sitting here the other day after all this #NinePaths stuff started thinking that ABC's upcoming Once Upon a Time show would be an excellent show to do a similar promo on.

Cinnamon (A Journey of Books) said...

Rhianna - I probably should have waited for the omnibus but...I didn't. ;) I'll spend three times as much reading each book separately but I just couldn't wait to read them.

You know, I haven't heard about ABC's Once Upon a Time. *quick break to research it*

Ooooo - looks good!

Jillian said...

Yay. This sounds good! I'm looking forward to watching the show. As if I need another one to watch.