After reading The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver, I wanted to speak with the creator of the fascinating Riley and sexy Denver Beck. I really loved this novel and if you don't believe me, check out my review! I contacted Ms. Oliver and she was nice enough to answer some questions. Check out what she had to say!
1) I read on your blog that you wrote The Demon Trapper's Daughter because you wanted to bring the adult type of paranormal novels to YA. I think you totally nailed this. What I'd love to know is the after. How did you come up with this concept?
The initial concept came from reading GOOD OMENS by Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I liked the notion of Heaven and Hell being like the CIA and the KGB during the Cold War – each jockeying for position yet trying not to tip the world into an all-out war. Putting Riley in the middle of this strategic chess game offered many opportunities to explore the role of good vs. evil, light vs. dark.
2) I know you write adult novels as well. How was writing a YA different or was it?
The main difference is that I had to put myself in the mind of a modern teen. That’s not easy when it’s been a *few* years since I was seventeen. I tapped back into what I was like at that age and then made Riley a LOT cooler. She was what I would have loved to have been, but wasn’t. Young adults have an entirely different perception of events than older adults, they live on the edge of every moment. The raging hormones don’t help that much. In the end I needed a believable teen who found herself in dangerous situations, but didn’t come off as a wimp. Headstrong maybe, but never a wimp. Once I understood what Riley was thinking and what she wanted out of life, it just came down to writing her story.
3) I loved that this novel followed around both Riley and Beck. Was it always meant for dual perspectives or is this something that happened later on? Which one was easier for you to write, if either?
The dual perspective was there from the start. My writer instincts told me it was important to see inside Beck’s head as he’s coming to deliver the horrible news that will forever change Riley’s (and his) life forever. For me, Beck is easier to write than Riley. Guys are always like that since it takes me longer to get inside a woman’s head, but once I “hear” her, I’ve got her. Beck was always there from the first time he appeared on the page. In SOUL THIEF (the second book) I added Ori’s perspective as he’s a major player in the story and he has insights that the others do not.
4) In the novel, a lot of characters had Klepto-Fiends. You have one in your room now. What five things are going to show up in its bag?
Gold glitter, my wedding ring, an old Victorian stickpin, a broken earring and a thumb tack.
5) Atlanta in 2018 is a scary place to be but I loved every minute of it. Can you tell me your favorite aspect of building a world overrun by demons?
It was so much fun turning my mind loose to go anywhere it wanted. I had to figure out just what kind of demons there would be, how they would act and how to trap them (that was the hard part). Nothing was off the table, but still I wanted the city to seem plausible, a logical extension of what might happen if the economy never improved. Or grew worse. That particular aspect took a lot of time and thought, but often it’s the small details that make all the difference especially if the reader is from Atlanta. I did a lot of “what if this happens?” and then extrapolated from there what the consequences might be.
6) Was there anything that got cut during the editing process that you loved? Reversely, was there anything that you added that you really liked?
Before the series sold the first scene was Riley trapping a Biblio-Fiend (a book-hating demon) who is hiding in a child’s dollhouse. That scene was cut and the one in the university law library was added. I used that deleted scene as frame for the very short story RETRO DEMONOLOGY where Riley goes on her first solo trapping adventure and encounters some folks who are still groovin’ to the Sixties.
7) Do you listen to music when you write? Is there a song or band that really represents The Demon Trapper's Daughter?
I do have songs that represent each of the characters, Atlanta and some of the themes in the books. Here’s the playlist
8) What are some essentials you have to have when writing, if any?
Music is good. I can disconnect with all the other distractions in my life by listening to certain artists’ tracks. I already have a cool office (it’s called the Oriental Room because of the objects I collected when I was in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan). When the office no longer feels good, I go portable to our sunroom and keep working. The key thing is getting the story onto the computer, so I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. Deadlines wait for no author.
Just finished “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins. Anna has a really enjoyable voice and the book is full of quirky and fun characters. The young adults sound real and it reminded me of all those insecurities we try to overcome across the years. It’s a sweet romance. Sometimes I like to read something that isn’t all dark and gritty. This was it.
10) I know you are finished with book 2 and are working on book 3. Anything you can tell us about book 2?
I hate to say this, but it’s just going to get harder for dear Riley in SOUL THIEF. (What? You’re surprised?) Sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can claw your way back up. Simon and Riley’s relationship is going to come under severe pressure. We will learn more about Ori and his personal agenda and we’ll learn some personal secrets about Beck. All the while the Grand Game between Heaven and Hell is heating up.
In the US the first book in the series is entitled THE DEMON TRAPPER’S DAUGHTER
In the UK the book is called THE DEMON TRAPPERS: FORSAKEN
The pub schedule:
St. Martin's Press (U.S. Editions)
The Demon Trapper's Daughter - Feb. 2011
Soul Thief - Aug. 2011
Macmillan Children's Books (U.K. Editions)
Demon Trappers: Forsaken - Jan. 2011
Demon Trappers: Forbidden - Sept. 2011
Demon Trappers: Forgiven - Feb. 2012
Want to contact Jana Oliver?:
Win a copy of The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
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