Oct 27, 2011

Posted by in Interviews | 29 Comments

Interview with Linda Poitevin plus Giveaway

You may have seen this author mentioned or this book talked about a few times on my blog lately.  There are two reasons for that.  The first is that the author, Linda Poitevin, lives right around the corner from my house!  Okay, maybe it’s more like an hour away and across a bridge or two, but that’s almost like being around the corner from me!  The second reason, and the real reason, is because Sins of the Angels, Linda’s debut UF book, is very imaginative and well written and it’s a book I am excited to recommend.  I am thrilled to be part of the Angels Gather Here blog tour and to have Linda Poitevin here today to answer some of my questions about the book and the world she has created within it.

Welcome to Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks Linda!  Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.

Thank you so much for having me, Julie! It’s great to be here. 🙂

First off, why don’t you tell us a little about your newest book, Sins of the Angels?

Sins of the Angels is a dark urban fantasy that is part thriller, part police procedural, part paranormal, and all action (with a romantic element). It follows Alexandra Jarvis, a homicide detective on the trail of a serial killer who is a Fallen Angel, and Alex’s new partner who is a hunter sent by Heaven to capture the same killer—but Alex doesn’t know that, of course. Interestingly, many reviewers have also pointed to a mystery element, so this book crosses a lot of genres. 🙂

Sins of the Angels is your debut Urban Fantasy book.  Congratulations!  When exactly did you write it?

It is, indeed my debut UF…and thank you! I’m pretty excited about it (understatement of the century, lol!). As for when, that’s a long story spanning approximately ten years. Suffice it to say that life got in the way rather a lot. 🙂

I mostly finished the manuscript on two separate occasions, finally finished its third rewrite in early 2009 in a polished-enough form to send out to agents…and then did a fourth complete rewrite over the summer of that same year based on recommendations by my amazing new agent, Becca Stumpf.

How did you come up with the idea for this series?  Did it come from a dream or was it an idea that just popped into your head?..

A song inspired the story, actually. Angel, by Sarah McLachlan. The lyrics “you’re in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here” made me wonder: what if the arms of an angel didn’t bring comfort; what if they brought something else entirely; what if someone fell in love with an angel but they couldn’t ever be together? A single scene grew from those questions, and the story from there. Ironically, that first scene never made it into the book, because by the time I was halfway through writing the first draft, the story had morphed from single title paranormal romance (which is what I thought I was writing) into the beginning of an urban fantasy series. The scene that started it all just didn’t fit anymore.

In Sins of the Angels we meet, yup, angels.  There is Aramael, Mittron, Verchiel…  How did you come up with the names for your angels? ( Because let me tell you, they are very angelic.  Except maybe for Seth.  Great name…not so angelic.  😉

Would you believe there are whole dictionaries of angel names available? Demon ones, too. They’re everywhere…online, in print…it’s awesome what you can find when you go looking, lol! Verchiel is an actual angel name (though don’t ask me where these dictionaries come up with the names in the first place), and Mittron is a variation of Metatron, who ranks as one of the highest angels in mythology.( I used the variation because Metatron was a little too reminiscent of the Transformer’s Megatron.)

I actually made up Aramael’s name… I think, perhaps, he might have whispered it into my ear. 😉 I found Caim’s name listed as a fallen angel, and as for Seth, the name might not be angelic, but he’s not your standard angel and the name is perfect for him. According to the baby name book I have, it means “the appointed,” which is exactly what he is.

The story in the book revolves around detectives trying to solve a serial killer case.  You really describe police procedure well.  On your website, I noticed that you wanted to be a police officer but “weren’t allowed”.  But did you ever work in a police station?  You really seem to know how police officers go about investigating a crime scene.

Alas, yes, the recruiting officer for the RCMP mis-measured my height and I came up as too short for the height restrictions at the time (those no longer exist). I ended up as civilian member , however, and worked as a dispatcher for 2 ½ years in Prince George, B.C., which is where I met my husband. He has been  a member of the force for 30 years and is currently a sergeant working in drug prevention. Between my own knowledge and many discussions with my husband and his former partner (a kick-ass female cop who provided strong inspiration for Alex), I had ample guidance in police procedure!

Caim, the main villain in your story, is creepy.  No, let me rephrase that.  He is Cre-epy!  What characteristics do you think a villain needs in order to be able to really shake up your readers?

He is Cre-epy, isn’t he? I think it’s because we really get inside his head. As a writer, he shook me up because I could understand his motivation and maybe even feel a little (reluctant) sympathy for him. He honestly believes in his mission and his reasons, and the fact that I get “why” goes right inside me to up the ick factor.

You touch a little on the workings of Heaven and Hell.  Yes, you ‘go there’ and describe The One’s limitations and why terrible things happen to people here on earth.  And God is a ‘she’ – and she is almost vulnerable!  Why did you write her that way?  Were you ever worried your book would be seen as a bit controversial?

Ooh, good questions! And thank you for “going there” too. 😉  God is female for two reasons: first, the feminist in me sees no reason that idea isn’t possible; and second, because I wanted to do something different from how we generally view that deity. What better way than to perceive the Creator’s feminine, “motherly” side? Her vulnerability (which you’re absolutely right about) stems from the biblical idea that “God created man in his own image,” an idea that raised a whole lot of questions in my writerly brain. For me, the image idea went far beyond the physical: if humanity was created in God’s image and we’re so totally imperfect, what does that say about God? The answer to that question—and others like it—opened up a whole realm of possibilities for me, and for layering in all kinds of additional conflict.

As for controversy, the possibility has certainly crossed my mind, lol. But while some people may object to my portrayal of the One, I think most will understand that Sins is a work of fiction…nothing more, and nothing less. 🙂

You told me that you are currently contracted for two books and that books 3 and 4 depend on sales.  Is four the number of books that you would like to see in your Grigori Legacy series?  Are they all going to star Alex? 

At the moment, yes, I see the series ending with the fourth book. That said, however, I didn’t know there was a series at all until halfway through the first book, and I didn’t know there’d be a fourth until I was halfway through the second, so apparently anything is possible, lol. But I do have the wrap-up planned at this point and don’t see anything beyond that. And yes, Alex will definitely feature in all four books.

Can you give us a little spoiler-free sneak peek into Sins of the Son, the next chapter in your series due out March 27th 2012?  Is that even possible?  lol

Sins of the Son revolves around Seth’s part in the overall series arc. Readers will learn what he was ‘appointed’ to do and who he really is, and be introduced to some new characters, specifically Lucifer, the Archangel Michael, and a Fallen Archangel by the name of Samael. The One’s personal conflict deepens, the possibility of Armageddon draws closer, Alex remains the main character in the book, and Aramael again features prominently. Will that do? 🙂

Okay, Flash Four time
Flash Four questions about books and writing ~

How long, from start to end, did it take you to write “Sins of the Angels”?
Ten years. Thank heaven that’s not my usual time frame, however! Sins of the Son was written in six months and I’m trying to cut that time to four months for book three, Sins of the Righteous. (You’re right…it’s hard to do this in one or two words, lol!)

Did you see yourself being a writer as you were growing up?
No. I’ve always written, but it was never encouraged as a career option when I was young.

In what room of your house do you write from?
I’ve given up on writing from home…too many distractions! I do my creative writing at my local coffee shop, where no one interrupts me to ask what’s for dinner, when I’m doing laundry, or if I’ve seen her bus pass/sunglasses/cell phone, etc.

Do you tend to come up with the title for your book before you start writing it, while you’re writing it or when it’s all done?
Before – though that changed with Sins, which was originally entitled The Tenth Choir. I find that having a title helps me shape the story.

Flash four questions about random things ~

Sweet or salty snacks?

What color is your toothbrush?
Brown – I use an eco-friendly one made from a recycled wood handle with a replaceable head.

Your high school experience:  good or bad?

What do you like on your pizza?
Tomato, olives, green pepper, basil, caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, feta cheese…not necessarily all together.

Thanks again, Linda, for taking the time to crunch some answers for me.  And to all of you who are fans of Urban Fantasy, you should really try Sins of the Angels.  A truly unique read that will leave you panting for the next book.

Thank you so much for having me here, Julie. I had a great time, and really loved your questions. 🙂

Here are all the places you can find Linda:

You can also read my review for Sins of the Angels here and you can read my post about Sins of the Angels official launch party here.

Now Giveaway time!!!  I have ONE print AND SIGNED copy of Sins of the Angels to giveaway to one lucky commenter from Canada or the United States and ACE books has one DIGITAL copy of Sins of the Angels to giveaway to one commenter from wherever in the world you are (in other words, open internationally).  How do you enter the awesome giveaways?  Simply leave a comment below telling me what copy you would prefer.  The Print book or the eBook.  You just have to leave your comment before November 1st 11:59EST.  Good Luck!

  1. Vicki Casso says:

    Great interview! EBook please.

  2. great interview: i would have wanted a print book ( i’m not fond of ebook) but it’s only open to us and canada so another day perhaps

  3. Great interview Julie and Linda! She’s stopping by my blog soon so I wanted to peek at your questions. 😉 No need to enter me into the giveaway. 😛

  4. Interesting interview!
    EBOOK! Pretty please with a cherry on top.

  5. Fantastic review Julie. After your review for this one I went and bought it at hastings, I can’t wait to read it! Don’t add me in this giveaway. 🙂 BTW, her tooth brush sounds so interesting…I’ve never heard of one like that before!

  6. What a great interview, I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks you ladies. As an international follower, I would love to win the e-book. Question: if you see the series end after four books, is there already a new idea formulating inside your head for another book or series?

  7. @Deanna — found the toothbrush at one of our local health food stores…really like the idea of throwing away less plastic when I have to change it! Thanks for giving Sins of the Angels a try — I’ll look forward to hearing what you think! 🙂

  8. @Aurian — Definitely a new series percolating already…this one involving (of all things) quantum physics. My research curve on that topic is going to be massive, lol!

  9. JenniferK says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this series, I love the cover. I would like a print copy. Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. Either copy would be fine. Thanks for the interview, I will have to add this series to my wish list.

  11. i would love the print copy please!!

  12. Barbara Elness says:

    I can’t wait to read Sins of the Angels. I’d choose a print copy please.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  13. Chrissy DM says:

    Great interview-and I would love the printed copy with the pretty signature! Sounds like a really great series that I would love to start!

  14. Great interview.Sins of the Angels sounds really good.
    I would love to win the print book.

  15. Great interview! I’ve read so many reviews and I love angels. I’d love to read this!!!

    Print copy please.

  16. Lol, yes when I read Metatron my mind went at once to Transformers so could choice to chance that 😉

  17. Good interview – it has me intrigued so I’d love to win a copy of the the ebook since I am in Australia

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d out

  18. I would love to win a print copy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Julie Witt says:

    I would LOVE to win a print copy of this book!! I’ve heard great things about it 🙂 I loved the interview, too!
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  20. Thrilling to know so many of you are hearing good things about Sins of the Angels! Thank you so much for stopping by to comment. 🙂

  21. Irene Jackson says:

    I would love to win an e book of your book as I am in the UK. It looks a really good read!

  22. Sophia Rose says:

    That was a good interview. This book is new to me so I was enjoying the Q&A about it. Thank you for sharing your background Linda. I always like seeing how the author’s personality sneaks into their books.

    I would prefer a hard copy if I were to win.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  23. digital please & tks!

  24. Yay for Canadian writers! Nothing makes me happier than to see the success of a fellow Canuck! I would love to win a copy in either format.

    sarace (at) gmail (dot) com

  25. lee weatherbee says:

    Sounds Great! I’d love a print copy please!

  26. Great interview, I didn’t know about the dictionary for angels and demons names, I may need to check them out.
    I’ve already read Sin of Angels and loved it so I’m not participating on the giveaway.

  27. Thanks for the great giveaway! I would like a printed copy please. It looks like an awesome read!

  28. Brenda Demko says:

    Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway! I’d prefer print.

  29. Ashley Siegle says:

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a copy of the print book! It looks so fascinating! Thanks so much for the giveaway!!!!!

    ashleylittlehandprintsdaycare at yahoo dot com

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