From Daniela: Is there any kind of music or song that you associate with this book and characters?
"Cosmic Love" by Florence + the Machine. "Lullabye for a Stormy Night" by Vienna Teng. "Pearl's Dream" by Bat for Lashes. "Strange Times" by the Black Keys. "Gabriel" by Lamb. Also -- and I cannot explain this, not in a zillion years -- the score to the movie "Tron: Legacy." (Random fact is random.)
From lots of you: Who is your favorite character? Is there one you identify with?
I identify with all of them, in different ways, but I always say my favorite character is the one who's easiest to write on any given day. But some characters are easier to write than others - and a character named Elizabeth probably fires me up, writing-wise, more than anyone else. You'll get to know more about her later.
From Viki: Do you love these characters as much as the EVERNIGHT characters?
Yeah, I do! In different ways. Asking a writer to pick her favorite characters - it's like asking a mom to pick which one of her kids she likes the most. They're all the BEST EVER until they suddenly balk in a scene or do something bizarre and then someone is cruising for a time out.
From Christine: in the Evernight series we watched Bianca not only change forms, but really grow into herself. What is it about the new characters that will make us fall in love with them and their story as much as we did Bianca, Balthazar, and the others?
Oooh, this answer could take a while. I'll try to be succinct:
I think anybody who's had to deal with way too much, way too soon in life, and sometimes feels like the pressure is too much, will relate to Nadia. I think anybody who has felt judged, like they need to break free of what people think about them and just be who they are, will sympathize with Mateo. And I think anybody who's dealt with enduring loneliness will understand Verlaine.
From Jane: Have you given any of your characters in Spellcaster any defining quirky habits or funny dialogue tics? (like OCD, stuttering, etc.)
Verlaine loves vintage clothing. She pretty much only dresses in vintage clothing - except for shoes, because as she says, she can never find old shoes that fit her boat feet, plus they're usually heels, which would make her the tallest person in school instead of the third tallest. (And yes, she is counting the varsity basketball team.) So she's usually in some awesome vintage outfit -- and Converse.
From Britney: If you could take one of your characters from SPELLCASTER on vacation with you, who would you take, where, and why?
Oh, gosh. I think I'd have to take Nadia, just because I can't think of a single travel mishap that magic couldn't make better. And the girl needs a break!
From Amy: Is this a stand-alone book?
I'm happy to say that SPELLCASTER is actually the first book in a trilogy. (Right now I'm hard at work on the middle book, STEADFAST.)
From Connie: What about this new trilogy has you most excited?
So many things! But the first one that leaped to mind was the villain, who I'm having an absolute blast writing. Maybe I shouldn't admit that I'm having so much fun with eeeeevil. But I am.
From Lea: Can you quote a random sentence from the book?
Page 59 (of the ARC, anyway) -- "So, you don't look like a witch. Either the haglike, warty, green variety or the mystical pagan sexpot variety."
From lots of you:What was the hardest scene to write, and why?
Explaining a whole lot about this scene would be way too spoilery, but ... hmm. Let's say there is a Very Big Reveal about one of the characters that took a lot of logistical ironing out. It's after the lighthouse scene. So you'll know it when you see it. (The lighthouse scene itself was a blast.)
From Kaitlyn: What was your absolute favorite moment in the production of SPELLCASTER?
Weirdly, it was writing a scene with Mateo's grandmother. I knew she was a colorful character, but I had no idea how much fun she'd actually be.
A latecomer question from Carolina: I have a question... Is there gonna be a any love triangle?
No. Not even a little bit of a triangle. That said -- there are many romantic complications. There are other people our heroes might be attracted to. But an actual triangle? Not happening in this series. (Honestly, it would be out of character for someone as focused as Nadia; even if she liked two guys at once, she'd make a decision and never look back.)
And a question that is not about SPELLCASTER but that I just love, from Stacey: Are you ever going to put in a story about your ancient maths teacher who knew maths but not names?
For those of you who haven't heard me tell this story, my high school algebra teacher was very elderly and had been teaching for many, many decades in this same small town where I grew up. This meant that she had taught the parents/uncles/aunts of almost all my classmates, and in a couple cases she had taught grandparents. Now, this woman was a wonderful math teacher; she made algebra interesting, which as you know is no mean feat. But she no longer bothered to remember names of students. There had just been too many of us. So she would call on people who hadn't been in her classroom in thirty or forty years - but if you were related to one of them, you knew that meant you. I was most often called on as my Uncle Jim.
The answer is no - she hasn't made it into one of my books yet. But maybe she should!
Thanks so much to everyone who sent questions! Hopefully we'll have some more contests soon, so stay tuned.