Hilari Bell Interview

Jan 4, 2011
Today Hilari Bell, author of Trickster's Girl, has stopped by on her tour to do an interview with us. Here is the summary of her novel:
From Goodreads.com:
In the year 2098 America isn't so different from the USA of today. But, in a post-9/11 security-obssessed world, "secured" doesn't just refer to borders between countries, it also refer to borders between states. Teenagers still think they know everything, but there is no cure for cancer, as Kelsa knows first-hand from watching her father die.

The night Kelsa buries her father, a boy appears. He claims magic is responsible for the health of Earth, but  human damage disrupts its flow. The planet is dying.

Kelsa has the power to reverse the damage, but first she must accept that magic exists and see beyond her own pain in order to heal the planet.
Click read more to read the interview....
Welcome to Books are Dreams Hilari! What gave you the idea for Trickster's Girl? 
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is that it started with my desire to write a trip to Alaska off on my taxes.  My mother has wanted to go to Alaska all her life, and when we finally decided to stop thinking and go, I wanted to use the journey for novel research.  I thought it would be hard-to-impossible for an SF & fantasy writer to come up with a story idea that would require me to drive to Alaska--most of my books are set in another universe, after all.  But the moment I got the idea for someone who has to heal a series of magical point along the road, this girl started talking in my head.  Though Kelsa was a bit more "punk" when she first appeared to me.  Characters and ideas tend to morph a bit as they grow.

Did you have to do a lot of research for this novel? 
See above!  And plotting this story as I took the trip that Kelsa takes was some of the most fun writing and vacationing I ever had.  I lot of the scenes bloomed out of things that I saw on the road, and I actually did a lot of the things Kelsa did to work her healings, exploring lava caves with a very inadequate flashlight, wading into icy lakes, sneaking out of sight of the ranger to pass the don't-cross tape and lay hands on the glacier.  Even the mosquito-ridden ancient forest trail where Kelsa figures out she's being tricked is a real place--though I did move it about 6oo miles.

Is there any character that you found yourself really drawn to while you were writing? 
I think a writer has to enjoy all their characters, particularly parts of them.  I liked Raven's self-centeredness, and Kelsa's deep appreciation for nature.  And that includes my villains!  I loved the villainess' clever treachery and the bikers' casual will to violence.  But I have to say, I think I enjoyed writing Jase, the main character of the next book in the series, more.  And Jase is relatively shallow, completely clueless, and just such a guy.  The thing he cares about more than anything else in the world is his car.  But when he finally decides to take up the fight, he comes through like a hero.

What was the hardest thing about writing Trickster's Girl
The hardest part was to make the ending work for the reader, so they could abandon Kelsa as a main character with the task only half through, and still be satisfied with the ending.  One of my earlier readers, who got it, said that the story ending was like a relay race, and that Kelsa ran her leg and passed on the baton--that's exactly right.  But when the baton goes on, and the runner quits and lets someone else run the next leg of the race, that was kind of hard for some readers to accept.  I had to work a lot on the ending to show that Kelsa had won her part of the war, and it was OK for her to give the rest of the task to someone else.
Is there a 'cover story' for your cover? 
Not much of a one--it's a fabulous design!  Originally it was in mauve and black, but the buyers at Barnes & Noble requested the color change to white and mauve, and I have to say I think they were right--it really pops now.

Do you have any other books planned right now? 
The next thing I plan to write is a gypsy steam-punk novel--working title, The Fixer.  Because the heroine's magical gift, which just comes in at the beginning of a story, is not the more usual talent of seeing into someone's future.  Instead she gets a vision of what's wrong with someone's life, and some insight about how to fix it.  Which really dismays her, because when someone pays a gypsy to tell their fortune they want to hear about exciting journeys or tall handsome strangers--not that they need to pay their gambling debts, or be nicer to their employees.  And in the midst of a peace conference that assassins are trying to sabotage, well, her gift gets her into lots of trouble.  And getting your characters into trouble is what authors like best.

Is there anything you want your readers to know before reading your book? 
Not really--anything you need to know should be in the book!  Except that the next book, which finishes the Raven Duet, is Traitor's Son and it's coming out in April 2012.

Where to find Hilari:


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