Christine Hughes Welcome to Spotlight tell us something about yourself, what is there new for you in terms of writing or anything else in life please?
Christine Hughes I'm working on the last quarter of Darkness Betrayed, the sequel to TORN. In addition, I've just finished 2nd round edits for my next novel, Three Days of Rain, which will be out in a couple of months. I've also just finished the cover to that book. As for personally, I'm adjusting to life with both kids in school. It's been kind of quiet around here and I find myself talking to my dogs way too often! lol
Shah Fazli Thanks, tell us about Torn please, what is it about?
Christine Hughes I always get stuck when people ask - I feel like it's about so much more than what the back cover blurb says. My idea was to write a book detailing the importance of happiness andsadness, light and dark. There is always a yin and yang relationship between them. Without one, you'd never know the importance of the other, or be able to appreciate it. There is beauty in sadness, in despair. Just as there is an edge of darkness to joy - you'd never know joy if you'd never know sadness. With that, however, I'll share the back cover blurb anyway :)
With the sudden, mysterious death of her father, Samantha discovers her life isn’t what it seems. Not only isn’t she the normal teenage girl she thought she was, Sam must now take her father’s place in the fight between two groups of fallen angels, the Faithful and the Exiled, in a race to save humanity. In addition to dealing with a devastating betrayal—and having feelings for someone she’s forbidden to love—Sam must also fight the growing darkness within her as she struggles to make a choice between fighting alongside the Faithful or succumbing to the temptation of the Exiled. Both sides require sacrifices Sam isn’t sure she can make.
Shah Fazli Tell us about Sam more please what does she look like, for instance?
Christine Hughes When I developed Sam, I had Candace Accola (from Vampire Diaries) in mind. Long blonde wavy hair, blue eyes, athletic. Not "beautiful" per se but attractive. I think she has the ability to blend in when needed but can stand out when she wants.
Shah Fazli Who is else is there in the book maybe supporting Sam or going against her, can you give a few names please?
Christine Hughes First there is her father James who was killed by Sebastian a fallen angel and leader of the Exiled. Lucas, her best friend and his brother Ethan, who Sam in secretly (or not so secretly) in love with. Eventually we meet Jesse who helps Samantha deal with the loss of her father and her newfound place at the center of the war between two factions of fallen angels, the Faithful and the Exiled.
Christine Hughes There are a few other, minor characters, that have a more prominent place in the sequel like Christian, Mara, Branna, Cal and Noah. We even see Scott return for a little bit ;)
Shah Fazli Describe the Faithful and the Exiled for us please, what kind of people are they?
Christine Hughes I wrote the story with the idea in mind that all angels on earth are fallen angels. All have been cast out of heaven. The Faithful have been working to atone for the sins of the original fallen whereas the Exiled revel in the sins of others. They work to exploit the free will God never gave them but passed onto humans.
Shah Fazli Have you given them certain looks or characteristics, do they appear in your book as individuals or not they come in big numbers, what do they wear for instance?
Christine Hughes The Faithful tend to look and dress as you and I would. The Exiled can be a bit more eccentric. For example, when we meet Sebastian, who is definitely full of himself, he's shirtless with low slung pants and his wings outstretched, much like a peacock would do. All the Faithful "soldiers" look very normal however the Exiled "soldiers" are minions, awful creatures with fangs, claws, spindly wings, skeletal bodies and sharp stinger-linke swords. When they arrive, they bring with them a deafening hum, like a swarm of bees. Their breath id foul and their blood is black, as are their eyes. I go more in depth as to where they come from and how they came to be in the sequel but I can say, for now, they weren't always mindless drones.
Shah Fazli Thank you so much, so tell us what happens when Sam meet the Exiled, do they converse or not at all they begin to fight?
Christine Hughes Samantha begins dealing with a "voice" that she hears in her head. Followed by visions of death. She finds out her father dies and is destroyed. The visions get more graphic and the voice gets louder. Eventually Lucas and Ethan divulge that her father was an angel and Sebastian killed him. Samantha deals with the minions and the idea of Sebastian before she actually comes face to face with him. Much of the struggle centers around the fact that Samantha is torn between the Exiled and the Faithful. She was meant to be the balance therefore she embodies both light and dark, happiness and despair. Unfortunately, she tends to lean more towards the side of the Exiled.
Shah Fazli Can you name some places that your story takes place, real or unreal please?
Christine Hughes We start in Florida and eventually end up in Massachusetts, along the coast. Sam has dreams of a rocky cliff with an angry sea below. When jesse first begins his training with her, he takes her there and she recognizes the place but at first doesn't know from where. And later, when she finally confronts Sebastian, it is at that same cliff in Massachusetts. I tried to leave the places a bit ambiguous. A cabin in the woods, a neighborhood in Florida, an alley in South America (where her father was killed by Sebastian)
Shah Fazli Interesting, now read from your book please?
Christine Hughes Samannnnthaaaa...
Unable to speak, I wiped the beads of sweat from my forehead and looked around. I swung my head toward the window and peered outside, searching for the source of the taunting voice. Where was he? The sky had darkened significantly and just beyond the trees I saw a swirling shadow that seemed to pulse. The vegetation surrounding it had withered, becoming gray and lifeless as though the shadow had sucked up all of the energy. A faint hum filled the air, growing louder as the shadow pulsed faster.
Samannnnnnthaaaa...It's time. Join us.
"Where are you?" I could barely get the words out. "What do you want from me?" This voice had plagued me for months and I wanted to know for sure it was Sebastian, yet the thought of finally knowing, finally seeing him, scared me more than the uncertainty.
The voice chuckled. Join us and I will show you everything.
"Never," I whispered. "Never. My father died protecting me. I will never come to you."
Again, a high-pitched and foul laugh rang in my head, making it spin. Dark clouds rolled ominously overhead, the wind picked up and the dull humming became inescapable white noise. Silly girl. You will come to us. You will make the choice. It is your destiny.
Despite my protest, I stepped toward the window then, leaning over the sink, I reached up to unlock it. My reflection was unrecognizable in the glass. My hair was wild and my eyes were huge and black as shadows emanated from within me. Whatever was out there was reaching for me with ghostly fingers, and as I opened the window, a dark mist snaked toward the house. I closed my eyes in giddy anticipation of the unknown.
Shah Fazli Thanks, tell us more about Sebastian please?
Christine Hughes Sebastian is the leader of the Exiled. His main goal in life to obtain the Box of Hope and the Heart of Hope. The best way to explain both of those is to refer you to the story ofPandora's Box. Pandora was given a box and told not to open it and when she did, a host of troubles and despair escaped into the world. Must like free will, it was there but never meant to be used fully. Once Sebastian has the box, he can destroy it so he and his minions can never be suppressed again.
I love Sebastian. he was so much fun to write. He's evil and gets off on being so. I explain him further in the sequel, and discuss how he came to be. But in TORN, I just have fun with him. He alternates between sweet and seductive and demonic. When he gets angry his eyes shade to black and his face twists so Samantha can see who he really is. She's attracted to him and repulsed at the same time. He returns with a vengeance in the next book. I can't wait for everyone to see where I take him. He is my favorite character - probably because it's so much more fun to write the bad guy.
Shah Fazli Thank you, what is your tips for other writers on writing please?
Christine Hughes Just keep writing. Find your inspiration. Take criticism well. Always be appreciative. Learn all you can. Read every day. Find a group of people who know what you're going through and you can vent with - a group on FB I love is the LitPow Writer's Group. Full of fantastic people. Start developing thick skin. And never ever give up. If writing is your dream, make it happen.
Shah Fazli Thank you so much, it was so nice to have you with us. Hope to see you again soon. Have a good day.
Shah Fazli Visit : http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/2012/10/torn-christine-hughes.html
ShahSight Literary Book Shop: Torn Christine Hughesshahsightshop.blogspot.com
Christine Hughes Thank you for the opportunity to chat. It was fun :)
Shah Fazli To book your own interview join :http://www.facebook.com/BeInTheSpotlight
Live facebook interview with authors and readers. As an author you get the oppor
tunity to interact with the readers. Ask for an interview by joining.