Let’s start with some ice breakers:
Is it safe to assume that your favorite cereal is Lucky Charms?
Haha! I do happen to love Lucky Charms! But here’s a fun secret: the scene where Haven and Lance talk about not being allowed to have Lucky Charms at home because it’s too sugary is actually autobiographical. Sadly, I grew up eating totally healthy cereals. Boo!
I love Starbucks mocha frappuccinos—yum! They fueled me while writing ILLUMINATE!
What was the last movie you watched?
Midnight in Paris–I LOVE that movie, I just watch it over and over! I think it’s because I’ve always wished I could go back and hang out with Hemingway. I would’ve had such a crush on him!
Now let’s get down to business:
Illuminate was filled with so much information and action. How long did it take you to finish the novel?
It took about a year from that very first spark of an idea to finishing the first draft. But then, of course, there’s always revising to be done. Wouldn’t it be nice if all the words just came out perfectly in the first draft?
What inspired you while creating the characters?
I wanted all of the characters to have depth and to be full of surprises. And I really put a lot into Haven’s evolution. I wanted her to start off plenty smart and ambitious and studious but lacking in confidence and then show her becoming this force to be reckoned with!
Would you say that you relate to Haven?
Definitely! She works hard and has big dreams but she doesn’t always believe in herself enough. Growing up, I didn’t always have as much confidence as I would’ve liked—even now I could sometimes stand to have more!—so anytime you see Haven feeling awkward or unsure of herself, that’s probably a little bit of me remembering those high school days!
Do you have a name for the second Gilded Wings novel?
I do!….But I’m not telling yet! I’m still polishing up the book so you never know, the title could still change. I’ll announce it soon at aimeeagresti.com, stay tuned!
What can readers expect from the second novel?
Oooh, how much should I tell you? Well, in Book Two, the gang heads to New Orleans—I absolutely love it there–and they encounter a new enclave of devils. But you haven’t seen the last of Lucian!
You must be busy with The Gilded Wings trilogy. Have you had any thought about what you’re going to write after the series is finished?
I have actually! I’ve got so many ideas rattling around in my head. But there’s one in particular that I’m just dying to write about a group of gal pals. But first, I’d better finish polishing up Book Two and get cracking on Book Three of Gilded Wings!
What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?
What ISN’T in my To-Be-Read pile?! Mine is overflowing. I wish I could just lock myself up and read for months and months at a time. There are so many new books by fellow YA authors that I’m dying to read: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. The list goes on and on. And then there are all the books that haven’t even come out yet but I already can’t wait to read like Dreamless by Josephine Angelini and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. There’s just so much! Aaaaah! But I had a professor once who said a true reader is someone who always has a ton of books waiting in the wings to be read and yet still continues to buy more. So that’s pretty much me!