Lili St. Crow is the author of many adult novels such as the Jill Kesmet series and the Dante Valentine series and her first Young Adult novel – Strange Angels – debuted this May. Her next Strange Angels book, Betrayals, hits stores in November. You can visit her on the web at: http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com
What are your future plans for the Strange Angels novels?
The series has really begun to open up and out. Dru is in this process of going from being a stranger in the daylight world to a stranger in what she calls the Real World–the world of things that aren’t quite human. Part of the theme of the series is that feeling of alienation, of not fitting in even when you suddenly have a pass to the place thought you wanted to be.
In the beginning of Strange Angels, how would you react if you were in Dru’s place?
I don’t know. One can never tell how one is going to react to a very extreme situation. Building characters, then breaking them in extreme situations, is one of the hardest parts of this job. On the one hand, things happening to characters is what fiction is about–it’s a rare book where nothing happens. On the other hand, I don’t think any writer really enjoys seeing their characters break. You know these people, you know how they’re feeling, and it is terrible to watch them suffer.
I am fascinated by how people react when under stress, how they react in extreme situations. I find that psychology and that examination in fiction very compelling. So, how would I react if I was in Dru’s place? I can’t even guess. For one thing, I’m over thirty and she’s sixteen. We have different perspectives and different things we can do when a situation goes south. I have a lot more power over my daily life than Dru has.
That was one of the more difficult things about writing YA: going back to that time in my life when I was a teen and other people had so much contol over every aspect of my life, from parents to teachers to even just random adults. Remembering the time before I had my driver’s license and my own paycheck, my own money and time and a say in how to spend either, was a hard process for me. I grew up fast and I wanted to stay grown up, get away from those other people having so much power over my life. As an adult I have fractionally more power, along with the responsibilities. Going back and remembering was rough.
What character in Strange Angels do you relate most to?
That’s a complex question. I identify with Dru as a perpetual “new girl,” I identify with her father, whose grief turned him into a person who drags a kid around the US like he does, I identify with Graves as the lonely goth kid who senses something about the new girl. I feel for them all very much. About the only person I didn’t exactly like was Christophe, and you could say he’s growing on me now.
Is there anything you can share about Betrayals with readers?
Well, let’s see. There’s a first kiss, more vampires, a burning school, bloodhunger, and Graves coming a little bit into his own as an alpha. Oh, and Dru is not as unique as she thinks she is. That’s about all I can say.
Do you have any other plans for Young Adult novels?
I do have an idea for another book, as soon as Dru is finished with me. We’ll see what happens.
Where’s your favorite place to write?
I used to write in a papasan chair, but after going through two or three of them my best friend dragged me to Ikea and made me pick out a chair with proper support for my back. It had to be one I could sit cross-legged in too, because that’s a big part of my process–I usually write sitting cross-legged in my chair, with the laptop on a lapdesk balanced across my knees. There, at home, is my favorite place to write, though I can do it just about anywhere.
Your biography says you lived around the world as an Air Force brat, where was your favorite place to live?
I loved the UK. I’d go back in a heartbeat. I also loved living in Wyoming because of all the space–it’s very freeing, to have all that room to move in, even if socially you’re way more constrained. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for a significant part of my life, too, and I have to say it’s my favorite place in America. I love the weather, the trees, the sea and the mountains so close. My very very favorite place in the whole world is a little beach, Rialto Beach, on the Washington coast. I could live there for the rest of my life.
You’re on a deserted island, you can only bring 3 things – what are they?
Assuming basic survival needs are taken care of and I have an electrical outlet: Gibbon’s Decline And Fall, my IPod, and something to write stories on.
What’s one book you wish you’d written?
Hm. Wow. I don’t know, because I do write the books I wish I’d written. I’m a big fan of Peter Beagle and Tanith Lee; every time I read their stuff I feel deep deep writer’s envy. But I know I could never write “like” them, they’re different people and have different “filters” they pass the words through. it’s enough for me to enjoy their work as a reader and learn something new from them every time I open one of their books.
A huge thanks to Lili St. Crow for taking the time to be interviewed!