January 23, 2011

Lili St. Crow; In other words, a godsend.

Jealousy by Lili st. Crow:

Well how about it readers? Were you as shocked as I was by the cliffhanger ending in Jealousy? I sure was. Recently I emailed (bothered) Ms. St. Crow into answering some questions about what's next to come in the Strange Angels series, Defiance. So Ms.St. Crow, we were left at a cliffhanger ending (gasp!) with Graves kidnapped and a very unhappy (understatement of the year) Dru about what Sergej just did.

I find the dish on what will happen next in the Strange Angels series as well as what Ms. St. Crow does when she's not writing.

What helps you get into your writer mode? A cup of tea or a stash of candy?

Actually, I have to write, or my kids don’t eat. So I’ve trained myself to “get into the mode” by sitting down and putting my hands on the keyboard.
That being said, I almost always have music playing while I write—I don’t do well with just silence anymore, since I’ve written a lot under very chaotic conditions. And my writing desk is set up so I can look at my street out the window and see what’s happening; I tend to stare a lot while I’m typing. It’s probably odd to see me staring off into the distance while my fingers are going on the keyboard.

How do you get through the head-banging moments against the keyboard if your characters are just being so freaking difficult? (I get that problem a lot)

There’s a couple different ways to deal with that. Sometimes I have to shift away from the story that’s being difficult and over to something else. (I call that “making the story jealous.”) Other times I just write through it—stubborn endurance features a lot in my writing life. Other times, I just let the characters do what they’re going to and see where it ends up. Most often, they end up doing something completely unexpected that makes the story better, more complex, more engaging.

What are your favorite books like ones that are always on hand?
My house is stuffed with books. My perennial favorites are Jane Eyre, Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Stephen King’s IT, and Christopher Fry’s The Dark Is Light Enough.

What's your weigh in on Twilight? Really Good, Decent, Bad or No comment? ( I prefer not to rant on my opinion :) Same with Pretty Little Liars (guess what, I knew about it before ABC family did it :)?  Well, Twilight…I don’t like the idea that a girl has to define herself through her relationship (or lack of one) with a boy. But if it gets people reading, I’m all for it.
We don’t watch television, so I’m unable to say anything about Pretty Little Liars.

Did you watch Harry Potter 7 part I? Did you think it was as epic as I thought it was? The same with Tron:Legacy (mind blown.) ?

Would you be completely aghast if I said I’d seen neither? My kids love the HP movies; I’m a huge fan of the books. (My daughter and I were at the midnight parties to buy our copies, starting with Prisoner of Azkaban.) But I have to wait for the DVDs to come out; I very rarely have time to go to the cinema. Netflix is a godsend.

As for Tron: Legacy, the soundtrack by Daft Punk is very, very good. I’ve been writing to it a lot in the past few weeks.

Will there be a spin-off series focusing like on the past?
Probably not. I do have a vague idea of a story set in the same world, but focusing on the Maharaj…but I would need a couple years before I attempted that. Reckoning, in a very real sense, closes Dru’s story and brings her past the point of being a YA character.

What fills in your free time?
Free time? What’s that? Just kidding. Well, I do indoor rock climbing (not brave enough for outside yet) and I read constantly; I do a lot of research about things that interest me or that I may want to put into books. I spend time with my kids, my favorite thing to do. I occasionally play video games, but I get bored with those so easily. I watch a lot of films on DVD—again, Netflix is a wonder. I’m really incredibly boring.

OKAY TO THE GOOD STUFF! The covers are absolutely gorgeous I practically have them as my wallpaper. Who designs your covers because I feel as if they look at one sentence of the book and then just get like get the plot (and that is pretty amazing.)?
I don’t know who does the covers; authors generally do not have very much control (if any) over that. I do love what the publisher has done with them, though. I’ve been very lucky with the YA covers.

Well we know Dru's going on a suicide mission but will the Scooby gang (as I like to call them) be heading with her?
Hmmm, what can I say without giving a lot away? Well, it’s very important for Dru to be on her own—there’s some lessons she needs to learn that she can’t with anyone else around. And Dru also needs to learn a lot about relying on her friends. She tends to hold people at arm’s length, and it’s very difficult for her to trust anyone.

Since we ruled out Christophe's as the traitor and Anna set Dru's mom up, what will happen to Anna? I personally though she was like scary-cool but with the (pardon my language) bitchy exterior (think Katherine Petrova on The Vampire Diaries).
Anna, in a very real sense, is a tragic figure. She had the capability to be so much more; she could have been a tremendous force for good. She does end up sort of paying for what she’s done, but Anna’s very much an illustration of the maxim that people pay for what they do very simply, by the lives they lead. She put herself in her own hell and called it home.

Does Anna make a guest appearance?! (Even though I try to hate her, she's kind of awesome)

We have not seen the last of Anna.

Sergej, how'd you come up with the idea of Sergej? In my opinion I find him a P.I.T.A (pain in the ...) but how'd the man become seven different shades of crazy and a whole bottle of psycho? Is it like Voldemort or is it like a physical/ emotional trauma (or am I just reading too hard into this)?

It’s mentioned that Sergej was on a particular battlefield in the First World War, and that made him into what he is. He is seven shades of crazy and a bottle of psycho (I love that phrase) but you could just as easily say that he has different motivations. It’s quite clear what Sergej wants, and he’s behaving according to that. He’s not quite as crazy as he seems, which makes him a bit more frightening. I am always of the opinion that it is the villain whose motivations we can understand that is the scariest.

GRAVES, NO!!! Seriously I love how you're not afraid to just yank one character out of their normal lives but what made you do it? I know, suspense and etc. but why Graves?! (I've grown to like wolf-boy since like the first book)

Well, Sergej is the king of the vampires. What else did we expect? In Dru’s world, bad things happen, and often they happen to good people. They’re not playing pattycake here. There are consequences to choices everyone makes, and sometimes those consequences involve other people.

This is gonna be a mentally/psychically demanding quest for Dru and will the reader see Dru have many flip-outs/freak-outs as she tries to save wolf-boy?

No, Dru is moving a bit past freakout stage. When she snaps (because part of this book is about how far you can push Dru before she does snap), she becomes very calculating. It’s more of an assumption of responsibility than a freakout.

What will you do with Christophe as Dru heads on her quest? Will he be accepted by the Council or will everyone be watching their backs as Sergej gets his mojo-scary thing going on?

Christophe is an interesting character. I think everyone will be surprised by how he handles the situation. Plus, there’s a lot of history between Christophe and everyone on the Council, especially Bruce and Hiro. That kind of history isn’t effaced in a day. Dru is stepping into the story of the Council at a very late date, and there’s a lot she won’t ever know about those interactions and the history between these guys.
I will say this, though: nobody really understands the lengths Christophe’s willing to go to for his little bird.

Lastly, what made you start writing the Strange Angels series? Was it like lightning hits and this idea was forming in the back of your head or did you go in blindly? Also how did you get the ideas for each of your character? Are they based on people you know or people you wish you knew ('cause I would love to meet Dru)?

I get story ideas in two ways: either I have a “what-if” question I want to play around with answering (what if the cops knew about the things that went bump in the night, and they helped a special someone fight back?) or something happens I call an “organic”. I’ll be doing something—brushing my teeth, cooking, what have you—and all of a sudden my brain will make this funny sideways movement and I will have…I can only describe it as a full-scale hallucination. I see a particular scene from a book.
In the case of Strange Angels, I saw a girl standing in a kitchen full of boxes, staring at her back door. She looked terrified. The camera angle came around, and I saw the zombie at her back door. Immediately I knew three things: that her name was Dru Anderson, that the zombie was her father, and that she was in a hell of a lot of trouble. I started writing to figure out just who she was, why she was in trouble, and how her father ended up a zombie. And everything flowed from there.

Dru as a character was pretty much full-fledged the moment I met her. I never intended for Graves to be much more than a bit player, a throwaway character she meets at school, but he had other ideas. (I’m glad he did.) Initially, too, Christophe was much more Sergej’s creature than the Order’s, but he had other ideas as well.

I almost never base characters on people I know. It just doesn’t work that way for me.


Thanks for inviting me! Sometimes I write while on a sugar high too. It’s always crazy fun.

True that, Lili! True that!

Comment? Questions? Post 'em!


  1. I always learn from you posts and blogs, Lili. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Hey just checking, I am not Lili. Wish I was as cool as her but i'm just an average teen


Any thoughts on today's post?