Friday, March 23, 2012

Author Interview: Aimee Agresti

 Interview with Aimee Agresti. 
I am floored to have Illuminate author, Aimee Agresti in my little bookworm corner for an interview today! I am sure you have heard of her book, Illuminate, one of the most anticipated books of the year by book lovers and bloggers! Click on "Read More" for the interview, which has a very juicy scoop on Gilded Wings #2! And watch out for my review coming this weekend. But before that, don't forget to add Illuminate on Goodreads! 

Bookworm Mia: Hi Aimee! I am very excited about this interview! I know you must be so busy, thank you for your time!
To start things off, we'd love to know, do you have any routine that gets you in the mood for writing?

Aimee Agresti: Hi! Thanks for having me! That’s a great question! Well, if I’m having one of those days when I really need to rev myself up to write, then I’ll usually take my laptop to a museum. I live in DC surrounded by all the Smithsonians and I just love wandering through any of them. They’re so peaceful, especially on a weekday afternoon. I’m a big fan of the courtyard at the Portrait Gallery. I’ll fire up my laptop, grab my favorite fuel—a mocha from the snack bar!—and get to work!

BM: That just sounds wonderful! 

Reading Illuminate, I must say, WOW, that's a new and thrilling take on angels' powers and myth, Haven doesn't have angel powers that would ordinarily come to mind like super strength or flying, what was your inspiration for that? 

AA: Thank you! A few things contributed to those powers. First, I wanted Haven to be an angel-in-training in the process of earning her wings, that way she would have to work up to major powers like flying and superhuman strength and she wouldn’t just get those instantly. The way I see it, learning to fly is a great metaphor for growing up, and that’s something that certainly takes some time. Then, since the devils in the book are in the business of buying souls, I wanted Haven’s power to rival that. ILLUMINATE is an update of The Picture of Dorian Gray, which I adore, so her powers are also a nice echo of that book! 

BM: And it's such a compelling update! The suspense build up as Haven is discovering her unique power (and the ugly truth behind all the glamour in the hotel), with the readers not knowing if Haven's power would be enough to take on Aurelia and The Outfit, makes Illuminate riveting. Definitely something to look forward to. 

Lexington Hotel being rebuilt and all that history about Al Capone, could you tell us your inspiration for incorporating Al Capone's history to the story?

AA: Sure! I went to college in Chicago and I love that city’s wild past from the gangsters to prohibition to those tunnels running underground. I thought the tunnels, especially, would be a perfect backdrop for a mystery and the sinister goings-on of this book and I loved the idea of resurrecting this beautiful hotel to get at them. I also thought it would be a nice balance to ground all the fantasy of the story with some real history. 

BM: I thought that the cover was stunning and the readers would be thrilled that it's not just another girl in a red dress cover, Haven actually wore that dress in the story and what happened that night was amazing. Could you tell us a bit more about the cover art?

AA: I’m so lucky that ILLUMINATE had the most amazing cover designer, Liz Tardiff. The cover was all her handiwork, and I was absolutely blown away when I got the first peek at it: it’s not only gorgeous, but absolutely perfect! I love how much of the story she was able to convey in this one image. I especially adore those angel wings in shadow, which I think really show that Haven’s not a full-fledged angel yet. And the cover model, Marta Pozzan, was fantastic: she captured Haven’s soulfulness so perfectly in just one look! 

BM: Liz Tardiff and Marta Pozzan both did a spectacular job! Everyone is just in love with the cover, those wings just tell so much and Pozzan's wistful look is perfect.

I read that you finished the second book, congratulations! Anything you can reveal for us to anticipate? 

AA: Thank you so much! I’m just polishing up Book Two right now and, hmmm, all I’ll say is that the gang heads to New Orleans—another city I love—and…you haven’t seen the last of Lucian! 

BM: *jaw drops* I'm team Lance buuut Lucian is just as irresistible! *squeals*
I can't wait to get more of Lucian's vulnerable side (and Lance's jealous side tee-hee) in the next book! And New Orleans! (Maybe Haven will be going to a sexy masquerade ball next!) 
p.s. Lovelies! Check out Aimee's webpage:
and this awesome book trailer: