Friday, March 1, 2013

Interview with Karyn Henley, author of Throat of the Night

I love Karyn Henley's Angelaeon Circle series, so I am very excited to be kicking off the blog tour for book three, Throat of the Night! Here is an interview with Karyn, and check back tomorrow for my review!

The angel mythology in Breath of Angel is very interesting and creative, was it inspired by anything from any real cultures?

Actually it was. Most angel stories come from a variety of religious traditions, including Zoroastrianism and Islam, and since the word “angel” simply means “messenger,” even supernatural beings from East Asian religions could be called angels. But my primary inspiration came from Jewish and Christian traditions, specifically the hierarchy created by St. Aquinas. In the Middle Ages he reintroduced an ancient sixth century chart that divided angels into ranks according to their duties. That chart was my inspiration, but I renamed some of the ranks and tweaked their responsibilities to fit the needs of my story.  

Do you have a favorite character from the series, and if you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would you choose?

I like so many of the characters, it's hard to have a favorite. But if I could spend a day with one, I think I would choose Livia, one of the winged angels. She experienced life in the heavens before the destruction of the stairway to heaven, and I'd love to hear her memories of what life was like there. She is also wise and, like an ideal mentor, she would ask pointed questions that would help me understand myself and my journey. And she wouldn't judge me. I wouldn't feel embarrassed to confide in her.  

When you aren't writing, what are some of your favorite things to do?

I’ve learned that I’m always writing, even when I’m not at my keyboard. But I do have other favorite activities. First would be reading (no surprise there). I bake bread too. There’s nothing like homemade bread fresh from the oven and slathered with butter. I also have a flower garden but not a green thumb. I plant whatever I like and hope it grows, which means I’m often disappointed, but I get wonderful surprises, too – like purple-red rhododendrons on a bush four feet tall! And I’m a bird-watcher. Chickadees nest in a birdhouse on my back deck, wrens in the nearest tree. Cardinals often visit, along with mourning doves, woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and a gorgeous falcon . . . maybe that’s why birds play a major role in my novels.

What are some of your own favorite books and authors?

Ursula LeGuin is one of my favorites, especially her Earthsea books. I love the way she creates her fantasy world. Her stories have amazing depth, their themes extending far beyond the horizon of the story. I also love Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and its sequels. And anything by Maggie Stiefvater, Tamora Pierce, Anne McCaffrey, Lloyd Alexander, Brandon Sanderson, Kristin Cashore . . . I could go on and on.

Can you tell us anything about what you will be writing next?

I'm actually working on revisions of a contemporary YA for my agent. That may sound strange, since I just listed fantasy books and writers I love. But I read contemporary as well and enjoy authors Jodi Picoult and Elizabeth Berg, to name two. Writing fantasy is easier for me, but to grow as a writer, I believe I need the challenge of writing a contemporary. I don't think I'll ever totally leave fantasy, though. I'm working on a middle-grade humorous fantasy and have outlined my next YA fantasy as well. With writing, not even the sky is the limit!

To learn more about Karyn Henley and the Angelaeon Circle series, you can watch the book trailers (including the new trailer for Throat of the Night), or visit her blog or her website. Be sure to check back tomorrow for another tour stop with a review!

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