The Compulsive Reader: Books That Suck Month: Day Twenty-Eight: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong and An Interview With the Author

Monday, July 28, 2008

Books That Suck Month: Day Twenty-Eight: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong and An Interview With the Author

Though not what we'd call a vampire book, The Summoning more than deserves a mention in this feature!

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

Check out chloesaunders.com to learns more.

And now, an interview with the talented author, Kelley Armstrong.

You are a quite prolific writer of paranormal books for adults...why did you choose to write a trilogy for teens?

I have a lot of teenaged readers, but my characters are all older, in some cases old enough to be the parents of my readers. My only teen character started as a 12 year old, but by book 9, she's 19 and ready for her own turn at narrating one of the adult books. I've always wanted to give more to my teen readers and a book about teens seemed better than adding more teenaged characters.

What makes The Summoning unique?

I'm always hesitant to point at any part of my work and say "this is unique" because as soon as I do, someone will find another novel that did the same thing! What I've learned is not to try to be wholly unique, but to do something a little different and trust that my writing voice and my storytelling will set it apart. Teens who see ghosts are not new. Even teens who can raise the dead probably aren't new. Teens being sent to group homes isn't new. But hopefully, in my characters and in my plots, readers will find something, if not unique, at least new and interesting.

If you could have any supernatural power, which would it be and why?

I would love to be one of my werewolves, who change into full wolves. What better thrill than to experience life in a different form? The secondary characteristics I give them would be cool too (I'll refrain from listing them because it might give spoilers for the book) But the characteristics that make a werewolf unique also make it hard for them to blend into general society, so if I was being very practical, I'd go with spell-casters instead--their powers take work to perfect, but they have fewer drawbacks.

Have you thought about writing more YA books besides the Darkest Powers trilogy?

For now, that's foremost in my mind (along with the adult series) so I don't dare start thinking of other ideas. I'm sure they'll sneak in, though...hopefully when I have time to write them!

What's one book that you enjoy re-reading every so often?

Richard Adams's Watership Down. While it has plenty of deep elements and political metaphors, it can also be enjoyed simply as a great adventure story. I first read it when I was quite young and it fired my imagination for writing "realistic fantasy"--a fantastical story that still feels very realistic and grounded in the real world.


Anonymous said...

I LOVED this book!! Yay for featuring it, and I loved the interview too. Just awesome.

Mari said...

I have been wondering about this book. Sounds good.
I love K. Armstrong's Women of the Underworld series. This will be added to my to-read list.