Mundie Moms

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Forbidden Blog Tour: Author Interview with Syrie James & Ryan M. James

We're the next stop on The Teen Scene's Forbidden blog tour and today we have both Syrie James and Ryan M. James on the blog today to talk a little bit about their upcoming release. First, here's a little bit about Forbidden:

She should not exist.

He should not love her.

Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now (the longest she and her mom have remained anywhere) and she’s desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there’s no way she’s going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she’s been having or the creepy warnings that she’s in danger.

Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn’t factored Claire into his plans. . . .

Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire’s unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her? -quoted from Goodreads

  1. How would you describe Forbidden in five words or less?

A thrilling, witty paranormal romance.

  1. I really like Forbidden's title. What inspired the title and did you have a hand in picking it?

Our editor suggested it, and we love it. It perfectly encapsulates the book’s subject and theme: a teenage girl discovers that her relationship with the boy she loves, as well as her entire existence, are both forbidden.

  1. The setting is so descriptive, it feels like a real place. What was your inspiration for Emerson Academy?

Emerson Academy was inspired by Ryan's middle/high school, Brentwood School in Los Angeles, which has had a very lasting, positive influence on both our lives. The school was filled with dedicated and nurturing faculty who not only challenged their students and gave Ryan and his brother a wonderful background in both arts and sciences, but gave us some wonderful specifics for the teachers in this novel. We hoped that the paranormal elements of our story would feel all the more real, if we grounded it by placing the characters in a very real setting.

  1. Being moms ourselves, we love that you're a mother & son writing team. Was Forbidden a collaboration of both of you writing the characters together, or did one of you focus on Claire's character and the other focus on Alec's?

With a few exceptions, everything was written with both of us sitting in one room, crafting all the material together. Sure, sometimes Syrie insisted "I don't believe a girl would ever say that," or Ryan would implore that Alec "be a little more reserved here emotionally," but it was all in the name of balance and compromise. Ultimately, we both wanted a book that both men and women would appreciate, regardless which perspective each chapter was from.

  1. What character surprised you the most in terms of their growth or development from the first outline to the published book?

I don’t know that we were really surprised by any of our characters’ growth, since we worked from a carefully detailed outline—but we are especially happy with Claire’s journey, the way she learned to deal with her growing powers, the truth about her origins, her feelings for Alec and Neil, and the way that she summoned all her inner strength in a moment of need in the climactic scene. It was great fun to craft the arcs of all the characters, and to be part of their journey!

SYRIE: My favorite classic novels are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I’ve read them dozens of times, and gain something new with each re-reading. On a more modern note, I loved the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and the fantasy adventure The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

RYAN: I’m always torn when it comes to reading, between a love for regular novels and graphic novels (i.e. comic series). I can highly recommend The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman to anyone who wants to see how comics aren’t just about superheroes, as well as the more recent series Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan. In regular novel-land, I was inspired just like everyone else as a child when I read The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, and have always loved mysteries like The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. And one of my favorite uses of a magical world that melds with our own? That would have to be Too Many Magicians by Randall Garret.


Thank you Syrie and Ryan for stopping by today!

Follow Syrie & Ryan on their websites, and learn more about Forbidden here

Pre-Order Forbidden from: Harper Teen | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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