A little while ago, I read, reviewed and LOVED Shadow of the Sun by debut fantasy author Laura Kreitzer. Laura was kind enough to agree to an interview, so please check out my review if you haven't, then read on to learn more about this great new author!
Shadow of the Sun in AUTOGRAPHED paperback is on sale for the month of June on Laura's website. Check it out!
Laura Kreitzer is a newly published fiction author who hails from western Kentucky. While her full-time 9-5 job includes working in a lab devoted to water dye-tracing investigations at Western Kentucky University, her passion lies in writing.
Shadow of the Sun is the first book in the Timeless Series of books about a young woman, Gabriella, who is a doctor in charge of paranormal investigations at an influential government lab. A sudden delivery to her lab reveals the possibility that angels actually exist and she must use her skills in both science and discernment to decide if the previously thought of science fiction is a reality.
The main character is similar to the author in many ways, the least of which is her incredible intelligence. Both Gabriella and Laura are both strong women who let very little stand in their way. (From her website.)
What inspired you to write Shadow of the Sun?
I was writing fan fiction for Twilight for over a year and I had many fans tell me they loved my writing and suggested I should write something of my own. For a long time I couldn’t decide what it was I wanted to write about, until one day I talked with my grandma about it and she suggested angels. It all blossomed from here.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this novel?
Sleep, or lack thereof. I was working full time with an hour commute, plus real life. I was exhausted, but I was devoted to finishing my novel. I took me only 3 months to complete my manuscript—which is a bloody miracle considering how much time I didn’t have.
SPOILER ALERT! (Highlight to read the question and answer) What was your favorite scene to write? Why?
The plane crash scene was fun to write because of the drama that was involved. How do you put yourself in the shoes of someone who is literally plummeting to their death? I don’t know, but I did. It was scary. Also, writing the morgue scene was quite . . . interesting. That was one of the scenes I wrote out of order because it was stuck in my head. What would it be like to wake up in a morgue and find out you are supposed to be dead? Creepy!
How did your interest in writing develop?
Damn the cliché that is Stephenie Meyer. It was her series that started me writing, it was J.K. Rowling’s amazing story from rags to riches that made me want to write my own story. I admit I even cry every time I watch her documentaries.
I know you’ve also written some fan fiction stories. What impact did that experience have on your writing?
Everything. When I started, I was a horrible writer . . . maybe not horrible writing, but technically it was awful. But it started me out and over time I taught myself how to be better through constructive criticism or fan suggestions. It was some random beta reader I used for a few chapters that taught me a lot. Wish I remembered her screen name so I could thank her.
SPOILER ALERT! (Highlight to read this question and answer) How much did your story line change as you wrote the book? Are there any major differences that you'd be willing to share with us? [reader question]
It changed a whole-hell-of-a-lot. Actually, at first the person in the coffin in the prologue was going to be Andrew . . . ::throws up hands:: Don’t kill me! I didn’t do it because I knew my fans would KILL ME! :D Karen wasn’t going to be a bad character either . . . but she was too sweet so by the time she turned into the Soul Stalker in the book, all the time before I wasn’t expecting it to happen. I was writing and all of a sudden she was . . . evil. Muahahaha!
Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life? [reader question]
Jenna & Nicole (Gabriella’s sister & cousin) are based on two of my cousins who have been my best friends throughout my childhood and adulthood. Gabriella has some of my sarcastic side, but I tried my best to write myself out of her, but that is harder than it sounds. Many of the characters are named after friends and family, but their personalities aren’t based on the characters I wrote.
How did you develop the unique angel canon at the heart of the novel?
I pulled it out of my arse. Honestly. I have this ratty red notebook (the cover just fell off, I am so sad about that) where I write ideas in, and it was in that red notebook where everything started. I wrote out the angel hierarchy and what each level would be. It gets complicated and I will be posting that under the lexicon this summer. We’ll get more in depth with it in book two and three, also.
Is Joseph really human? [sneaky reader question ;-)]
Sneaky! Sneaky! If I tell you yes, people might be disappointed, if I tell you no, then there would be no mystery. So how about I’m not tellin’ . . . na na na na na na~!
What team are you on?
::blinks:: I’m on the angel squad. Team Angel all the way.
Do you have any outtakes or deleted scenes that you might post some day? [reader question]
Not really, though I might write an outtake, though. I will post something in Andrew’s POV eventually. It’ll be fun!
Did you finish writing the whole series before you found a publisher for the first book in the series? And if not, how many books do you have left to write in the series and are they already planned in their entirety? [reader question from a fellow writer]
I am literally pages away from finishing book two, so I did not finish the whole series before I found my publisher. I actually found my publisher before I was even done writing the first book!
I was thinking of only writing three books, but the other day the end of book two changed drastically, totally shifting the plot of the third. I am going to guess on four, but if more comes to me, I’ll write a fifth . . . and so on. I guess we’ll see. I also have ideas for other books, which I have stored in my head for later.
The cover of Shadow of the Sun is amazing – how did it come about?
My editor, Brianne Villano, actually made a drawing of what she pictured the cover to be. I found this amazing graphic designer and gave him some of my ideas mixed with Bri’s ideas and voila! The cover! (And thanks! I love the cover and think it is amazing too!)
Is there an author that inspires you to write? If so, who are they and why are they inspirational? [reader question]
J.K. Rowling. I know, I am repetitive. She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Her whole story, how she donates to charities, how she made a whole generation of kids (and adults) get back into reading. Without her, I may have never of even picked up the Twilight books which started me writing. But what truly inspires me to write are the people in my life, the non-authors. My mother-in-law is fighting cancer—she has been for 10 years—and she is on her last stretch of treatments. If they don’t work, she will not survive. I take her to all of her doctor’s appointments, drive her three hours one way one-two times a week for treatments. She fights every day for her life and that is an inspiration! That is who I should look up to. If I was her, I would have given up a long time ago. She has strongly affected my writing in this book. Hopelessness is a horrible feeling, which is how I feel. Sometimes that is how Gabriella feels, too. But she fights still. Gabriella is a better person then me too!
What is a random fact that readers probably don’t know about you?
Shadow of the Sun isn’t my first publication, but probably the first that any of my readers would want to read. I have written a 140 page book that has been translated into Chinese and is used daily by many people for scientific work. (See why none of my readers would be interested?) I also wrote a story about working in the field, dye tracing (my day job), but I haven’t let anyone read it yet. :) It’s quite funny.
What can you tell us about the sequel, Soul Stalker?
SPOILER! (Highlight to read) Hmmm . . . Soul Stalker. Let’s see. Soul Stalker (aka Karen) is a soulless angel who stalks the souls of humans. She is particularly interested in Gabriella’s soul because of her pureness. Lucky for Gabriella, the Soul Stalker thinks she is dead! But so does her angels: Aiden, Ehno, Lucia, and, of course, Andrew!
Gabriella goes to Joseph for help (as you read at the end of book one). She needs him to find Andrew again—she plans to tell him the truth. Book two is all about her journey back to Andrew and what happens when she finally arrives back in Italy. Her angels are missing, which leads Gabriella on a dangerous journey back into the Soul Stalker’s path. While she is searching for her kindred soul, Gabriella uncovers a secret that will send the whole angel world into an absolute frenzy.
Yup, that covers the basics without giving away too much of the exciting plot. Yeah, I’m totally full of it, but sometimes I even have to pat myself on the back with some of the craziness I have come up with for book two. :)
Do you have any novels in the works that aren’t part of the Timeless Series?
On paper/computer? No. In my head? Oh yeah. Right now I am keeping those ideas on the down low until I have time to start writing out my ideas. All I can tell everyone is that I haven’t read anything like the stories playing out in my head.
Thank you so much to Laura Kreitzer for this great interview, and to the readers who submitted questions!