Strictly Reviews proudly welcomes the author of ‘and Falling, Fly’ - Skyler White.
and Falling, Fly
Berkley Trade Paperback
March 2, 2010
What authors, reviewers and others are saying about 'and Falling, Fly'
and Falling, Fly is a dark fable of desire between a fallen angel & a self-medicating neuroscientist in a steampunk hell “Intriguing from page one …White asks hard questions about desire, damnation, love and sacrifice in a beautiful, poetic way that will keep you utterly spellbound.” Anya Bast, author of Wicked Enchantment
“A unique and intelligent spin on the vampire legend … a deeply romantic story … An absolutely wonderful debut!” Julie Kenner, author of Tainted
“An esoteric battle between myth and science told in floods of evocative prose”
“To comprehend this story you must open your mind and soul to all possibilities and perceptions. It is not an easy read, but well worth the experience.”
“An intellectual playground of paranormal romance and urban fantasy like nothing you’ve ever read before … a wild ride full of riddles, love, desire and read-between-the-lines meaning. I was hooked from page one.” Fang-tastic Books
“and Falling, Fly is an absolute treasure. I have been excited and intrigued about a lot of novels lately but none come even close to Skyler White’s spectacular debut novel.”
You now are on your way to becoming the newest bestselling author, what are you going to do next? (Go to do Disneyland, perhaps?)
Take a long nap? It’s been a little on the exhausting side. No, I don’t know. Bestsellerdom is still a long way away. I’ll let you know once I get closer, OK?
Seriously, now that your novel, ‘and Falling, Fly’ is about to be released how are you feeling? Nervous, anxious or having the time of your life?
All of the above! It feels exactly like throwing a huge dinner party. I’ve spent hours in the kitchen, everyone I invited is coming, I’m pretty confident I haven’t forgotten to put toilet paper in the bathrooms or to clean under the sofas, but yeah… I’m nervous. I want everyone to have a good time. What if my work friends hate my school friends? I’m going to feel bad if any of my guests don’t like the food or are allergic to shellfish. Still, cooking is lonely and I’m ready for the conversation and the mess. And a large glass of wine.
Can you tell us about how you came up with your character of Olivia and her story/world in ‘and Falling, Fly’?
Olivia came out of an experiment I was working on with some friends, playing with naming the dangerous parts of ourselves.
I was curious about desire. I remembered being a little girl and having no doubt about it. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I didn’t want. I had a pretty sophisticated understanding of how to get what I wanted, too – when to ask Mommy nicely, when to beg from Dad.
Then, as I grew up and getting what I wanted became less about asking someone else and more about making it or finding it myself, things got a little blurry. I learned there were things that weren’t OK for me to want. And I learned that self-restraint was useful. I saw that desire was different for men and women, and different again for married men and married women. I started feeling there might be things I was buying or eating that weren’t what I wanted, but were substituting or compensating for other things. Olivia helped me get some of that stuff straight, get in more direct communication with my own desires.
Vampires and the paranormal are what readers loving now…did this influence you any when you first started your novel?
Quite the opposite. I started writing ‘and Falling, Fly’ before the ‘Twilight’ books hit big, and everyone then was saying vampires were over. There were editors and agents everywhere saying vampires were on the way out and they didn’t want to see any more of them. I thought seriously about having Olivia *not* be a vampire. But I couldn’t make that work. It really is too fundamental to who she is and what I needed her to do.
Is ‘and Falling, Fly’ your first taste of being a published writer?
If you don’t count a lot of ad copy I wrote back when I was working in advertising!
How long was the process of writing ‘and Falling, Fly’ until you first got positive results from your publisher?
It took me about a year to write ‘and Falling, Fly’. Then I started entering it in contests. I did that for a while, revising it and reworking it based on feedback I got from judges. As it started to final in a few contests and get sent to editors and agents as final judges, I put together a query (Lord, that’s hard!) and started soliciting agents. That took another year. Then suddenly, everything moved very quickly for about four days. An editor who’d requested the MS after judging it in a contest made an offer. I had fulls out with five agents. I called my top three favorites, signed with Holly Root at Waxman, and held my breath while she shopped it to a few other editors. She sold it in a two-book deal to Leis Pederson at Berkley, and then everything went back to normal publishing pace. A year and a half after that, here we are. Books on shelves at last.
Did Olivia, Dominic or any of your other characters give you a hard time as you wrote this novel?
They both did; just not at the same time, fortunately! Dominic is tricky because he’s pretty quiet. Olivia’s tricky because she’s fairly solitary. Gaehod is hard because he’s so intense. Alyx and the sisters were a lot of fun, though, and much easier to write. But I have rather a penchant for ‘hard’. I wouldn’t really trust a story that was too easy to write.
What music did you enjoy while writing your novel?
I can’t listen to music while I write. I hate that I’m so precious about it, but I write with earplugs in and a track of thunderstorms playing to drown out any ambient sound. I’m *very* distractible.
I hear that you also got another novel coming out December 2010. Can you tell us little about ‘In Dreams Begin’?
Sure! It’s a time-travel story moving between the Victorian occultists in Ireland, England and France, and the present day. A contemporary graphic artist falls asleep on her wedding night in Portland, Oregon and wakes up in the body of Maud Gonne, a famously beautiful, six-foot tall, red-headed Irish revolutionary who may have been part faerie. The woman who channeled Laura into Maud introduces her to WB Yeats (a fellow amateur occultist), and the two – Victorian romantic poet and time-shifted, modern cynic – fall rather helplessly in love.
What has been one of your favorite places you like to travel to?
I’ve been to Ireland twice, and I really do love it. On my last trip, I was doing research for ‘In Dreams Begin’, and I took a train out of Dublin to a small fishing village just outside the city where Maud and Yeats travelled together once, and where each of them lived at different times. If I could have a second house anywhere, it’d be there.
What is one day in the life Skyler White like?
One day, I’m going to have a typical day. When I was a kid, I used to be so worried that I’d grow up and develop a routine and fall into a rut. Now – God, what I wouldn’t give for a rut! I do have a kind of a rhythm to my weeks though, so I’ll substitute that instead. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays I take a dance class. Mondays and Sundays are laundry day. Tuesday is writing day. I try and do almost nothing but write on Tuesdays. I hit the coffee shops and stay out late. I write shorter stretches on Thursdays and either Saturday or Sunday. Monday and Wednesdays are research or editing. Friday, from lunch time on, is reading time.
When I’m working on new material (vs. editing or researching) I try to touch the manuscript at least every other day, even if it’s just to read what I wrote the day before. Just to keep it in my head. Once you start a book, you’re really always working on it. On Sundays I sit up in bed and plan the coming week. I do a tarot reading at the beginning of each new month and I try to see live theater once a month as well. Beyond that, it’s little subroutines. I sit down with my husband every day at the end of the day and at lunch and we talk. I try very hard to stop every day at 4:00 and stretch. But I’m bad at schedules and routines. It’s something I constantly work on.
Day or night?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Cake or Pie?
Coffee or Coke?
Indoors or Outdoors?
Indoors with big windows.
Summer or Winter?
er… fall. (cool! my favorite too, lol!)
Is there anything that might surprise readers about you?
Probably, but if I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore, would it? I like my secrets secret. ;-)
Anything else you would like the readers to know about you?
That I love hearing from them! My favorite thing about being a published writer so far was also my favorite thing about being an unpublished writer in a crit group. I love engaging with people about imaginary worlds, mine or theirs. I’ve twice now had the experience of someone emailing me a photo with a note “this is what Olivia looks like to me,” and I love it! It’s so cool to see a thing you created live through someone else’s imagination.
I want to say many thanks to Skyler White for taking the time into letting me interrogate... I mean granting me the chance to interview her. Don’t forget to get your own copy of Skyler’s upcoming and future bestselling novel: ‘and Falling, Fly’ soon to be released from Berkeley Books on March 2nd.
Skyler White is author of dark fantasy novels ‘and Falling, Fly’ (Berkley, March 2010) and ‘In Dreams Begin’ (Berkley, March 2010). She lives in Austin, TX.
Skyler White crafts challenging fiction for a changing world. Populated with angels and rock stars, scientists, demons and revolutionaries, her dark stories explore the secret places where myth and modernity collide. She lives in Austin, Texas.
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