MFT Interview and Giveaway with Alyson Noel

Joining me today is the super talented Alyson Noel! Alyson is the author of the Immortals YA series and the middle grade series featuring Riley Bloom! Up for grabs is a ARC copy of Shimmer (Riley Bloom #2) to one lucky winner (please see giveaway deets at the bottom of the post.)

I don’t read a lot of middle grade fiction, but I was mesmerized by Radiance! What made you decide to step away from the popular trend in teen fiction right now and write a book that, frankly, despite the fact that the main character is a ghost, is quite a joyful and happy book?

I had so much fun writing Riley in Evermore that she ended up getting a much bigger part than I’d planned. She just kept showing up—usually in some crazy costume and wig—and I kept allowing it because she was great to have around. So when my publisher approached me to write an Immortals spin-off series featuring Riley, I jumped at the chance, and I’m so glad I did because writing her series has been an absolute blast! Riley is an especially fun character to write—partly because she’s such a bundle of contradictions. She’s over-confident, sassy, more than a little bit snarky, and not one bit happy about dying just shy of her 13th birthday—but she’s also incredibly vulnerable in the way she misses her old life and her sister. Also, her being dead means she has no boundaries at all. She can travel anywhere she wants and deal with ghosts from any period in history, which keeps the storylines fresh and fun.

For those that haven’t read Radiance, can you tell us a bit about it in your words?

Radiance is about twelve-year old Riley Bloom’s adventures in the afterlife, which is far from the eternity of cloud-lounging and harp lessons she envisioned. She’s assigned a job—Soul Catcher, a guide—Bodhi, a curious boy she can’t quite figure out, and for her first assignment, Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth to convince the Radiant Boy—a ghost who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries—to cross over to where he belongs. A task Riley thinks will be easy-peasy (her words!), until she confronts him…

You managed to capture perfectly Riley’s innocence and capriciousness that’s so common to that age. I know it’s hard for me to put my mind in the right place when reading YA fiction, so I’d love to know how you write “kid” so well!

Despite my eagerness to create a series for her, the moment I sat down to write I had a moment of panic. I was so used to writing teenaged characters that I wasn’t sure I could get into the mindset of a twelve year old. But once I realized I didn’t have to write a “twelve-year old” per se, as no two are alike—I just had to write Riley, a character I already knew and loved—the story flowed from there. In a lot of ways, I can really relate to Riley. I know what it’s like to be the annoying little sister who totally idolizes her older sister, and then chooses to express that admiration by “borrowing” her clothing, makeup and jewelry! And I’m still very connected to that time in my life—despite the number of birthdays piling up behind me, I never really feel like a grown up—but more like a person who just happened to end up with a husband, a mortgage, and credit cards!

Is there any “musts” that you absolutely have to have in order to write, or get the creative juices flowing?

I have a home office where I write. It’s comfy, warm, and I painted the walls purple so I’d have something nice to stare at while I’m thinking up new ways to torture my characters.  My writing ritual involves a scented candle, a cup of green tea, a playlist created for whatever book I’m working on, and a crystal necklace a reader gave me—once those things are all gathered and ready, I’m good to go!

I noticed in your bio that you like to travel. If you could take a month off and go anywhere, where would you go?

I’d probably head for Asia, I’ve never been to that part of the world and it would be fun to explore a new place!

Can you give us a bit of a teaser from book two in the Riley Bloom series, Shimmer?

In Shimmer, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation after dealing with The Radiant Boy in Radiance, when Riley comes across a young ghost named Rebecca, and soon learns Rebecca’s not at all what she seems. The daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Forcing Riley to find a way to help Rebecca without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories. I’m excited to share that book three in the Riley Bloom series, Dreamland, will be out in stores 09.13.11, with book four, Whisper to follow on 04.24.12!

Is there anything you’d like to share about upcoming or future projects?

Everlasting, the sixth and final book in The Immortals series, is in stores now! And I’m thrilled to announce that the dramatic rights for both The Immortals series and its spin-off Riley Bloom series have been optioned by Summit Entertainment. I’m also working on a new YA series, Soul Seekers, set to debut in May 2012. The series will take place in New Mexico and it’s about a sixteen-year-old girl who is able to walk among the Underworld, the Upperworld, and the dead—oh, and of course there’s a smokin’ hot romance too!

Visit Alyson at her website
Read my review of Radiance
Read my review of Shimmer

*Giveaway is for one ARC copy of Shimmer to one winner!


  1. I Alyson! I love your books! It will be great to get a chance to know more about Riley 😀 Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I have heard good thing about this book

    gfc follower

  3. I'm a huge fan…have read the Immortals series and can't wait to read the Riley books!


  4. Thanks for this giveaway!

  5. I actually won Everlasting and will start it as soon as it comes in the mail! Riley is my favorite character so I am really excited to read Shimmer.

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  6. great giveaway
    follow via gfc

  7. Love the Immortal books! But I really love Riley's story! Awesome giveaway!!

  8. Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    Alyson, I hope you don't tire of hearing this – but I truly LOVE your books! I've almost completed the Immortal set, and would love to read Shimmer!

  9. Offbeat Vagabond

    Great interview. I too was very curious on how to write in the mindset of a 12 year old. I don't think I even thought like a 12 year old when I was 12 LOL! But it is nice that you figured it out by not focusing on the age, just focus on your character. Love your musts for writing, it sounds so peaceful. Great giveaway and interview guys, thank you so much.

    drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. This giveaway looks amazing! All of these books look too. Thanks so much!


  11. These books look terrific. I already know I love the author-thank you so much for this giveaway. GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom

  12. Alyson,
    I love all of your books. I am so excited that the movie rights have been sold. I can't wait to see your "world" up on the screen.

  13. I love the Immortals Series and didn't realize this new series was about Riley. Wow, so excited to read it. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway. I am a huge fan.

    aliciacald at gmail dot com

  14. Great interview questions!! And thanks for the great giveaway. My cousin and I love the Evernight books 🙂

    elfdrop AT gmail DOT com

  15. I just read Evermore and I loved Riley in it! I would love to read more about her. 🙂


  16. I have recently read Evermore and loved it. I think a series letting us know what happens to Riley is a great idea. Thanks for sharing today and for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.
    GFC follower Denise Zaky


  17. It looks like a great series.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  18. Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations)

    Great giveaway Thank you =)


  19. Thanks Alyson for the books you have wrote and I have devoured because I love them!!!!! Lol

  20. Hi Alyson ♥
    I love all your books and can't wait to read the next…keep them coming!

  21. Hi Alyson! I love your work!

  22. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I can't wait to read this!

    Miss Lauren

  23. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read your books. They sound very good. Please enter me in contest.

  24. Linda: By the Book

    My friend recommended Shimmer to me, but I still haven't gotten my hands on it. I loved the Immortal Series! I finished them all thanks to my awesome library.
    I've got purple walls too, although staring at them makes me sleepy.

    Lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

  25. I've been dying to start this series! I have never heard a bad word about it, so I really hope I win this:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  26. I really want to read this series! It sounds really good!


  27. haven't read Shimmer yet!!!! Great giveaway!!!

  28. I cannot wait to read Shimmer! I'm so excited! I've fallen in love with the Immortal Series and with Riley! I can't wait to see what new kind of adventures she will get herself into!


  29. i love your books. i am currently reading night star it is so good. i just got everlasting can't wait to read it. you are such a great author. i am currently writing a book. you inspired me to. thank you.

  30. love your books! I cannot wait to read the Riley series. I just discovered the immortal series and am devouring them quickly!

  31. Riley sounds like such a cute character (easy peasy!) I didn't realize this was a MG series, but I'm super happy that it is.

    thank you for the giveaway!
    imagesandwords at optonline dot net

  32. Alison, I haven't read any of your books, but they look really good. thanks for the giveaway

  33. Casey (The Bookish Type)

    That's really sweet that Alyson writes wearing a necklace from a reader =) I love how connected the YA community is.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    thebookishtypereviews AT gmail DOT com

  34. I havent read Riley's books yet but they are on my TBR list… might have to move them up now!

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  35. michellesheavenlyreviews

    i read the immortals series (loved it) and this looks good too!

    starlightgirl678 at aol dot com

  36. Great giveaway! I love Alyson's books!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  37. e3ac4092-95fc-11e0-8c91-000bcdcb2996

    I actually own evermore and bluemoon. I can't wait to read shimmer!!

  38. I can't wait for this book!

    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

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