Interview (& Giveaway): Sabrina Benulis, author of Archon!

I’m so happy to have Sabrina Benulis, author of the brand new urban fantasy, Archon, on the blog today! Sabrina was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, and we’ve also got a copy of Archon up for grabs, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of the post!

Please welcome Sabrina to the blog!

Sabrina, your brand new fantasy, Archon, just came out! Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
It is very exciting to finally have my story in the hands of readers! Archon is only the first book in a trilogy that has been a long time in the making. I first got the idea for the story in college, then further developed it into a full-fledged novel while in grad school. It took about two years after that for me to find an agent, another year for she and I to snag the right publisher, and yet another for it to get on the shelves. Needless to say, patience was required of me! The entire trilogy has gone–and continues to go–through much revision. Originally it was one enormous book that I had to split into three. In that sense, half of the work on the next two books is done already.

Would you mind telling us a little bit about Archon?
Archon is first and most importantly a very unique novel. Technically, it is a gothic urban fantasy, but the plot of the first book certainly hints at the epic and that’s what readers can expect in the next installments of the trilogy. When I say gothic, Archon is dark, but in a way that suggests a gradual development toward something bright and immensely hopeful. Since the story is so involved, I like to think of the first novel as more of an introduction to the characters and overarching plot than anything else. While the content of the novel is timely considering that it involves angels and demons, by no means are these angels and demons anything like their current literary counterparts. I like the sense of seduction, but the danger of the supernatural is always foremost in my mind when it comes to writing about these beings.

Do you already have a certain number of books planned for the Books of Raziel series, or will you just see where it takes you?
I guess I already answered this, didn’t I? haha Yes, there are three books. After that I could always write prequels, but a sequel series might be tricky. When the story ends, it has a definite sense of finality to it.
What do you like best about writing fantasy?
Typically, fantasy is the genre that requires the most from an author’s imagination. I suppose writing about the world I already live in doesn’t interest me too much! Escapism in every sense, creating a whole world–that’s what’s fun to me.

What are some of your biggest literary influences?
My influences are all over the place, but here are some of my favorite books which could give you a good impression of what you might find in my own writing.
Wuthering Heights, The Last Unicorn, Interview with the Vampire, The Life of Pi, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia. I actually read more nonfiction than fiction, which I’m surprised to find is rather unusual for someone in my position.

I also love Japanese anime, which tends to inspire me a lot.

What is one of your most unusual writing quirks?
Lately, I have developed an awful habit of needing to be in pajamas to write.

What’s one of the first titles you’d mention if someone asked you for a book recommendation?
The Last Unicorn. The book is absolute poetry.

What’s on your nightstand right now?
A new book by Lauren Oliver called Liesl & Po. It’s technically a novel for older children and young teens, but it looks to be very interesting, with ghosts and alchemy and a dim world that needs the heroine to bring it color. Right up my alley.

When you’re not busy writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
I love it when I have time to watch anime or play video games. And if I have time to read now, it’s like a godsend!

Is there any advice that you would give to struggling writers?
Never ever give up on yourself. Talent counts in this profession, but persistence even more so. If you believe in your work others will believe in it too. Always ask yourself this question: “If no one ever read my story, knew my characters, or jumped into this world I’ve created, would I be happy?” If the answer is ‘no’, then no matter what, you have the true soul of an author and should never stop.

Is there any other news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to mention?
I just finished the first draft of Book 2, and a local book signing for Archon is being planned! I couldn’t be happier.

Keep up with Sabrina: Website | Facebook

1. You must fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!).
2. Giveaway is for 1  copy of Archon by Sabrina Benulis to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses only
4. Please include a valid email address
5. You must enter on or before 1/4/12
6. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail. Please see my Giveaway Policy.
7. Giveaway book kindly provided by Harper Collins.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book sounds very interesting. Nice interview as well – don’t see many people mention The Last Unicorn as a literary influence. Great choice, IMHO!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. A gothic urban fantasy already caught my interest but even so that the story seems to hint at more. It sounds like a unique world where characters can really set themselves apart.

  3. The book sounds great. I love the cover!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Archon sounds soooo good! I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Wow! This one sounds great. Plus, the cover is gorgeous. I added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. LOVE the cover and premise to this story!!! I have it on my wishlist and would love to win! Thanks for the great giveaway & Happy (almost) New Year!!!

  7. Writing in you PJ’s just means that you are very comfortable. Loved the interview and I am interested in reading the book.

  8. Sabrina, I’ve heard rave reviews about Archon, and it’s on my TBR list! I’m really happy and excited about this giveaway opportunity! Thank you so much!

    Just curious – were you a big daydreamer as a child? Both of my children are huge creative writers and all throughout school their teachers were VERY frustrated with them for daydreaming, lol.

  9. The cover catches the eye! I’d love to read it.

  10. Thanks for the post it was very interesting. Thanks for the giveaway too!

  11. I loved the review I would love to read the gothic fantasy with the awesome cover,thanks for the giveaway

  12. The cover definitely looks great ! Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. I love your literary influences. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books which is funny because it is so twisted but that’s what’s so amazing about it. LOTR is the best trilogy ever made thank you Tolkien for creating this world and thank you Christopher Tolkien for finishing it. The Chronicles of Narnia is just so beautifully written I have the leather bound series and I will forever treasure it.

  14. Archon is definitely a book I would love to read. For some reason I love dark types and then you add in angels and demons and I’m in love. The cover is gorgeous especially the angel with the great powerful wings. This is definitely a book I need to read.

  15. The cover is outstanding. I love it.A dark fantasy Gothic twist for demons and angels sounds very intriguing. I will be adding this series to my reads list.
    Thank you for this generous giveaway! Cheers! 🙂

  16. What a wonderful giveaway
    posted to Twitter and to Fb
    goodluck everyone

  17. The book sounds *amazing* and the cover art is some of the best that I’ve seen in a long time. This is definitely going to be one of my next purchases for myself!

  18. Congratulations on the release of Archon, I am glad to hear there is a book two coming as I love a good series and look forward to reading this one – I am intrigued 🙂 Thank you for taking the time for this interview and for the lovely giveaway opportunity.

  19. Love the cover, and the book sounds good =)
    Thank you for the chance to win

  20. Thanks so much everyone! I am very excited to see so many people eager to read my novel! In reply to a few comments:
    1. I was an enormous daydreamer as a child. My teachers hated me for it as well. lol
    2. Wuthering Heights IS a deliciously twisted book. I think that’s how mine got that way! Inspirations!
    3. I am very lucky to have such a great book cover. It coincides perfectly with the gothic atmosphere of the story!

    Sabrina Benulis

  21. This book sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  22. Congrats on the release! I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this one. Sounds absolutely fabulous 🙂

  23. Awesome interview! The book sounds great as well!!

  24. Chelsea Hornbacher

    Urban Fantasy is quickly becoming my favorite genre, I can’t wait to read your book! 🙂

  25. This cover is absolutely gorgeous!

  26. I was looking at this at the bookstore earlier today! Read the back and the first page and it seems like something I would read.
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity,
    – Megan

  27. Congrats on your book and the planning of a book signing. Exciting stuff going on. The book sounds great.

  28. This sounds interesting. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  29. I freaking love this cover, and the book sounds amazing!! It is definately on my to read pile, I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  30. Sounds like a GREAT read! Awesome interview 🙂

  31. Awesome interview! I can’t wait to read this book. I love the cover.

  32. Hi Sabrina! Your book sounds amazing and I’ve been dying to read it! I haven’t read The Last Unicorn but I’m definitely going to look for it since you’ve recommended it:)

  33. I really like the sounds of this book!! I added this to my wishlist. Love the cover!!

  34. I’m really liking the cover of Archon. This book definitely sounds very intriguing and I can’t wait to get a chance to read it.

  35. The book looks like a good one and the cover is gorgeous.

  36. I have just begun reading this genera type of books, expanding from fantasy as i have read for well since I was 12, and being in my forties now, that’s a lot of books read! So a new author with a new reader seems to be a good combination. As I am free of expectations with this, it will make it all the more entertaining for me and begin a new reader of this type of fantasy, new authors are a good fit. I am looking forward to entering “a new world”. Thank you for writing.

  37. Thank you everyone! I hope you enjoy reading the book! 🙂

  38. One of the thing that make me read a book its the cover and I love this cover!!! I can’t wait to read this book!! Thanks for the Giveaway 🙂

  39. This book sound quite interesting and the cover is great. I look forward to reading this and others.

  40. Have to say I love The Last Unicorn novel and animated movie. It’s funny that I’ve seen it referenced in several places lately. Really enjoyed this interview – Archon sounds awesome!

  41. Katherine Wigginton

    This book sounds so good I can’t wait to read it =)

  42. Epic gothic urban fantasy? Sounds interesting.

  43. Congrats on publication! And what a gorgeous cover! Couldn’t ask for better. Best of luck!

  44. This book sounds very interesting.

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