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.
Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments