Meda’s back. This time, she has a friend.
The battle is over; the choice has been made. Meda Melange has officially hung up her monstrous mantle and planted her feet firmly on the holy and righteous path of a Crusader-in-training. Or, at least, she’s willing to give it a shot. It helps that the Crusaders are the only thing standing between her and the demon hordes who want her dead.
The problem is, the only people less convinced than Meda of her new-found role as Good Girl are the very Crusaders she’s trying to join. So when a devilishly handsome half-demon boy offers escape, how’s a girl supposed to say “no?”
After all, everyone knows a good girl’s greatest weakness is a bad boy.
Eliza Crewe has quickly become one of my favourite authors at the moment. After reading her first book Cracked in March of this year, I was impressed enough to request an ARC of the sequel Crushed from NetGalley. It was Crushed that blew me away. It was this book that fully made me fall in love with the series, and how often does a second book in a series manage that? So I’m thrilled to be part of Eliza Crewe’s blog tour to promote Crushed, the second book in the Soul Eater series, and it was a great pleasure to be able to interview her.
If you’re looking for a great new paranormal YA book series, with plenty of feels, comedy and a heroine who is sure to become a favourite, I would definitely recomend the series. Full reviews are below, but for now enjoy my interview with author Eliza Crewe!
Arguably the most enjoyable part of the Soul Eater series is the monstruous yet lovable anti-hero, Meda. What was your motivation behind writing such an interesting and different character?
I wrote Meda because I was in the mood for something different. I had just finished revising the manuscript I wrote before Cracked for the umpteenth time, and the heroine in that one is a timid little mouse of a girl with low self-esteem. I really love her, don’t get me wrong, but after months in her head I was ready for something completely different–and Meda, wicked-and-doesn’t-care Meda, was born.
Jo and Chi are fantastic secondary characters; how did you come up with these two?
Chi was created as a fake-out. Many YA paranormals follow a formula where the girl meets a hot mysterious boy with super-powers in the first few chapters and falls obsessively in love with him. Chi was created to play with their expectations. I wanted the readers to feel so sure they knew what’s going to happen, then pull the football out from under them, Lucy-style.
Instead of a romance, I wanted to create a bromance (lady-mance?) between Jo and Meda. I love strong friendships, and for this I followed the formula for my favorite romances: The characters start of disliking each other, then their admiration and respect for each other starts to grow through prolonged contact.
I tried to think of who would fit with a character like Meda. Obviously it couldn’t be a goody-two-shoes; obviously it’d have to be someone tough, a little mean, and a lot smart. But what was the tie that was really going to pull them together? What would make Meda the perfect BFF? It needed to be someone broken, someone who understood the darker emotions, like hate and pain. The real tie, though, is one of Meda’s biggest flaws: her lack of sympathy. Jo, with her injury, is pitied by everyone and she hates it. Meda, in her selfishness, is incapable of pity.
What a lot of readers appreciated in the first book, Cracked, was the lack of a love story. Why did you decide to add one to Crushed and portray it the way you did?
I sort of got the feeling from my readers that it wasn’t the lack of romance that they liked, but rather the unexpectedness of the lack of romance. I think a lot of my followers actually like romance–I know I do. So in Crushed I figured I’d add the romance and aim for the unexpected part. You’ll have to let me know if I succeeded :).
What was your favourite and least favourite parts about writing Crushed?
My favorite part was writing the banter between Meda and Armand. I would drive along in my car, music blaring, and hear them bickering in my head. My least favorite part was cutting out half those conversations during revisions!
What would be your top 3 tips for aspiring authors?
1. Read. Read a LOT.
3. Make friends. I’m a pretty dedicated introvert, so people-interaction is not something I usually advocate–except when it comes to writing. Not only have my writing friends made my writing better, but publishing is a pretty intense journey, pitted with rejection and self-doubt, and I think it can drag a lot of people down. My writing-friends have made the whole thing not just bearable, but downright enjoyable. When Strange Chemistry went under right before Crushed was to be released, I was pretty…well, crushed. I remember waking up the day after it happened and just laying in bed, working my way through a pretty spectacular pity-party, when I decided to check my email. I had dozens of emails and messages and tweets and GR posts from people I’d met through writing all telling me it was going to be OK. I’ll never forget that out-pouring of support.
Have you recently read any books that you would recommend to readers of the Soul Eater series?
The Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, if you have a strong stomach. It has a darkly funny antihero, but it’s not YA and is pretty graphic at times. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey because it’s awesome.
How many more books in this series do you think you’ll be able to treat your readers with, and can we have a cheeky preview of what we can expect to see in future installments?
I think Book 3, which is still untitled, is going to be it for this series. And how about a first line?
“I’m blonde. No, I am not shitting you.”
Eliza Crewe always thought she’d be a lawyer, and even went so far as to complete law school. But as they say, you are what you eat, and considering the number of books Eliza has devoured since childhood, it was inevitable she’d end up in the literary world. She abandoned the lawyer-plan to instead become a librarian and now a writer.
While she’s been filling notebooks with random scenes for years, Eliza didn’t seriously commit to writing an entire novel until the spring of 2011, when she and her husband bought a house. With that house came a half-hour commute, during which Eliza decided she needed something to think about other than her road-rage. Is it any surprise she wrote a book about a blood-thirsty, people-eating monster?
Eliza has lived in Illinois, Edinburgh, and Las Vegas, and now lives in North Carolina with her husband, her hens, her angry, talking, stuffed dwarf giraffe, and a sweet, mute, pantomiming bear. She likes to partially-complete craft projects, free-range her hens, and take long walks.