Today, I’d like to welcome to Preternatura author Jill Archer, whose debut urban fantasy Dark Light of Day will be released on September 25 by Ace Books as the first in the new Noon Onyx series—although this is urban fantasy with a twist, as you’ll see. Jill now lives in rural Maryland after spending ten years as what she calls a “dirt lawyer,” specializing in real estate “and anything involving exceedingly lengthy legalese-like contractual monstrosities.” You can learn more about Jill at her website.
Jill is offering one commenter a sampler of Ace-Roc new releases, which gives you a chance to “test drive” a bunch of different new authors and books. Read on for entry details!
ABOUT DARK LIGHT OF DAY: Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, and the world from slipping back into chaos. Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, the daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret: She was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of, and some would consider her an abomination. Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or to attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.
Now, let’s hear from Jill. Welcome!
Give us the “elevator pitch” for your latest work?
Dark Light of Day is the story of Noon Onyx, a first year law student who is being trained to represent demons. But the story's as much about Noon's magical and romantic struggles as it is about her academic ones. I should also mention that, even though the book is considered "urban fantasy," the setting is not contemporary. The story mostly takes place in New Babylon, a city with a circa 1900s technology level that was built on top of the ancient battlefield of Armageddon in a country called Halja.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
Probably the last one. I think there's something different to love in each of them, but I really love the emotional note of the last scene in the book.
Hardest scene you’ve ever written:
It isn't in Dark Light of Day. It's in the second book in the series, which I've already turned in. But, in Dark Light of Day, I'll share that some of the physical fighting scenes were difficult for me to write. I've never taken a martial arts class or sparred with anyone so I really had to think about how I wanted to write the fight scenes. And, of course, some of the more emotional moments in the story were hard to write. Only because, as a writer, you have to experience the emotions of the characters on some level just to be able to credibly write about them.
What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
My TBR pile is constantly being shuffled. If I had time to start a new book today, I'd probably read Joan Frances Turner's Dust. I splurged and bought the hardcover last summer. Redemption by Susannah Sandlin looks great too! *Suzanne: No, I did not bribe her to say that!*
Favorite book when you were a child:
Which year? :-) Some of my favorites have included: Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Witch's Buttons by Ruth Chew, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken, Watership Down by Richard Adams, and The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey.
Your five favorite authors:
Very, very tough to limit to five, and I am constantly looking for new authors that could become my next favorite. But here are five authors whose books occupy a fair amount of space on my bookshelf: Lois McMaster Bujold, S.M. Stirling, Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Peters.
Book you've faked reading:
Well, I'm not sure if this counts because I failed so miserably at faking it, but at some point in middle school, I was assigned Wuthering Heights. For whatever poor reason, I never read it. The day before my book report was due, I read the first part of the book and then -- to save time -- skipped the middle, and jumped to the last. Can you imagine how horrible that report was? I wish I'd saved it! I was so confused. All those relationships! And, wait, another Cathy?! I have since read it in totality. It was superb. I'm determined that my daughters will not repeat my mistake.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Wuthering Heights….Ha! I'm kidding, although everyone should read it, preferably when it's assigned.
Book you've bought for the cover:
I've never bought a book solely for the cover. But I do love great covers so here are some of my favorites: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, all of the covers in S.M. Stirling's Dies the Fire series, Lauren Kate's Fallen, and Ally Condie's Matched.
Book that changed your life:
Fun With Dick and Jane? Black's Law Dictionary? Dark Light of Day? To some extent each of those books, and many others, have changed my life.
Favorite line from a book:
Ever? Impossible! Too many to choose from. But here's one of my favorites from Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca: "Will you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me now?" Of course, it's what precedes that line that makes it so meaningful.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races? Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth? Galen Beckett's The Magicians and Mrs. Quent? Liz Maverick's Wired?
Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
Reading about the deaths of Old Dan and Little Ann in Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I read it when I was a kid and I think I went through at least ten boxes of tissue. Possibly more than any other book, that one taught me how important a hopeful ending is to a grieving reader.
Favorite book about books or writing:
I loved Stephen King's On Writing. I've read a lot of his novels and am a big fan. (I also loved his Entertainment Weekly column). I enjoyed Elizabeth George's Write Away (especially her THAD device -- a hilarious name for a brilliant dialog tool). Christopher Vogler's Writer's Journey and Donald Maass' books are popular favorites for a reason.
I'm currently working on book #3 in the Noon Onyx series -- new assignments, new adventures, new adversaries! :-)
This is a great chance to win the Ace-Roc sampler and try some new authors and books, including an excerpt from Jill Archer’s Dark Light of Day.
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