Friday, 8 July 2011

Blog Tour: An interview with Alyson Noël author of The Immortals!

Alyson Noël is on the blog today as part of her blog tour to celebrate the UK release of Everlasting the sixth and final book in the ever popular Immortals series. I have followed this series right from the start, so I had a lot of fun pretty much asking Alyson every question I had ever wanted to ask her! :) 

Read on to find out more about Alyson's thoughts on saying goodbye to the series, her research process, and a sneak peek as to what her new series Soul Seekers is all about. I'm excited to read that one!

Enjoy the interview! :)

The Immortals is a hugely successful, award winning, best selling series. Did you ever imagine that the series would be so popular? What do you think it is about the books that gives them such a universal appeal?

While I certainly always dreamed about the kind of success THE IMMORTALS has seen, having it actually happen was completely unexpected and a bit surreal. Hitting best sellers lists, getting optioned for film, it’s all good—but getting to head out on international tours and meeting so many readers around the world has definitely been one of the brightest spots of all!

As for universal appeal, I think the idea of undying love—of having that one special everlasting soul mate that transcends time—is a kind of wistful fantasy that most of us share. And while Ever is immersed in a world of mysticism and magick, she’s also a very real girl, struggling with very familiar themes of loss, grief, self-esteem, self-acceptance, shifting friendships, fitting in, etc.—the kind of stuff most of us can relate to.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts on saying goodbye to the series. I know I’m going to feel sad when the time comes for me to say goodbye to Ever and Damen after knowing them for so long now. How does it feel to say goodbye, and what will you miss most about the series?

Typing “the end” was so much harder than I ever imagined. I feel a little corny saying this, but I already miss Ever and Damen. I’d lived so closely with these characters that they became very real to me, like imaginary friends. And while I’ll miss the trips to Summerland (I always looked forward to writing those scenes!), at the same time, I feel really satisfied with the way things worked out for them, and I definitely think they deserve a break from all the torture I put them through!

One of the most fascinating aspects of The Immortals for me is that the series deals with past lives. I love it when Damen and Ever revisit their former lives. If you could do the same what are the particular time periods or places you would love to visit?

Coming up with those past lives and fitting them into the context of their journey was one of the most enjoyable parts of writing the series. As for my own time travel—if I could go back in time I’d choose Renaissance Florence—it was such an amazing time of art and invention, but I’m a modern girl at heart, so I’d definitely take my electric toothbrush and hair products with me!

 I’ve always been interested in past lives and reincarnation and I’m guessing you must have done a ton of research on these subjects for the series. Can you tell me what kind of research you undertook and anything really interesting or unusual that you discovered in your research?

I did a ton of research for the series, all of which was fascinating and fun and provided the perfect excuse to study the subjects I've always been interested in. I read a ton of books on ghosts, psychics, near death experiences, past lives, auras, chakras, crystals, reincarnation, etc. I took a three-day psychic development seminar with world famous medium and best-selling author, James Van Praagh that exceeded all of my expectations, and I also did a couple past life regressions with bestselling author Dr. Brian L Weiss who's a leading pioneer in the field. And while I was a bit skeptical going in, I have to say the visions I saw under hypnosis were nothing like I thought they would be.

I love the playlist for The Immortals series as it features some of my all time favourite bands (Mazzy Star, Giant Drag, Sonic Youth), but, if you were to pick just ONE song that perfectly described Ever and Damen’s love throughout the series, what song would you choose?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one, I collected so many songs while writing the series…though, that said, Fade Into You by Mazzy Star was one of the first that inspired me, so I’ll go with that!

In writing a six book series, you had a lot of little details to remember about all the places and characters you wrote about. How did you keep track of everything throughout the series? Did things get a little insane at times, or were you super organized all the way through?

Well, I wish I could say I’d been super organized from the start, but the truth is it wasn’t until I was writing BLUE MOON and kept forgetting everyone’s eye color that I went back and re-read EVERMORE so I could jot down all the details—character and plot, no matter how small—in what I refer to as the Series Bible, and with each successive book I added to it. Still, when I started writing EVERLASTING, not only did I keep the Series Bible by my side, but I also did a quick read of the previous five books just to make sure I didn’t miss anything as I really wanted to account for everything I put out there and make it come full circle in the finale. It turned out to be a really good learned experience, so hopefully I’ll go into my new series, SOUL SEEKERS, a little more organized. Hopefully . . . 

 You also write the successful Riley Bloom series, which is a Middle Grade spin-off of the Immortals series. With so many great characters in The Immortals series, were there any other characters you considered for the spin-off, or was Riley your first and only choice?

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.

Can you tell me some books you have read recently that you loved?

I’ve been so busy reading books for research that I haven’t had a lot of time for recreational reading, but a few that I did manage to sneak in this year were: 

CRYER’S CROSS by Lisa McMannn, WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman, ROOM by Emma Donoghue, and HEART SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill.

Now for Soul Seekers! I am super excited for this new series of yours which is set to publish in 2012. Can you tell me anything about that one? So far I know that it’s about a sixteen year old girl who has the ability to walk amongst the dead, but I’d love to know more if you can share any details?

I’m in the middle of writing the first book in the SOUL SEEKERS and so far it’s been an absolute blast creating new characters and building a whole new supernatural world. And while it’s always kind of hard for me to describe a book until I’m finished, I can say that it’s a young adult paranormal, about a sixteen-year-old girl who, as the daughter of an on-location makeup artist is used to a vagabond, movie-set existence until she begins having terrifying visions her grandmother recognizes as the call to her ancestral legacy, and summons her to New Mexico where she teaches her to walk among the Upperworld and the Underworld and trains her in the magick she’ll need to battle the malevolent forces that have lain dormant for years but are now rising again…Oh, and of course there’s a high school, friends, and a guy so hot my fingers get scorched just typing him!

Thanks so much to Alyson for the great interview!  Everlasting is out now in the US and UK!

You might also like to take a look at this UK book trailer for Everlasting:

The next stop on Alyson's Blog tour is at Writing From The Tub where I'm sure the lovely Carly will have something exciting in store. Make sure to stop by and check it out!


  1. Great post!

    This is a series that I have wanted to read for a while many books, so little time! :)

  2. Awesome interview! I am excited that Ever and Damen will finally have their happily ever after. If a couple deserves it they do. And Soul Seekers sound fantastic!

  3. Such a fun interview! I can't even imagine how hard it would be to keep track of all the little details about the world and characters over a 6-book series. I would forget all sorts of things and there would be a ton of wonky disparities I bet:) I'm really looking forward to her new series!

  4. AHHH! Super excited for this new series! I love Alyson Noel, I read all of her books! Nice interview!

  5. Great interview! I am actually planning to read the first book this summer. I hope I enjoy it as much as everyone seems to.

  6. That is a great list of books! I loved both Cryer's Cross & Where She Went and Room just sounds amazing.

  7. That's so awesome you were able to interview her! Riley is one of my favorite MG characters. I loved her! I haven't read the last few books for the Immortals series-- I need to get caught up with that! Soul Seekers sounds awesome, too!

  8. Fantastic interview Leanna - I must admit that I can't wait for The Soul Seekers series; that looks like it's going to be awesome. Still have a few books in the series to catch up on, but hopefully I'll get around to reading it soon - and I really hope that Ever and Damen finally get their happy ever after!


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