Saturday, April 14, 2012

Giveaway&Interview: Author David Estes of Angel Evolution

Chat with David Estes
About the Author
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010. David is a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.
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LM:What fascinates you about Angels?
DE:I guess for me it was the idea that many people actually believe in angels and demons vs. vampires which are probably less believable.  There are so many different opinions on angels and demons that writing in the genre is an awesome chance to let the creativity fly!  Plus, angels and demons are just plain awesome, with wicked cool abilities, stunning good looks, and strange traits (at least my angels do!).
LM:What makes Angel Evolution different from the other books in this genre?
DE:I’m so thankful that my early readers have enjoyed my version of the classic angel vs. demon story.  To be honest, when I first got the idea for Angel Evolution, I thought I would be leading the angel book trend.  By the time I finally published the Evolution Trilogy, there were dozens of angel books out and I was pretty worried that mine would get lost in the shuffle.  I’m ecstatic that readers are seeing how different my plot is than most others in the genre.  I strip out any religious aspect from the story (no fallen angels, no heaven and hell, etc.), and instead create my angels and demons from humans themselves via an evolutionary fluke of sorts.  I guess I just thought of angels and demons because there is so much you can do with them and so many directions you can take the story.
LM:Are there any similarities between you and your characters?
DE:Funny question, I’ve never been asked it before.  Probably not too many.  I’m far more boring than they are.  I mean, I write thrillers and adventures for a living, but my characters actually live them.  On the other hand, some of the silliness that goes through Taylor’s head definitely reminds me of myself.  Also, I am a bit like Chris in that I am sort of chivalrous and friendly.
LM:Who designed the cover for Angel Evolution?
DE:The cover was a team effort, which I had very little to do with ha!  My wife came up with the concept for all three book covers, and we hired the genius cover designer Claudia McKinney at  She took my wife’s concept and brought it to life beautifully.  The custom font and jacket design was the work of our good friends, Claire and Tony, at Winkipop Designs here in Australia.
LM:Who is the character in your book that you enjoyed writing the most?
DE:Great question.  In Angel Evolution I liked writing from Gabriel’s perspective.  In the first book he’s such a conflicted character, who really can’t decide what’s right and what’s wrong.  I thought it was fun to start him as a pretty evil character and slowly morph him into something better (although I won’t give away whether he ever makes it to the good side!)
In Demon Evolution I preferred writing Taylor’s character because I think her personality picks up quite a bit.  She is a sarcastic person by nature and she has quite a few zany thoughts that show her good sense of humor a bit.
Lastly, my favorite character of the whole trilogy doesn’t really come out until the third book, Archangel Evolution, although he is involved in all three books.  Gabriel’s brother, David (named after me, but hopefully not like me at all!), is probably the most interesting (but very scary) character.  I’ve had one of my beta readers suggest I do a spin off series that is all from David’s point of view.  I really hope that readers decide to read all the way through to the end of the series if only to get a chance to appreciate David.
LM:Five favorite books? Authors?
DE:Favorite Books: The Lord of the Rings (I’ll count the Trilogy plus The Hobbit as one), The Hunger Games, The Scorpio Races, Harry Potter (again, counts as one!), and Odd Thomas
Favorite authors: J.R.R Tolkien, Dean Koontz, Suzanne Collins, Maggie Stiefvater, and Lee Child
LM:Was it difficult determining how to bring the characters to the page?
DE:It’s always a challenge, particularly at first, when you haven’t had time to get to know the characters.  But over the course of the trilogy it got easier and easier as they took on a life of their own.  It was like they were writing themselves, particularly Taylor and David.
LM: What is your favorite Quote?
DE:“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.  You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  As I’m sure many of those who read this will know, this is from The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.  There are a million amazing and inspiring quotes out there, but this one has always been my favorite.  It was the perfect line for Tolkien’s characters and their story, but the beauty of it is that it can be related to many other books, as well as to real life.  Sometimes the first step is the hardest, because once you take it you are out of your comfort zone.  But I can promise you that it’s always worth taking anyway J
LM:Choose only one. If you could choose between invisibility or the ability to fly, which would you choose?
DE:Wow, awesome choices, hard to go wrong with either of them.  But I’d go with flying for sure.  Every kids’ dream right?
LM:If you could travel back in time what would you tell yourself?
DE:Hmmm, probably just a few lotto numbers or something haha!  Other than that I wouldn’t want to spoil any surprises for myself!
LM:  Are there any new projects in the works?
DE:Besides spending time with my wife, writing is my favorite thing to do, so I’m keeping very busy.  I’m working on a number of other projects while launching the Evolution Trilogy.
My current project is a YA post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller written from the perspective of two characters in alternating chapters.  Without giving two much away, the two characters (one male and one female) come from very different walks of life, but are thrust together unexpectedly.  As their lives intertwine, they must seek to bring balance to a world that is out of control.   I’ve finished the first book and hope to release the entire trilogy in 2012.
I have recently finished a YA novel about a boy with a very unique disability and one hell of a sense of humor who meets loads of interesting teenagers on a suspenseful yet funny adventure to uncover the truth about the father he never knew.  I am seeking an agent for this novel but am still open to self-publishing it if I am unsuccessful.
I have also completed the first four books in a children's series aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 10.  It's a classic superhero story about a girl who meets a strange animal who leads her to a treasure chest in the middle of the forest.  The chest contains a gift that allows the girl to perform miraculous feats.  I have another two books planned for the series, which I will be working to complete in 2012.  I am seeking an agent and publisher for the series.
My remaining projects range from a variety of children's novels from the fantastical to the downright silly, to my next venture into YA fantasy, and to the creation of an adult suspense/mystery series with a strong and interesting male character.  I have written the first page of more books than I can count without taking off my shoes!
LM: What is the question that you wish interviewers would ask, and the answer to that question?
DE:Two, actually, if you don’t mind.  First, do I have a favorite book in the Evolution Trilogy?  In fact, I do.  My favorite is the third book, Archangel Evolution.  Many people complain about how the 3rd or 4th book in a series let them down, or was disappointing.  I know I’ve said that before.  Well, for my trilogy I think it’s the opposite.  I have grown so much as a writer in 15 months that it is only natural that my later books would be better.  I only hope that people cut me some slack on the imperfections of Angel Evolution and read on to the other two books in the Evolution Trilogy, which get better and better.  I must admit, I have received some negative feedback amongst the positive for Angel Evolution, but for those readers that continued on and read the other two books, I eventually won them over, which makes me really happy.
The second thing I was wishing you would ask was: Tell us something funny about yourself.  I read all the time, but that’s not the funny thing.  The funny thing is that my wife calls me ‘Brick’, after the child character from the TV show The Middle.  In the show, Brick is constantly reading no matter where he is.  That’s me.  We’ll be watching TV and then a commercial will come on and Adele will run back into the kitchen to get a drink, and when she comes back, I will have my book out, trying to sneak in a page before the show comes back on!
Anyway, that’s enough about me for now, thanks so much for the opportunity to be featured on your lovely blog and I hope to have a new book for you soon!

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  1. Great questions Latoya. Always enjoy your posts. These books sound wonderful David. I love Angels and you have made some unique ones. Thanks to both of you for the interview and a chance to win these amazing books. I like the wished for questions and answers. It gives me a peek at you David:)

  2. Thanks Laura, glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Thank you gor the interview I love your questions. I always want to know about the books covers but i haven't seen any bloggers ask about it. I also love the what question do you wish interviewers would ask.

  4. Great interview questions. I enjoyed the interview.


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