by S.L. Saboviec
Series: Fallen Redemption #1
Expected publication: April 28th 2014
Cover Design: Mae I Design
Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—-she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.
When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse still, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.
Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?
Welcome to My Book Addiction, Samantha! I’m so unbelievably thrilled to have you here spotlighting your debut novel, Guarding Angel. Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment! I am really looking forward to reading it. And what a stunning cover, by the way! Why don’t we start there…
What was your process in choosing, or designing, the cover for Guarding Angel?
My process involved choosing the right cover designer! I’ve never been the visually artistic sort, so I knew I had to hire someone. I scoured the internet for the correct person, looking through Twitter, googling, and reading recommendations on writer boards I participate in. I found Regina Wamba of MaeIDesign.com through the Absolute Write Water Cooler, and after looking at her portfolio, I had to have her design my cover.
She sent me a list of questions. The most interesting one was to name several adjectives that described my book. I picked “touching, sad, inspiring, enlightening, controversial.” She used those words, plus my rambling replies to other questions, to come up with the design herself. I was amazed at how much the cover model looked like how I envisioned the main character Enael. After I got the initial design, I didn’t have much to update—move a feather here or darken the background there, since I’m so nitpicky like that. Everyone loves her and my cover, so I hope my book lives up to it.
How did you come up with the story for Guarding Angel, and how long did it take you to write it?
When I came up with the idea, I’d been reading several spiritual and metaphysical books. I had just finished one that was about angels, and it talked about how they have personalities. Although I’m not sure I agree with everything in the book, I wondered what that might look like. Many people, myself included, believe that we have a guardian angel standing at our shoulder. What does he or she think about how I’m behaving? What if he or she has a lot of personal problems that have nothing to do with me? That was the spark that led to Enael’s story.
About five years ago, I wrote Daniel, Tabitha, and Felix’s stories in a notebook during my train commute over the course of six months. I didn’t have the over-arcing Yasva plot, and it was set in contemporary times. As an example of how things were different, Daniel was an accountant and Miriam was his coworker. I shelved their stories because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.
About a year and a half ago, I came back to it. I finished the book, changed everyone’s names multiple times because I’m like that, researched the 1700’s so I could revise the setting, and finally sent it out to critique partners. It underwent several revisions in 2013 and was finally ready for an editor in November. Release day was May 19th, six months later.
Like you, one of my favorite things to do when I’m not reading or writing is gaming. What are your favorite games to play?
I haven’t had time for games lately because I’ve been so busy, which is sad. But in the past, I’ve played lots of RPG’s and several MMO’s. My favorite was my first, which was Star Wars: Galaxies. I had a friend in college who got me a beta key into the game in 2003, and I was hooked. My first character was a creature handler named Arakknya Phobos, who had three spiders following her around. I don’t know why I thought that was a clever idea because I hate spiders—after awhile I couldn’t stand looking at them, even though they were cartoon-like, so I traded that profession for chef, tailor, and smuggler specializing in spice creation.
Since then, I’ve played other MMO’s, but the longest running one was World of Warcraft. The pinnacle of my WOW career was when I was a healer druid in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. We were in one of top guilds on the server, but when we got to the final boss, we struggled for weeks without killing him (not because of my heals, of course), and the guild fell apart. We ended up quitting after that because we didn’t want to go hunting for a new guild from scratch and other life things were taking up more of our time.
I say “we” because my husband and I game together. In fact, I met him online. In Star Wars: Galaxies. Yep, it’s true!
What is your favorite snack or comfort food?
I’ve never actually had one snack or food that I’ve loved throughout my life. It changes every so often. I’ll eat something (and eat it and eat it) and then get sick of it and move on to the next most-delicious-ever thing.
About two years ago, I discovered I have a food intolerance that requires a restricted diet. A lot of foods I used to love are off the list. Pizza is the one I miss the most, but I try not to think about it. Instead, I focus on what I can eat and what interesting things I can do with them. I need to avoid most prepackaged foods (as we all should, ha), so it means more energy spent in preparing and planning meals. However, that’s a good thing because I’m forced to eat healthy or suffer painful consequences. That’s a great deterrent.
So to answer the question, my go-to snack food is plain Mary’s Organic Crackers or plain Ruffles potato chips. Those are the only two prepackaged foods I eat regularly. Yum!
Please share with us your plans for the future! Guarding Angel is the first book in a series, correct? Do you have a definite plan for the remaining books already? Do you have any other stories begging to be put on paper, at this time?
Guarding Angel is the first of a trilogy. I have the second book, Reaping Angel, plotted chapter-by-chapter and about a quarter written. The third book, Warring Angel, is plotted at a high level, and I’ll probably finish doing the chapter-by-chapter plot after I finish writing the second book but before I start revising.
I have two other unrelated projects going on right now. I refer to the most complete one as The Exorcist’s Assistant, but I’m notoriously terrible at titles, so the name will probably change. It’s a dark urban fantasy about a woman harassed by a demon who enlists the help of a doubting exorcist. It’s written and has undergone one revision. I’m awaiting some critique partner feedback, and I’ll finish a second revision on it hopefully by the time the baby comes at the end of the summer. That might be too much of an ambitious goal, so we’ll see. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to self-publish it, too, or query.
The other one is scraps of characters and plot ideas that I’m calling Titus vs. Tamora (also subject to change!). It’s a science fiction re-telling of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, which is my favorite play of his. The story is so over-the-top violent and bloody, and I want to see what I can do with it.
Speaking of the future, do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl? Do you have any names picked out yet?
Oh, I wish we knew the gender! We went for the ultrasound where we would have found out, but he or she had his or her legs crossed. The ultrasound technician tried valiantly to see, but she couldn’t. My husband thinks that means it’s a girl, and my mother’s intuition says it’s a girl. So we have a 50/50 chance of being right. 😉
We have some names picked out, but nothing is finalized yet. We’re not going to share until we definitely decide—which will probably be after the baby is born. I think it’s possible we could meet him or her and say, “Oh, that’s not the name at all!” I would feel silly if we went around telling everyone that the baby’s name was one thing, and it ended up being another.
I love the name Yasva, but my husband won’t let me name our child after a serial-killer-inspiring demon bent on world domination.
What is one thing that not everyone knows about you? Something quirky or fun, or even deep and meaningful. Whatever you’d like to share with us today.
Originally, I was utterly opposed to self-publishing, but now I love it. Marketing is the one thing that’s a struggle for me, but the control—hiring an editor, working on my cover design, and overseeing the project as a whole—is exciting. I’m a project manager in my day job, so I have the patience to wait until something is ready before putting it out. It took me six months from the first editor getting her hands on it to release day, and it took me twice as long to write and revise to the point where it was ready for edits.
My reluctance to self-publish came from the stigma attached to self-publishers. As a book review blogger who accepts indie published works, I have seen many disasters out in the marketplace. I might be what you call a perfectionist, so I was not enthused by the idea of associating myself with a group of people who are known for low quality.
However, the perception changing, and I hope that I’m one of those people who can help change it. I take pride in what I’ve created: Is it as error-free as I can make it? Does it flow well with good pacing? Can you relate to the characters? Does it explore a deeper meaning to life? I’m sure different readers have different opinions on all those aspects, but I hope that I’ve worked hard enough that my writing speaks to some people. Do they love or hate what I’m trying to say? I don’t care, as long as I’ve made them think enough to feel something.
Do you find it difficult to manage a book review blog and be a writer? How do you balance two enormous tasks such as those, and still manage to have a life?
It is challenging, and a very long to-do list.
I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately, but I think it’s partly due to the physical changes of pregnancy. Even when not pregnant, I push myself too hard in all aspects of life—work, home, doesn’t matter. Sometimes my husband gets after me for it, which is a good thing, even if I get annoyed at the time!
In all seriousness, I employ a simple to-do list technique. I write out everything I need to do and then rank items A, B, or C. A means I need to get it done as soon as possible (probably today), B means I need to get it done soon but the world won’t end if I don’t, and C means I should think about doing it in the future. That way I can focus on what’s important without getting distracted by all the things I could be doing. They’re on the list—I don’t need to worry about them right now.
More generally, I say no to things. It also sounds so simple, but it’s not. People would like things from me, and maybe I just can’t give them right now. Rather than being hard on myself or feeling guilty about it, I just say “no” or “not right now.” That also means saying no to myself, to things I want to do but don’t have the time or energy right now to do. Those items might become C on my list—I haven’t lost them, but I’m not worrying about them right now.
Thank you again for taking the time to be here with us today, Samantha! It was so much fun getting to know you better. 🙂
~About the Author~
S. L. Saboviec grew up in a small town in Iowa but now lives in the suburbs of Toronto with her Canadian husband and expatriate cat. Books that captured her imagination include Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series, Sylvia Browne’s The Other Side and Back, and Stephanie Meyers’ The Host.
Samantha’s Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads
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