Today I'm excited to have Ros Jackson stopping by for an interview. She tells us a little about herself and her upcoming book, The Secret Eater, which is scheduled for release July 15th, 2013! It's got a really cool concept that I can't wait to hear more about! Check out the synopsis:
“Kenssie is a demon who feeds from secrets. Lately pickings have been slim, and she has grown so weak that her shield of invisibility is slipping. As the servant of a demon who eats embarrassment she already feels like she's the laughing stock of the demonic world. But the scorn of someone who thinks that Hawaiian shirts are the height of cool is the least of her worries.
A powerful fear demon is dead set on making her his slave, a position that carries seriously short life expectancy.
She has no friends.
Her only hope of escaping a life of terror lies in stealing a grimoire she's never seen from the clutches of a vindictive group of master demons.”
Basically I'm a person of contrasts. I love cats, but I'm allergic to them. I used to be a chocolate fiend, with stashes of it hidden all round the house, but now I can't stand sugary food. And I'm a bit of a dreamer, but my plan to build a spaceship out of digestive biscuits is completely practical.
The Secret Eater focuses on Kenssie, a demon who feeds on secrets. This is such a unique idea, what inspired you to create Kenssie and the demonic world she must live in?
The concept of eating secrets appealed to me because it seems like a low-powered special ability, but it's not. Kenssie isn't some kind of fighting-fit, muscle-bound demon, so she has to think her way out of situations. She's not the most self-aware or experienced of characters, so this doesn't always come easily to her.
I chose to use demons because they're quite malleable, and the way I've conceived them they can look like anything, and stand for whatever the story requires. In my universe they feed on human emotions, which saves them from having to eat in the same way as humans. It's a world that exists alongside our own with demons, their part-demon thralls, and witches with a lesser amount of demonic blood. Because of all of these hybrids, there's a rigid hierarchical system with the demons at the top and humans at the bottom. When there's that kind of social system, it gives me lots of scope to explore how those at the top go about justifying and reinforcing their superiority.
Do you have a favorite line from The Secret Eater, and if so, why is it your favorite?
When Kenssie is just about to take on one of the story's more intimidating adversaries, the witch Permilia asks her whether she can fight. Kenssie's reply is,
“I heal instantly. That's almost the same thing.”That kind of gung-ho optimism and disdain for obstacles is her in a nutshell.
If you could go back to when you first began writing The Secret Eater, do you have any advice you'd give yourself that you know now but wish you'd known then?
One thing I didn't have much appreciation for was how specific some readers are about their tastes. It wouldn't have changed anything about how I wrote the novella, but it does mean that mashing up different genres within a story is more of a risk than I realised, in that it will tend to alienate a portion of my readers. Not that I was planning to turn later Kenssie books into a gritty, blood-splashed post-apocalyptic zombie frightfest with time travel, of course.
For more about The Secret Eater check out these sites!