Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interview & Excerpt: Destiny Gift by Juliana Haygert

Today we're excited to have Juliana Haygert stopping by to answer a few of our questions! We also have an excerpt from her novel, Destiny Gift, so be sure to check that out. Here's the synopsis:

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m Juliana, a shy girl who likes to spend a lot of time into imaginary worlds.

You write NA (or New Adult). You've even co-founded NA Alley. What about NA drew you in as an author and why do you think it's the right fit for you and Destiny Gift?

When the girls and I founded NA Alley, I had been writing NA for over seven years (which is when I was in college!), though it wasn’t until 2010 that I learned the right term for it, and at that time it wasn’t a very known and accepted category.

When I first queried Destiny Gift, agents and editors asked me to lower the age of the characters and make it YA, or age them and make it adult … though, one of the agents did say that my voice sounded too mature for YA, but too immature for adult (duh!). I’ve gotten a couple of reviews that say that the NA label is misleading for Destiny Gift because there’s no sex in it. Let me just say this: NA is not defined by sex. NA can and does exist without sex. NA means age, a certain level of maturity, and the character’s reactions to certain events, not that the book contains sex. Because of those reasons, Destiny Gift is definitely NA.

Speaking of Destiny Gift, the leading man sounds like he could just turn out to be a bit of a jerk. (Just my kind of guy ;) Is there any fun little tidbit you can tell us about Victor and why he is the way he is?

Well, Victor can be kind of a jerk sometimes, though he has reasons for it (all explained in the book), HOWEVER, most readers seem to like Micah more – ha, now you want to know more about Micah, right? Let’s just say he’s my favorite character ;)

And what about Nadine? What sort of heroine is she? With all those visions it sounds like she might be in a little over her head once she meets Victor in real life.

At the beginning, she’s shy and focused on her goal: providing a better life to her family. She’s unsure, worried about her visions, and lovestruck with imaginary Victor. Though, along the story (after she meets real Victor and Micah and spends some time with them), her character grows and she learns to be more confident and stand up for what she wants to. She’ll grow even more on book #2.

Do you have a favorite line or quote from Destiny Gift? If so, what is it an why do you love it so much?

One only? Bah, you’re killing me here!

Okay, let’s try this one:
Hey, pretty boy and vision girl,” Micah shouted from above the rise, interrupting the words I was now dying to hear. “Pause the melodrama and drag your butts over here. We don't have much time.

I like it because it’s just like Micah to say this like that. Another one from him that I like too much:
All right, let’s change the question. What are you three?” 
Micah snorted. “Power Rangers, ever heard of them?

This was fun! Thanks for having me!

Excerpt from Destiny Gift:

I heard a heavy sigh and turned toward it. It was Victor. He was leaving the elevator down the hall and coming toward his grandma’s room. He had seen me and didn’t seem happy about it.

He wore faded jeans, a Tshirt, and a thin jacket. Too casual. I shook my head. The fact that my dream Victor and this real Victor were exactly the same physically, while their clothing styles and posture were the opposite of each other still boggled my mind.

He came to a stop before me. “You again.” There was disdain in his tone. I cringed.

“How are you?” I managed to ask and immediately felt silly. I had planted myself here in this hallway for over an hour waiting for him, and when he finally arrived, I didn’t know what to say. Though I really did want to know how he was. The last time I had seen him in the flesh, he’d been jerking on the floor of the hospital’s garage, in pain. “What was that … ah … before…?” I trailed off, hoping he would understand what I was referring to.

He shrugged, his sea-green eyes still staring at me with suspicion. “I don’t know. By the way, how do you know my name?”

I twirled a lock of my hair around my index finger as I considered my answer. I wanted to answer him. I wanted to be honest, but he would never believe me.

As if my answer would pop out of the walls, I scanned the hallway.

At the end of the corridor, a nurse left a room and entered another.

“The nurse,” I almost shouted, hoping he wouldn’t notice my sudden lie. I avoided his inquisitive eyes. “I heard a nurse calling you earlier that day.”

His deadpan expression hid his thoughts and didn’t let me know if he was buying it or not.

“What did you do to me last night?” he asked, crossing his arms. God, I hated how his voice and his posture were so guarded and mistrustful. I wasn’t used to it.

“What do you mean?”

“When you touched me, the shock and the pain went away. How did you do that?”

“I don’t know.” This time I wasn’t lying. I really didn’t know. He frowned, clearly still suspicious. “Seriously, I have no idea.”

His shoulders stiffened. “What are you doing here? What do you want?”

My eyes widened as I retreated a few steps, trying to avoid his toxic tone.

Yes, he looked like my Victor—the same voice, the same hair, the same face, the same mouth that had offered me smiles that had rendered me breathless many, many times. I wanted to touch him, to embrace him, to tell him everything was going to be okay. Maybe if I touched him, he would remember me and he would want to touch me too.

I came closer to him, looking deeply into those wary green eyes, my fingers itching to stroke his skin, to feel it smoldering under my caress. But I didn’t. He was like my Victor, but he wasn’t my Victor. The Victor from my visions would never speak to me like this. He would never snap at me. No, no. My Victor loved my company, loved to hear me sing, loved to embrace me and inhale my scent.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, my voice croaking under the heavy pressure inside my chest.

Then, I walked away.

About the Author:

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

For more about Destiny Gift check out these sites!

1 comment:

  1. LOL! I love the Power Rangers quote. *sigh* The memories :)
    I love the excerpt too. I'm dying to know what happened to Victor!


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