When Wendy Higgins’ Young Adult novel, Sweet Evil, first appeared on HarperCollins’ Inkpop site, readers instantly fell in love with the story’s unique take on angels and demons, and the smoking hot romance between Anna and Kaidan. When the book officially released last year, readers clamored for the story and were left desperate for more. Well, the wait is almost over as the follow up story Sweet Peril hits shelves later this month! Readers can expect even more drama and action as Anna struggles to survive in the highly anticipated sequel. Today the author discusses writing the new book, her new e-novella and what she hopes to achieve as a writer.
Sweet Peril is the sequel to your sizzling and well-loved debut, Sweet Evil. Did you encounter any challenges writing the sequel?
Every book I’ve written has come with its own unique new set of challenges. The second book, also the middle book in a trilogy, was especially problematic because it needed to be the middle of an overall story arc, while having its own internal story arc. I also needed to keep the tension between Anna and Kaidan alive without frustrating the reader in a bad way. So, yeah...lots of challenges!
Can you tell us a bit about the writing process for Sweet Peril?
The middle of the story came to me, and so I wrote it, not knowing the surrounding circumstances, and I built the rest of the story around it. That process didn’t end up working so well. I went through dozens of major revisions, sending it to new beta readers, and using their feedback to make changes. For a while there I didn’t know if it would ever get to the place where I would love it. But it did — thank God! And just in time, too!
What can readers expect to see in the book? Please tell us there’ll be lots of scenes with Kaidan … shirtless.
Actually, yes. Yes, there will be lots of shirtless Kaidan … but not until we work through some plot stuff. You all have to suffer through Anna’s voyages first! *evil laugh* The first half of the book deals with Anna’s destiny, and traveling the world in search of Nephilim allies. The second half of the book focuses more on dealing with everything between her and Kaidan. :)
Where did the idea for the series originate?
In my wicked little brain. On a day when I was feeling sad, and wanting more from life — wanting to DO more with my life. I cried. I prayed. I imagined. Then, starting that night, I wrote 80k words in seven weeks by hand. Complete insanity, but one of the most intense, incredible times of my life.
Can you share anything about book three with us?
Um … no, hahaha. But I will say this: Ultimately, the Sweet Books are a love story. And I’m a total romantic. Book three is true to that.
"Flirting With Maybe," an e-novella through Harper Teen’s new Impulse line, was recently released. What was it like writing your first contemporary story? Do you have any plans to write a full-length contemporary book?
Sweet Evil iss the first fantasy story I ever wrote. Before that, everything was contemporary, and I only wrote for fun or for school assignments. "Flirting with Maybe" is based on a short story I wrote for a college creative writing class. I loved revisiting that story, because it has always been strong in my heart. I currently have lots of little ideas running around in my head, but no specific plans to write a contemp novel at the moment. Someday? I’d definitely love to.
What do you hope to achieve as a writer?
I just really love connecting with people. One of the best things I can hear is that someone has been inspired by me or my books. That is the ultimate *punch the sky* moment for me. Such an honor. I want my stories to touch hearts. And as a writer I want to make friends more than I want to make fans. I love being accessible and interacting. A lot of people (like my mom) think the goal is to have a movie made, but that’s not most important to me. Books and reading are my passion. A show or movie would be cool, but I want to see my books available worldwide in other languages. That is my dream.
Sweet Peril hits shelves on April 30, so mark your calendars and be sure to pick up a copy of Sweet Evil, in stores now. This is one series you won’t want to miss! And for more teen reads visit RT's Everything Young Adult Page.