Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Author Interview: Alma Katsu (Author of The Taker trilogy) + Giveaway!

Hey guys! It's that time of the week again... We're having another author interview! I, personally, am a big fan of her work so I'm very excited to present to you the talented... ALMA KATSU!

Alma Katsu is the author of the Taker trilogy. She currently lives in DC with her husband and is working on the third book of the trilogy, The Descent. Her debut, The Taker, a Gothic novel of suspense, has been compared to the early work of Anne Rice and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. The novel was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association and has developed an international following. You can contact and chat her up at her blogFacebook and Twitter as well!  

Check out her books: The Taker and The Reckoning, the first and second book of the The Taker trilogy! (Click HERE for my review of The Taker. Which I LOVED.)

And watch out for her third and the final book of the trilogy, The Descent, coming out 2013.

And we're so very happy to have here today with us for an interview!

Here it is:

Hi Alma! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview with us!

It's my pleasure. I love connecting with new readers through book blogs. Book bloggers have really helped get the word out on my two books, The Taker and The Reckoning, and I'm extremely grateful.

What inspired you to portray immortality the way you did in your books?

It was definitely a way to up the ante. In The Taker, the villain Adair gives immortality to people who have done something spectacularly bad. They don’t know it at the time, but they’re being punished. If your punishment was to be tied to this terrible man, imagine how much worse it would be if you were tied to him forever, with no hope of escape, not even death? I guess I’m a fan of the Faustian bargain, of making a deal with the devil. (I blame my Catholic upbringing for this.) Only in The Taker, the heroine Lanny manages to get the better of the devil, though she still doesn’t get what she wants. By the end of the book she understands that it’s because she doesn’t deserve it.

If you were to describe your books in only three words, what would they be and why?

Realistic, original and dark.

Realistic: Quite a few reviews have said that The Taker was one book that made the supernatural feel possible, which I take as a great honor. I think it’s because the characters are very realistic. They’re complex, with complex reactions to the extraordinary situations in which they find themselves.

Original: The most common reaction from readers has been that the story was nothing like what they expected—for which I’m very happy! It doesn’t have vampires or angels, none of the horror/supernatural tropes that we’ve come to expect. Readers have also said they’ve never read a book like it and couldn’t put it down.

Dark: Let’s put it this way: Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite authors. Edgar Allan Poe is another. We all have a dark side (some people more than others). People are more interesting in their reactions to tragedy than they are when they are happy.

Were there parts in your books that were harder to write than others? And why?

The scenes where Lanny is being brutally emotionally honest were the hardest to write—for instance, the scene the morning after she has brought Jonathan to live in Adair’s house. By ‘hardest’ here I mean technically difficult. I had to rewrite them over and over to get the tone just right. And of course, the scenes of brutality or violence are always hard to write, not so much imagining what would happen and getting it all down, but dealing with the feelings of unease afterwards.

What is your favorite part in the writing process? I heard those edits can be a demon...

I much prefer writing the first draft to revision. The first draft is the time of discovery; it’s like when you’re just falling in love. Everything is new, there are all these possibilities, you find your characters utterly fascinating and want to spend all your waking moments with them. Revision is the hard work; you’re yoked to this story and you must do whatever is necessary to make it work, preferably without sucking the joy out of it.

Which of your two published books was more fun/easier to write? If you could change anything in either, would you?

Even though The Taker took ten years to write, it was the easier of the two. I only had about twenty months to write The Reckoning. It went through many, many revisions. Both Adair and Lanny had to go through this incredible emotional transformation, and it was difficult to pull off. And yes, there are things I would change in both books, probably more so in The Reckoning. But readers have told me they enjoy it more than The Taker, so I guess I got some things right.

Quick Questions:

Angels or Demons?

Demons. I find the bad sorts more interesting.

Vampires or Werewolves?

Vampires. They’re sexier.

Fruit juice or soda?

Soda. Regular coke (I’m allergic to Aspertame).

Comedy or Horror?

Real horror is hard to pull off, I think—but horror.

Vanilla or Chocolate?

Mmmm, vanilla in most things, but I love milk chocolate.

Fiction or Non-Ficition?

Fiction. Non-fiction feeds the intellect, but fiction feeds the soul.

Thank you so much for stopping by our blog, Alma! Keep writing awesome books!

Thanks so much for your time, Sisters, and the vote of confidence. Just a little reminder, the last book in the trilogy, The Descent, is scheduled for publication May 2013. To stay up on the latest news of releases, contests (we give away monthly prizes) and other stuff, I encourage readers to join my mailing list at http://www.almakatsu.com/contact.php#mailing-list.

Yup! You are definitely reading right! We're hosting another giveaway! (YAAAY!) Since I loved this book so much, I decided to give away my...

SIGNED copy of The Taker by Alma Katsu

Yes, I love you guys THAT much. I've only had this book for about a week or so and since I already had a copy, I thought that I might as well give away my extra copy and spread (the) The Taker love. :)


~ REQUIRED: You MUST be a follower for you to enter.
~ Must be 13 years old or older.
~ Winners have 48 hours to respond to our e-mail else we'll be forced to pick new ones.

Good luck and well wishes! :)


  1. Woot! Awesome interview & giveaway! I haven't read The Taker yet. I've seen it everywhere and have heard amazing things about it but I haven't tried it yet. :) Would love to read it.

    Also? I love this line from the interview: Non-fiction feeds the intellect, but fiction feeds the soul.

    Thank you!

  2. Great interview, thank you for the giveaway!

  3. Great interview! I've always wanted to have this two books. Thanks for the chance to win. :)