Elizabeth Richards recently stopped by the virtual offices to chat about her new release, Black City. After the interview, you can enter for a chance to win Black City and Phoenix, the next book in the series!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Elizabeth Richards] Sci-fi/fantasy and horror loving geek girl. Wants to be a Gryffindor, but knows in her heart she’s a Hufflepuff. Four is my book boyfriend.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Black City?
[Elizabeth Richards] Here’s the official blurb, which sums it up best!
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable — they fall in love.
Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed —but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Elizabeth Richards] It all started with Ash. His character came to me, fully formed, while I was watching a movie one night. I just couldn’t shift this idea of a drug-dealing, supernatural boy who gets a heartbeat when he meets his true love. As soon as the movie finished, I wrote a scene between Ash and his best friend Beetle. Everything else fell into place organically after that. I’ve always been drawn to the gothic and dark, and many of my all-time favorite books have dystopian settings, so it was inevitable this would be the world I would put Ash and Natalie in.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Ash?
[Elizabeth Richards] Dark, sexy, dangerous.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Natalie had a theme song, what would it be?
[Elizabeth Richards] Girl by Tori Amos.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Natalie won’t leave the house without.
[Elizabeth Richards] Her bodyguard (but that’s not her choice).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Ash’s pocket?
[Elizabeth Richards] Anything silver (he’s allergic), gum (it gets stuck in his fangs), girls’ telephone numbers (it’s illegal for him to date humans).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Elizabeth Richards] I’m at my most creative when I’m staying in my family’s home in Co. Sligo, Ireland. Our home is in a beautiful fishing village, which has stunning views of Donegal Bay and Ben Bulben (the mountain referenced in W. B. Yeats’ poem ‘Under Ben Bulben).The place just has a wild, gothic, and romantic feel about it, and there’s a lot of rich history and folklore around there, which I find very inspirational. Plus there’s no cell-phone reception, or internet connection at the house, so it’s very peaceful. I wrote the first draft of Black City there, actually!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Elizabeth Richards] Laptop, Pepsi Max, solitude.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Elizabeth Richards] Divergent by Veronica Roth. It was utterly superb. I devoured the book in a few hours, and then immediately re-read it. The characters were brilliantly developed, the world was fresh and exciting, the action was thrilling, and Four…oh, Four! *swooooon* I think my faction would be Dauntless, or possibly Candor, given that I’m a terrible liar.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Elizabeth Richards] To be honest, I don’t recall one specific book as a kid that got me into reading—it just seemed to be something we did in our family, and was always a big part of my life. But the most influential and life-changing book I’ve ever read was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I’m a huge fan of the series, and it’s been a big part of my life for all these years.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Elizabeth Richards] I enjoy drawing, watching sci-fi TV shows with my hubbie, and going out for dinner with my friends. Occasionally, I like going to gigs as well, but I haven’t had the opportunity to go to one for a while. Hoping to get to Download next year!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Elizabeth Richards] You can send me a message via the contact form on my website (http://officialelizabethrichards.com), or I can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/OfficialElizabethRichards), and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/theredpenofdoom)!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
Elizabeth had one more thing to say, and you are going to love it!
One last thing, there will be a tour wide giveaway. We are offering TWO FINISHED copies of Black City and TWO pre-orders of PHOENIX. So there will be two winners. Those who keep up with the tour and comment as they go (once a day) can enter.
You can order Black City from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below. You can also pre-order Phoenix, the next book in the series!