Interview with A.G. Howard Author of Splintered (and giveaway)

Today I have the ever fashionable and creative A.G. Howard visiting the blog to talk to us about her books, Splintered and upcoming Unhinged. In this series she takes Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and adds her own unique and dark twists.

SplinteredAnita HowardUnhinged

The most obvious question is what drew you to Wonderland?
I’m a huge fan of Lewis Carroll’s genius. The actual idea came to me when I went to see the Tim Burton & Disney Alice adaptation. The cinematography was so vivid, techno-colored, and evocative that I didn’t want to leave the setting when it was over. So I started playing out Wonderland continuations and scenarios in my mind. I decided to write a follow-up story about the world, making things a little darker and a little funkier, but I needed it to be contemporary and different than it had ever been done. Then I saw the book Alice I Have Been and everything clicked into place. I could have my contemporary heroine be a descendant of Alice Liddell, the girl who actually inspired Carroll to write his story to begin with! Once that fell into my lap, I started the process of writing.

Alyssa, your main character, has an interest in insects because they speak to her. I personally have a fascination with Entomology and was impressed with your knowledge and descriptions. Where did your idea of her artwork and incorporating our smaller, less understood companions in your novel?
I wanted her to be able to converse with bugs and flowers, because the talking flower scenes in Carroll’s two books, the Disney cartoon, and the Tim Burton/Disney rendition, were some of my favorites. Also, I always remembered the scene from Through the Looking Glass when Alice is riding a train through the countryside and has a conversation with a gnat. Those were such quirky and indelible images, that I just had to incorporate them somehow. For Alyssa, it’s more survival tactic than inspiration that leads her to kill and preserve bugs and flowers. It’s the only way she can keep their whispers from clouding her thoughts. She feels guilty for cutting their lives short, so tries to do something constructive with their bodies … something that brings other people happiness.

Your character descriptions (along with their attire) are described in exquisite detail. As I read I couldn’t help but imagine you sketching characters as they came to you because art has such a presence in your work. Do you sketch your characters, their attire or do you do a written description or both?
I used to try to draw some when I was younger, but I didn’t stick with it. Maybe someday I’ll give it a shot again. But right now I’m too busy painting pictures with my mind. 😉 In my teen years, I dreamed of being a fashion designer, so that’s why fashion plays a huge role in my books. A mix between my daughter’s closet and mine actually contributed to Alyssa’s outfits. I love anything lacy and Victorian, and my daughter is all about the gothic and punk.

Morpheus is such an enigmatic character, is there anything you could tell us about him that we might not know (that wouldn’t be spoiler-ish)?
He doesn’t like not being in control. And once you read Unhinged, you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to. 😉

I was ecstatic to see him on the cover of the next book, Unhinged, do you think you’ll ever write from his view point?
I might do a short story one day in his and Jeb’s POVs. It’s still in the brainstorming phases, but it’s something I’m considering.

Do you create your characters or their setting first?
Every book I write starts with the character(s). Then I build their world around them.

I imagine after spending so much time creating characters that they take on a life of their own. Do your characters ever do things that surprise you?
Absolutely. In Splintered, all the characters had a few surprises for me along the way, but especially Morpheus. And especially at the end…

After Unhinged what’s next for you?
With the genre “New Adult” becoming popular, my agent and I are hoping to submit one of my other finished MSS to some publishers. It’d be nice to have books in both YA and NA.

Now to some random questions:
What are you presently reading?
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. It’s WONDERFUL.

Is there a character or story you wish you had written?
Jane, from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. She had so much quiet strength and intelligence. She didn’t need a man to complete her, but it didn’t keep her from opening her heart to love. She was a kick-butt heroine before her time.

Now for a teaser from Unhinged:

“Alyssa,” Morpheus murmurs. “We were children together. I’ve waited for your return more years than your mortal knight has even known you existed.”

Check out what Morpheus would look like as a Lego

I got to meet A.G. Howard at the Teen Book Con and had her sign a hardcover copy of Splintered for one of you to win. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. Pili says

    What a great interview! I loved Splintered and I’m super excited for Unhinged!
    I’d all over this giveaway if it wasn’t for the fact that I was lucky enough to snag an already signed book from a bookstore in Texas! 🙂

  2. Samantha says

    HUGE fan and LOVED Splintered. I am draw to the artwork of the book and can’t wait to see the artwork in Unhinged as well as of course the story. I just noticed that the author is the cover model? Or am I wrong? Did anyone see that?! Awesome interview, thanks for the contest!

    • says

      i love these books all 4 books are the best things ever and they should make a movie so i have a better visual and if they are making a movie i should totally be allyssa victoria gardner

  3. says

    I have read Splintered. I love it a lot and, though I’d probably go for Jeb in real life, there’s something darkly enticing about Morpheus!

  4. Luciana says

    There are other countries outside the US and UK in this world. I understand the shipping situation though.

  5. Marissa G says

    I loved splintered and I would die to own it….. I was so excited to hear A.G. Howard was writing more <3 her!

  6. says

    I haven’t read Splintered yet, but I do want too. Both covers are SO beautiful. Love it! I really liked Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland so that’s awesome that’s where the ideas stemmed from. 🙂

    I want to read In the Shadow of Blackbirds so I’m glad she’s enjoying it!

    -Lauren

  7. Christina R. says

    Definitely Jeb!! I LOVE him:)) Morpheus is awesome too, very snarky and sneaky and ultimately rooting for her, but still. Jeb:))

    Thank you:)

  8. Clare Dooley says

    I’d hang with Morpheus while Alyssa was off with Jeb.. We all know he’s a flirt, I could spend days pretending to love him, then when ALYSSA is called to the realm I’d be knocking on Jebs door all.. My car won’t start…do you have a phone I could use? Truly I could never pick just one!

  9. Kayla DeGroote says

    I haven’t read it yet but I’m so wanting to get my hands on it! I’ve heard such good things! Thanks for the giveaway! 😀

  10. says

    Oh, how I LOVED Splintered! I thought it was a brilliant retelling of Alice in Wonderland. 🙂 And I’m definitely on Team Morpheus; there’s just something about his darkly seductive and mysterious demeanor that draws me in.

    Loved the interview! And I CANNOT wait for Unhinged!

  11. says

    I haven’t had the chance to read it yet but, I have been lusting after it for awhile now!
    I’ve heard such good things about Splintered!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. says

    You ask the BEST interview questions. Well done!

    I have sworn off NA (for now, at least), but if A.G. wants to write one, I’m sure I’ll read it!

  13. Miss. Lucinda Fountain says

    No, I have not read Splintered as yet but i sounds fantastic and so i am very keen to do so! I adore Lewis Carol’s “Alice in Wonderland” and so i am intregued by how the author has ‘twisted’ this fairytale. There is such diversity within the YA genre, and A G Howard’s books apeal/ stand-out at me most!

    Thank you for such a facinating interview and a wonderful giveaway. x

  14. Ana Lucía says

    Sadly I haven’t read it, but I’m dying to!!! I’ve heard great things and that cover is to die for, I Love it.

  15. says

    No, I haven’t read Splintered yet but I am excited to because I love Alice in Wonderland and I’ve heard/read that this is a sort of retelling of it, which is really awesome. 🙂

  16. Kamla L. says

    I haven’t read Splinter yet but have been seeing such rave reviews about it and have been fiending after it for quite a while.

  17. HollyB says

    Noooo, I haven’t read it yet!!! I read so much slower than I used to (before having a kid and getting ooolllddd), and I have stacks and stacks and stacks of books that I’m so excited to read but just can’t ever catch up! Surprise, right?! Sigh… I really, really do want to read the series though, and it’s one I will make absolute sure I find time for. Thanks so much for the interview (I love Anita!) and of course the fabulous giveaway!

  18. tsabi says

    nooo i haven’t read splintered yet because i just passed my exam weeks, but i hope i win and get a copy (the cover is so gorgeous!), so i could read it and give my own opinion about this book tho! 😀

  19. icchigo says

    I just finished the book last night and I’m am all about Morpheus ^_^ can’t wait for the next book

  20. Marie says

    I haven’t read any of them yet, but I was so excited to find this giveaway because I just added Splintered to my Goodreads TBR list a couple days ago! I’ve been wanting to read it so badly since I found it 🙂

  21. Katlyn says

    I loved this book so much! I’m so excited to read Unhinged and really fall back into this series. I hope there’s more to be told after Unhinged though. This was a great interview.

  22. almendra says

    not yet … but .. i WANT TO READ SOOO BADLY jijiji .. and people said that i should love Morpheus ..jijiji
    thanks for the giveaway and the interview

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