Recently had the pleasure of reading Gaurdian by the sister duo S.B. Rodgers. Now I’m even more thrilled to be hosting a an interview to go along with it!
Big thanks to the ladies.
Shera (Book Whispers): In your own words, introduce yourself.
S.B: Hi! Our names are Sara and Becky Rodgers and together we form the author duo S.B. Rodgers. We are sisters, best friends and total Gleeks! We love things that are awesome and adore things that are stupid. Above all we enjoy writing stories that we hope will entertain you half as much as they entertain us.
BW: The battle of good and evil never fails to captivate me, especially when it involves Demons and Angels. When you set out to write Guardian did you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of angel themed books that are coming out?
S.B: Actually, the concept of Guardian came to us about four years ago. At the time Becky knew angels would be the next big thing. Unfortunately we were VERY young at the time and after writing the first three chapters we decided life was too busy. Sara was in her first year of University and Becky was fresh out of college. We spent the years building the storyline and it wasn’t until Sara graduated this past spring that we finally had the time to sit down and write the book.
We honestly don’t regret our decision to wait because looking back, the story line was rough and the writing was even rougher. Besides, for us, Guardian is just the tip of the iceberg!
BW: What made you decide that Satan and Lucifer would be two separate beings?
S.B: Our process is strange in that our stories flesh out very quickly, as in entire plot lines, characters and details coming together in a matter of minutes. And as weird as it sounds our characters just sort of show up. Essentially it’s just like…
“*BAM!* Here I am! This is who I am. This is what I do. This is why I do it. So just deal with it and write me in!”
When Satan sauntered in we knew exactly where to put her and coincidentally she solved a key plot issue that we were having with book two.
BW: The whole Demon and Angel love triangle has been done quite a bit and obviously we readers never get too tired of it, but did you feel like you we're taking a risk with some of the love story actually taking place before the book starts?
S.B: Not really. We’d rather give the reader bits and pieces of the puzzle as the story progresses than hit you over the head with information all up front. When we set out to write this series, we knew it was going to be a trilogy right from the start and planned accordingly. We think pacing is very important and we want the reader to unravel the truth over the course of the entire story. Also it’s just our opinion but we find a deep backstory makes for a much richer reading experience.
BW: Poor Abby has a rough time of it. She has the ultimate scary Cinderella story going on. Right down to the evil Stepmother and brothers, her father’s just died and the whole school is pretty much ganging up on her after one hell of a breakup. Did you ever wonder if you were going too far?
S.B: Yes! We wondered, but to be honest Abby was just one of those characters that crawled out of the darkness as broken as she is during her intro in Chapter 2. Essentially we wanted to explore what a modern day Cinderella story could look like and more importantly what situations needed to occur for her to actually fully give up hope. Human beings can recover from even the most horrific situations and for Abby there needed to be no recourse but a desperate drastic action.
BW: What are some of you current favorite Angel themed books?
S.B: We actually haven’t read most of the Angel and demon based YA that we have purchased as there simply aren’t enough hours in a day. But right now Becky is loving Boyfriend From Hell by our friend E. Van Lowe. Also we love looking up ancient Angel lore in the Bible and ancient texts from around the world.
BW: When you're in a writing jam, is there a particular author you look to for inspiration? One that makes you ask, "What would ‘insert author's name here’ do?"
BW: What can readers look forward to from you? Are you writing more books to go along with Guardian or are you working on a whole new concept?
S.B: Guardian is the first book of a trilogy with the second book-Thief-due to release this summer(2012). That said we have so many projects on the go that we are excited about. Currently we are circulating a middle-grade manuscript to agents which has had some positive feedback. We can also announce that we are working on a YA superhero novel-Legacy-and a YA Sci-fi-Aurora-both to be available this summer.
At last count we had over fourteen books or series on the go, but we prefer to pick certain projects to work on and only announce titles as they become relevant.
BW: For you personally, not your characters, between a vampire love interest and a werewolf love interest which do you prefer? (What team are you on? Team Vampire or Team Werewolf.)
BW: All right now that I've asked you the question above I just have to ask you this next question. Are you Team Angel or Team Demon? (This doesn't pertain to your books or characters.)
S.B: Wow this is a difficult one. But as much as it kills us both…there’s just something about bad boys. So once again we agree and team demon it is.
BW: Go wild! Let us know something funny about you, share something that's on your mind, or anything else that's important about your books.
S.B: Guardian is our first book ever and considering we have only been “in the business” for about eight months we have learned so much. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading and reviewing our book and we honestly appreciate your invaluable feedback. With Guardian we have had a taste of what this industry is like and we can honestly say that we’re in it for the long haul.
Guardian ( series ?, book 1) by S.B. Rodgers
It’s been almost a year since Abby Shepard’s once-perfect life crumbled into little more than a nightmare. Dumped, bullied and abused, the seventeen-year-old has all but given up hope. Little does she know that her father died protecting a family secret; a secret that has the forces of good and evil battling to claim the power lurking just beneath her skin.
Angel and Demons are a lethal combination right now in the paranormal YA genre, one that I've had a really tough time getting into. If it isn't shallow main characters, creepy stalker love interests who stare at their beloved, poor plot lines, or even down right crappy writing. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is the first YA Angel book I've actually loved and I was craving another fix. Good thing Guardian was waiting for me!
It was a rough start with overly long sentences and the overly descriptive beginning. As soon as the mechanics and plots of Heaven and Hell kicked in I was hooked. Heaven and Hell both want Abby. The mystery is whether they want her dead or alive. Lucifer is the King of Hell and Satan is actually his diabolical wife. The two scheming and plotting was first rate—no poor plot here. Not only did I love the idea of Lucifer and Satan being separate beings, I loved that even Angels might not be all good. This book is witty, dark, slick and sexy—the perfect combination.
Abby is the poor soul caught up in the middle who's at the end of her rope. Her father remarried to a horrible woman with two demonic sons—not really demons—and then her father dies mysteriously, leaving her to the abuse of her new family. Not to mention the abuse of her entire school after a horrible breakup from her ex-boyfriend—who really is a demon. This is a chilly modern day Cinderella story of abuse. Abby is at the brink of suicide and Heaven finally intervenes sending Gabriel as her Guardian. Soon the demon who was sent to steal her soul and the Angel sent to save it find out that there is more to Abby, something her dad died to protect.
The love story here is well done, which is saying a lot fro me since I grew tired of love triangles a long time ago. Raph is the demon sent to steal Abby's soul after making him fall in love with her he breaks up with her in a way so cruel I actually blushed with embarrassment and anger for her. Even though that happened before the book starts the authors do a wonderful job building it into the story line, and amazingly enough making the readers fall in love with the tortured demon. Gabriel is the perfect counter to Raph. He's there for Abby and brings her back from the edge. There's a lot going on in the plot so the romance doesn't get as much page times as other novels would take, but the authors somehow pull it off. The romance is subtle and real enough that I can fall in love right along with Abby.
Despite the overly obvious names for the Demon and Angel love interests, there's nothing average about the love story being weaved here. If you're not into that sort of thing then the politics of Hell and Heaven will keep you captivated. There's murder, torture, and all kinds of dark and seedy things to keep a reader glued to the pages. The cast of characters are very memorable and not only did I find myself caring about the good guys, the bad guys captured my affections in a twisted way. This is the perfect book for fans of the Angel genre or those who haven't been able to quite get into it yet. Be prepared to stay up all night with this one!
Sexual Content: While there's nothing too graphic there's no doubt that sex—rough and cruel—is going on with the demons and maybe some adultery. It's pretty dark but readers shouldn't be nervous about it, or parents.
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