I'm super excited to have S. L. Saboviec visiting with us on the blog today! Before we get to the interview, take a peek at her book!!
Genre: Adult Fiction (Fantasy)
Date Published: May 7, 2014
Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.
When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.
Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?
How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was a kid. I used to read all the time, mostly science fiction. I’d go to the library and come back with a tower of books, which I’d go through in a week. You know, the usual. My mom got me a subscription to the magazine Cricket, which I absolutely loved. They had writing and art contests every month: kids would send in their work along a certain theme and they’d pick winners in the next issue. Because of those contests, I started imagining what it might be like to create my own stories. My first short stories were soooo derivative of my favorite books, but everyone has to start somewhere!
I wrote my first book when I was twelve. It was about a girl who moved out to the country from her small town (which I had done when I was ten) and she found secret passageways and underground tunnels from her house (which I thought would have been awesome). They led to an abandoned shack, where she found an old diary written by a man who had lost his wife. She discovered that the old, scary neighbor was still writing in it, and he turned out not to be so scary after all. I’m probably not going to publish that one, though.
What inspired you to write Guarding Angel?
I read a non-fiction book about angels that talked about how they have personalities and opinions, just like human beings. I’m not sure that I believe all—or any—of it, but I started wondering what an angel might think of, say, someone who did bad things. I also wondered what it might be like for an angel who has problems of her own. Even though my main character, Enael, is supposed to be focusing on her humans, she’s got a lot of issues trying to sort out her crush on another Guardian, Kaspen, and his former love interest, Yasva, who’s now a demon.
When you first started writing Guarding Angel, did you plan for it to be a series?
I actually got the idea for the second book first. I don’t want to give away what it’s about, so I’ll just say that it’s about the aftermath of the first book. Guarding Angel was intended to just be some scribbled back story. When I first wrote it down, I wasn’t sure that I was going to do anything with it except use it as notes. But the more I got into Enael’s back story, the more I wanted to turn it into a book.
This might be a pattern with me. Another book I’m working on started out the same way. I had an idea about a guy who is an excommunicated Catholic exorcist. He continues to hunt paranormal phenomena, using what he knows about demons and what he’s learned in the time since leaving the Church. The book I’m revising now was his back story about how the excommunication came about.
Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
I relate to all of them a little bit, even the villain, Yasva, but I understand my main character, Enael, the most. She’s focused and driven at the beginning of the book—very much like me. She struggles to figure out why she can’t influence her human Wards to do what they should be doing. First it’s Daniel, who’s cheating on his wife, and she can’t help but be judgmental of him.
Enael has a huge blind spot when it comes to why she’s failing. Although I don’t think I’ve ever had a blind spot that big, I can relate to the situation of doing something that you believe is correct and failing anyway. I think we’ve all had those moments in our lives.
What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
I won’t say that I’m an open book, but I tend to not have problems being honest about myself. I don’t get embarrassed about much—and pregnancy has made me even less self-conscious since I have little control over what’s happening to me.
The one thing I find difficult is talking to people about my book in person. I think it’s a kind of stage fright. I have my elevator speech ready, but when someone asks me what my book is about, I fumble around. “Um, you know, a guardian angel that ... has problems ...” That was one of the answers I gave once. Maybe I need to practice more in front of the mirror.
What book have you read too many times to count?
Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. I first picked it up as a kid when the library was having a book sale. I liked the cover with the goofy-looking smiley face with its tongue sticking. I think I originally bought the second one, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I can’t remember if I read it or got the first one first.
Anyway, I love those books and I’ve read all five a zillion times. I love not only his writing style, which is hilarious, but his clever ideas. He’s got some unique things in there, and I’m amazed at what I discover every time I read it.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Find what works for you. I have read a lot of books, blogs, and tweets on how to write, and they conflict.
The only thing an author can do is take the bits and pieces that resonate and leave the rest behind. It’s about knowing your craft, listening to the advice, understanding the rules and why they’re rules, and then deciding what to do from there.
If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Probably Han Solo before he met Luke and Leia. I love the Star Wars universe and being a sassy rogue smuggler seems like a fun job. I could totally be BFF’s with a Wookiee, too. They’re so intelligent and loyal.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I’ve recently been reading a lot of books on reincarnation. I’m surprised at the amount of empirical proof available. A man named Ian Stevenson devoted his life to cataloguing children who spontaneously remember their past lives. His work was academic—he observed the children, conducted interviews with family members of the current and past life, and presented the proof to the psychological community without drawing conclusions. He pursued hundreds, maybe even thousands of cases, where children know things they shouldn’t, including languages they’ve never been exposed to and family secrets from their previous lives.
Coming from a strict Christian upbringing, I never realized that reincarnation was taken seriously by anyone. But many cultures and religions believe in it to the point where they incorporate discussions of past lives into birth ceremonies and other important events. I now believe in it, but not because of the proof. I just feel inside myself that it’s true.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a video gamer. I haven’t had much time lately to play, but I like RPG’s and MMO’s. Most recently, I was playing Minecraft, but my interest in that comes and goes. Since it’s so open-ended and I don’t have the patience to actually do the end-game stuff, I’ll play a world for a month or two, get bored, and quit.
Then a few months later, I’ll do it all over again when inspiration strikes me for something new to build.
I love crafting in games. Star Wars: Galaxies was my favorite for crafting. It was so in-depth and required so much commitment to creating the top-of-the-line items. I loved it. I had spreadsheets with inventory and recipes just to keep track of everything I was making. I was a chef and a tailor and was starting to get into engineering when they shut down the servers a couple years ago. RIP, SWG.
Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Real life events inspired Guarding Angel’s world, but nothing specific from my life is in the book. I wanted to write stories about characters in desperate situations. Enael must choose between something bad and something worse, and I wanted her choice to be one that most people would judge her harshly for.
For the humans, I wanted to explore the sad and darker side of humanity, bad things happening to them or them making bad choices. In the sequel, Reaping Angel, I get even further into the darkness of humanity.
To learn more about S. L. Saboviec and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.