An Interview With Alesha Escobar About The Gray Towers Trilogy

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I am delight­ed to wel­come Ale­sha Esco­bar back to my site, this time for an inter­view about  the sec­ond book in The Gray Tow­er series.  If you haven’t read the first book, The Tower’s Alchemist, then get on it.  You’re miss­ing out on action packed read­ing.

1. The Tower’s Alchemist is a lux­u­ri­ous mish­mash of ideas.  We have Nazis, witch­es and war­locks, vam­pires, mag­ic, spies, and decep­tion, not to men­tion lots of action.  Can you give us a lit­tle back­ground about the basic plot of the Tower’s Alchemist?

It’s about a very dif­fer­ent World War II, where mag­ic exists in the world and Hitler’s obses­sion with the occult has led to him mak­ing a pact with war­locks. Of course the Allies won’t be out­done, and so they recruit wiz­ards trained by the benev­o­lent yet aloof insti­tu­tion known as the Gray Tow­er. My pro­tag­o­nist, Isabel­la George, is a Tow­er-trained alchemist work­ing for British intel­li­gence and spy­ing in Nazi-occu­pied France. How­ev­er we meet her at a point in her career when she wants to retire and set­tle down before she ends up dead–or worse, in an exper­i­men­tal lab.

She agrees to go on one final mis­sion, but things end up get­ting complicated–both in her pro­fes­sion­al life and her pri­vate life, and she dis­cov­ers that she has hid­den ene­mies, even in the Gray Tow­er.

2.  The Tower’s Alchemist is an awe­some mix of tra­di­tion­al gen­res and tropes in an orig­i­nal pack­age.  What was the gen­e­sis for the sto­ry?

My hus­band came up with the idea of a female pro­tag­o­nist who’s a wiz­ard spy­ing in WWII–sort of a Hell­boy meets Har­ry Dres­den meets spy type sto­ry. I loved the con­cept and start­ed flesh­ing every­thing out, and after a cou­ple of drafts The Tower’s Alchemist was born.

3.  The sec­ond book in this series is Dark Rift.  How does this sto­ry pick up where the first one left off?  What did you hope to achieve in terms of the plot and char­ac­ter growth with the sec­ond book?

Dark Rift picks up a week or two after the end­ing of Tower’s Alchemist. Isabel­la vis­its a gyp­sy woman to have her mind sealed so that a men­tal­ist wiz­ard can’t read her thoughts or mem­o­ries. Then she does one of the things she’s been desir­ing to do for a long time–go home to her fam­i­ly. Of course she finds that trou­ble won’t wait on her, and the plot takes not only inter­est­ing twists, but also answers sev­er­al burn­ing ques­tions from The Tower’s Alchemist. You’ll see Isabel­la grow, both as a char­ac­ter and in mag­i­cal pow­er, and at the same time she’s going to be forced to face her demons.

4.  Both books are part of the Gray Tow­er Tril­o­gy, which means there will be a third book at some point.  Do you already know the direc­tion this last sto­ry will take or will it be a sur­prise to you as you write?  Have you start­ed writ­ing it yet and/or is there a pub­li­ca­tion date?

My hus­band almost fell out of his chair when I told him I (at first) wasn’t sure how it was going to end. Yes, I am one of those writ­ers. Haha! All I have to say is thank good­ness for Dra­mat­i­ca Pro because those out­lines helped me immense­ly. I’ve actu­al­ly start­ed writ­ing the third book and I know how it will all end. My pro­ject­ed pub­li­ca­tion date is Sum­mer 2013, but if I can com­plete it ear­li­er, you know I will!

5.  Who is your favorite char­ac­ter is and why?  If that char­ac­ter could share one thing about him or her­self, what would it be?

That’s a tough one. I’ve fall­en in love with so many char­ac­ters in the sto­ry. I’ll pick my two favorites–Isabella and Neal. Isabel­la, because of the heart she has, and her will­ing­ness to fight for what she believes is right. Her sar­casm doesn’t hurt, either. If she could share one thing about her­self, it would be that her sec­ond career choice would’ve been teach­ing. Neal War­ren appears at the end of Tower’s Alchemist, but plays a much larg­er role in Dark Rift. He’s a Philoso­pher, which means he’s Sher­lock Holmes on crack with a bit of mag­i­cal enchant­ment pow­ers mixed in. He’s a bit mys­te­ri­ous, he’s a lot of fun, and fierce­ly loy­al to the Gray Tow­er. If he could share one thing about him­self, it would prob­a­bly be that he only uses half the stuff he pur­chas­es from the black mar­ket.

Enter to win a free elec­tron­ic copy of The Dark Rift for your Kin­dle.  Email me at [email protected] between 11/30/12 and 12/07/12 to enter the draw­ing.  Good luck!  Good read­ing!

*****

Ale­sha Esco­bar

Ale­sha Esco­bar writes fan­ta­sy and urban fan­ta­sy sto­ries to sup­port her choco­late habit. She earned a B.A. in Eng­lish Writ­ing and a Mas­ter of Sci­ence in Edu­ca­tion, and has enjoyed both teach­ing writ­ing and being a writer. Her hob­bies include read­ing, watch­ing movies, and mak­ing crafts. She is cur­rent­ly work­ing on the final install­ment of The Gray Tow­er Tril­o­gy.

Find Ale­sha online at these venues:

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  • sto­ries­by­williams

    Also, is this your 100th post? If so, Kudos and way to go! Keep on ham­mer­ing those keys!

  • sto­ries­by­williams

    This sounds quite fun and inter­est­ing, and has just enough his­tor­i­cal crossover to pro­vide for that sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief!