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 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.
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