Joining us today is Estevan Vega, author of the supernatural coming-of-age novel ARSON, and its upcoming sequel ASHES.
Thank you for joining us today, (Estevan). Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Well, I’d like to be honest and start off by telling your readers that I’m tall, dark, handsome, with a Greek-like build and one of those voices that’s sure to get you weak at the knees. I write books that cross the line between the real and the supernatural and often have a bit of dysfunctional layers. They’re awesome. Okay, half of this is true. My books maybe aren’t that cool. But I like them. That’s gotta count for something.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I was eleven or ten when it started, but the scratch never went away. Now it’s more like a scar. But it’s one I like showing off. Funny thing, though, is I’m still trying to figure out if chicks dig the writing scars. Because if they don’t, I’m afraid I might actually have to get a real scar, and I bruise easy.
Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?
I never intended to originally. My first two books were aimed more for adults, although I found that once kids found out how young I was when I wrote them, they were anxious to check out my writing. So when I was working on ARSON, I had it as more of an R-rated book. It wasn’t overly gratuitous, but it had it’s moments. During the million editing processes, I opted to go for a more YA-adult hybrid vibe. It’s very YA, but at the same time, it’s very mature. Every character brings something to the table, so no select group feels that it’s dull or immature. I like that. Plus, teens are a great audience to write for, I’m discovering. Because I was a teen just a few years ago.
What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?
I love creating characters that are just like them or characters that are just like how I was in high school…but way cooler. Teenagers can be wild and they can be conservative and they can be sluts and they can be prim and proper and mouthy and even villains and heroes. They’re like adults, but in younger bodies. There’s an honesty I enjoy when I write, a method of getting inside people’s minds. And I’ve read a bunch of YA books that I was trying to outdo, honestly. I kept reading stuff, wondering if I could do it better. Wondering if there had to be such a definite line between YA and adult novels. There doesn’t. So my novels may have more blending than most. But I’m cool with that.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
ARSON is about a kid named Arson Gable. He’s seventeen. And he can create fire with his mind. He lives with his bipolar grandmother, whom he has a love-hate relationship with, and swears he has the world, and its jerks, figured out. Until a strange girl moves in next door. Her name is Emery Phoenix. When she was a little girl, she was in an accident. She hates the way she now looks, so the only way she feels normal is when she wears a creepy mask. But I’ve probably said too much. Go check out the book.
What inspired you to write it?
My father lit the great fire. And now I just make sure there are sticks to burn and enough matches to keep it hot.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Amazon is the best and easiest place. It’s available in paperback and Kindle. It’s also on the Nook. Plus, you can check out my facebook page We are Arson and my twitter.com/estevanvega page or my website www.estevanvega.com to find out where I’ll be signing copies next. At my signings, I have books, posters, and custom Arson t-shirts. I tour when I can. Be on the lookout or resort to Plan A.
What is up next for you?
ASHES. I’m super stoked about that book. It’s the sequel to ARSON, and it’s gonna take everything to the next level. It should be out in another week or two, so keep your eyes peeled and help send it to the bestseller charts. Pretty please.
Do you have anything else to add?
Um…keep it real. Stay lit. And, remember, dysfunctional is the new normal.
Thank you for spending time with us today, Estevan. We wish you much success.
Publisher: StoneGate Ink
Publication Date: May 2011
Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can’t shut it off.
Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl–who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin–moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he’s never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.
Follow the rest of Estevan’s tour:
August 26-Interview@Coffee and a Keyboard
August 30-Review@Romancing The Book(Valerie)
August 31-Review&Interview@Darlene’s Book Nook