For today’s installment of the Debut Authors Bash, we’re featuring S.L. Duncan! His debut novel THE REVELATION OF GABRIEL ADAM (first in his Revelation Series) came out just this past August with Medallion Press, and in today’s interview, he sheds quite a bit of light on the thought process and inspiration behind the book. We always appreciate a thoughtful, revealing interview that’s as much about the author as it is the book. Thanks for a good one, S.L.!
And don’t forget to enter our Rafflecopter giveaway (at the bottom of the post) for a chance to win a signed copy of THE REVELATION OF GABRIEL ADAM!
YA Series Insiders: Who or what was the inspiration for the villain in your series?
S.L. Duncan: Septis takes center stage in this chapter of The Revelation Saga, but he is a blunt instrument of Mastema, the main baddie, who for the bulk of the series is awaiting his grand entrance. Much of the the story arc is based off of non-canonical Judeo-Christian mythology. Ancient texts, basically, that were too fanciful to make the cut for religion. One of the prevailing stories is that demons were created when angels fell in love with humans and conceived children. These offspring, having been denied the grace of the creator, became demons. So Mastema, the leader of these angels, was cast out because of love. That was his motivation - to love and have a family. And it all goes terribly wrong and the universe corrects him on it. So as a father of a two year old, I could totally relate to his need for vengeance. For a reckoning and desire to simply get back the love and family that he lost.
YASI: If you were going to write a spin-off about one of your characters, who would it be and why?
SLD: I think Carlyle’s story would make for an interesting read in the form of a prequel. He’s this sort of mystery - a wealth of experience and knowledge on one hand and yet, we know very little about him. The story of the Essenes, his secrets - it feels to me as though he might have been this Indiana Jones type of man in his youth, seeking out signs of the archangel’s births.
YASI: What’s your weirdest writing habit?
SLD: I’m not sure how weird it is, but I wake up every day around four in the morning to write. Somehow it’s quiet and the creativity seems to flow. Of course, come five o’clock in the afternoon, I look like the walking dead. But it’s a trade off. You don’t have to look pretty to write.
YASI: What’s the most common question fans ask you?
SLD: Everyone wants to know the secret to getting published. Most people say there isn’t one, but there is at least one ingredient needed to be successful, I think. Passion. If you don’t love to write and, just as importantly, love to read and find the joy in doing both, then I don’t think you can infuse that same joy into your work that one needs to be passionate about it. That’s a big piece of what editors and agents are looking for.
YASI: What is the core thing in your book? The one thing you would never in a million years have given up no matter how much money someone paid you?
SLD: I remember seventeen feeling like I was standing on the edge of adulthood. Getting away with immature things was harder. I heard the word ‘responsibility’ more often in conversations with my parents. The world suddenly seemed So Much Bigger. And everyone wanted to know what I was going to do with my life. At it’s core, THE REVELATION OF GABRIEL ADAM is about dealing with the pressures of all of this. It’s about Gabriel navigating these expectations and figuring out where he fit into this grand scheme.
YASI: What YA book changed your life and how?
SLD: Paulo Coelho’s THE ALCHEMIST. It hit the shelves before there was such a thing as YA, but if it came out today, you’d see it on the shelves next to Andrew Smith, Mindy McGinnis, and John Green, so I’m counting it. I read THE ALCHEMIST at a time in my life where I was struggling to see the path of my own life. The book had a profound impact on how I viewed my career and my place in the world. All I can say is, if you haven’t read it, do. It is an amazing and singular work.
About the Book
Seventeen-year-old Gabriel Adam is used to relocating a lot. When a mysterious assassin burns his home to the ground, Gabriel’s father reveals the truth of why they are always on the move: Gabriel is one of four archangels, born human and sent to stop Armageddon. Now Gabe must set aside dreams of attending NYU to try to fulfill his newly discovered role.
Racing against time, Gabe and his father travel to the English university town of Durham, hoping the last surviving member of an ancient religious sect can guide them. With the assassin in pursuit, Gabe must shoulder the weight of his new life and an impossible destiny as protector of the entire human race.
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About the Author
I’m a writer and traveler seeking stories from inspired locations - a connection of prose to place. The first book of my YA book series, THE REVELATION SAGA, releases 2014 from Medallion Press. I am represented by John Rudolph of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
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