We’re so thrilled to have Wendy Higgins here today celebrating her new release, SWEET RECKONING! She is the author of the Sweet Evil trilogy. Thanks so much for being here, Wendy!
YA Series Insiders: Who or what was the inspiration for the villain in your series?
Wendy Higgins: There are a group of villains called Dukes, who are the demons in flesh—the bosses on earth. The one we get to know best is Richard Rowe (demon name Pharzuph, Duke of Lust). Yeah, I totally named him after the vilest of ex-boyfriends who realed me in, duped me, cheated on me, and broke my heart. That’s my vengeance against Richard.
But I can’t say I was inspired by any particular person or thing when it comes to the bad guys. It’s more like being inspired by all the horrible things I’ve seen and heard in life. They are the embodiment of all things heartbreaking.
YASI: Who or what was the inspiration for the MC, Anna, in your book/series?
WH: Again, no particular person inspired Anna, although my lovely friend Ann inspired her name. My friend Ann is about as close to an earthy angel as you’ll ever find. The character Anna Whitt is the embodiment of all things loving. She sees the best in everyone, to the point of being naïve and overly-trusting.
YASI: How would you describe Kaidan Rowe in one sentence?
WH: Broody drummer from England with a naughty mouth who’s sexy like it’s his job (…because it is.)
YASI: Besides your main character/s, do you secretly have a soft spot for another character?
WH: I secretly have a soft spot for ALL of my boys—Jay, Kopano, and Blake in particular. They are each so different. Jay is sweet. Kope is quiet and strong. Blake is hilarious.
YASI: If you were going to write a spin-off about one of your characters, who would it be and why?
WH: I wouldn’t. At the conclusion of SWEET RECKONING I honestly cannot think of a single plot thread I could follow. But I could go back in time and do stories about other Nephelim children before these. And I could write more from Kai’s point of view.
YASI: What song best fits Kaidan’s character?
WH: His songs change throughout the trilogy. Here’s one for each book:
SWEET EVIL – “Good Girls Go Bad” by Starship Cobra (the bad boy)
SWEET PERIL – “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins (the angry boy)
SWEET RECKONING – “Love Don’t Die” by The Fray (the sappy boy)
YASI: Who is your favorite character to write and why?
WH: My heart is always with Anna. She’s a doll, and I love her. But Kaidan pushes me past my limits as an author and forces me to really hone my craft. Every scene with him has to have that delicious tension and edge to it. So fun, but so difficult. I love it.
YASI: What is one thing Kaidan has never told another soul?
WH: Since he can see auras, part of his Nephelim curse is that anytime he sees that someone is lusting for him, he can always, always find something attractive about them as well. It’s a helpful tool when it comes to him having to work, but it’s a curse all the same.
YASI: What’s your weirdest writing habit?
WH: I am so easily distracted that I must be alone and have complete quiet to work.
YASI: Who would you want to play your main character in a movie?
WH: Olivia Holt for Anna, and Wade Poezyn for Kaidan.
YASI: What’s the most common question fans ask you?
WH: Will you write the books from Kaidan’s point of view? And the answer is “Maybe part of them, but not a whole trilogy.”
YASI: What question do you wish fans never asked?
WH: How did you get the idea for this book? (I truly don’t know! It just sort of came to me after a long series of events called life.)
YASI: What is your favorite writing treat?
WH: A Starbucks dark roast with vanilla syrup and cream.
YASI: What book have you read that somehow changed your life and how?
WH: I’ve always been fascinated by Ireland, but when I read Angela’s Ashes and Tis by Frank McCourt, I fell in love with his memoirs and storytelling style. I knew I’d want to write something set in Ireland someday, and I did (SEE ME). Though very different, of course. J
YASI: What recently published books do you wish you’d written?
WH: The Poison Princess books by Kresley Cole. I would love to be inspired with a high concept paranormal/fantasy/romance like that. The world building is spectacular – it’s so intriguing when someone takes earth and transforms it.
YASI: How often do you cry while writing?
WH: A lot.
YASI: What’s the best scene you’ve ever written?
WH: Um, I have a few favorites…Anna’s first kiss in Sweet Evil, the brownie scene in Sweet Peril, and the epilogue of Sweet Reckoning are my favorites.
YASI: What’s the hardest thing to write?
WH: First chapters.
YASI: Who is your favorite author?
WH: Karen Marie Moning and Jennifer L. Armentrout
YASI: Who do you think is the hottest couple in YA lit?
WH: Layla and Roth/Zayne from White Hot Kiss
YASI: What is your favorite quote from the book/series?
WH: When Kaidan says to Anna, “For starters? I want to introduce myself to every freckle on your body.”
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?
WH: A lot of people had a problem with Anna’s personality—her angel traits that made her so “good.” I would not change that, because at the heart, she does every single thing out of love, never judgment.
YASI: Did you write yourself into any corners?
WH: Yes. Using Biblical lore for the basis of my story meant that I backed myself into a corner in regards to Anna’s virginity. Because, let’s face it. We all want Anna and Kaidan to…um…be together. *winks*
YASI: If your series wasn’t written for YA, how would it be different?
WH: I skimmed over a lot in regards to what kinds of evil the Dukes do. I gave small details and left a lot to the imagination. I alluded to Kaidan’s sexually colorful past. I made an effort to keep F-bombs out of the book. That would all be different if it was not YA. Also, book three would have lots more smexy details.
YASI: If you could pull one thing out of your series world and make it part of your life, what would it be?
WH: Nooooo…this is a story world that nightmares are made of. I would not want any of it! Except maybe Kaidan.
About the book
Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.
The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.
In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.
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About the Author
After earning a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until becoming a mommy. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.
She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Evil is her debut novel.
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