Strange Angels is your first YA novel, what inspired you to write for young adults?
Honestly...I was asked to do it. I'd never even thought about going into YA, I just assumed that my subject matter and habit of profanity would preclude any such move. But YA is so different from when I was a teen; there's really been a revolution in realism (rather than just odd outcroppings of banned realism) in the genre. Or at least, adults and publishers have finally cottoned onto the fact that kids do things you wish they wouldn't sometimes, and it's okay to have books about those things and their consequences. Kids don't like to be lied to or put off or talked down to. They want answers just like anyone else, and they want good fiction just like anyone else. You can make those answers and that fiction age-appropriate, certainly--but "age-appropriate" doesn't have to mean "simplistic" or "censored."
You’re listed as Lilith Saintcrow under your adult books and under your YA novel Strange Angels you’re listed as Lili St. Crow, was there reasoning behind this?
That was just to cut down on confusion. I'm pretty prolific, and we wanted to make it clear that Strange Angels was mine, but also make it clear that it was a young adult book.
You have written several adult series, how do you keep your plots and characters fresh?
I do write with certain themes--redemption, vengeance, betrayal, found families, trauma--but there are so many possible permutations keeping it fresh is the least of my worries. There are millions of ways a writer can ask what if? and come up with a different idea/answer each time. Of course there's a certain "sound" to my books, because they're all filtered through me. But I don't worry so much. The freshness happens on its own as long as I'm curious and inquisitive about different things.
What’s been the hardest for you writing more than one series?
Writing more than one series is actually my natural state. Most of my professional life has been spent writing series, and the novel form is the most comfortable for me. I tend to find shorts and one-off books more difficult because of the tightness of focus. The only thing about series is that they require a lot of endurance. You can get utterly sick of the characters, since you spend so long with them. Pacing yourself is key.
I listen, and I move on. Writing is very, very personal; of course it hurts when someone says something negative about the book you worked so hard over. But that's life--no book is perfect, there is no book that everyone is going to like. Take what you can from the criticism and move on.Of course, a good bitch session with your best friend over wine and Thai food doesn't hurt either.
How many books can we expect in your YA series?
Right now there are three books in the Strange Angels series, with the possibility of two more.
Which book was your favorite in the Dante Valentine Series and why?
Oh, wow. I'm not sure I can answer that, because I love them all in such different ways. Working For The Devil was unmitigated fun, Dead Man Rising was a very personal exploration of darkness, Devil's Right Hand was me scared to death in a good way and working on something much bigger than I'd ever tried before, Saint City Sinners was me saying goodbye to old friends, and To Hell And Back was a big blazing redemption story. I loved them all in very different ways.
Right now I'm working on the third in the Strange Angels series, the fifth Jill Kismet book, and assorted short stories. It's a lot of work, but I'd rather have too much work than none at all.
I have a very foggy idea that's been coalescing in between other projects, a book full of homicidal faeries and a man named Jeremy Gallow. When I get the current glut of work out of the way I might take some time off and explore him a little bit. He seems interesting.
For more information about Lili St. Crow and Strange Angels, please check out her website. Betrayals the sequel to Strange Angels is scheduled to be released November 17, 2009.