Michelle Zink's debut novel, Prophecy of the Sisters is now available in the US and in Australia from the 15th of August. Following the disintegration of an American family in the late 19th century, Zink has created a dark and mystical exploration of sisterly love, fate and the nature of good and evil. It's a fabulously involving and intoxicating read that will whisk you away into another world.
I was very fortunate to interview Michelle a few weeks ago in preparation for her novel's release. Enjoy!
What is the attraction to scary twins?
I didn't know there was one! Lol! Seriously, I don't remember thinking, "Let's make them twins - that will be scarier!" It was more my fascination with that sibling relationship that drew me to Lia and Alice. I'm an only child, and I've always been interested in the idea of coming from the exact same place as another human being. Twins only amplify that connection. Their bond is so mysterious. It was interesting to create that conflict between two people who are inherently closer than any two people could possible be.
What set off you Prophecy of the Sisters "a-ha" creation moment?
It's difficult to trace any of my books back to a single moment, because everything unfolds in a very organic way for me. I'm a little obsessed with ancient myths and legends, particularly biblical ones, and I pick books up and flip through them all the time. There's something terrifying about the supernatural - and demons especially! I came across the story of the Watchers - the angels sent to guard mortal women who then fell in love and became Fallen - and was immediately intrigued. Prophecy of the Sisters, like all my books, just sort of unfurled from there.
James is a relatively issue-free love interest, will there be someone unhinged in Lia's future?
Well, I can't say too much except that James, like all the characters in Prophecy, grows throughout the three-book series. He remains very central to the story, but there IS a very hot new guy that comes into the picture in Book Two. I'll also tell you that both men are VERY central the absolute conclusion of Prophecy at the end of Book Three.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I would label PotS as a feminist novel. The role of strong, independent females, in and outside of Lia's family, is extremely important. Was this a goal from the beginning?
I think you're right! I didn't set out to make it a feminist novel, per se, but I DID specifically vow to create a strong female main character who who had hopes, dreams, desires, and demons apart from that of her love interest. I know how much teen girls love reading about romance, but I also think there's a danger in setting up too neat a relationship, too fairy-tale a love, you know? In real life, things get in the way of love sometimes. You don't always know what to do. Sometimes you make mistakes and sometimes other things have to come first. Sometimes it's necessary to put your love for someone aside to take care of yourself or others close to you. In Prophecy, Lia loves James and wants him in her life and her future. But she doesn't NEED him to survive. I think teenage girls are smarter and stronger than we give them credit for, and I'm betting on their responsiveness to a main character they can admire and maybe even see some of themselves in.
Are some of your children's traits or characteristics found in any of the characters?
Wow. GOOD QUESTION! I've never been asked that before. Both my girls are very strong, self-contained people. They have so many interests and such innate curiosity about life and the world they live in. Lia's character traits are probably a little more evident in my older daughter who is fifteen. I already see the same kind of "do what has to be done" discipline and iron-will that I so admire in Lia.
What can we expect from Book 2?
Oh, I am SO enamored with Book Two right now! It's such a sweeping adventure! Lots of action, an epic journey, that promised, hunky guy, family secrets revealed, and a betrayal of unimaginable proportions. Plus, our girls get even stronger and braver, as all girls should!
What scares you?
Oooooo, Adele. You are GOOD! Without a doubt, it's losing the people who matter to me. They're the only thing in life that isn't replaceable. Everything else is just stuff.
Which debut book from this year would you highly recommend?
Another difficult one! Of course, I ADORE Lisa Mantchev's EYES LIKE STARS. Yes, we're friends, but that's not why! It's just an utterly imaginative, smart, frolic of a book unlike anything else in existence. I'm also super excited for Catching Fire (like the rest of the world) by Suzanne Collins and The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I haven't read that last one, but Shadow of the Wind is one of my all-time favorites so I've been looking forward to TAG for a loooong time! Other books on my radar are Hate List by Jennifer Brown, Ash by Malinda Low, Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron, and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
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Some great recommendations there! A big thank you to Michelle for her great responses and flattering comments (I am now a black belt narcissist). Go and get your hands on Prophecy of the Sisters today!