Synopsis: After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.
Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?
Read my review HERE.
1. Where did you get the idea of The Alchemy of Forever?
The Alchemy of Forever started with the image of an immortal girl chasing a human girl through the fog. I didn’t know at the time that it would turn out to be Seraphina and Taryn, but that image turned into the first scene I wrote. So that’s one part of it. And the other, I guess I’d call it the philosophical backstory: I was hanging out in Georgia with a friend of mine, a super hardcore skeptic. And I kept arguing with him that unicorns could possibly be real, that magic was out there. And he kept laughing at me. Some of his arguments formed the basis for Cyrus’s outlook on life.
2. What made you pick Alchemy?
Alchemy is fascinating to me because it’s been sort of co-opted by all these mystical New Age types, but it’s also the basis that modern chemistry grew out of. It seemed the perfect way to have these characters that are fundamentally paranormal, but with a scientific basis for their existence. “Scientific” is used very loosely here!
3. How long did it take you to write? Were there any obstacles?
The first draft was completed in about 6 weeks—and I have a full-time day job as well. I didn’t get much sleep during that period of my life! I don’t want to put any spoilers in this interview, so I can’t specifically tell you which plot points were the toughest—suffice to say that the hardest part for me was figuring out a lot the whole history of these characters. 600 years is a long time.
4. How did you develop your characters? Which character can you relate to the most?
I don’t really set out with character sketches at the beginning—I let them reveal themselves to me as I’m writing. They feel so real to me now. I like to pretend they are real, skulking around the Bay Area. Ok, I know that sounds insane. My favorite characters to write were Leyla and Cyrus. He’s bad news, but so delightfully charismatic.
5. What got you to start writing?
Ha. Probably the combination of reading way too much plus being sensitive and angst-ridden as a teenager is what started it. I remember being so overflowing with emotions that I needed to express (in terrible poetry that I hope to God stays hidden!). Writing just seemed to me the best way to do that. As to why I write YA now—well, the books I read when I was young still resonate with me. They affected me in a way that books I read later on just weren’t able to do. I love the idea of connecting with people at such an intense time in their lives.
6. I read that you are also a poet. Where can we find your poetry, or do you have something to share?
Yes. I have poems published here and there (under my alter ego’s name: Jessea Perry). Here are a few online:
7. What's next for you?
I’m working on the sequel to The Alchemy of Forever, which will be coming out in 2013 (if the world doesn’t end). And after that? We shall see! I’m cooking up an idea for my next series right now, but it’s too early to share.