UFR: Today we have J.K. Coi joining us for an interview, and later today I will be posting the review of her book Falling Hard.
JKC: Hi Kate and readers of UFR! Thanks so much for having me as a guest today.
UFR: First and foremost I want to say thank you for joining us today here on Urban Fantasy Reviews. One of my favorite questions to ask is if you had to pick a theme song for this book what would it be?
JKC: Music is so much a part of this book – from Gabriel’s career as lead singer of phantasm, to the angel song that heals – you can feel the vibrations coming off the page. You can hear the bass through your fingers and into your soul as you read. Yes, I channeled my inner rock god to write this book. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say there is a “theme song,” but I found myself listening to “All You Did Was Save my Life” by Our Lady Peace, “The Catalyst” by Linkin Park, “The Kill” by 30 Seconds to Mars, and “Give a Little More” by Maroon 5.
UFR: Clearly your book is very music driven, with Gabriel being the lead singer in a popular band as well as Amelia reliance on the “angel’s song”. Do you have a strong background in music or did you just think it would be an interesting theme in the book?
JKC: I don’t have a music background, but I do really love music. All kinds of music, but mostly the heavy, dark, thumping kind. ☺
UFR: Amelia shows a love of books early on in the book, if she were in a book club what book would she be reading now?
JKC: Oh, I think Amelia would like any book that really delves deeply into the human experience. Books that explore feelings and really emotional subjects, even if the subjects are painful or difficult. I think she’d like Wuthering Heights ☺
UFR: Gabriel has lived a hard life, and from early on in the book it seem tragedy and heart ache only follow him, was it hard to write someone so tortured?
JKC: It was difficult getting into his head, because his life is so alien to me. I mean, how many people really live like a rockstar? (not me, that’s for sure) – Not to mention all the other things that happened to him. But I also knew that he really had to believe he was beyond saving, or his desires wouldn’t have been such a strong pull to lead him out of the darkness, and his struggle with the devil wouldn’t have had the same dark depth.
UFR: I have always found angels to be such a fascinating topic, and there are so many different views on how angels really are. Did you research about angels to create their world within the book, or was it something you created on your own?
JKC: I did just enough research to know where I didn’t want to go with my angels, if that makes sense. Traditionally, the Archangel Gabriel is known as the Messenger of God, and in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, he was the angel set to guard Paradise. When he found Satan there, Gabriel ordered him to leave. In Falling Hard, my hero carries Lucifer’s soul, and that was such a great burden to bear that I wanted him to have the name Gabriel as a counterpoint to the darkness inside him.
As for Amelia, I once saw this very old movie called Amelia and the Angel. It’s by a photographer named Ken Russell that was made by the BBC in 1958. There really wasn’t anything extra special about it except that the photography was really good, and the name stuck with me. It was about a young girl who has gotten the part of an angel in her school play, but her wings are broken and she needs to find a new pair. She sees a woman, an angel, and follows her into a dark building, upstairs into the attic, and Amelia’s wings are restored.
UFR: Amelia is both strong and fragile at the same time, what are your favorite aspects of her personality?
JKC: When I started writing her, I thought that to show her struggle with emotion, I would have to make her hard…but I soon realized she was not hard at all. Strong, yes. Loyal, yes. But like you said, fragile and uncertain. I liked that about her and that she showed me different parts of herself at different times.
UFR: One of the things I found particularly interesting about your book was that Gabriel was the character needing to be protected and Amelia was the strong protector. The stereotype tends to be the opposite. Was this an intentional role reversal?
JKC: Yes, this was intentional. I wanted to switch up the roles! ☺
UFR: Since it is December, I have been putting a little Christmas flare into my interviews. If you had to pick the perfect gifts for Gabriel and Amelia what would they be?
JKC: If I had to wonder what Gabriel would buy for Amelia…I think it would be a guitar. He’s been looking for the opportunity to teach her to play, and he LOVES to hear her sing ☺
And if Amelia were to buy something for him, she would probably arrange for them to disappear for a few days. Someplace private and quiet where they could just be together.
UFR: Going along with the Christmas theme, what would your dream present be if money were not a factor?
JKC: Me? I wouldn’t want a present, but if the money were there, I would definitely be thinking along the same lines as Amelia and take hubby away for a trip. I’ve always wanted to go somewhere rich in history and architecture, while hubby loves nature—so Egypt or Italy would be nice!
UFR: Finally, is there anything you want potential readers of this book to know? Or any announcements about future books you would like to share?
JKC: I hope that readers will be patient for book 2. I really want to revisit this world, and I hope that my readers do too, but there have been so many other projects on my plate that getting the next book done (and making sure it’s right) has been hard.
Having said that, I do have a few releases out right now (some of those other projects)…
FAR FROM BROKEN (in the anthology A Clockwork Christmas) is available from Carina Press, and my story CAGED is in the anthology Agony/Ecstasy: Original Stories of Agonizing Pleasure/Exquisite Pain (from Berkley Heat), both of which were just released last week!
Also, I have a hot and sexy “Cops and Mobsters” contemporary out from Ellora’s Cave, called BRAZEN GAMES.
UFR: Once again I want to say thank you for joining us here on UFR. I hope you have a great holiday season ☺
JKC: I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well, and thank you for having me! I had a blast with your questions, and I just love your site!