It’s a pleasure to welcome Brigid back to Speculating on SpecFic, this time to celebrate the release of Secret, the highly anticipated 4th instalment in her Elementals series. But first, a little about the book:Secret (Elementals #4) by Brigid Kemmerer
Published: January 28th 2014 by Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback, 392 pages
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EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.
Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel - or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.
And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.
SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.
The Australian edition of Secret includes the novella Breathless, which introduces Nick’s story.
1. What was your favourite thing about writing from Nick’s perspective? What about the most challenging?
Going in, I thought it was going to be really difficult to write from Nick’s perspective. I read as many LGBT YA books that I could find, and I talked to as many gay men and teens who would talk to me. Then I sat down to write – and it just worked. If anything, the most challenging part was telling my brain to stop flooding with self-doubt, but that’s a part of any writing process, not just writing something outside my comfort zone.
2. For me, Quinn’s often been a little abrasive and hard to like. Do you think Secret will change the way that readers think about her?
I hope that once readers see Quinn’s story and realize how much she has going on “behind the scenes,” they’ll have a little more sympathy for her attitude. What I do find interesting (and probably a conversation for another day) is that Gabriel is abrasive and rude and he’s a fan favorite. ☺
3. Early on, you were encouraged by your agent to add a love triangle into your series, which you were going to have anyway. But the story evolved, and you didn’t end up writing the books that way (one girl’s point-of view plus love triangle). I’m very glad you didn’t go there because I greatly dislike the additional of an often unnecessary love triangle into an otherwise amazing series. What’s your opinion on the trend?
Here’s the thing: there’s really nothing wrong with love triangles. They become a problem when they’re the sole point of conflict for the main character, because YA should be about so much more than that. I cringe a little when I see the now-common knee-jerk reaction, “Love triangle? Nope. Not gonna read.” Even though Storm does have Becca interested in two guys, I never wanted the main plot to be about her choosing one of them. There’s so much more to her story. (And Chris’s, and Hunter’s.)
4. The romances are getting hotter and hotter as the series progresses. Is this a conscious decision on your part, because you’re more comfortable writing it, or is because of the characters you’re writing, or a combination of both?
I think it’s a combination of both. I push the envelope a little more with each book, and I keep waiting for my editor to tell me to dial it back, and so far, that hasn’t happened. Michael Merrick is twenty-three so I feel like I have more latitude with his character—but I’m also aware I have some very young readers. So while writing his book, I’m going to tread very carefully.
5. What’s the one question you wish people would ask you? (And what would your answer be?)
Ha! I get so many questions that I don’t think I have anything sitting in my brain, begging to be told. ☺
Rapid Fire Round
1. Do you have a usual order when you go Starbucks? If so, what is it? Nope, I’m pretty normal. They have this new Caramel Flan Latte that is AWESOME.
2. Favourite Disney movie? I love so many of them! Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast were my early favorites, but I also love Tangled and Frozen.
3. What’s next in store for Elementals fans? Michael’s book, Sacrifice, is due out this October.
A huge thank you to Brigid, who took the time out to answer my questions, and big hugs and congratulations for the release of Secret.
I admit sometimes I hesitate to pick up a book because it has a love triangle, and honestly there are only a handful of YA SFF series I can name where I thought the love triangle added to the story rather than taking away. I wanted to as Brigid this question because she’s one of the few authors I know of who was counselled to include one (because paranormal YA apparently HAS to have a LT), and then didn’t.