Hallowed is the moving sequel to last year’s Unearthly, and like many other early readers, I was completely swept away by the intensely emotional second chapter to Clara’s story.
Author Cynthia Hand chats with us below about the new book, which releases one week from today on January 17th! There was a lot of near-hysterical excitement over this post, so I hope it'll leave you wriggling in your seat the way it did me. Don’t worry, this interview is mostly spoiler-free, so it’s safe even if you haven’t read the book yet. And don’t forget to join us tomorrow for the second part of this interview, too.
You can see touchstones of all kinds of influences in the books, though, if you look hard enough. There’s a lot of C.S. Lewis there, in the way heaven and hell are portrayed, in the ideas of predestination and free will and time. I was always influenced by the philosophy of Eckhart Tolle, who takes a very different view of things than Lewis. There’s also some Dante and Milton and a whole lot of angel characters lifted from The Book of Enoch, (Samjeeza, for instance) which is kind of the go-to book about angels. I find the B of E fascinating, but I didn’t want to lean too heavily on it or work with the assumption that it was true, because that would be pretty limiting. That’s my general rule about research: do a lot of it, and then don’t be afraid to toss it out and make up something new. I try not to take myself too seriously, research-wise.
Humans, on the other hand, have free will. Angel-bloods, in any concentration, Dimidius, Quartarius, Triplare, whatever, have free will because they are part human. They can willfully choose to disobey God. It might cause them some pain too, but nothing to the degree that a full-blooded angel would feel it. That’s why angel-bloods are attractive recruits to Black Wings. They can use angel-bloods to do things that the Black Wings would themselves find too painful to carry out. And part of why the Black Wings are so staunch in their resistance. They are, in their own way, demanding free will. They will make their own choices, no matter how much it hurts.
Join us again tomorrow when our interview with Cynthia Hand continues!
She'll share what she and Clara have in common, her most memorable fan interaction, and her hopes for the new television series based on Unearthly.Our sincere thanks to Cynthia for being such a great sport and patiently putting up with our many questions. You can find her online on her blog, GoodReads, and Twitter.
Go ahead and stalk her. We do.