Today we're visiting with author Heaven Leigh Eldeen on her tour with Sizzling PR for the YA series, "The Demon Side".
Why YA fiction? What draws you to it?
When I wrote The Demon Side and The Human Side, I didn’t necessarily have the YA genre in mind. I simply wrote the story that plagued my thoughts. Though a story told from a Demon’s perspective could be easily filled with expletives and sex, I felt readers have enough of that on television. I wanted the reader to really get to know the characters, their struggles with real life issues and situations without being hit over the head with pointless f-bombs.
Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?
Rahovart is a complicated and twisted Demon. I’d be scared that if I opened his locker it would resemble a scene from a Hell Raiser movie mixed with a little Fight Club. Yeah, let’s not open that sucker.
What books were your favorite as a youth and why?
If you ever caught me with a book in my hand it was either Robert Frost’s Spell of the Yukon (sucker for his poetry) or a history book. History books were my favorite though. The stories they contain held more fiction and truth than any other book you could find. I enjoyed studying them then giving them my own little twists. I would imagine myself in the story and ask what would I have done? Unfortunately, my history teachers weren’t fans of my ‘reports’ since they always had a different ending then in the text book.
What’s your favorite sweet treat?
Do I have to narrow it down to one? I have a serious sweet tooth. It has been known to maul little elderly ladies and children for their stash. Yes, I will steal candy from a baby. They’re too young to properly enjoy it, anyways. Ha-Ha, I kid. I’ve never stolen candy from a baby but it’s been tempting at times. Now, if that baby happened to have a chocolate chip cookie from Costco, all bets are off. That baby is going down!
Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.
Demon meets crazy girl. Crazy girl isnt crazy. Demon falls 4 girl incitin an epic battle of good vs evil, Angel vs Demon & Demon vs Demon
Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?
Etta would be awesome to sit down and chat with. Though having been stamped a paranoid schizophrenic because she can see the Angels and Demons behind the scenes of life, Etta is amazingly resilient and strong. When most of us would have thrown in the towel, Etta perseveres and trudges on. Faced with evil, she raises her head, stares it in the eyes and tells it to give her its best shot. Who wouldn’t want to have a road dawg like that? 7. What four literary characters would you most like to have over for dinner?
Darius from Richelle Mead’s ‘Vampire Academy’ so he could arm wrestle Derek from Kelley Armstrong’s ‘The Summoning’ for the last piece of cheesy bread, the gnomes from Jennifer Zane’s ‘Gnome on the Range’ to judge the contest while slipping me the last piece of cheesy bread, and Stephano Beshaley from the ‘Silk and Scandal’ series to bet with. After I clean out Stephano’s wallet, we’d play charades where I’d slip in some ‘Twilight’ and ‘Hunger Games’ references and see what the guys do when they have to act out Edward Cullen or Katniss Everdeen.
You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?
Oh hands down, I’d want to be stranded with Lucifer. My rendition of ‘This is the Song that Never Ends’ would drive him up the wall so far, he’d have no choice but to repent and beg the big man for forgiveness, ridding the world of evil.
Playlist for your current book.
I can’t write in silence. I have tried. So, whenever I’m at the keys, my Ipod is on shuffle, full blast with everything from David Bowie to Rammstein, classical to death metal, and even a few hits from the Phineas and Ferb soundtrack.
However, for the final installment of The Demon Side series, I have been listening to Chevelle’s newest album, ‘Hats off to the Bull’. The songs ‘Envy’, ‘Same Old Trip’, ‘Ruse’ and ‘Revenge’ really fit where the story is going.
Who was your teenaged crush? Why?
*blushes* My high school crush was only the sweetest, nicest, tallest and best hacky–sack player on campus, Josh M. A grade higher than me, over six-feet-tall, gorgeous eyes, long curly hair that he pulled back into a pony tail, Josh was the crème-de-la-crème of my world. Luckily enough one of his classes had been next to mine so I got to see him jump around playing hacky-sack with his buddies every Monday through Friday before class. However, he didn’t remain my crush for long. After every attempt on my part to get his attention, he finally got the hint and asked me to Homecoming. He then went from crush to high school sweetheart. EEEEEEEEEEEEE! Our lives went separate directions after high school but I’ll never forget the first time I saw that hunk-a-hunk-of-burning-love. Man, did someone turn on my heater?
The Demon Side (The Demon Side Series, #1)
Blurb: “Every kid has problems. Every kid has even more problems when they move to a new home. But when a kid with problems moves to a new home that has a Demon living inside it—look out!
Etta’s world is about to spin out of control when she encounters her new roommate—and Rahovart, that ancient trickster, is in for a few surprises too. So don’t mind all the crashing and rumbling; that’s just the normal noise Angels and Demons make when they’re fighting an epic war in the attic.
One thing’s for sure: Etta and Rahovart will have to go through Hell to Heaven and back again before that old Victorian home in Quantico Town finally quiets down… ”
Excerpt – The Demon Side:
Etta plopped back onto her bed and stared at the ceiling for a few moments. I wished I could hear her thoughts. Her father had just admitted to being a murderer for all practical purposes, though that was not how I viewed him. I truly believed John only tried to save the village, but his fervor and some help from a desperate Alastor, turned what should have been a heroic act into a bloodbath. Many men have unknowingly fallen from grace in the name of the greater good. Now, hopefully Etta would see that her father was just the victim of blurred lines between good and evil.
“What are you thinking?” I asked as I lay down next to her on the bed.
“Can a person still go to Heaven even if they’ve killed someone?”
“Well, I’m not in the business of getting people to Heaven, Etta. That’s the last place I want them to go,” I reluctantly replied.
“Even if it were me?” Etta stared hard at me with watery eyes, looking right into my blackened soul. I never gave much thought to where her soul would go, except to stop her from mistakenly giving it to me.
“That is a choice for you to make. I can’t force you to choose a side. I can only put the temptations in front of you.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“What do you want me to say? I want to see you burn in the depths of Hell? You’ll never hear that from me. Only you and your actions can decide where you go when you leave this world.”
“I would go if it meant I could be with you, you know.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” As much as I would have loved for that to be the case, her comment angered me. I couldn’t imagine a person like her becoming something like me.
“I know that when you’re around I feel safe nothing could ever hurt me. I get butterflies in my stomach when you touch me. I know your soul, Ra. I don’t know how, but I know. I knew it the second I saw you. You weren’t meant for this existence. You fought for good once, and I’m certain you will again.” Etta was strong in words. She spoke with solid confidence. She described what I felt.
The Human Side (The Demon Side Series, #2)
Blurb: From above, Etta’s life seems to be calming down in the town of Quantico, Virginia, but with every passing moment away from his love, Rahovart finds the emptiness unbearable.
After redeeming himself once again as an Arch, Rahovart is still unable to let his past go. Needing to be near Etta, he strikes a deal with Father—except it turns into a mission with great consequences.
With Arch Angel Gabriel in tow, Rahovart sets out to prove himself worthy of Etta’s love, only to face discouragement from Etta’s father, John, and her new boyfriend, Tristan—on top of the threats made to Etta. Would he be able to protect her if she no longer remembered him or shared the love the once held so dearly?
One thing’s for sure: The past, with all of its secrets and lies will come back to haunt them all.
Excerpt – The Human Side:
“I have two solutions, but the choice of which to accept is up to you. There is plenty of time to think about these choices, but remember, whatever you choose, you will be bound to it.”
“What are the choices Father?”
“Your first choice is an exchange. Swear never to interfere with Etta’s life again, and all you have lost will be restored, including rank and principalities. If and when she returns to Heaven, her memories will be restored. Break the promise at any time for any reason, your soul shall be sent to Purgatory and Etta’s Guardians will be removed from her detail. As for the second choice, go to Earth in human form with no wings, no abilities. Show Etta the same cruelty and disdain as when the Demon Rahovart met her. Etta fell in love with a Demon once. It should be quite interesting to see if she can do it again. She must profess her love without coaxing or prompting. There can be no mention of our deal or what lies beyond the veil, including who you truly are, where you come from. Fail to abide by the rules or rekindle her affections, your days shall be spent on Earth with no recollection of life beyond the veil. But, succeed, and you can return home with the added benefit of continuing your relationship with her. Visit her anytime as long as it does not interfere with work.”
I listened intently as Father explained my options. Both carried heavy consequences if I failed to abide by their guidelines. He’d given me a life or death decision to make, but I didn’t need time to think. Without thought or question, I gave Father my answer.
About the Author: Heaven Liegh Eldeen started her writing career three years ago after being challenged by a relative. With her ‘Oh, Yes I can!’ attitude, determination and support from her family, she completed her first novel The Demon Side, which released in October 2011 and has been a finalist for Best Paranormal Romance in Romcom Inc.’s 2011 Reader Crown Awards as well as Oklahoma Romance Writers of America 2012 International Digital Awards. On November 28th, 2012 she celebrated the release of The Human Side; book two of The Demon Side series, which won Turning the Pages YA Paranormal Romance of the Year.
When she’s not kissing owies, climbing Mount Dishmore, or obsessing over her Facebook book page, you can find her at the computer revising or editing one of her five works in progress or Saturday evenings as a co-host to KMYC’s 1410AM The Dirt’s with Lori Schulz. Having lived in many states, she has now settled down in California with her husband, her son, and a beta fish named Barry and guinea pig Skunkers.