Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Michelle Zink, author of the Prophecy of the Sisters Trilogy

Michelle Zink has kindly agreed to answer some of my questions and will be giving away a signed copy of Circle of Fire at the end of this interview.  Please join me in welcoming her :)!

Author Bio:

Michelle Zink lives in New York and has always been fascinated with ancient myths and legends. Never satisfied with simply reading them, she usually ends up asking, “What if?” Sometimes asking only leads to more questions, but every now and then, when everything falls into place just right, a story is born. Prophecy of the Sisters is one of those stories.

Prophecy of the Sisters (August 1, 2009): Goodreads | Amazon
Guardian of the Gate (August 1, 2010): Goodreads | Amazon
Circle of Fire (TOMORROW, August 3, 2011!): Goodreads | Amazon
A Temptation of Angels (March 20, 2012): Goodreads | Amazon

Your characters:

1. who would you most want to spend the day with? Alice. I have a feeling the conversation would be very interesting.

2. who would be the best roommate? Lia. She's fun but also thoughtful and considerate. And she probably wouldn't leave her underclothes laying around!

3. who would you have been friends with when you were a teen? Definitely Luisa. She's a little wild and so was I. 

4. who is the easiest/hardest to write? Alice and Lia because I tried to make them as real and mutli-dimensional as possible. This meant that Alice had to be complex enough that the reader sometimes sympathized with her despite her horrific actions - but not so much that she wasn't a proper villain. At the same time, I didn't want Lia to be a Mary Sue, so I tried to layer in flaws and failings, particularly in the last book. But it was a delicate balance because she is the protagonist, so the reader has to empathize and identify with her even when she's not at her best. 

What would you say are the major differences between Guardian of the Gate and Circle of Fire?

Guardian of the Gate is very much a quest/journey book. Lia really comes into her strength and a lot of her inner strength and character development occur in that book. Circle of Fire, while it also has a ton of adventure and action, is more about the psychological aspects of Lia's relationships - with Dimitri and James, Sonia and Luisa, and ultimately the most defining relationship of all, Alice. It's about her coming to a place where she can accept herself and others and take the more grown up view that maybe everything isn't as black and white as she once thought. Plus, there's some sexy! 

Would you ever consider writing a spin-off/companion novel with the fantasy world developed in PotS?

Absolutely! I already have an idea for a companion series and definitely plan to release some short stories digitally. 

Which of your book covers do you like the most?

All of my Prophecy covers are SO gorgeous. I especially love the way they reflect Lia's journey, from baby-faced little girl in the first book to powerful, strong young woman in Circle of Fire. For this reason, I think Circle of Fire is my favorite. And as gorgeous as it is online, it's even more stunning in person! 

What is the most important quality you think a YA book should have?

Honestly, I think my only duty is to tell a great story. If there's a message there or if you get something deeper out of it, great. But that's not what I'm going for and I don't think it's what is most important. I just want to transport you to another place for a few hours and make you believe that these people and places exist somewhere in the realm of possibility. For me, that's all any good book - YA or otherwise - should do. 

What books have you read recently and enjoyed?

My favorites of late are The Passage by Justin Cronin and the Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson, but they aren't YA books. For YA, I'm loving Jon Skovron's MISFIT and am super excited for Ellen Hopkins' PERFECT, Tamora Pierce's MASTIFF, and Becca Fitzpatrick's SILENCE. 

I think you once wrote that you'd be continuing the fantasy world you developed (and I loved!) in your short story for the Kiss Me Deadly anthology.  Will that still happen?

Yes! A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS occurs in the same world - albeit in London instead of New York - and at the same time as THE ASSASSIN'S APPRENTICE in Kiss Me Deadly.

I've already marked A Temptation of Angels as a must-read of 2012--it sounds awesome!  Is it a part of a series like PotS?

Thank you! I'm super excited about it. It has the dark Gothic feel that I love in Prophecy but it's a lot sexier and more action packed. And I'm hoping it will be part of a companion series! We haven't decided yet, but if you guys like it and send enough email/tweets, Facebook posts to Penguin Teen, I'll be ready. I already have a companion outlined. ;)

What are you most looking forward to?

Oh, my Gosh... this is a TOUGH question. I love life so much and love that I rarely know what's around the next corner. For me, all the fun is in the not knowing. I'm looking forward to it ALL, whatever the universe brings my way.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

Just that I appreciate your support and the support of my readers so much more than I could ever express. Every time one of you tells a friend about my books, tweets about it, or posts something on Facebook, it helps me reach a wider audience. I wouldn't be doing what I love more than anything for a living if it wasn't for you. <3

ABSOLUTELY tell your friends about this trilogy!  It's one of my favorites -- I've got all the Dimitri passages dog-eared in Guardian of the Gate ;)... and look forward to doing the same in Circle of Fire!



Michelle has graciously offered to mail someone a signed copy of Circle of Fire, wristbands of all three PotS books, and bookmarks! 

Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink

With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help--or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister--and maybe still does. James doesn't know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way.

There are some secrets sisters aren't meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.

I hope you are too.

Deadline: August 18, 2011
US Residents only

Many thanks to Michelle Zink for this interview & giveaway...
And, of course, for writing such wonderful books :).


  1. I can't wait for Perfect either. Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorite authors.

    I've never heard of these books before, but the relationship between the sisters is very appealing to me.

  2. Definitely. The relationship between Alice and Lia is one of the best & most complex that I've read for a family. I never really know what to expect of Alice.

    I actually haven't read any of Ellen Hopkins's books yet. She's been on my to-read list for years though. I need to get on that.

  3. IF YOU WANT TO WIN THIS TRILOGY (pb of Prophecy, hb of Guardian & Circle), ANSWER EITHER OF THESE QUESTIONS:
    Why do you want to read this series? What did you find most fascinating/like the most about the interview with Ms. Zink?

  4. I havent read it yet. But this series seems to be something I would greatly devour. I love how the main characters Alice and Lia are family/sisters that's one of the dynamics YA books this days seems to lack.

  5. What I found the most fascinating about the interview is actually one of the very first questions, how she described the difference between Alice and Lia and how she had to make both complex and layered. Part of my intrigue with that is hearing how she had to work really hard on that. It actually makes me a little happy because part of me thought that came naturally for authors (and as an aspiring author with a problem with perfect characters, that gives me hope)
    I also love it when the villains are not just bad. That we can understand them. When they are, at the base of it, just human, which seems to be the case here from what the author says.

    Thank you for this giveaway! I hope it's INT, but even if it's not I enjoyed reading this interview and I probably would've never seen it without this giveaway, so thanks regardless! :)

  6. I want to win this series because I'd actually read PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS but unfortunately could not continue with the series because I couldn't find the sequel. I ended up forgetting what happens (which is super sad because the book was AMAZING) and I think it's time once again to pick it up and actually read the series. Thanks for the amazing giveaway (I hope this is INT as well, but if it isn't I'll try to find a US address) and the fabulous interview :D

  7. To those asking -- Yes, giveaway is INT!

  8. Hmm, well first off, thanks to the both of you for doing this.
    I'd like to read this series because it seems right up my street, a strong female protagonist, who is also flawed, and set in a fantasy-ish genre. Aswell as that, I both couldn't afford to buy these books on my own, and probably wouldn't have picked them out to buy, because I find it really difficult to choose books. So when the opportunity is presented to me like this, I much prefer it.
    What I liked about her interview was her talking about the quality's a book should have, because I was recently in a discussion with my English teacher who was claiming books nowadays have no deeper meaning, aren't written too well etc. My argument was exactly what Michelle said, they don't necessarily HAVE to have a deep meaning or impact, as long as they immerse you in their world and you thoroughly enjoy them.

  9. I really want to read this series because I have heard such marvelous reviews of all of Michelle Zink's books. I'd love to jump on the bandwagon ASAP! Plus, from this interview, Michelle Zink seems like such a great person. I find it the most fascinating that Michelle Zink would actually consider writing a spin-off series. There's been so many series I've read where I wish there was more, and spin-offs would greatly suffice! :D

  10. I loved her answer to the question "What is the most important quality you think a YA book should have?" - Most of us DO read to escape and if the author succeeds in transporting us to this alternate realm then I can say without doubt that I enjoyed this book.
    " the reader has to empathize and identify with her even when she's not at her best." - I definitely agree with this statement, the protagonist has to be someone with layers just like a real person not just a one dimensional cardboard cutout.

    Thanks for sharing this interview, Christina! :)


  11. These books seem interesting and original, I read a lot of reviews and I cant wait to read them. The interview was great, I loved the insight into her head and also the books she likes to read. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  12. ladyinblack20@gmail.com

  13. Hi, Nuzaifa. You won the giveaway for the trilogy. Will you email me at christinabejjani AT gmail DOT com so I can get you the books ASAP?


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