Q&A with #UF Author Jill Archer & W*n a new Ace-Roc Books Sampler

Today, I’d like to welcome to Preternatura author Jill Archer, whose debut urban fantasy Dark Light of Day will be released on September 25 by Ace Books as the first in the new Noon Onyx series—although this is urban fantasy with a twist, as you’ll see. Jill now lives in rural Maryland after spending ten years as what she calls a “dirt lawyer,” specializing in real estate “and anything involving exceedingly lengthy legalese-like contractual monstrosities.” You can learn more about Jill at her website.
Jill is offering one commenter a sampler of Ace-Roc new releases, which gives you a chance to “test drive” a bunch of different new authors and books. Read on for entry details!
ABOUT DARK LIGHT OF DAY: Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, and the world from slipping back into chaos. Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, the daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret: She was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of, and some would consider her an abomination. Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or to attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.
Now, let’s hear from Jill. Welcome!
Give us the “elevator pitch” for your latest work?
Dark Light of Day is the story of Noon Onyx, a first year law student who is being trained to represent demons. But the story’s as much about Noon’s magical and romantic struggles as it is about her academic ones. I should also mention that, even though the book is considered “urban fantasy,” the setting is not contemporary. The story mostly takes place in New Babylon, a city with a circa 1900s technology level that was built on top of the ancient battlefield of Armageddon in a country called Halja.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
Probably the last one. I think there’s something different to love in each of them, but I really love the emotional note of the last scene in the book.
Hardest scene you’ve ever written:
It isn’t in Dark Light of Day. It’s in the second book in the series, which I’ve already turned in. But, in Dark Light of Day, I’ll share that some of the physical fighting scenes were difficult for me to write. I’ve never taken a martial arts class or sparred with anyone so I really had to think about how I wanted to write the fight scenes. And, of course, some of the more emotional moments in the story were hard to write. Only because, as a writer, you have to experience the emotions of the characters on some level just to be able to credibly write about them.
What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
My TBR pile is constantly being shuffled. If I had time to start a new book today, I’d probably read Joan Frances Turner’s Dust. I splurged and bought the hardcover last summer. Redemption by Susannah Sandlin looks great too! *Suzanne: No, I did not bribe her to say that!*
Favorite book when you were a child:
Which year? 🙂 Some of my favorites have included: Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Witch’s Buttonsby Ruth Chew, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken, Watership Down by Richard Adams, and The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey.
Your five favorite authors:
Very, very tough to limit to five, and I am constantly looking for new authors that could become my next favorite. But here are five authors whose books occupy a fair amount of space on my bookshelf: Lois McMaster Bujold, S.M. Stirling, Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Peters.
Book you’ve faked reading:
Well, I’m not sure if this counts because I failed so miserably at faking it, but at some point in middle school, I was assigned Wuthering Heights. For whatever poor reason, I never read it. The day before my book report was due, I read the first part of the book and then — to save time — skipped the middle, and jumped to the last. Can you imagine how horrible that report was? I wish I’d saved it! I was so confused. All those relationships! And, wait, another Cathy?!  I have since read it in totality. It was superb. I’m determined that my daughters will not repeat my mistake.
Book you’re an evangelist for:
Wuthering Heights….Ha! I’m kidding, although everyone should read it, preferably when it’s assigned.
Book you’ve bought for the cover:
I’ve never bought a book solely for the cover. But I do love great covers so here are some of my favorites: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, all of the covers in S.M. Stirling’s Dies the Fire series, Lauren Kate’s Fallen, and Ally Condie’s Matched.
Book that changed your life:
Fun With Dick and Jane? Black’s Law Dictionary? Dark Light of Day? To some extent each of those books, and many others, have changed my life.
Favorite line from a book:
Ever? Impossible! Too many to choose from. But here’s one of my favorites from Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca: “Will you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me now?” Of course, it’s what precedes that line that makes it so meaningful.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races? Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth? Galen Beckett’s The Magicians and Mrs. Quent? Liz Maverick’s Wired?
Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
Reading about the deaths of Old Dan and Little Ann in Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I read it when I was a kid and I think I went through at least ten boxes of tissue. Possibly more than any other book, that one taught me how important a hopeful ending is to a grieving reader.
Favorite book about books or writing:
I loved Stephen King’s On Writing. I’ve read a lot of his novels and am a big fan. (I also loved his Entertainment Weekly column). I enjoyed Elizabeth George’s Write Away (especially her THAD device — a hilarious name for a brilliant dialog tool). Christopher Vogler’s Writer’s Journey and Donald Maass’ books are popular favorites for a reason.
What’s next?
I’m currently working on book #3 in the Noon Onyx series — new assignments, new adventures, new adversaries! 🙂
Thanks, Jill!
This is a great chance to win the Ace-Roc sampler and try some new authors and books, including an excerpt from Jill Archer’s Dark Light of Day.
You know the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Now…Go forth and comment!

29 thoughts on “Q&A with #UF Author Jill Archer & W*n a new Ace-Roc Books Sampler

  1. Wow. Usually I skip right over anything with angels/demons because there are just too many of those books right now, but I’m glad I stopped to take a look at this post because Dark Light of Day sounds excellent and 100% like something I’d love to read! The cover looks beautiful too.(And also, seeing The Wolves of Willoughby Chase up there makes my heart sing…I loved that book as a kid but no one my age has ever heard of it!)

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  2. Hi Faith– Go Bonnie and Sylvia! 🙂 Thanks so much for the kind words about Dark Light of Day. I thought the cover artist, David Palumbo, did a great job.

    Hi Suzanne– Thanks for having me here at Preternatura! I hope everyone is doing okay in New Orleans post-Isaac.

  3. I like that this doesn’t seem like the same UF, kinda mixing it up a bit. Also, one of my favorite authors is S.M. Stirling, so of course I like Ms Archer, just on her favorite authors selection. But, it sounds like I’ll be adding Ms Archer to my favorites list, too.
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  4. Would love to win the Ace-Roc sampler and try some new authors. Dark Light of Day sounds very interesting, will give it a try. Great cover by David Palumbo.

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  5. It would be wonderful to win the sampler! Alluding to one of the questions in the interview, I have never bought a book solely for its cover either, but the one for Dark Light of Day is quite impressive!

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  6. So nice to see a different spin on the UF type; this sounds quite interesting. I share several of the favorite authors list with Ms Archer, I think I’d really enjoy reading her work.
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  7. Hi Roger and biochemguy– Glad you both liked the cover! I’m already looking forward to seeing the one for book #2 (although it’ll be awhile).

    Hi Lois! Maybe they assign it too early. Thanks for stopping by to read the interview.

  8. Hey, another Lois McMaster Bujold fan, awesome! I’m reading my 13-year-old son “The Warrior’s Apprentice” now and he’s loving it. Looking forward to your release!

  9. I can’t believe you faked Wuthering Heights! I’m so glad you went back and read it. It’s one of my favorites from the classics. I also wish I could read The Scorpio Races for the first time. 🙂

  10. Oooh! Sampler! And, in all honesty, I was never assigned Wuthering Heights. We read Ethan Frome and the Awakening and Moby Dick instead.

    • don’t want to duplicate post, but also meant to put: entries +2 (comment and follow). Sorry!

  11. Hi Amy and Brinda, you two are terrific for stopping by! I hang my head in shame about my first Wuthering Heights attempt. There’s no good excuse. Thanks for the comments, ladies!

  12. Hi Maureen, now those three I haven’t read. It’ll be interesting to see what my kids are assigned. My oldest just brought home a note saying they would be focusing on the genres of adventure romance, science fiction, and fantasy this year. Needless to say, there was much high fiving between us. They’re reading Charlotte Doyle, The Tripod Trilogy, and The Hobbit. Gotta love reading class! 🙂

  13. OMG, I was a mom in her mid thirties when I read Where the Red Fern Grows and I know I went through a box of tissues. My son brought the book home and insisted that it was my kind of book. I guess he’d seen me reading too many romances that had me in tears so it seemed logical that I’d love the book.
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  14. Final thanks to Barb, Lisa, and bn100 for their comments!

    Lisa, I recommended WTRFG to a friend of mine recently who’d never read it. She was amazed she hadn’t and thought reading it was just as emotional as we did.

    Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Thanks again, Suzanne!

  15. I bought Lauren Kate’s Fallen for the cover too!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  16. I like the alternative history demon mashup and had to smile at the “school of demon law.” I’d love to read this.

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  17. Popping in just to say hi bc I saw there were a few other comments. Thanks, Caitlin & Eli!

    Lisa, writing about a “school of demon law” made me smile too. In fact, I kind of chuckled about it at first, and thought the whole idea was preposterous.

    And *that’s* when I knew I had to write it! 😀

  18. This book sounds really good. I have never heard of it. I love reading demon books!!! Is that wrong? LOL

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    pefrw at yahoo dot com