Monday, January 5, 2015

Interview: The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson

UFI welcomes author Amber Benson. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview? 

Something that isn’t in my bio and that you probably haven’t heard in another interview or Q&A…hmmm…I feel like I’m pretty much an open book, but, if we’re being totally honest here, I will divulge a secret guilty pleasure of mine: Whenever I’m feeling low, I reread all my old Christopher Pike books.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

I’m a big book whore, so I’m always reading. I also like to clean -  I have to be in the right mood, but when I am, I go to town on the dusting, sweeping and mopping. It’s a little intense.

What is your Favorite part of writing?  

Having an idea spring itself on you unexpectedly.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write? 

I need to find the right music. I can’t do anything until I’ve made myself a book specific playlist.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres? 

Seanan McGuire, Rachel Caine, Caitlin Kittredge

How would you pitch The Witches of Echo Park Series to someone who has not heard of it before? 

The book is a mash note to all my lady friends – it’s about women and their relationships with each other: How they support one another and are there for each other…like family. And what better way to explore those special relationships…? Put them in a coven! It’s also about what constitutes family, and how a special place - like Echo Park - can transform even the most mundane rituals into something magical.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that The Witches of Echo Park is set in? 

The book is moody and evocative. It pulls you into the magical world of the Echo Park Witch Coven…where magic and mischief reign in the East Side of Los Angeles. Where Botanicas sit side by side with hipster coffee bars, and the statuesque Lady of The Lake watches over Echo Park Lake and its magical denizens.

Do you have a favorite scene in The Witches of Echo Park? 

There may or may not be a ritual sex magic scene that may or may not have some antlers involved…

Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 

I love writing Eleanora – she is the head of the Echo Park coven – and we get to see her past in really fun to read/write flashbacks.

I had a harder time finding the voice for my main character Lyse. She was a tricky one…but when I finally caught her, I had a blast writing her.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you? 

Working on the second “Echo Park Coven series” book as I write this!

Amber Benson cocreated, cowrote, and directed the animated supernatural Web series Ghosts of Albion with Christopher Golden, which they followed with a series of novels, including Witchery and Accursed, and the novella Astray. Benson and Golden also coauthored the novella The Seven Whistlers. As an actress, she has appeared in dozens of roles in feature films, TV movies, and television series, including the fan-favorite role of Tara Maclay on three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Benson wrote, produced, and directed the feature films Chance and Lovers, Liars and Lunatics. She's also the author of the Calliope Reaper-Jones novels, including The Golden Age of DeathHow to be Death, and Serpent's Storm.

Find Amber and her books

The Witches of Echo Park
Echo Park Coven #1
Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…

When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.

Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last…