Today we have Jana Oliver - author of the Demon Trapper's series and the Time Rovers series!
How did you come up with the idea for The Demon Trapper’s Daughter? Did it evolve from something else, or did Riley’s story just come to you?
Riley’s story just came to me. Originally I had her pegged as about 25 years old, but the scenes didn’t work right. Once I realized she was seventeen, the story began to unfold. When I added in Beck and the wee demons, I knew I had something that just might fly. The chemistry between R&B just worked from the start. That’s always a hint I’m doing something right.
What are some of your favorite books? It’s always interesting to see what books authors love.
I’m a fan of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels Series which is set in a truly dystopian Atlanta in the 2040’s. I am a Jim Butcher fangirl (Harry Dresden Series) and I love Hunger Games. I recently read Anna and the French Kiss (Anne Perkins) which was a delightful YA contemporary love story. Also, I’m very fond of Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire Series.
In The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, who was your favorite character to write?
I love to write Riley, though she’s harder for me than some of the other characters. I also love writing Beck’s scenes because he’s, well, Beck. I like Simon a lot because he’s such a decent soul, deeply religious, but deeply troubled. I like conflict in my characters and all of these folks have tons of it.
The world within the book really stood out to me. How did you come up with all of the different demons?
I decided to create some of them based on the Seven Deadly Sins, like avarice (the Klepto-Fiends aka Magpies) and lust (Grade Four Hypno-Fiends). Then I filled in the missing holes with demons I thought one just wouldn’t really like to meet in a dark alley – the Gastro-Fiends, for instance. Or the truly frightening Grade Five Geo-Fiends (who spawn tornadoes and windstorms) I wanted a demonic “progression” from nuisance to the ones that give you nightmares.
Out of all the demons Riley encounters, which is your favorite? Personally, mine is the Magpie.
I like the Magpie demons too. They’re just so cute despite they work for Lucifer. When I first starting pondering on the Hellspawn, I realized I really needed some way to rate them because trying to refer to the various names would confuse folks. Once I came up with the Grade levels (Ones through Fives) the actual demons were easier. How to describe them? Not so much. And how to trap them? Oy! So I started writing a very rudimentary Demon Trappers Manual to keep track of all my fiends.
What made you want to branch out into Young Adult, or did you always want to write Young Adult books
I’ve written YA characters before (in adult novels), but I wanted to stretch my wings and write an entire YA series. I like challenges and trying to harken back to my teen years was certainly that. Getting Riley “right” took a lot of work, but she was such a vivid character for me I knew I just had to tell her story.
I know you can’t tell us a lot about the next book in the series, Soul Thief, but is there any information you can share?
Soul Thief is a game changer in terms of Riley’s life. She has major choices to make and then has to live with the consequences of those decisions. We learn more about Beck’s personal issues, what Ori’s real agenda is and how Simon is dealing with his trauma after the Tabernacle attack (hint: not well).