Sweet Evil Blog Tour: Author Interview + Giveaway

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be a part of the SWEET EVIL Blog Tour. This is my favorite debut of 2012 and a book I’ve now read three times. It is just that awesome. So awesome that I may have gushed just a little bit more than normal in my review.

For my tour stop, I have an interview with the amazing author, Wendy Higgins, who was kind enough to answer just a “few” interview questions and a “few” more “This or That” questions. I may have gone a bit overboard with those questions, but I couldn’t help it. I’m just glad I didn’t interview Kaidan Rowe or he’d send the Duke of Wrath my way.

As I am the last stop on the tour – I can’t believe it’s over! – there is also a bit of a wrap up. And because I just couldn’t help myself, I’m offering three more copies of SWEET EVIL for giveaway.

But, just in case you haven’t had a chance to check out this amazing book, which released on Tuesday, here’s just a little bit…

About the Book

What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip to meet her father forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. When she confronts her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


And for those of you who haven’t had a chance to meet the author behind this absolutely delectable story, here’s just a little bit…

About the Author

After earning a bachelors in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until becoming a mommy. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.

She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Evil is her debut novel.


{Photo and bio courtesy of the author’s website.}

So now you know. Which means you want to know more. And thanks to this author full of awesome, you will!

Q. SWEET EVIL is such an incredibly alluring title and just so perfectly fits the story, though it wasn’t the original title. How did your book get its new name?

The publishers came up with it! I had a whole list of terrible titles, but they overrode me and came up with this one (thank God). It’s perfect.

[Fiktshun: It is soooo perfect!]

Q. Not that you need any reason to keep those pages turning, but the chapter titles in SWEET EVIL really do entice you to keep reading. Titles like “Lies and Lust,” “A Healthy Fear” and “Mourning Heaven,” just to name a few. What made you decide to name the chapters? And just how did you come up with the titles you chose?

This is kind of funny and embarrassing. I was a giant panster when I wrote this. I wrote scenes as they came to me, so the story was in pieces like a puzzle. I gave the scenes names as I wrote them so that I could remember what happened in each one. It made it easier when it was time to fit it all together.

[Fiktshun: Haha! But they’re absolutely brill! So glad the publisher chose to keep them in.]

Q. You created two very different characters in Anna Whitt and Kaidan Rowe. They seem like complete opposites who couldn’t possibly have a connection and yet they do. A pretty strong one. How much of a challenge was it to create this dynamic that felt very real and believable and incredibly exciting?

I revised and rewrote countless times, trying to get the tension between these two just right. It was challenging because I wanted the development of feelings to happen at a realistic pace, but they needed to be intrigued enough in the beginning to keep us going. It all came down to small, subtle details.

[Fiktshun: And those “small, subtle details” made a world of difference. They definitely seemed intrigued. And I was definitely more than intrigued.]

Q. Anna Whitt is the poster child for a good girl. She is just so super nice and she is honest and sympathetic. She is an absolutely lovable and relatable heroine, when she could easily have been seen as too good to be true. What do you think makes Anna so likable? Is it the fact that she has a dark side? Is it her attraction to Kaidan – the bad boy  or is it something more?

It’s all of those things to some extent, but I think the thing that sets her apart is that she doesn’t judge. She understands people and their motives at a deep level. She’s got insecurities, like any girl, and though she’s often passive in normal life, she’s a fighter when she needs to be.

[Fiktshun: Yes, she is so not judgmental. Love that about her!]

Q. Where Anna is unquestionably a good girl, Kaidan Rowe, on the other hand, is most definitely the bad boy. He’s arrogant, selfish, more than a little bit dangerous and dangerously irresistible. Even to Anna. Given what Kaidan has to do, what do you think makes him so likable? Is it simply because he’s a swoon-worthy musician – or is it something more?

It is something more. There are things about Kaidan that he doesn’t want anyone to see–things he doesn’t even want to acknowledge about himself. But now and then his façade cracks and we get brief glimpses of what he’s hiding. Those are the moments that help us forgive him of his hardened nature.

[Fiktshun: Yes *swoon,* he’s definitely forgiven.]

Q. Anna possesses the ability to see and feel the moods and emotions of others. Would you say this is more of a plus or a drawback for her, given that she’s different?

I guess it depends on the situation. It can be overwhelming and suffocating when she’s in big crowds with a lot of dark emotions. But when she’s dealing with someone one-on-one, being able to gauge someone’s feelings can be helpful, even though it seems to be an invasion of privacy.

[Fiktshun: Well, with the company she keeps, she does need all the advantages she can get!]

Q. Kaidan Rowe has a rather unique pronunciation to his name. If just simply reading it, someone might think it was pronounced “kay-den” and not “ky-dan.” How did you decide on his name and its pronunciation?

I find almost all of my character names in baby name books, lol.  My son’s name is Cayden, so I cringe a little when people pronounce Kaidan that way, because I don’t want people thinking I named the son of the demon of Lust after my son, haha! It’s pronounced like “Ky-den.” (The dorky English teacher in me wants to point out that “ai” traditionally makes the long “eye” sound.) My husband always liked the name Malachi, with the -Chi sounding like Kai, so that was probably why that name attracted me when I saw it. Plus, I think K names are sexy for boys.

[Fiktshun: Well, Kai is most definitely a very sexy name. And Kai is most definitely a very sexy musician. The name is perfect!]

Q. While Anna and Kaidan may be the readers’ favorite characters, who were your favorite characters to write about? Your most challenging? And why?

I truly loved writing all of the characters…each of them have clear, unique personalities in my mind, and I can only hope I’ve done them justice. The secondary characters will all be fleshed-out further in books two and three. As far as the most challenging, I’d definitely say the Dukes and demon spirits (whisperers). I wanted them to be scary, not corny, but horror stuff is not my strong point. It was hard.

[Fiktshun: IMO you did an amazing job. I did not find the Dukes corny at all. Kaidan’s dad actually made me very, very nervous. And that scene at the end… chilling. Absolutely chilling.]

Q. What is your favorite part of the world? Your least favorite? And is this world that you created one you’d want to live in?

As a writer, my favorite thing about the story world is that the stakes are always high for these characters, in so many ways. That makes my job slightly easier. My least favorite thing would be how sensitive the subject matter is–controversial, even. I don’t want to offend anyone, you know? But I want to be true to the story in my heart.

This is absolutely NOT a world I’d want to live in! It’s horrific and I’d be killed at a Summit for sure, lol.

[Fiktshun: Oh yes, I guess I can see how the subject matter might be uncomfortable for some. But you approach it in a very honest way. You don’t make light of it. And I’m glad you don’t live in that world because there definitely must be a book three!]

Q. The world in SWEET EVIL is fairly elaborate, with a rich history and where the demon leaders (the Dukes) have a rather strict hierarchy and an even stricter way of dealing with their children. Which came first, the world or the characters? And which do you think is more important to the story?

As a character-driven writer, they are the most important element to me, and they always seem to come first. Actually, when the notion first came to me of Nephilim children being cursed with the sinful natures of their demon fathers, the ideas of Anna and Kai began to form, and the first scene born was “Kaidan’s First Sacrifice.” (I won’t give any deets due to spoilers, but it’s the book’s big, hot scene). As the scene unfolded in my mind I had to say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on. Back up. What happened before this? How did these two people even get to this point?” I knew that would be a pivotal moment for them.

[Fiktshun: It was a pivotal moment for us all. *SIGH.* And what a sacrifice that was! I don’t know how you backed up from that scene. I may have re-read that one more than a few times….]

Q. SWEET EVIL isn’t just Anna and Kaidan’s story. There are a number of entertaining characters with their own interesting storylines. Were Anna and Kaidan always the main characters in this story?

The story was originally a standalone book focusing only on Anna and Kai. The other Neph were briefly introduced at the end, and I found that I was not satisfied with the small, minor roles for Kopano, Marna, Ginger, and Blake. I wanted to know them better. I wanted Anna’s adventure extended so she could fully become the young woman I envisioned. In books two and three we will get to know these characters better. Sweet Jay will show up only briefly in book two, but play a larger role in book three.

[Fiktshun: I want to know them better too! Well, Kopano was pretty awesome. 🙂 And I adore Jay. I think I can wait patiently for book three for more of Jay, as long as there’s a lot more of Kai in book two.]

Q. Of all the demons, who is your favorite? Your least favorite? Why? Is it their personality or just what they represent?

I’m intrigued by the Duke of Wrath – Kopano’s father. But of course my favorite demon is Duke Belial (Anna’s father). Big, tough, biker dude, all gruff and terrifying and…well, I shall say no more. 🙂 My least favorite is Duke Pharzuph, Kai’s father. Blech. He’s totally hot and charming, and a total ass.

[Fiktshun: Bahahaha! Yes, Pharzuph is a total creep. And I do love Anna’s dad. He rocks!]

Q. You’ve given the Dukes either demonic names or names of fallen angels. How did you choose whether to give them angelic versus demonic names? And how did you decide which name to give which demon?

You know, it all runs together for me. In my mind fallen angels are demons, and vice versa. When I was researching names online there was a lot of inconsistency from site to site about which name meant what, and so I just took the names I liked and did what I wanted with them. My apologies to demon experts.

[Fiktshun: I love the mix. It created a bunch of characters with seriously awesome names. Very memorable. And each just a bit different. I like the demon nicknames too. :)]

Q. As a debut author, this very first official tour for the release of your amazing new book must be super exciting. What were some of your favorite posts to create? Questions to answer? Character interview questions to answer?

I adored everything about the character interviews – so much fun!!  And I love questions where I get to talk about the next books. I hate leaving people hanging at the end of book one. I’m excited for the future.

[Fiktshun: I loved the character interviews. Especially Kai’s. He was a wicked interviewee wasn’t he? I think I saw that he was trying out his charms on the interviewer. Naughty! And I loved hearing about the next books, too. I’d been too terrified to ask you about future books as I tend to be a jinx. Here’s to an amazing future for you and the trilogy.]

Q. And just one more question about Kaidan. If Kaidan Rowe could come with a warning label, what would it be?

“Good Girls Beware” or “I Will Not Change For You” or “I Don’t Do Relationships.”

[Fiktshun: Okay, Kaidan, we get it, we get it! Stay far, far away from the drummer.]

Angels or Demons? Angels *flutters eyelashes innocently.*

Good girls or bad boys? Good girls. (It HURT me not to choose bad boys, but I gotta give props to strong girls.)

Sweet or evil? Sweet.

Duke of Envy or Duke of Wrath? Ick…okay, Wrath.

Fallen angels or Guardian angels? In my book? Guardian angels. I want one.

Cliffhangers or all wrapped up? All wrapped up! Eventually….

Twists and turns or in a straight line? Twists, baby!

Flawless characters or inherently flawed? Flawless=boring. Flawed. Always.

Redeemable or hopeless? Redeemable.

Dark and dangerous or light and wholesome? Dangerous and wholesome. Oh, wait. That wasn’t an option.

Sarcastic or serious? Serious. I can’t pull off sarcasm. It’s ugly on me.

Beats a drum or strums a guitar? Beats. A. Friggin’. Drum!

Eternal love or unrequited love? Temporarily unrequited, followed by eternal love. (I know, I’m totally cheating with my answers.)

Soul mates or love triangles? Neither. But if I HAVE to choose I say love triangles.

Write all day or write all night? Write all night.

Write in silence or write with music? Silence. I am so easily distracted. I must write alone.

Write it or edit it? I love both. Editing is where the detailed magic happens.

Read about it or write about it? Write about it.

Read the book or see the movie? Pfft! Really? Duh. Read the book.  🙂

Coffee or tea? COFFEE! With coconut creamer. Yum.

[Fiktshun: Angels – hehehe. Yay for good girls! I want a guardian angel too. Loving those twists. And flawed is the best way to be. Um, and yes you did cheat with your answers, but it’s okay. I’ll forgive you in exchange for book two! And must try coconut creamer.]

To Wendy:

Thank you so, so, so, so much for taking the time for this interview. I know I bombarded you with umpteen million questions, but I absolutely love your writing, your characters, the world you created and the excitement reading your story brings. I can’t wait to read more about Anna and Kaidan and see what the future holds for them. But I would also love to read about any of the fictional worlds you create. You’re so awesome!

To HarperTeen:

I am so very thankful to you for inviting me to participate in this tour for my favorite 2012 debut. You pulled together a seriously awesome group of blogs for the tour and I had a LOT of fun visiting each and every stop.

While I’m sad to see the tour end – I really want more Kaidan Rowe! – I’m already happily looking forward to 2013 and the possibility of book two in this amazing series.

If you haven’t yet visited any of the earlier stops on the tour, you’ll definitely want to check them out. Between author interviews, character interviews, guest posts and a little bit of this and a little bit of that, there’s a ton of super fun things to learn about Wendy Higgins, Anna Whitt, Kaidan Rowe and the world of SWEET EVIL.

The tour first stopped at Supernatural Snark for an interview with Wendy Higgins where the awesome interviewer asked all sorts of questions about Kaidan, Anna, romance and the world in SWEET EVIL.

Day two of the tour headed over to I’m Loving Books for an interview with the lovely and oh so sweet Anna Whitt. If you want to know more about Anna and just what she thinks about Kaidan’s job, be sure to check it out.

The next stop was at Live to Read, for a super fun “This or That” post with the author. Find out if she prefers chocolate to vanilla, a sequel to a standalone or hands to legs – yes that’s right! – and more.

On the fourth day of the tour, Wendy Higgins stopped by Books of Love to share the top ten sweets she eats while reading. Be sure to have a snack first, because there are some yummy looking photos included with that post.

Last Friday, the tour stopped at My Overstuffed Bookshelf where author Wendy Higgins shared just how sweet – or not – she thought evil could be. She also shares a song about “Love and Hate” so be sure to stop by and have a listen.

Saturday brought all kinds of yummy when the tour stopped at Two Chicks On Books for a super fun “Lightning Round” with the author and the very alluring Kaidan Rowe. Find out what Wendy Higgins just can’t leave home without, if she prefers Twitter over Facebook and just which supernatural beings she loves. If you stop by you’ll also get the scoop on which famous drummer has Kaidan Rowe’s respect and just what fruit is his very favorite.

Sunday’s stop landed on Magical Urban Fantasy Reads for a Q&A with the author. Find out from the author herself just what SWEET EVIL is about in ten words or less, who her favorite character to write about was and just how many books are intended for this series.

Day eight headed to Uniquely Moi Books where the amazing Kaidan Rowe was interviewed. Find out if Kai likes his life just as it is, what he really feels for Anna and see just what a huge flirt he can be. I think his interviewer, Jodie, may have had a little bit of a tough time….

The ninth stop on the tour was at Books with Bite where the lovely Wendy Higgins answered questions about what inspired her writing, what her favorite chapter to write in SWEET EVIL was and what books she has on her TBR pile this summer.

Day ten brought you to Hooked to Books for an author “This or That.” Find out if the author prefers the bad boy over the good boy, real books over eBooks and just which natural disaster she’d choose.

Yesterday’s stop at Late Bloomer Online featured a guest post with Wendy Higgins where she shared ten items that would appear in Kaidan Rowe’s yard sale. With visual aids – yes there are pics! – this is one stop you won’t want to miss. And there’s also a giveaway.

That’s it for the tour stops…. Oh, well, except for this one. But as you’re already here, I think you probably figured that out by now.

And if you’ve made it this far, and you don’t already have a copy of SWEET EVIL, I’m offering up a few more copies for giveaway. Details are below.

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out the SWEET EVIL Blog Tour. I hope you got all the answers you wanted from Wendy, Kaidan and Anna. I know I did!

What’s up for grabs:

A pre-order copy of SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins from either Amazon or The Book Depository to three (3) winners.

The deets:

1. One entry per person.

2. There will be three (3) winners.

3. You must be 13 or older.

4. Giveaway is International.

5. Contest ends at 9:01 p.m. Pacific on May 9, 2012.

6. Winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on May 9th in this post.

7. Winners will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

8. Books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending on location.

As always there is no requirement to like or follow me or this blog. But if you’d like to spread the word just because, that would be awesome!

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter:

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