An Interview with Barbara Russell, author of The Good Inside Me
Today I welcome YA author Barbara Russell and her book The Good Inside Me for a quick but fun interview!
Julianne: Welcome Barbara, why don’t you take a few moments to introduce yourself to my readers.
Barbara: I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been my passion. I was a kid when I read The Lord Of The Rings and fell in love with fantasy novels.
When I discovered cozy mystery and crime novels, I fell in love with Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then I grew up and… Nah, I’m joking. I didn’t grow up. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap.
PS I hate gardening. There, I said it. Sorry fellow Kiwis.
Julianne: What inspired the Good Inside Me?
Barbara: I like to play ‘what if’ when I’m thinking about a new story, so I thought what if a demon is possessed by a human? And what if the human is a really good young woman? I thought it’d be fun to have two different people—a teen demon boy called Shax and a teen girl called Tolis—forced to be together.
Julianne: What is your favourite scene in The Good Inside Me?
Barbara: The scene when Shax has to beg an angel to save Tolis’s brother. I had so much fun writing it. I hope the readers will like it.
Julianne: What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Barbara: Trekking and climbing! I love hiking with my dogs. Forests are the best places ever to think about plot holes and characters’ developments. Not to mention that a good trekking recharges me. I need to get out of the city and its noises now and then and be surrounded by trees and nature. And I like sketching as well. I’m not really good, but it’s fun.
Julianne: What advice would you give new writers?
Barbara: Read everything, from memoirs to sci-fi novels. I love fiction, but true stories are the amazing. There’s a lot to learn from non-fiction books as a writer, and you never know what might inspire you.
Julianne: What’s your work in progress?
Barbara: I’m currently writing something new, a spin-off of my Auckland Steampunk series.
Julianne: Which character can you relate to the most and why?
Barbara: They say that an author is the sum of all of his characters, including the villains, lol. But I feel closer to Shax, the male protagonist. He’s fun to write, and I like how he denies to be a good person.
Julianne: If you choke a Smurf, of what colour does he turn?
Barbara: The same colour he turns when he’s freezing.
Julianne: Anything else you’ll like to add?
Barbara: Actually yes, I’d like to the tell to those people who say they don’t read book to please don’t say out loud. Every time a person says they don’t read, somewhere a writer gets a writer’s block.
And now let’s take a little time to get acquainted with the book!
Dragons, short-tempered archdemons, and hysterical damned souls—Shax is used to dealing with all that. He’s a young fire demon and lives in Hell, after all. What he’s not used to is being possessed by a human. A very good human and a pretty girl at that: sixteen-year-old Tolis. Despite still having control of his body most of the time, Shax can hear Tolis’s voice inside his head and feels what she feels constantly.
Shax’s mentor claims that Tolis hides an ancient, powerful grimoire, a book of spells, and proposes a deal: if Shax finds it, he’ll help Shax get work as a dragon keeper—Shax’s dream job. Tolis swears she doesn’t have the grimoire and asks Shax to help her father, whose soul is turning evil by the minute. Unless Tolis does something, her dad’s soul will end in Hell. Hoping to convince her to give him the grimoire, and not because Shax cares about the man’s soul, he agrees to help.
Goodness is overrated. Since Shax decided to help Tolis, his life has turned into a hurdle race. Thugs chase him, the scientists in Hell want to prod and examine the first possessed demon in history, and he can’t find the darn grimoire.
And the worst part? Due to the unavoidable presence of Tolis, who keeps intruding into his evil thoughts, Shax discovers an almost decent side of himself. In no time at all, he catches himself doing actual good deeds. Is he becoming—yuck—good?
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
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