Erica Crouch - Ignite
• Pub Date: June 11, 2013
• Publisher: Patchwork Press
• Format: Ebook, 326 pages
• Age Range: Young Adult
Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed.
As Hell prepares for war - spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army - the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice.
With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.
Mickey: Hey, Erica Crouch! Thanks for being on the blog today! Please introduce yourself.
Erica: HELLO my name is Erica! I am 20, soon to be 21 in late August, though I’ve been mistaken (multiple times) for a 14-year-old or my 18-year-old sister’s twin. I’m currently in college studying English & Creative Writing, concentrating in fiction, but I’ve also dabbled in writing for screen and stage. Ignite is my first book to be published instead of trunked and I am insanely excited/terrified about that. I love reading, writing, and -- above almost all else -- procrastinating.
Mickey: Your debut novel, Ignite, is fantastic! Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
Erica: AH THANKS! Well, I came up with the idea for Ignite over a year ago. I have a lot of ideas go in and out of my mind, but for some reason, this one stuck, so I began writing. I wrote about five chapters in a week and then put the story down for a few months before picking it up again. When I came back to the story, I changed the beginning drastically because, well, it was crazy rough, but I also remembered how much I loved the characters and the dynamics of their relationships/stories. So I wrote feverishly, every day and every night, until I finished. After my first draft, I did several read throughs and about three major overhauls before finding my beta reader (the amazingly talented Kellie Sheridan) and polishing it up for people to actually read!
When I write, I go into this strangely-obsessive zone. I only focus on what I’m writing. Someone could be talking to me, and I will nod along with them but not hear a word because of what’s happening on the page. I’m completely immersed in the story until I’m satisfied with its ending.
Mickey: I'm a big fan of first-person and present-tense. How did you decide to go that route with the novel?
Erica: Writing in first-person present-tense has always felt most natural to me. I’ve also noticed that a lot of my favorite books are told first-person present. There’s something about the format that engages the readers more. They start to feel like they’re part of the story, instead of just a spectator. “She” isn’t jumping or running or kissing or killing... “I” am.
Mickey: Any specific reason you went with the YA age range?
Erica: Young adult has always been my literature sweet-spot. No matter how many different genres of books I turn to, I’ll always find myself drawn to a new and well done young adult story. YA has this ability, I think, to be more raw and confused. The main characters are teenagers -- they’re going through events that are helping shape them into the adult they will one day become. They’re deciding who they want to be, what they want to do. I also think it’s my easiest voice to write through, since I still am (or at the very least feel like) a young adult.
Mickey: What are your plans for a sequel to Ignite? Is this going to be a series of books?
Erica: This IS going to be a series. Just a duology, but with a e-novella squished in the middle. When I started writing Ignite, I didn’t want it to be a trilogy. There are so many trilogies, and I thought this was a story I could tell in just two books. But I also wanted to give readers an extra insight into Pen and Az’s backstory, which is where the e-novella, Entice, comes into play. Entice will tell their story right after they fell from grace, from the last battle of the war to their time in Eden.
Mickey: I love audio books. If you could pick someone to read the audio book versions of your novels, who would it be?
Erica: Oh jeeze, if I’d pick someone with an English accent. I always imagined Pen having a slight accent when she spoke, and I loooove listening to audiobooks read by someone with a beautifully accented voice. Or I’d want someone totally out of left field. Like Robert Downey Jr.
Mickey: Do you have books in the works outside of the Ignite characters?
Erica: I have a few, actually. This fall, I’m hoping to publish the first installment of a New Adult Sci-Fi I’ve been toying with. Its title is Cut and it will be the first book in the Undying series. I also have a 1930‘s period piece that takes place during D.C. during Depression. There’s pick pocketing and art involved, and it’s different from anything I’ve ever written before.
Mickey: Would you like to try a different genre or age range in another book?
Erica: I want to try it all! Like I said above, I’m going to write some series for New Adult. But I also want to try every genre, like a sampling. I have this really cool idea for a horror story/ghost story that I am itching to start writing. But maybe I should finish the stack of stories I have in my queue first. :)
Mickey: A non-book question: What's your favorite kind of fruit?
Mickey: Thanks so much for being here, Erica! Any parting words?
Erica: Thanks so much for having me! I hope everyone enjoys Ignite, or even just one aspect of Ignite, and keeps reading anything and everything they can get their hands on. Try every genre -- even the ones you think you may not like because one day you’ll surprise yourself and fall in love with Sci-Fi even though you’ve cemented yourself behind a castle built from romance novels. OH and also smile at strangers! People seem to like that! :D
Erica Crouch is a twenty-year-old living on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. She is currently working towards a degree in English and Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction at Southern New Hampshire University. She spends all of her time writing and reading an overwhelming stack of books.
Ignite is her debut novel and she is currently writing it’s sequel - in addition to two other series! Erica has also written a stage play, NVRLND, and was recently acknowledged for her editorial work in Kellie Sheridan’s novel Mortality, released March 2013.
Outside of her interest in literature, Erica enjoys studying the humanities, including anthropology and mythology. She devours dark and fantastical books, inspirational musicals/plays, terrible and quirky television and an exorbitant amount of Jolly Ranchers. She is part fictional character, part cyborg.