1. What was your favorite part of writing Taken?
Being surprised by my characters. This is my favorite part about writing, period! I love when I have a certain string of events planned but my characters take a sharp turn and head off in a different direction.
2. Were there any inspirations for the any of the characters?
Yes and no. All of my characters are completely fictitious, but pieces of people I know sometimes end up layered into my stories. For example: While I was developing the sibling relationship between Gray and Blaine, I pulled from my own experiences. I hate confrontation and avoid it all costs. Like Blaine, I’m a peace-keeper. My sister, on the other hand, is much more impulsive and will tell you exactly what she thinks. Our conflicting personalities impact our relationship in a variety of ways, and I used some of that while developing Gray’s and Blaine’s characters.
3. How did you come up with the titles of the books?
My original title for TAKEN was THE LAICOS PROJECT, but my publisher had a few concerns. First off, it sounds heavily sci-fi, and they didn’t want to scare off hesitant sci-fi readers. Also, the word “Laicos” poses a unique challenge. It makes sense in the context of the books, but to potential readers, it holds no meaning. Furthermore, would a person know how to spell it if a friend had told them about the book? How would they look it up online?
After a very long brainstorming process, someone at my publisher suggested TAKEN and I instantly knew it was perfect. It is powerful and bold, and hints at the Heist without sounding like a book about a bank job (as THE HEIST did when we brainstormed). Titles for the rest of the series naturally followed. FROZEN fit the same one-word pattern and spoke to the climate and landscape Gray faces in the sequel. FORGED breaks the -en ending trend, but I sort of love this. It mixes up the rhythm and puts emphasis on the final installment. Plus, it speaks so much to the content of the last book. (I share more of my thoughts about book 3’s title on my blog.)
4. If you were to fight a zombie apocalypse with 2 characters from Taken then who would you want on your team?
Gray’s got some top-notch survival skills after growing up in Claysoot. He’d be good to have around for making shelters, hunting food, all the basic necessities. And then I’d want Bree around to fend off the zombies. That girl’s a ruthless fighter.
5. Are you serious? [If you don’t get it…think Harry Potter]
More serious than Hermione studying for her N.E.W.T.S
(PS — Harry Potter is the greatest and I love this question!)
http://embowman.com | @erin_bowman
Headshot by: Tamara Namaste
Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. Taken is her first novel. Visit her online at embowman.com or on twitter @erin_bowman.
THERE ARE NO MEN IN CLAYSOOT.
There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends . . . and he’s gone. They call it the Heist. Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate—until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot—a structure that no one can cross and survive. Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken—or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
THE HEISTS WERE ONLY THE BEGINNING.
Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back. Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem…