Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kassondra Leigh Character Interview

I'm so excited, today on the blog, we're having Kassondra Leigh on to do a character interview with one of the character's from her book When Copper Suns Fall. Hope you guys enjoy it :)

Character Interview Questions: Chela

1. Welcome Chela to Mother/Gamer/Writer. For those readers who are not familiar with your
story, can you give us a little background about yourself?

Thank you, Diayll. I’m so excited to be here. And I love your name, btw. It’s so cool. Okay, now
the background stuff. Well, um I’m fifteen. But I’ll turn sixteen on October 21st. I’m pretty
average, I guess. I have two best best friends: a girl named Lexa and a guy named Jalen. We
call ourselves the Bermuda Threes. I go to a third-tier school called Ashley George. It’s kind of
like what you would call high school. But I won’t get the chance to go this year because I’ve
been assigned to Minders Camp. That’s where kids who get carded for misbehaving go. Kind
of like detention, I guess. But I’ll talk about that in a bit. I live with my father, stepmother,
and her daughter, Audrina. I have a twin brother, too. But…well, he’s sick. So he hasn’t been
with us for over a year now. He has a virus that doesn’t usually affect people in Castle Hayne.
Only outcasts usually get sick, the people that live in the Dim Cities outside the Great Wall.

2. What is it like growing up in Castle Hayne? What do you like most and least about the city?

Castle Hayne is probably the strangest city you’ll ever travel to. There are no birds. The
beaches are covered in soot. The oceans have a dark red tint to the water. The clouds are
mostly gray all the time. Our governing body, the Tribunal, has these robotic spies that look
like crows. They’re always watching, waiting to see us screw up, I guess. There’s a 50-foot
fence that surrounds the city. We call it the Great Wall. Every day and night I have to take this
medicine to help keep my immune system strong enough to fight off viruses. They’re called
ale-meds. I hate that medicine. Micah hated taking it too. And now we know why, don’t we?

My house is a restored plantation called Cornice. It’s outside the city limits. Mostly gardens
and forests surround it. That’s what I love most about my life, the gardens that my mother
used to take care of. And there’s a cemetery in the backyard. For years, Micah and I played
around it. We pretended to be guardians of the monster gate. And then one day we got inside
it. But now you know what’s really behind the gate, don’t you?

3. The Tribunal, the governing body, assigns kids to different tasks once they are 15. How many
different classes are there and what are their specialties?

In Castle Hayne, kids have jobs. Yes, that’s right. We work. It’s a way the Tribunal makes sure
we can contribute to society when we turn eighteen. We have to earn our keep, be the model
citizens. You see, there’s people that live outside the Great Wall surrounding our city. They
don’t have special gifts like those of us who live inside the city. Most of them are infected,
dying, mutilated. Those of us living inside the Great Wall have gifts. Or either we live with
someone in the family who has a gift. There are five classes that match the five types of gifts:
Trackers, Healers, Thoughtmasters, Illusionists, and Historians like my father. Common names
for those groups are: ground soldiers, doctors, physical trainers, magicians, and teachers.

Most of us are born with a gene enhanced by radiation. It has been passed down throughout
the decades since the Tidal Years ended fifty-five years ago. By 16, we usually know which
gene we’ve inherited. And then we’re recommended to the appropriate leader of each class.

4. Your city is rich in history and traditions such as the Falling Lights Festival. I found Costing
Week to be the most intriguing and the most dangerous. Can you explain to our readers what
it is and why it is so important?

Yeah sure. Costing week is a time when families from all eight of Corunum’s Hill Boroughs
come to have a chance to be entered into a lottery. Good deeds mean more points, more
chances to win extra food, medicine, traveling privileges, protection from the Beast, you
name it. You can earn five slots, or five entries. On the fifth day, names are drawn and the
winners of the various prizes are identified. For kids outside the city, it means competing in a
brutal competition for one slot on their scorecard. They get one chance to change their lives
by winning citizenship in Castle Hayne. The first day of costing week always begins with a
showdown between Castle Hayne’s champion and his/her challenger. So, you know this year’s
challenger was me. I’m glad it’s over. But at the same time, I’m glad it happened too.

Now that we have the background questions out of the way, let’s talk boys.

5. Seth and Faris, night and day. Tell me how you could even decide?

Well, um, hm. They are the poster boys for opposites, right? Until my brother got sick, I never
thought I’d care about anyone, least of all another guy. With my other half being gone, my
twin brother, Micah, I felt like only part of me had been living. Enter Faris, the guy who
appeals to my hopeful side, my girl-in-floppy-stomach-love side. And then there’s Seth, the
guy who I never saw coming. The one who makes me feel powerful. But in the end, I know I’ll
make the right decision. I hope I make the right decision.

6. What is it like to be bonded with Faris?

In a few letters…asdfghkl;!!! No, but seriously, I don’t want to go all puppy-girl in the
interview here. The bond thing is amazing. It’s incredible to be tied with someone who can
understand how I feel inside without me saying a word. Someone odd like me. Someone who
can protect me from this storm called life.

7. I had a sneaking suspicion that your BFF, Jalen, wanted to be more than just friends. Could you
ever see yourself falling for him?

Jalen is like a big brother to me. I know, I know. I hear you saying that’s what all girls say
about the good guy hiding his huge crush. Things are already pretty complicated as you know.
I think it would ruin our friendship if we tried to go there. Only time will tell. And time is like a
ferris wheel. You never know where it’ll stop or which couple will get to hop off first.

8. Why did you decide to take Jalen to your secret spot you shared with Faris?

Well, partly because he kind of already knew about it. But mostly because I didn’t want to
go back there alone. I had to go back, though. To remember that what I saw was real. And
I wanted somebody I cared about to share it with me. It couldn’t be Micah, so it had to be

9. If you can, can you give us a tiny hint about what adventures and/or trouble you will be
getting into in the next book? Will there still be a steamy…man triangle?

Sure, I can give you a few hints. What’s even better? You’ll get the chance to hear from Faris
more often. I’ll be anxious to make up for lost time with my brother. He’s still recovering, but
the doctors think he’ll be fine once he gets his strength back up. I can tell you all one exciting
thing, though. I will be traveling to Cairona in what used to be old Egypt. I get to learn more
about my mother’s history. But we have to be careful. The Tribunal suspects something is
odd about me, and they don’t trust Micah’s sudden recovery. They think there has to be
something supernatural going on with us. A very bad thing. That’s going to be a huge problem
in book 2. As for the steamy triangle, or maybe even quadrangle…lol, you’ll have to come see
for yourself. :-D

10. Lastly, what side do you think you will chose? Or are you any closer to making a decision?

I don’t know. It’s hard to say. I know that probably sounds awful, but I’m just being real. I
have this power now. It’ll get stronger by the time I turn 16. I get scared when it happens.
Not because I’m afraid of it, but because I like how it makes me feel. I hear there’s a powerful
priestess in Cairona. I’ll be going to see her. I guess I’m a bit confused.

So much fun:) Makes me really excited to read the book. Here is the blurb for the book

When Copper Suns Fall
YA Dark Urban Fantasy
By KaSonndra Leigh

In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city,
alchemy is forbidden, and angels hide
among the mortal. With a deadly virus
ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish
memories compels her to experience a
past riddled with gloom, and now her
brother is infected. Chela’s only hope is
the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect
the last seven Light Keepers and the
ancient memories they share. A group
led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes
infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But
can she trust this boy with the
mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories? With the Caduceans
aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, desperate to
find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease. In
this haunting debut, KaSonndra Leigh offers an escape into a world as intriguing
as The Mortal Instruments and a story as chilling as Enclave. Full of celestial
creatures, fascinating villainy, high-stake choices, and a secret romance, When
Copper Suns Fall, is a fresh and original urban fantasy—with a dystopian twist—
that will take readers on an unforgettable adventure.

Here is an excerpt from the book

Forcing my eyes to open, I found myself outside the Cradlehack. I was standing in

Faris’s arms, my head against his chest, my fingers entwined in his black vest. It was a smooth

fabric that felt like silk. A cloth no one had worn outside of ceremonies since before the Tidal

Years. This boy was no common citizen. His earthy-sweet smell made me feel hypnotically safe,

as we stood among the crowd fleeing down the hillside. He lifted my chin, stared in my eyes.

But this wasn’t some dumb player’s move.

No, a mysterious thing stirred behind his silvery-gray eyes.

“Feel better, Chela?” he asked. I nodded.

“Thanks for helping me,” I said, still fighting a light head. Still afraid the dreaded black

blobs lingered somewhere around us. Somewhat ashamed I’d spoken so horribly to him

moments ago.

“You probably shouldn’t do that,” he said.

“Do what?”

“Thank me.”

“Why? Because I caught you using alchemy? That’s what your kind does. Make magic in

the shadows, right?” I said.

His left eye ticked. The girl in the hoodie had called him a Caducean. Could it be

possible? Father told me Caduceans were a mythical group—demon slayers from a time long

gone. Yet, here I stood with a boy who didn’t deny my claim.

Around us, fewer people were leaving the Shack. They paid no attention to the two idiots

standing and staring at each other. Did Jalen and Lexa make it out safely? They were taking

forever to reach me.

Did I really want them to find me?

“They’ll call me, now, and make me a witness against you. I’m sorry, but I already have

too many problems. So I—I have to tell the truth,” I said.

“That won’t be a problem.” Faris smiled, a catchy one that lit his face up. I couldn’t

decide whether it was angelic or downright wicked. Just like I couldn’t remember where I’d ever

heard an accent like his. What kind was it? Old southern? Old English? Irish? It sounded like a

mix of all three, but with a deep timbre, making him sound god like. “In a few minutes, you

won’t remember me or any of this.”

“Really? How do you figure that?” I asked, heart racing.

“Because my gift to you…” He moved his face closer to mine, pulling me into whatever

was happening in his head. “My gift is to remove memories that cause you pain.”

“Okay, um, right.” Had I lost my mind? It probably wouldn’t have hurt to scream.

He held my gaze, locking me into something I couldn’t explain. A tear puckered up in his

left eye, and slid down his cheek where it stopped on his top lip. Then he blinked, snapping us

out of whatever place he’d taken us to, and glanced behind my head. “Here comes your dark

knight,” he said, easing his arms away from me.

He strolled off into the last group of stragglers hanging around the Shack. How did he

know my nickname for Jalen?

I wiped away a tear rolling down my right cheek.

“Chela, there you are. You scared me, girl.” Jalen’s voice cut into the moment. He spun

me around to face him. I blinked, clearing my eyes. “What’s wrong? Did you get hurt?”

I glanced around us. The boy was gone. A dull headache joined the fuzziness in my head.

Lost inside a clouded mind, I forgot what I wanted to say. The entire night’s events were hazy.

I fumbled with my thoughts.

What happened to me in there?

About the Author:

KaSonndra Leigh lives in the City of
Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina.
She likes to write about teens doing
fantastical things in magical worlds. Her
two sons have made her promise to
write a boy book next.

She holds the MFA in creative writing,
and loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the
Indiana Jones version), and Pandora’s
Box (good writer’s block therapy). She
lives in an L-shaped house with a
garden dedicated to her grandmother. It
has a secret library complete with
fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a
desk made out of clear blue glass. When
Copper Suns Fall is her debut novel.!/kasonndraleigh

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