I know when you originally finished A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, you felt very happy with the ending — but ultimately, your editor wanted more. Tell us about the process of rethinking the story to write the sequel, A WANT SO WICKED.
I made the decision to write the sequel the day we sold A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL. But I had NO IDEA how I would accomplish that. Originally, I intended to write Onika’s story—but after thinking about the end of ANSB, I realized there was still so much to learn about the main characters. A WANT SO WICKED picks up about nine months after ANSB ends, and I think it helps deepen the story of the original, while creating a universe of its own.
How does Onika’s story fit into WANT?
We only got a taste of what Onika was about in A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL. Now we learn the HOW and WHY of becoming a Shadow. How far would someone go to be remembered? What are the consequences of that decision? The answer is a dark one, and seeing Onika go through it helps to understand her and see how her existence fits into the universe.
NEED was very much about the light, but you’ve said WANT is much more about darkness and the Shadows. Tell us how this figures into the story!
The mythology of the Forgotten is the main aspect of book one, but now we explore the other side. Although the choice to stay or go was never easy, now we find out exactly what happens when a Forgotten turns away from the light—we find out what the opposite of hope is. And we find out where true evil starts.
And Harlin’s back! Did you have a favorite Harlin moment?
In this book? Oh, man. Harlin has changed a bit from A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL—having survived a serious trauma and now having a new purpose. But I think his maturity is for the better, and let me just say this—there is an amazingly sexy haircut scene. I’ve said too much.
Anything else you want people to know about WANT?
I think AWSW is the natural progression of the story from A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL. If you questioned anything about why or how from the first book, you’ll get your explanations here. And you’ll also get to see two people fall in love—the kind that can transcend lifetimes—which was really fun to write.
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