We consumed Gena Showlater’s Alice in Wonderland/zombie mashup series the White Rabbit Chronicles like it was our job. That cliffhanger in Firstlife left us hungry for more, more, more! We were SO excited to catch up with Gena to talk swoonworthy guys, OTP romance and, of course, her ability to addict us with heart-pounding storytelling.

  

J: Your books are so addicting, but we can’t decide what we love more, the heart-stopping action or ship-worthy romance. When you write, what comes first, the plot or the relationships?

GS: What comes first differs from book to book, series to series. With the White Rabbit Chronicles, I had the title first, the plot second and the romance last.  With the Everlife series, I had the plot, the romance, changed my mind about the romance, made adjustments to the plot, then the title. But at the end of the day, whatever the book or series, the romance is what fascinates me most.

J: Us too! And you write the BEST bad boys with hearts of gold. You must love them as much as we do! What do you think makes a guy character attractive, or what are your favorite traits to discover in a literary love interest?

GS: First, thank you! Second, I soooo love my guys. Literary bad boys are the equivalent of chocolate cupcakes stuffed with marshmallows and deep fried until they melt in your mouth. My absolute favorite trait in a fictional love interest is the icy warrior who melts for only one girl.

J: Ok, first…where do we find those chocolate cupcakes? Haha! And second…we love the icy warriors, too! But your female characters also happen to be  girl bosses! What do you see as Ali’s greatest strength and weakness? How about Ten?
 
GS: Ali: Strength—she’s fearless. Not even the thought of dying a painful death can stop her. Weakness—sometimes she lets her emotions lead her down a dark path.

Ten: Strength—her desire to do what’s right, regardless of what she feels or what others will think. Weakness—the fear of making a wrong decision. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

J: Speaking of leaps of faith, what inspired the Myriad and Troika realms in the Everlife series?

GS: I love scripture, and there are numerous scriptures about kingdoms not of this earth. Kingdom vs. kingdom, a war between spiritual forces, and the power of choice. Life and death. Blessing and cursing. Light and dark. Good and evil. Those themes combined and the idea to write a book where life as we know it is just a dress rehearsal and real life actually begins after death, where two opposite realms are in power, was born.

J: Which character is going offer up the most surprises in Lifeblood?

GS:  Killian Flynn, my current book crush. Is he a villain? Is he a boy in love? Only time will tell!

J: Trust me. We’ll find out because we’ll be first in line to get our hands on Lifeblood. So spill…will there be a third book?

GS: Yes! I’m currently working on Everlife, the third book in the Everlife series, and oh, wow, things are heating up! So much is at stake—lives, realms…eternity. I can’t say much more without giving away spoilers, but I will admit things go from bad to worse for Tenley Lockwood. Of course, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Five Quick Questions

J: Your first book crush?
GS: First? Not sure. Favorite? Death in the Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole

J: Favorite guilty pleasure?
GS: Ask the two chocolate cupcakes I just scarfed down

J: Haha! YUM. OK, your favorite line from a book is…
GS: From Lifeblood: 143, 10. (So much meaning behind those numbers!)

J: The YA author most likely to get you out of a writing slump?
GS: Kresley Cole

J: Your favorite book cover from all your YA series books is…
GS: Firstlife