OBS reviewer Lee, brings us a new interview with author Michaela Debelius and her book ‘Decoy’. They chat about the inspiration behind the characters, research done for the story, love triangles, future character appearances and her next work. Enjoy!
Read Decoy (Noel Casey, Book 1) here.
Lee: What inspired the creation of the character of Noel Casey? She’s a great female protagonist who defies a lot of stereotypes.
M.L.: Thank you! I’m really humbled to hear your opinion of Noel. I’ve always had an appreciation for people who aren’t what they appear to be, in a good way, of course. Decoy really formed around Noel Casey, not vice versa. I knew I wanted her to be highly intelligent but have one odd-ball penchant. That’s where the make-up and clothes came in. When you think of a scientist, you think of lab coats and flat sneakers. I certainly don’t draw up fluted skirts and knee-high boots.
Lee: Did you do any research about genetics and biology before writing Decoy?
M.L.: Some information I already knew from my college education. I have a degree, but it has absolutely nothing to do with English or anything related to writing. Everything else was researched. I try to be as accurate as possible when utilizing information I’m not familiar with. Recently, I researched how to pick a lock for an upcoming novel. If the government ever looked into my browser history they’d think I’m a serial-killing thief. It’s kind of disturbing the information that can be found. Surprisingly, I’ve even searched for specific names of clothing items in Noel’s wardrobe. I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal.
Lee: Is Fort Braeden inspired by a real place?
M.L.: No. I wish it was though. There are some very attractive men walking around Braeden.
Lee: There is a lot of information thrown at both Noel and the reader in Decoy. Is there anything you wrote that you ended up cutting, and were you unhappy to do so?
M.L.: There is a lot of information! I really contemplated how to approach that. In the end, I felt Noel would have expected something along those lines considering her background and time in the military. To hand it to her piece by piece would have been against her nature. She’s used to briefings and reports. She’s accustomed to being inundated. The reader probably isn’t, but I felt it would demonstrate the vortex of “what the hell is happening?” that’s whirling through her head.
I actually wrote a completely different second half of the book that totally changed the reveal. It can be defeating at times to write pages of story and then realize it has to go, but that’s how writing is. There are plenty of extras that have been removed from Decoy, including an alternate outcome for the balcony scene.
Lee: Are we going to see any more of the “tickers”? What inspired their creation?
M.L.: There will definitely be more tickers. They’re persistent creatures. They came about in an odd way. I live in an area that has a lot of farmland. One night my husband and I were driving home and as he turned the corner we drove into a cloud of kicked-up dirt. For whatever reason, I instantly thought of Noel and what would be waiting for her in that haze. From there the tickers were born.
Lee: How do you see the love triangle progressing? Will Noel’s feelings for Taylor start to get in the way of her attraction to Killian?
M.L.: There is distinct complexity in their relationship that will absolutely be explored in future books. That’s all I’m willing to say. *evil smile*
Lee: Apart from being torn between Killian and Taylor, what other obstacles will Noel have to overcome in the future?
M.L.: Those bloody tickers aren’t done with her yet. We’re also going to see a lot more of what’s lurking in Braeden. Trust me, the tickers are the least of her problems.
Lee: How many books about Noel, Killian, and Taylor do you plan on writing?
M.L.: I’m honestly not sure. As of now I feel there’s at least three, but I can’t say anything definitive. I know I don’t want to let it get past the point of entertaining. I’ve read some wonderful series that should have ended a book or two ago. I don’t want to do that here.
Lee: Do you have any other novels or stories in the works that take place outside of Noel Casey’s world?
M.L.: The next book I release will not be a Noel Casey novel. Her follow up will be out early summer of 2013.
At the moment I’m working on a story with an immortal protagonist. Unlike most immortal characters, she doesn’t have any special abilities. She’s jaded and detached, even from her own kind. Her character was developed after spending too much time watching the news. I thought about what it would be like to live forever in a world that can often be cruel. It’d be easy to become overwhelmed with negativity if life was endless and lacked a final outcome. Of course, there’s a romantic sub-plot as well.
Thank you to author Michaela Debelius for an interesting and fun interview!