Thanky Aimee for this great interview. And, by the way, I was impressed to hear that you have Romanian roots!
1. Tell us something about yourself. How it started your passion for books, for written?
I'm the daughter of a librarian so I grew up reading everything in sight! I always knew I wanted to be a writer and I spent years writing for entertainment magazines before making the leap to fiction.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write the kind of book I would've loved when I was a teen: something with mystery, romance, a sense of adventure and, most importantly, a strong heroine.
3. Music is part of your inspiration?
Definitely! I love listening to music while I write! I listened to a lot of Coldplay and 30 Seconds to Mars while working on ILLUMINATE.
4. See the world through new eyes since you become a writer?
What a great question! When I'm in the middle of writing something, I see the world from an arm's length away, like I'm just outside of the action, and I like to think that that fresh perspective filters into my work and makes it more alive.
5. What was the think of the first person who read your book?
My first reader was my sister. She's a perfect reader because she enjoys the same kinds of stories I do, she has a sharp editing eye and she's not afraid to be honest with me. Luckily, she liked ILLUMINATE, and my heroine Haven, from the start!
6. If in real life you could choose to be one of the fantasy characters, what would it be? Why?
If I could be any fantasy character, I'd love to be Alice in Wonderland. That's one of my favorite books and it would be such fun to slip down the rabbit hole into that whimsical world.
7. Got any other passion besides writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm reading! And I also love museum-hopping: I live in Washington, DC, surrounded by all the Smithsonian museums, it's fantastic!
8. What advice would you give writers who are starting out?
Write, write, write! The more you write the better you'll get at it. I like to think I get stronger every time I sit down at my laptop. And also: read, read, read!
9. A message to readers from Romania:
Thank you so much for your interest in ILLUMINATE, I hope you enjoy it! I'm a big fan of Romania: my grandmother was from there!
Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.
As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?
Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.
About the Author
Aimee Agresti is an entertainment journalist with ten years of experience writing, editing, and chatting up celebrities. A former staff writer for Us Weekly magazine, she has interviewed everyone from Angelina Jolie and George Clooney to the stars of The Hills, and even penned the magazine’s coffee table book Inside Hollywood.
In addition to Us, her work has appeared in People, Premiere, DC Magazine, The Washington Post, Boston magazine, Women’s Health, Mademoiselle, and the New York Observer. She lives in Washington, DC.
Source about the author: Goodreads - Aimee Agresti