“I am one thousand percent a girl. A most powerful, awesome, brilliant girl who can destroy you with a thought. I can creep into your mind and persuade you to kill yourself. I am immune to your silly, little Raven blades and Shields of the Gods. I am smarter than your most intelligent officers” -Dev
You know, maybe it’s just my crappy choices, but it’s hard for me to find a decent urban fantasy with a badass protagonist (or good fight scenes). Which is too bad, because I love them. And The Girl by Madhuri Blaylock has them.
The Sanctum is an organization founded by ten families to deal with Magicals (wizards, vampires, trolls, etc.). In New York, two of their Class A Warriors, Wyatt and Ryker, are sent to hunt down a hybrid demon that is said to be very dangerous. When they find her, however, things go a little awry, especially when Wyatt falls in love with her.
Dev is a trained warrior who hates the Sanctum– and is also half angel, and half demon. When the Sanctum kills her family and tries to kill her, she accidentally slips through a portal into New York City and arrives severely injured, and at the mercy of two Sanctum warriors who at the moment want to help her, not kill her.
This is an awesome book. No other words to really describe it. It’s funny, and the characters are awesome. I’d recommend this book to just about anyone who likes strong female protagonists and adventure, as well as anyone who watches Supernatural.
INTERVIEW WITH MADHURI BLAYLOCK
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a lawyer by day, writer and avid shoe and dress buyer at all other times. I live in Jersey City, via Brooklyn via Snellville, Georgia. I came to New York to attend Barnard College, fell madly in love and never left. What remains of my southern accent comes out when I’m nervous or pissed.
I’m married to Henry, who is also a lawyer, and only a lawyer (no side gigs for that dude) because he actually likes being a lawyer (go figure), probably always wanted to be a lawyer and is really, really good at all things lawyerly. He’s also pretty hot.
We’ve got a big kid, Miss Sydney, and a little kid, the one and only Dash. They’re awesome and fierce and supremely cool and able to make me laugh at the strangest things. I would love to add a dog, some chickens, a goat and a burro to this crew. Everyone needs a burro.
Some of my favorites, in no particular order: ice cream, Kill Bill, four-inch heels, Matt Damon, tattoos, Laini Taylor, scotch on the rocks, The Sanctum trilogy, random office supplies, Martha’s Vineyard, “The Girl” aka my Mini, Rihanna, Doc Martens, tulips, photo booths and dancing like a fool.
What’s your typical writing day (or night)?
I usually write every weeknight after putting my son to sleep. I tend to stay up pretty late working, then review what I did in the morning and then on my way into work, I do more writing. It’s crazy because my commute into the city from Jersey City is only about 17 minutes, but I manage to get quite a bit of writing done during that time. On the weekends, I sneak it in wherever I can, between balancing a very active five year old, errands and life in general.
Who was your favorite character to write about in The Girl?
Easily Dev. She’s the reason I created the trilogy and I love her madly. She’s so strong and determined and presents this incredibly fierce face, because she can really back it up, she’s seriously no joke, but she’s also playful and tender and sexy.
And vulnerable. I enjoy exploring her few weaknesses, which make her somewhat human and very relatable. You root for her on so many different levels.
If you could put Jools in a fistfight with another character from fiction, who would you put her up against?
Evelyn Salt or Beatrix Kiddo, mostly because I freaking love them, not because I think either of them could beat her. No one’s beating Jools, except maybe herself.
Was there any particular inspiration for the characters or the story?
Laini Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” – it’s so beautiful and cool and completely unique and made me want to try to write something as interesting and moving, something that sticks with you.
Regarding the characters, I had been reading a lot of fantasy and paranormal books and felt as if I kept meeting these amazingly powerful and wicked girls who only became that way because a boy clued them into whatever aspect of themselves made them so awesome and wicked in the first place. I wanted to create a girl who knew she was the sh*t from jump, who didn’t need anyone telling her about herself. And so came Dev.
Can you tell us a little bit about what’s in store for Wyatt, Dev, Ryker, and Jools?
Without giving anything away, that’s tough. I can tell you in the face of tremendous peril and devastation, they each come into their own.
What’s your favorite/least favorite part about writing?
My favorite is when an idea hits you out of the blue, at the most random moment, and you just write, it just pours out of you and it’s beautiful, almost perfect as soon as it hits the paper.
My least favorite aspect is the promotion, which isn’t truly “writing”, but when you’re an Indie author, it might as well be.
Do you listen to music while you write, or do you need absolute silence?
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Amy Winehouse, Adele and Duffy. Sexy, tough girls. Not sure if my writing plays off my playlist or vice-versa, but either way, it’s working. Of course, when Adele’s “My Same” comes on, that can be a problem because it’s so distracting – I really can’t do anything but dance when I hear it.
Which author(s) do you think has inspired you the most in your writing?
As I mentioned earlier, Laini Taylor’s ability to weave a beautiful tale has completely gotten under my skin; I have a huge girl-crush on her right now. I love Marquez’s and Amado’s magical realism, Zora Neale Hurston’s ability to capture a dialect, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s exploration of myth from the female perspective and David Sedaris’ incomparable and insane wit. He’s such a gift. (Just so we’re clear, I’m not comparing myself to these writers at all!)
What books are you currently reading or that you want to read soon?
Veronica Roth’s Allegiant, Amy Joy’s The Academie, Hugh Howie’s Wool, Junot Diaz’ This is How You Lose Her
Is there anything else you like to say?
I would like to send a HUGE shout out to Kara for reading and reviewing my book and interviewing me about THE GIRL and the writing process. I am so very appreciative of the support, it means a lot. And am totally down for doing this again, any time you want. Rock on.
You can find The Sanctum Book One: The Girl here: <a href=”http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780972422758?aff=KaraSkinner”>http://www.indiebound.org/book/</a>