Monday, February 25, 2013

Author Interview: Gillian Philip + Giveaway

Please Welcome Gillian Philip!

Gillian was kind enough to stop by today to answer all of my very important questions, providing what are quite possibly THE BEST answers imaginable (there's Spike, Clint Eastwood, evil queens, guys you want to kiss and slap, AND flesh-eating horses in this interview!)

Q: Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss?

A: Oh boy. Seth, without a doubt. I fancy him like mad and I think he’d be a great kisser. Not so much with the long-term relationship though... he’s so cranky and temperamental. Also, seriously unfaithful.

Q: Which one of your characters would you want to swap BFF charms with?

A: Jed. Jed doesn’t appear till the second book in the series, but I adore him and I think he’d be a brilliant friend. He’d also be willing to sing karaoke for a laugh, would let me steal food off his plate because it looks better than mine, and get me home safely after a wild night out. If I had to choose one person in Firebrand itself, it would be Sionnach. He’s kind of monosyllabic, but he’d be such a relaxing companion. I could watch movies with him and he wouldn’t be constantly asking me what just happened or where he’s seen that actor before.

Q: Which one of your characters do you most want to slap or give a verbal tongue lashing to?

A: And again with the Seth. In fact he quite often gets a slap or a tongue-lashing from the other characters, but he deserves it, and there are times when I’d like to do it direct.

Q: If you were transported into your book, which scene would you most want to reenact?

A: The part where Seth tames his kelpie. I would LOVE to ride a kelpie, so long as I could be guaranteed not to get eaten at the end of it. Two of my best memories involve galloping horses across wild landscapes (in the Scottish borders and on the slopes of Mount Kenya) so to reenact that scene would be kind of an extreme version.

Q: Which one of your character’s brains would you want to pick the most?

A: The evil queen, Kate NicNiven. I’d love to know what makes her tick. Actually, I’d really like to know what she’s up to. I’m not entirely sure she’s told me the truth about the ending yet. Or Seth’s mother, Lilith. I’d like to ask her what on EARTH she was thinking.

Q: Which scene do you think will surprise readers the most?
This is what I call "motivation to read book 2"

A: Um. There’s a scene in Kate NicNiven’s fortress, during a year Seth and Conal have to spend working for her. Something happens between the brothers that kind of surprised me when I was writing it.

Q: Which scene was the most fun to write?

A: The one when they leave the fortress, and go back to their own dun. A few violent things happen, but nothing anyone doesn’t deserve. And Seth is at his absolute rudest. 

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give your main character?

A: For heaven’s sake, settle down, stop being so defensive and give everyone around you a chance to get close to you. (On the other hand, that wouldn’t make for much of a story...)

Readers should add FIREBRAND to their To Be Read list if they like...

Books about:
Hey, it's a rule: Mention Spike, pictures must follow
     Lost causes and last chances, non-fluffy romance, battles, witchfinders, wolves, snarky adolescents with heroic big brothers, and flesh-eating horses.

Books/movies like:
     Um... A Fistful Of Dollars meets Macbeth meets Merlin the TV series with a dash of Kill Bill. Does that make any sense? No...

Main characters like:
     He’s surly, resentful, violent, bitchy, a bit on the prejudiced side. But underneath it all, he’s mush. I was watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer recently and he’s a little bit Spike.

Romantic leads like:
     He’s not very romantic. As I mentioned earlier, he needs a good slap, frankly. But he looks and acts rather like Billy Crudup as Ned in Stage Beauty.

About Firebrand:

At the end of the sixteenth century, religious upheaval brings fear, superstition, and doubt to the lives of mortals. Yet unbeknownst to them, another world lies just beyond the Veil: the realm of the Sithe, a fierce and beautiful people for whom a full-mortal life is but the blink of an eye. The Veil protects and hides their world…but it is fraying at the edges, and not all think it should be repaired.

Discarded by his mother and ignored by his father, sixteen-year-old Seth MacGregor has grown up half wild in his father’s fortress, with only his idolized older brother, Conal, for family. When Conal quarrels with the Sithe queen and is forced into exile in the full-mortal world, Seth volunteers to go with him.

But life beyond the Veil is even more dangerous than they expected, and Seth and Conal soon find themselves embroiled in a witch-hunt—in which they are the quarry. Trapped between the queen’s machinations at home and the superstitious violence of the otherworld, Seth must act before both of them are fed to the witch-hunters’ fires…

Brimming with intrigue and rebellion, Firebrand is the first book in the Rebel Angels series by Gillian Philip, the Carnegie Medal–nominated author of Crossing the Line and multi-award-nominated Bad Faith.

Author bio:

Further proof of author awesomeness
I live in the north-east highlands of Scotland, with one husband, two children, three dogs (Cluny, Milo and Otto), two psychotic cats (the Ghost and the Darkness), a slayer hamster (Buffy), three chickens (Mapp, Lucia and Mrs Norris) and a lot of nervous fish. I have taken a solemn vow not to get any more pets. I will probably break this vow.

Writing for a living is (a) what I always wanted to do; (b) occasionally frustrating; (c) a lot of fun – I take dictation from the characters in my head, who spend their lives telling me what’s going to happen next.

But I like it that I never know just how it’s all going to end – not till the fat lady sings, the villain meets a suitably sticky end, and the boy gets the girl (or indeed the boy).

As well as full-length books, I write fiction for secondary Key Stage 3. Life Of The Party, Mind’s Eye, Sea Fever and Cyber Fever have been published by Evans Brothers, and short stories The Changeling, Rockface, Misty and The Kindest Cut appear in their sci fi, crime, ghost and comedy collections. And I ghostwrite fiction for companies including Hothouse and Working Partners. (From Goodreads)

Thank you so much for stopping by, Gillian!

Oh Seth, doesn't he sound wonderful? In that totally not a guy I'd like in real life but exactly the kind I'll swoon all over in fiction kind of way. Though Jed sounds like a pretty good real-life catch. Any guy who would let you eat food off his plate because it looks good is a keeper.

(and, shhhh, while watching a movie, I'm totally the person asking what just happened or where I've seen that actor before).

Have you read Firebrand?
How would you answer these questions?
(Remember, no spoilers please!) 

Want a chance to win your own copy of Firebrand? 

Info for the giveaway:
  • What you can win: A finished hardcover copy of Firebrand by Gillian Philip!
  • As always, you do NOT have to be a follower
  • You must have a US/CA mailing address
  • You must be 13 years of age or older
  • One entry per person
  • Your address is not required, but including it will help with sending the book out to you sooner
  • I will contact the winner through email and the winner will have 24 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen 
  • This giveaway closes on March 9th 


  1. Fab interview! Firebrand's great - I'll try and answer the questions later on, just going to work at the moment.

    1. Glad to hear positive feedback on Firebrand! Thanks :)

  2. Hey, thank you for having me, Small Review, and thank you for hosting a giveaway! I looooved all your questions :-)

    1. Oh the pleasure is all mine! I adored your answers :)

  3. Fun interview-it reminds me that I really would love to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I need to find some friends who own the complete series.

    1. Watch, as in, for the first time? Oh my gosh, I wish I had copies because I would be sending them to you immediately. I think you'd like Riley :)

  4. This author is so cool I so want to read this book now! I'll try to get my hot little paws on it. And YAY for Spike pictures! I miss that man.

    1. I miss him too! I remember when there were rumors of a Spike spinoff show. *sigh* If only :)

  5. Eeep! Seth sounds like someone excellent to fancy, but not a hero I could handle. He's unfaithful? Nope. Not me. That's a deal-breaker!

    1. Unfaithful is a deal breaker for me too. Luckily, I'm pretty good at ignoring things I don't like when it comes to fictional men :) I've even gone so far as changing their names :P

  6. Amazing interview....and now I totally miss Buffy!

    I obviously need to read Firebrand and meet Seth. Jed sounds fabulous too!

    1. Thanks! I miss Buffy too :(

      Seth and Jed do both sound fantastic! I'm really looking forward to meeting both of them.

  7. Um...I would love to ride a kelpie.

    No need to enter me in the contest since I have a copy already, but what a fun interview! Thanks for featuring it, SR. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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