1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
This is a very difficult question, but if I could choose only one, then my favorite character from my novel ARCHON is Angela, my main protagonist. I love all of my characters, but Angela's vulnerability and growing integrity have really stuck with me and the more that I see what she is destined to become, the more excited I get. Angela is a very real person. She has a lot of flaws, and comes from a past that has been extremely unforgiving and harsh, but that past has also molded her into someone who is so honest and straightforward with herself that she ends up making a stark contrast to the other characters, who only know how to hide their true selves behind a proverbial mask. I wanted to write Angela as a person who you would want in your corner, that you could see yourself being friends with, but who also grows and grows from someone who doesn't make the best choices, to someone very admirable.
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
I'm a pop culture kind of girl, and I like to stay on top of trends in movies, music, and novels. But I do think academia is important for analyzing those trends and exmaining where we are taking them, and what that might mean for entertainment in the future.
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
My inspirations to write come from a million different sources, but I love anime and manga, and I can really see the influence it has had on the way I write and what kind of stories excite me. But anything can give me an awesome idea, and I find myself watching movies I love, listening to popular music, and even flipping through artbooks for that one image, or sentence, or scene that will get my creative juices flowing.
9. Food you could eat everyday.
I could eat birthday cake every day. Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. My literal slice of heaven on earth.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I have a pretty balanced mix going where I outline half the book and let the other half sort itself out as I write. The truth is, it's very important to know what your end goal for your characters and story happens to be, but it's the route you take there that can develop so many twists and turns, the process eventually surprises even the author. Some characters are easy to work with for me--they follow the plan I've laid out almost exactly. But some prove to take on a life of their own, and that can be where the real magic of storytelling happens. I always think it's more fun to be surprised, even when, as the the author, it should be very hard to surprise you.
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
I think anyone who shoos cartoons aside as being just for children is really missing out on something special. Animation allows you to play with and present a story in a way that no other medium does. And one style of animation can be very different from another. Japanese anime is a great example of what animation can do when it's matched to an amazingly imaginative, and often deep or mature, story-line. I think it's rather sad that in America, cartoons are for children and very few other people, and that there is very little room for creativity outside of comedic animation like The Simpsons or Family Guy. Perhaps that will change in the future as more varities of entertainment get more exposure through the internet.
Sabrina Benulis's debut novel Archon, the first installment in The Books of Raziel trilogy, comes out December 27, 2011 from Harper Voyager. In 2007, Sabrina graduated from Seton Hill University with a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction , where an early version of her book was also her graduating thesis. She married soon afterwards, and she and her husband currently live in northeastern Pennsylvania with a spoiled cockatiel and a lot of rural wildlife. Sabrina is hard at work on the next novel in the series, but when she isn't writing, catch her watching anime, playing video games, or getting some much needed sleep.