Summer Webb Seriously FanGirls With Jennifer L. Armentrout in This Exclusive Interview

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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UHM YES HI GOOD MORNING I AM VERY EXCITED TODAY!!!!! Why am I excited you ask? Because I have an amazing interview to share!!!

For those of you who know me, you know how much I love Jennifer Armentrout. I have literally read every book she has ever written. (Which is a lot!!! Like so many!!!!) And I have loved them all, so it goes without saying that I adored The Darkest Star, which is a spinoff of the LUX series, and releases on Oct 30th 2018 with Tor Teen. With that being said, I won’t keep you in suspense anymore, so let’s just get right into the interview!!

Summer: One of the reasons that I fell in love with your books so long ago is because you write the DREAMIEST book boys. All of them are incredibly attractive with VERY different personalities, so to start things out, I thought it would be fun to have you sort some of them into Hogwarts houses! I’ll give you a name, and you give me their house!

JLA:

Daemon Black (the original BAE) — Slytherin
Seth — Slytherin
TINK (this counts, right? He can be sorted? LOL) — He would be a house elf
KYLER (frigid is one of my forever faves) — Gryffindor
Ollie (I LOVE him) — Hufflepuff
Zayne — Gryffindor

Summer: Speaking of Zayne, I was SO EXCITED to find out that you would be writing a spinoff of his story called Beneath the Skin, which releases next year, and of course I LOVED The Darkest Star, which is also a spin off/companion for another series. What do you think is the hardest part of jumping back into a world you previously created? Do you feel any pressure to live up to the original series, especially since your books have such die-hard fans?

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

JLA: I think the hardest part is writing a story that appeals to existing readers and new ones. You have to find the perfect balance between reintroducing readers to the world and easing new readers in without boring or overwhelming them, either. I don’t think it’s the easiest thing to do. 

Summer: Okay, I am going to try to keep this question spoiler-free, since The Darkest Star doesn’t release for a few more months. While reading, I couldn’t help but notice a few parallels between the way that the luxen are treated by some humans and the way that immigrants are treated by certain groups of people. Both are just attempting to live out their lives in a peaceful manner but are targeted by hate groups that cause distress for their everyday lives. Was this purposeful or do you think that our current society is what leads me to draw these similarities? 

JLA: Interestingly, when I finished the last book in the Lux Series (Opposition) back in 2013, I had already began to set up the world where ARP exists (Alien Registration Program) and knew that was something I wanted to explore — how humans reacted to the presence of aliens, so this was before the events of 2017-2018 (Lord, doesn’t it feel longer than that?). But I immediately saw the parallels in TDS, so that was something my editor and I were really careful with to make sure that any parallels were done in a sensitive manner. But I wanted to explore this, because if readers find themselves disturbed by how the Luxens are treated, but aren’t paying attention to what is happening in real life to real human beings, then hopefully TDS will aid in changing their viewpoints. I think that is the amazing thing with paranormal/fantasy/scifi books. It may be about aliens, vampires or fairies, but it can still speak to very real, societal issues. It can teach people. It can wake them up. 

Summer: Lux is one of the very first series that I found and read through the bookish community, and they have continued to remain one of my all-times favorites, but I also really love everything that you have written. You are one of the few authors who successfully spans almost all genres and does it well. But one of the common denominators in your books is romance, even subtly. My favorite thing about your romance writing is that each relationship is totally different from all of the others that you have written. They all feel fresh and new with each book. What is your trick to writing the most swoon worthy book boys and making your readers fall in love with them?

JLA: Thank you! Writing romance is a lot tougher than non-writers of romance realize. It takes a lot of effort to make each couple and each romance not read like a copy and paste of a previous book. One of the things I focus on is making sure the couple reads real. That the progression of their romance is organic and not forced. 

Summer: Alright, now that we have picked your brain about writing, can you share with us what you are working on next? Can you give us a little snippet?! PRETTY PLEASE!!!!! 

JLA: I am actually working on the sequel to The Darkest Star. I can’t share any tidbits, but I can tell you that that whole world virtually explodes in the second book, and you’ll see a lot more familiar characters from the Lux Series that you may not have seen in the first book.  

Summer: THANKS X1000000 for doing this with me! I can’t wait for beneath the skin and for everyone to experience The Darkest Star!!!  

JLA: Thank you so much for having me! 

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