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Alyson Noel Alyson Noel

FAQ: The Immortals Series

Other than the fact that it's about a teen living in Laguna Beach, CA, Evermore is a bit of a departure from your other books with all of its supernatural elements—what inspired you to write this series?
A few years ago, I went through a period of intense grief where I lost three people I loved in five horrible months, and then almost lost my husband to leukemia and it felt like my entire world was crashing down (he's in full remission now). Going through those tough times got me thinking a lot about life and death, mortality and immortality, and how we can still feel a bond with our loved ones even long after they're gone, and since I've always been interested in all things paranormal, Ever and Damen's story was born from there.

Your main character, Ever, is psychic and can see people's auras, if you could have any special power, what would it be?
When I first started writing the book, I was so jealous of Ever's powers, but it wasn't long before I realized what a burden it was for her. Knowing a person's entire life story by touch and hearing everyone's thoughts would feel more than a little invasive. Or as Ever puts it, "Hearing your friend's thoughts requires a heck of a lot of forgiveness." Though I still think seeing auras would be cool...

The Damen character in Evermore is very dreamy. I fell just a little bit in love when I read it. Is he inspired by anyone you know?
Damen encompasses all the traits I find appealing—he's smart, artistic, inventive, open minded, curious, adventurous, well mannered, mysterious, oh, and he's skilled in the kitchen too! Hmmm, now that I think about it, he shares a lot of the same traits as my husband . . .I definitely married a Renaissance man!

If Evermore were to be turned into a movie, who would be your top choice to play Ever and Damen?
It's funny, because writing my books is such a visual experience, I often feel like I'm transcribing the movie in my head! And while I can see all of my characters so clearly, down to the smallest detail, that also makes it hard for me to cast them with real life actors. Though I wouldn't mind sitting in on the casting call for Damen's role . . .

What made you decide to write a paranormal book?
Since I was a little kid I've been fascinated by anything to do with the supernatural—seriously, Casper the Friendly Ghost was my favorite cartoon! So I'm actually kind of surprised I didn't write a paranormal sooner, especially since I love being in Ever and Damen's world.

What sort of research did you do to prepare?
The research was, and continues to be, the best part of the process! It's the perfect excuse to study the subjects I've always been interested in. So anytime I'm lying on the couch reading a book about psychic phenomenon, or watching a documentary on near death experiences, I can honestly say, "Don't bother me, I'm working!"

I've read a ton of books on ghosts, psychics, near death experiences, past lives, auras, chakras, crystals, reincarnation—you name it! But aside from all the book reading, Internet searching, and documentary watching, I also took a three-day psychic development seminar with world famous medium and best selling author, James Van Praagh, and it was absolutely fascinating! He had us engaging in all sorts of meditations and psychic exercises, and I must say the results really exceeded my expectations—I was blown away!

I also did a couple past life regressions with bestselling author Dr. Brian L Weiss who's a leading pioneer in the field. And while I was a bit skeptical going in, I have to say the visions I saw under hypnosis were nothing like I thought they would be!

So you actually believe in all of this stuff?
I like to keep an open mind. A willingness to consider all the possibilities and be open to whatever the universe has to offer is what keeps the creativity flowing. There's a limited number of "what ifs" if I assume I already have all the answers. Besides, I've experienced enough unexplained phenomenon to ever say never.