Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Blitz: Interview + Giveaway ~ No Angel by Helen Keeble


Happy birthday to No Angel! This book seems like it would be a real funny one, so I thought I'd take part in the book blitz for it!

No Angel by Helen Keeble 
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication date: October 8th, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

Synopsis:
Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn’t exactly heaven on Earth.

Raffi’s about to learn that St. Mary’s is actually a hub for demons-and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he’s no angel-but it’s pretty hard to deny that there’s some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.

Helen Keeble’s debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it “refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.” No Angel brings you angels and demons like you’ve never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.

Interview with Helen Keeble about Rafael Angelos
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1. How would you describe Rafael Angelos, the hero of No Angel?

He’s an odd mix of great self-confidence and crushing anxiety – for example, he’s supremely (and mistakenly) certain that all girls will find him irresistibly good-looking, but at the same time desperately unsure how to act in a romantic situation! And despite his attempts to cultivate an aura of cool, he’s always accidentally letting his inner dork show through.

He’d describe himself as “just a normal guy”… apart from this whole halo-and-wings thing, which he is REALLY not happy about!

2. In No Angel, Rafael Angelos discovers that he is the only male student at a previously all-girls school. Where did you get the idea for that?

I was listening to a radio program about private single-sex schools in England, and whether parents thought that they were still a good idea. There was an interview with the Head of a boys’ school that had gone mixed-sex because they were struggling to attract enough pupils. He mentioned that the first year they had only had five girls in the entire school! I immediately started wondering what it would like to be the ONLY girl at a boys’ school… and then the only boy at a girls’ school. And No Angel was born!

3. One boy surrounded by girls? Sounds like there’s a lot of potential for romance...

Yep, and that drives a lot of the comedy! Rafael’s main motivation in coming to the previously all-girls’ school is because he thinks he’ll have his pick of the lovely ladies. Unfortunately for him, it turns out that the hottest girl in the school wants to kill him, the nicest girl in the school is more interested in saving the world than noticing Rafael’s charms (not to mention that she also has the world’s most terrifying mother), and while he does end up with a fan club pining after him, they’re entirely pre-pubescent. And all of that is just the start of his troubles…

4. Did you find it difficult to write from the perspective of a teenage boy?

Not really, because we’re all just people ultimately, and I think that gives us all more commonalities than differences. But boys do have different social pressures on them than teenage girls, and it was very interesting to have a chance to explore that.

5. Who’s your favorite character in No Angel?

I love them all, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for the Headmistress, who is like all the worst, meanest, scariest teachers you ever had rolled up into one personality and magnified by a hundred. It’s so much fun to write someone that sarcastic!

6. Are any of the characters in No Angel based on people you know?

Not directly, although my mom used to be a teacher, so a lot of the teachers in the book are inspired by some of her war-stories. 

(I hasten to add that my mom was NEVER sarcastic to students like the Headmistress is in No Angel… though she may sometimes secretly have wished to let rip with a devastating put-down to snotty kids sometimes!) 

There is however a lot of myself in the various No Angel characters – one of them has my relentless (and I’m told occasionally aggravating) optimism, another of them is a weird loner geek like I was as a teen, one of them has a terrible pre-teen unrequited crush on an older boy like I… um, that is, I definitely never had one of those. Nope. No way. *shifty eyes* Uh, next question!

7. Your first book, Fang Girl, was a paranormal comedy about a vampire fan girl who becomes a real vampire. Is No Angel a sequel?

No, they’re completely unrelated – no characters from Fang Girl show up in No Angel. There isn’t any mention of vampires in No Angel, and Fang Girl didn’t have any angels or demons in it, so the jury is out as to whether they’re even set in the same world. (Even I haven’t quite made up my mind on that one)

However, for those who enjoyed Fang Girl, I can promise that No Angel has the same sense of humor, including affectionate mockery of ridiculous paranormal romance tropes! Basically, what I do to vampires in Fang Girl, I do to angels in No Angel.

8. Fun fact about No Angel?

It’s dedicated to my mother, with apologies. The reason for the apologies will become obvious after reading the book…
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Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness
for peanut butter crackers washed down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen. She also has another YA paranormal comedy novel (provisionally titled NO ANGEL) scheduled for Sept 2013.


Grand prize giveaway
Prize (open internationally): A signed copy of No Angel


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