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EXCLUSIVE: Gena Showalter Answers Our Burning LIFEBLOOD Questions

Discover more of Ten’s journey in LIFEBLOOD, Gena Showalter’s second book in the EVERLIFE series!

Gena Showalter took us into a fantastical war between afterlives in Firstlife, which focuses in on a society where choosing your afterlife or “Everlife” is actually far more important than how you live your first. Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is imprisoned in a mental institution for her refusal to choose an Everlife, but that all changes when she’s confronted with two warring recruiters, Killian and Archer, from the two Everlives, Myriad and Troika.

After a jailbreak, confusion, several near-death experiences, and a few major reveals, Ten is back for round two in Lifeblood, which is out today!

We talked to Gena Showalter all about the characters, the major implications from book one, and what to expect this time around in an exclusive new interview. SPOILERS AHEAD!

What was your favorite thing to write in Firstlife?

GS: (First, for anyone who hasn’t read Firstlife, there are major
spoilers ahead, so read on at your own peril. ☺)

Characters are always my favorite part of crafting a book, but I especially loved writing Ten, Killian and Archer. Ten’s obsession with numbers fascinated me. Watching Killian deal as he developed genuine feelings for a girl for the first time in…well, ever delighted me. Archer’s innate, unwavering goodness inspired me, and his continued insistence that “real” poems rhyme amused me. I loved their interactions with each other. I laughed, I cried.

With her last breath, Ten chose to become a Troikan. What’s next for her in Lifeblood?

GS: In Ten’s words: “It’s time to do what I was born to do. It’s time to arise and shine. Whatever I face—be it war, persecution, hunger, simple threats or my Second-death—I will not be deterred. Time is short. Let the battle begin.”

She’s ready to fight for what she believes in, and for what she wants. Which is good, because she’s going to have to fight hard in order to survive.

How will Archer’s death affect Ten moving forward?

GS: With the war between realms heating, she has much to do and to learn if she’s going to do more than survive—if she’s going to thrive. At the same time, she must deal with her grief and guilt and navigate a home that isn’t really a home without her best friend at her side.

What consequences will Ten’s choice have for Killian and their
relationship?

GS: Killian says it best: “If I fight for you, I help my realm lose the war. If I fight against you, I lose you. There’s no middle ground. Not with us. Like you, Ten, I have to choose.”

Everyone Killian has ever loved has left him. He has trust issues a mile long. To be with Ten, he’ll have to risk everything. Will he?

Myriad and Troika, while constantly at war, actually have a lot of
similarities. It that something you purposefully wove into the plot?

GS: I know many readers have said they consider Troika a type of heaven and Myriad a type of hell. But, that isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I crafted them. To me, the “hell” realm is Many Ends and the “heaven” realm is the Rest. Troika and Myriad are merely paths that lead to light or darkness, and there will be bumps along the way, whatever path is chosen.

Let’s talk about Many Ends! This mystery otherworld really sparked our attention. Can we expect to learn more about it?

GS: Yes, you’ll definitely be learning more about Many Ends. And I wish I could spill all the details now, now, now, but all I can really say is—it’s far worse than Ten realizes.

Are there any teases about new characters you can give us?

GS: Keep an eye on Raanan. There’s something special about him…

Meredith is a true gem. I adored writing her.

Don’t be too hard on Elizabeth. She’s had a tough life.

And isn’t Levi the best? Love him!

Other than obvious content changes, how does your writing process
differ or stay the same when you’re working on a teen novel versus an adult novel?

GS: I approach adult and young adult books the same way. All I need is the grain of an idea, and I can sit down and write an entire novel. I go from beginning to end, writing every scene in order, and characters always dictate action.

Lifeblood is out now. You can order it via Amazon.

lifeblood

My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.

With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

By Kait

Kait is a New Englander, a YA book and adaptation lover, and a Slythindor, as well as a red velvet and red wine enthusiast. She likes to like things. Catch her on Twitter: @kaitmary

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