#Author #Interview: Jill Archer
Hi, Jill. Welcome to my blog. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us.
Thanks, Lissette! I’m happy to be here.
Would you take a moment and introduce yourself to us?
Hello, everyone! J I’m Jill Archer and I write the Noon Onyx series, which is a genre-bending fantasy series published by Ace featuring a 21 year-old post grad magic user.
How long have you been writing?
About ten years. In another life, I used to be a lawyer. I started writing when I first went on maternity leave. My oldest is now eleven.
Can you tell us a little more about your book series, Noon Onyx?
Some people have called the series New Adult fiction. I call it genre-bending fantasy. Dark Light of Day very much had a New Adult plot. It centered on Noon’s struggle for self-acceptance and also had strong sub-plots focused on her romantic and academic challenges. I am honestly not sure whether Fiery Edge of Steel can be considered New Adult fiction or not. I spent just as much time developing Noon’s internal growth as I did in the first book, and it’s written in a youthful tone that would appeal to readers who like YA and NA, but the question that Noon faces in Fiery Edge of Steel is not one that is typically faced by 21 year olds. Fiery Edge of Steel is an adventure story that will appeal to lovers of fantasy, romance, magic, and mystery.
Fiery Edge of Steel continues where book one left off. How has Noon matured since the onset of said book?
Fiery Edge of Steel opens only weeks after Dark Light of Day’s end so it’s not as if Noon is remarkably more mature than she last was at the end of DLOD. Basically, the story opens with an execution and sets up Noon’s internal struggle for book #2 – Is she capable of executing a demon in cold blood?
Now to some of you this may seem like a no brainer. Demons are evil, right? Why should anyone even care whether they live or die? But questions like that are exactly why I wanted to create this unusual world as a backdrop for telling these stories.
Noon is a character who values life in all of its forms. Her ideal would be that all living things are treated equally and respectfully: humans, angels, and demons.
What makes Noon so different from the rest of the characters in the series?
The quick answer is that she’s a woman who was born with waning magic (very unusual, almost unheard of, in her world). But the other reason Noon is so different is that she tries to determine right from wrong on her own. She doesn’t just blindly listen to the people in power telling her to do something that she doesn’t feel is right. She may (or may not) ultimately come to agree with them, but she’s a character who stubbornly wants to make those decisions on her own.
How does Noon feel about being a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords? Does knowing such things hinder or help her in her own goals?
She mostly thinks of it in terms of how it affects her magic and the role she will be expected to play in Haljan society as a result of her “noble” blood. Most of the descendants of Luck’s army have magic (the women typically have waxing or healing magic and the men waning or destructive magic), but some are born without any magic. In Dark Light of Day, no doubt Noon would have preferred to have been born without any magic at all rather than to have been born with waning magic. Her relationship to her magic and her role in Haljan society is part of her character arc.
In Dark Light of Day, her personal goal was primarily to hide while she found a way to reverse her magic, and secondarily to survive her training. Ironically, it’s her magic – her blood – that helps her to survive, and that she ultimately comes to accept at the end of the first book.
Noon has had to come to terms with a myriad of choices made. How do they define her in knowing that she possesses the magic she does within her?
The primary storyline in Dark Light of Day was Noon’s struggle for self-acceptance. Possessing waning magic made Noon feel uncomfortable for several reasons. First, waning magic is fiery, destructive, and deadly. Noon doesn’t want to be associated with death. She wants to be associated with life. Second, it’s the only type of magic that can be used to control demons. In the beginning, Noon wants nothing to do with demons. Third, usually only men are born with waning magic. Noon might have been able to more easily accept her waning magic, despite its masculine association, but for the first two problems. Together – in the beginning – it all just makes her miserable.
In becoming an outsider, of sorts, because of the fact that she refuses to take a life, is Noon comfortable with people seeing her in that light?
Noon is used to being an outsider. All her life she’s lived in hiding. She was raised as a Hyrke (a human with no magic). It’s only recently (about a third of the way through Dark Light of Day) that she decided to declare her waning magic and start training to become a Maegester, or demon peacekeeper.
So, even though she’s now doing what she’s legally obligated to do, she still retains that core part of herself that operates outside the norm and thinks for herself. She’s a character with her own morality. And she’s not comfortable with shooting first and asking questions later. She finds the idea of that anathema. And if the whole world told her she was wrong for feeling that way, she wouldn’t care.
Of course, just because she’s a character with strong inner convictions doesn’t mean that she doesn’t make mistakes. She does! Big ones, sometimes. If this character didn’t start off with so much to learn, the stories wouldn’t be as interesting, entertaining, funny, and moving to me (and hopefully readers) as they are.
What is Noon’s favorite spell to wield?
As a waning magic user, Noon can’t cast spells. (Only the Angels can cast spells). But she can be the “target” of a spell. In Fiery Edge of Steel, Noon will have to choose a spellcasting partner for her first field assignment. I won’t say who it is (although you can likely guess). And while I would love to say what her favorite spells are for her Guardian Angel to cast over her, I’m going to hold off saying for now.
Do you have a favorite character in Fiery Edge of Steel?
In other interviews I’ve “cheated” and said that Noon and Ari, newcomer Rafe Sinclair and Fara Vanderlin (another Angel character who’s awesome but didn’t make it into the back cover copy) were all my favorites. To switch things up for this interview though, I’m going to change my answer to Virtus. I don’t want to say too much about him because he’s not introduced until the end of Chapter 9, but he’s adorable and fierce and definitely a worthy candidate for a favorite character (although he is very much a secondary character).
Will there be a third book in the Noon Onyx series?
Yes! J The third book is WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE. I’m not sure what the release date will be yet, but I’ll let everyone know when I do. It involves a race, but that’s all I’m willing to say for now.
Do you have any recommendations for books that you think the blog’s readers may enjoy?
I really enjoyed GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers. Unfortunately, except for that, I haven’t had much time to read lately. Hoping to remedy that this summer!
Thank you so much for the interview, Jill. I look forward to more of your work and wish you the best of success always.
Thank you for the interview, Lissette! I appreciated the opportunity to share a bit more about Noon and her world with your readers. Best wishes to you as well!
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Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.
Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, along with a lack of control and a reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider among her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.
When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task that will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined.…
About The Author:
Jill Archer is the author of Dark Light of Day, the first book in the Noon Onyx series. Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jill now lives in rural Maryland with her two children and her husband, who is a recreational pilot. She blogs about books, movies, interesting people, and various weekend adventures.
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