Alisa Valdes Talks about The Temptation

May 11, 2012 § 5 Comments

The storm came out of nowhere.” —From The Temptation by Alisa Valdes

Alisa Valdes read from her new YA novel The Temptation at Bookworks in Albuquerque last week. From that first line, I was mesmerized. New Mexico storms are spectacular, but add a violent car crash, a circling pack of hungry coyotes, and a mysterious cowboy with unnerving powers, and you’ve got a storm to remember.

The Temptation, the first in Alisa Valdes’ Kindred trilogy, was released by HarperTeen on April 24, 2012. It is a supernatural suspense novel about two teens from opposite worlds who are kindred spirits. She’s urban prep school, he’s rural cowboy. That isn’t their biggest obstacle, however. Their biggest obstacle is that the boy is dead.

“The idea for this book came from somewhere other than me,” said Alisa. She knew she wanted to write a Romeo and Juliet ghost story, and originally her male lead was going to be a gang member. When she told people the idea, however, they weren’t sympathetic to the character, reformed or not. She was casting about for another opposite to her girl when she saw an article about two rodeo boys from Roswell. They were handsome young men, and one had just won a competition at a PRCA. And they were dead, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning while they slept in the camper of their truck. The tragedy struck Alisa, and her male lead, Travis Hartwell, was conceived. Her book is dedicated to the two young men who died.

Author Alisa Valdes and her YA novel The Temptaion. At Bookworks bookstore in Albuquerque.

As for the girl, Alisa wanted to create a female hero in a paranormal romance who is a stronger alternative to the Twilight-Bella mold. While the Twilight books tell a story of epic love and that is wonderful, Alisa feels girls should have something more than a hero who doesn’t go to college, gets pregnant, and wants to become a vampire. Enter Shane Clark, a girl who plays violin in the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, attends prep school on an arts scholarship, and has doubts about her boyfriend. Alisa even tried to inject some unconventional braininess into her hero, by having Shane solve one of the mysteries using algebra. HarperTeen nixed that idea. “They were like, ‘Keep the ghosts, no math,’” said Alisa.

I have started The Temptation and it is a fast, exciting read with evocative imagery. If you love paranormal romance and suspense and want something different than the vampires and werewolves fare, pick up this book.

Visit Alisa’s blog and learn more about her book The Temptation.

Read my post about Alisa’s talk at the Southwest Writers meeting in December 2011.

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