We'd like to thank Lisa Voisin for stopping by and talking about The Watcher with us as well as her writing.
I think I first started dreaming of being a writer in the 9th grade, though I was writing stories and poems in elementary school as well. In high school, it became quite a pastime. I needed an outlet for my feelings and imagination.
What inspired The Watcher?
The Watcher was inspired by many ideas: the extent of human potential, the soul’s journey through this lifetime and others, how the past keeps repeating itself until we learn to change it, and the idea of good versus evil and how everyone plays a part in that. While this book is a love story with angels and demons in it, I also wanted to touch on human potential, on forgiveness, and how we conduct ourselves in this lifetime.
The story itself started with an idea I had in 2006 about a boy who woke up one day to discover he was really an angel, but it wasn’t until I read my first YA paranormal romance that I found a fit for him. I felt it was best to cover the challenges he faced by pairing him with a human girl who was the only one who could see what he really did.
Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
The character of Michael came first, then an idea for a plot, and it grew from there.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging when you were writing The Watcher?
I wrote The Watcher in 2009, before angels were a trend in YA Paranormal Romance, but I was a complete novice. I needed time to learn the craft. So the hardest part was watching a genre take off, knowing my work wasn’t ready yet, knowing it would be compared to other books about angels and trusting that what I wrote was unique.
If you could be one character from The Watcher who would it be? Why?
I’d like to be Arielle. She’s the right combination of tough and gentle and is really good at being an angel. Though I don’t talk about it much in the book, I know her story well. I’d love to be able to smite demons the way she does. She kicks ass.
When writing The Watcher, was there anyone or anything specific that inspired the character Michael?
Michael started as an idea. I wanted to show an angel who was fallen but yearned for his redemption. I wanted to include a spiritual side and show how deeply loving he is, not only with Mia but also in his role as an angel. I wanted to give him a past, a sense of remorse over wrongdoings, and conflicting desires, where he desires Mia as much as he yearns for his own redemption. He’s in a constant double-bind.
In your opinion what three words best describe Mia?
Mia is strong, compassionate, and loyal.
With everything that happened at the end of the book with Michael, Mia and Damiel, was that the way it was originally planned? Or did you have something else in mind when you first started.
Though I’m learning to plot things out now, I wrote The Watcher from start to finish. So when I first started, I had no idea where it would go. But the main story arc –with Michael, Mia, and Damiel—is the same as when I first wrote it four years ago. I tightened up the sub-plots and some of the incidents through the editing process.
Will The Watcher become a series of books?
I hope so! I am currently rewriting book two and mapping out book three.
Coffee or Tea?
Milk chocolate or Dark?
Favorite novel and why?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s about an apocalypse gone wrong, and it was the first time I’d read a book with an angel and a demon in it. I was hooked! I love Neil Gaiman’s dark sense of foreboding and Terry Pratchett’s humor!
Hard copy books or e-books? Why?
Hard copy books, though it’s a tough call. While I love the convenience and portability of e-books, I love the feel of paper.
What kind of weather do you write best in?
I write best on mild, sunny afternoons. Preferably in a not so busy café (though a cabin in the woods would be nice too!)
Favorite author and why?
Nail Gaiman. I love his voice (written and spoken). I also love his originality.
If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?
It’s difficult not to be biased here and choose my own books, because they live as movies inside my own head! I’ve ALWAYS wanted to see Good Omens made into a movie, but have no idea who I’d want to play to main characters: Aziraphale and Crawley, though when I watch Castiel and Crowley together in TV’s Supernatural, I think of them.
After studying English literature at the University of Toronto and creative writing at Simon Fraser University, Lisa Voisin had the great fortune of being mentored by Nancy Richler and A.M. Dellamonica through Betsy Warland's Vancouver Manuscript Intensive solo program. She is also a teacher of meditation with the Training in Power Academy
A member of the SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), she can usually be found writing at a local cafe in her home town of Vancouver, B.C.
A self-proclaimed coffee lover, when Lisa's not writing, you'll find her meditating in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine!