Keeper of the Lost Cities (2012)
Let the Sky Fall (2013)
Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.
Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.
When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.
Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned–among other things–that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She also regularly eats cupcakes for breakfast, sleeps with a bright blue stuffed elephant named Ella, and occasionally gets caught talking to imaginary people. So it was only natural for her to write stories for children. She’s the author of the middle grade series, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, and LET THE SKY FALL, a trilogy for young adults. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at shannonmessenger.com.
If LTSF had a theme song, what would it be?
Oh, I love this question! The entire idea was actually inspired by music, so there are about five “theme songs” for the story. But if I had to narrow it down to one I think “Hurricane” by Something Corporate probably is the best, since it feels like Vane’s voice to me (sort of snarky/light-hearted), and hints at the stubborn romance, and hello–there are wind references in the lyrics! *nerdy author is nerdy*
Your two main characters – Vane and Audra – did you ever consider different names for them?
Actually, their names came to me almost immediately, and they were so perfect I never considered anything else. The one who gave me trouble was Arella. She was *loosely* inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” so I considered naming her that for a while. But the name didn’t feel right. So then I found Aella, which means “Storm Wind” but it was kind of hard to pronounce and every time I typed it I’d add an “r” without meaning to, so I finally just decided to stop fighting it. The funny thing is, “Arella” means “messenger” which was sooooo unintentional.
We imagine walking on the wind might be kind of like sky-diving (read: terrifying), have you ever been sky-diving?
No, I most definitely have not been sky diving and I have no intentions of changing that. It’s not so much a fear-of-heights-thing as it is a fear-of-hurtling-myself-out-of-a-plane-and-hoping-a-piece-of-tarp-will-launch-properly-out-of-a-cheap-backpack-and-save-me thing. There are FAR too many ways that could go wrong and I kinda like being alive too much to risk it.
LTSF takes place in Coachella Valley, tell us why you picked that location and what you love most about California in general
It’s funny because the setting was the last thing I figured out, which was such a blonde moment. I grew up in the Coachella Valley, but I kept thinking that since it was a wind book I’d need to set it in Oklahoma or somewhere famous for tornados. And that didn’t feel right, since I wanted to use a setting I knew intimately, and I’ve never been to any of those places. But then I was heading back to the desert to visit my In-Laws and we drove through the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, which was a place I’d always thought, “I should set a scene here someday” and I had that “Ohhhhhhhhhh–DUH!” moment. It really was the perfect setting. As for what I love about California, well, there are MANY things, but I’d have to say the weather. Not to mention, uh… we have Disneyland!
Vane seems to love comfort food (breakfast burritos! cheesburgers!) – What are some of your favorite comfort foods?
CUPCAKES!!!!!! (yes, that needs all caps and that many exclamation marks). Chips and salsa are also one of those foods that I can’t. stop. eating. And I’m a fan of pretty much anything covered in melted cheese. Though you we will NOT talk about how many calories any of that has. (*wishes she could crave sliced carrots*)
Big thanks to Shannon for the awesome interview. We’re doing a giveaway of Let the Sky Fall below!