Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Interview with Christine Fonseca - and Yummy Pasteli!

We've got the awesome Christine Fonseca with us today, author of the soon-to-be-released Dies Irae, a novella that is launching her Requiem series. Christine was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and also provided a yummy recipe for a delicious Greek treat, something the characters in Dies Irae would really love.

About Christine Fonseca
School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her debut YA Gothic series, The Requiem Series, including DIES IRAE and LACRIMOSA, examines the role of redemption, sacrifice and love. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.

DIES IRAE will be released next week!! Be sure to check it out.

Some sacrifices should never be made—even for love.

Mikayel lives by one rule—obey the orders of the angelic Council at all costs. But when he and his friends, Azza and Demi, are sent to Earth as teenagers, following the rules is more difficult than they expected.

Being human isn’t the only problem facing the three angels. Unbeknownst to the Council, demonic activity is on the rise, threatening to break a tenuous peace that has existed for a millennia.

Caught in a struggle for power with unseen demonic forces, and fighting against his rising emotional, Mikayel must now decide how many rules he is willing to break to save his friends, a decision that could reignite an ancient war and will threaten the only thing that matters to the angels, the survival of humanity.

Author Endorsement(s):
“Dies Irae is the perfect introduction to Christine Fonseca’s Requiem series. The beauty of the words will tempt you, the tragedy of the story will break you, and the love, woven throughout like music through the trees, will haunt you for days afterward. Dies Irae promises a tale unlike any you’ve read before.”
~Ali Cross, Author of BECOME


OA - Describe the best cook you know and something wonderful he or she has served you. 
CF - My mom is easily the best cook I have known. My childhood memories are steeped with the sights and sounds of her cooking – making everything from her famous Leek soup (so amazingly good), to Beef Bourguignon (also amazing) to delicious holiday meals. She instilled a love of cooking in me and now, whenever I find myself creating something new in the kitchen, I think of mom and her influence on me. Incidentally, she is also the one who instilled such a passion for reading and books.

OA - Too much salt can ruin an exquisite meal, and the perfect dessert tempers earlier mistakes. What ingredients can destroy a book through overuse or salvage a book despite its flaws? 
CF - OOhh, great question. I think that nothing kills a story faster than purple prose- thick, overused language that bogs down the pacing and plot. No matter how fabulous the storyline, or how authentic the characters, purple prose can ruin a great book. As for what saves even the worse book – characters I love. I can think of a few examples of books that were not written particularly well, nor were they particularly well crafted stories. But I loved them. Why? The characters. Something in the characters connected with me on a personal level, enabling me to overlook the typically fatal flaws within the story itself.

OA - If you could invite a character to dinner who would it be and what would you serve?
CF - Another great question! I would definitely invite Aydan, one of the main characters from the series. He is not in DIES IRAE, sadly, but he is a main character in LACRIMOSA. As for what our meal would consist of, that’s easy. Aydan is a highly sensual character. His meal would need to be as well. Additionally, it needs to be a hearty meal. He is a warrior of sorts, so he needs his protein and a balance of carbs. Here is the menu I’d prepare for him:

• Green herb salad with champagne vinaigrette
• Steak with shallot-red wine sauce
• Artichokes with béarnaise sauce
• Warm molten chocolate cakes

A rich meal, but a yummy one. Hmm…now I want to make it!

OA - If you were marooned on an island, and Pots 'N Pens granted your wish for only one book and one food, what would you choose? 
CF - Hmm, see this is hard, because I think wine and a book is ideal. Or cheese, wine and a book. But the cheese would not last on an island. And the wine…well, the wine may still be a great choice. After all, I can try to catch fish…right??? So, how about a fab bottle of wine, and a copy of anything by Cassie Clare or Libba Bray. Yes, that would work. At least temporarily.

RECIPE!! Pasteli (pronounced pah-STEH-lee):

Treats my characters would love! Mikayel and Azza love this special sweet treat Demi makes for them. Hannah and the other teens in the village can often be seen nibbling these treats when they should be finishing their chores. It’s fabulously easy to make and keeps the angels human bodies well fueled for their battles:

• 1 1/3 cup honey
• 3 cups hulled sesame seeds (approx 1 pound of seeds)

In a medium saucepan, bring honey to a boil. Add sesame seeds, stirring continuously. Continue to cook, thoroughly mixing the seeds and honey. When the mixture returns to a boil, remove from heat. Spread hot mixture thinly (about ¼ inch high) and evenly on a piece of parchment paper (on a cool surface). When the pasteli cools to room temperature, refrigerate on parchment paper (no covering needed). Chill for 2-3 hours. Using kitchen shears, cut the pasteli and parchment paper into small pieces. Peel off the paper before eating. YUM!

Thanks for joining us today, Christine!! For more information on Christine and her books, be sure to visit the links above. And LACRIMOSA, the first full length novel in the Requiem series, will be out very soon. Here's a little teaser:

As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the warrior angels called Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.

He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel.

Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself.


  1. Great interview! I've never thought of doing béarnaise sauce with artichokes! YUM. Good luck on your releases, Christine!