The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete


The Soul Thief (The Angel of Death Series #1) by Majanka Verstraete
Publisher: Booktrope
Published On: November 11, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal

When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.
Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.
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I limped through the hallway, careful not to walk too fast because jerky movements made me dizzy. The longer I walked, the better I felt. Sure, it drained my energy but at least it cheered me up.
Then I stopped dead in my tracks and my jaw dropped to the floor.
The red-haired girl from the accident stood at the end of the hallway staring right at me, her green eyes boring into mine. She motioned for me to come closer. Then she turned around and started walking away.
I followed her as fast as I could, forgetting all about my broken body and bruises. I half-stumbled, half-tumbled through the hallway and went around the corner to the corridor she’d disappeared into.
She stood near a door at the end of this next hallway, tapping her foot on the ground and glancing at her watch. She rolled her eyes when she saw me and then vanished into the room.
My heart stopped beating and my stomach twisted, and this time around it wasn’t from the hospital food. The girl had literally vanished through the door without opening it. Like a ghost.
You're hallucinating, Riley. People don’t just walk through doors. Ghosts aren’t real.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
“The Soul Thief” is the first book in a brand new YA series, “The Angel of Death Series”. It follows Riley, a sixteen-year-old girl who wakes up one day at the scene of an accident and watches as a strange girl steals a young boy’s soul.
When Riley wakes up at the hospital later on, she runs into the girl again, who tells her Riley is a Halfling Angel of Death. Now Riley must come to terms with her new reality, figure out her new powers, and deal with her new mentor, a Guardian named Leander. But when girls Riley’s age start dying in mysterious circumstances, she must find out what’s happening, and fast, before she’s the next victim.

What inspired you to write it?
Riley. The main character. She’s been haunting my mind for ages, coming up with all sorts of new adventures, and new characters to join her in her series of books. She’s quite persistent.
This book started with the main character, then I got the idea for the other characters, and only then, the plot popped up. Usually it’s the other way around, so that’s quite strange.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?

My cover artist and I came up with it together. I wanted something that would catch people’s attention. The cover had to show, Riley, of course, but I also wanted to show to everyone that she’s an Angel of Death – hence the black angel wings, and the skulls on the floor. Then the cover also shows the portal to the afterlife, another indicator she’s an angel of death.
This is my favorite cover to date. I absolutely love it.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?

Tough question. I would like Taylor Momsen as Riley. She’s the first actress who comes to mind who looks kind of like Riley does.
I’d like Toby Regbo to play Leander. Caitlin Stasey could play Katie, one of Riley’s best friends. Her other friends, Michelle and Craig, could be played by Claire Holt and Zach Roerig.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
I’ve always liked reading about the paranormal. The YA genre has boomed in the last few years, and I find it more interesting to read and write about young adults than about adults, for some reason. Maybe that’s because at age twenty-four, I don’t really consider myself an adult just yet.

What made you want to become an author?
I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember. When I was seven years old, I finished my first “book” featuring witches, vampires, and just about any paranormal creature you can think of. The dream to become an author haunted me ever since.

How do you come up with character names?
The characters tend to name themselves. When Riley popped up in my mind, she already had a name. The author characters did too. Sometimes I do struggle with a name, and then I keep changing it until it sounds right. When it’s right, I’ll know it.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
The Harry Potter series, especially “Goblet of Fire”, my favorite book in the entire series.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Everything. Another book. A movie. A newspaper article. A person I ran into on the train. Every aspect of life inspires me.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I can write just about anywhere, but my favourite place would be on the train. With no internet connection, I’m not as easily distracted. Sometimes I write 5000 words on my way back and to university (a two hour train ride).

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
Vampire Academy. I loved those books, and the movie managed to stay true to the humoristic side of the book. Often movies lose some of the magic the book has, but I felt like that wasn’t the case here.

Name two of your favourite authors.
Cassandra Clare (especially the Infernal Devices series) and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?

Poe. No doubt in my mind. I’d love to sit down and have a chat with the master of the macabre. I want to know where he got his inspiration from, and how he died – it’s a mystery up to this day whether it was foul play or an illness.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I like playing World of Warcraft. Well, you asked for random. World of Warcraft is a massive multiplayer online game, where you can choose a class, like a warlock, paladin, shaman, druid, and so on, and then play with others. I’ve been playing it for five years or so, and I love it. It’s slightly addictive.

Who would play you in the movie about your life? 
Image of Candice Accola by Gage Skidmore 
If they made a movie about my life, I’d like Candice Accola to play the role of yours truly. We have the same hair color and she’s a great actress.

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
I live in Belgium. We have waffles and beer, and French fries are originally from Belgium. So they should actually be called Belgian fries. We also have chocolate.

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
It’s NaNoWriMo, and I want to finish my latest new adult paranormal romance, “Ghostslayer”. Then I hope to find the right publisher for it.
I have two chapter books releasing on December 1st, “The Clumsy Magician” and “Grave Error”.
Then I’d also like to finish editing another YA paranormal, tentatively titled “Allegro Academy”, and find a good home for it. I’m also working on the sequel to “The Soul Thief”, “Demonic Pact”, which will hopefully release in 2015.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
I have so many items on my bucket list it’s hard to pick just one. I’d like to travel the worlds, so I’ll go for that one.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
The myth about Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table has always been one of my favorites, especially after I read “Mists of Avalon”.

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. I was about eight-nine, if I remember well, when the series first aired, and I loved it. Buffy soon became my favorite person, and a role model. 

Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library.
She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her.
She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in.
Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”

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