Adam Silvera Talks Harry Potter, X-Men, And His New Novel, Infinity Reaper

If you’re one of the many who read Adam Silvera’s New York Times best-selling Infinity Son, you know he left us hanging in a major way—which is why so many fans can’t wait to dive into Infinity Reaper. After surviving the Blood Casters in the first book, all should be well with brothers Brighton and Emil. But Brighton’s decision to drink the Reaper’s Blood has backfired, and now Emil is watching him succumb to a sickness that looks all too similar to the one that killed their father. And then things seem to take an even deeper, darker turn—testing the bonds of both brotherhood and friendship.

In this fast-paced sequel, Silvera is back with more compelling action and a diverse cast of heroes and villains, in an alternate New York where some are born with powers, while others steal them from the blood of endangered magical creatures. Silvera’s impressive ability to create deep and emotional characters, even throughout an action- and fantasy-packed book, is consistent in this second installment of the Infinity Cycle—sure to join the ranks with his other New York Times best-selling titles, They Both Die in the End and What If It’s Us.

So, what are we waiting for? Dead Darlings is thrilled to bring you Adam Silvera!

The first book in this series, Infinity Son, ends on a gripping cliffhanger. Did you know from the beginning that it would end that way? Aspiring writers like me want to know, how do you know where one book in a series should end and another begin?

This was absolutely always the ending for Infinity Son, and I love it so much. It’s the first time I got to write a cliffhanger after experiencing so many as a reader, and I’m thrilled that people have been hit by it. Even if you see it coming, you’re dreading what comes next in Infinity Reaper—and your instincts are right. For me, I thought about this ending because it felt like an appropriate climax for the general plot of the first book while also promising something bigger in the second novel.

With all the celestial, specters, and the different types of magical creatures and beings in this book, the Infinity Cycle series is filled with its own fantasy elements. How did you come up with the ideas for these magical beings, and the society they live in? Did the magic system come first, or did you build it as you wrote?

The world came to me from two different fantasy novels I was working on. One was a dark fairytale for kids that had the specters and creatures, and another was an adult novel where people had powers because of the stars. All that got combined into this story for a multitude of reasons, and originally, I was creating a New York-esque city and then instead decided on just writing New York with magic. I had the most fun with writing all the different breeds of phoenixes—they’ve always been my favorite magical creature.

Infinity Reaper switches among many points of view. How did you keep track of them? And how do you think allowing the reader into the thoughts of so many different characters influenced the story as a whole?

I used the same four perspectives in Infinity Son, but I make sure I outline heavily before writing because all the characters have storylines at one point or another that split them from each other. Though if they’re ever in the same space at the same time, I have to weigh which narrator is most likely to be impacted by whatever is going on. Making sure the voices are distinct can be challenging with four narrators, but it allows the reader different insights to different corners of the world. We have two brothers with the same upbringing, but are wildly different. Then we have a girl who was born with power and a boy who chose it.

Was there anything you cut from this book—something you wish you didn’t have to? Why did it have to go?

I cut some world-building details, which in retrospect feels like a mistake given some confusion readers have experienced while settling into this world, but I did it to make sure that everything the narrators were thinking was organic to the world. Having them stop to explain everything in internal monologues felt more for reader benefits than authenticity to voice. It’s a tricky line to walk.

Infinity Reaper has a strong cast of diverse main and supporting characters. Brothers Emil and Brighton have many differences. If you had to choose, which brother is most like you? And if you could pick any of the character’s abilities in Infinity Reaper, whose would you choose?

I’m definitely an Emil with a rising Brighton moon, if you will. I write Emil very similarly to how I imagine I would operate if I had magical powers. And I’d also love his powers—phoenix fire, flying, healing, and a special new power you experience in Reaper.

Did you have any literary or cinematic influences while writing the Infinity Cycle series? Was there any particular work that convinced you that you wanted to write in the SciFi/fantasy genre?

I grew up a fan of Harry Potter and X-Men and the tv shows Charmed and Supernatural and all of those combined made me want to write my own magical universe. I often say that if you wanted the X-Men movies to be queerer, you’ll like the Infinity Cycle.

You’ve written several successful realistic YA novels. How is writing magical YA fantasy different?

I still place character first, but now I get to write them having magical powers, which is way more fun. I love writing action scenes, people discovering they’re magical, and secrets that are generations in the making. It’s definitely the biggest story I’ve gotten to tell so far.

And lastly, what’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring YA author like me?

Write to prove that you love writing, not just to get published. And don’t forget that the process that works for one person may not work for you. And that’s okay! Figure out what works best for you, and good luck!

Infinity Reaper is out today! Get your copy now at Indie Bound.

Adam Silvera is the New York Times best-selling author of Infinity Son, They Both Die at the End, More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me, and What If It’s Us with Becky Albertalli. All his novels have received multiple starred reviews. He worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, community manager at a content development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. He was born and raised in New York. He lives in Los Angeles. And is tall for no reason. Visit him online at www.adamsilvera.com

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