Our Author of the Month for October 2011 is someone whose name is synonymous with these next two words: Chapter 32. Already you can guess who we are talking about because our guest today needs no introduction!
Thank you so much for stopping by today and spending time with us, we are so excited to have you as our Author of the Month and we know our readers will be too! Let's get started!
Thanks so much for having me! I’m very flattered to be your author for October, and coincidentally, October is the month that’s featured most prominently in my newest release, One Grave at a Time.
Cat Crawfield is one of the most well-loved heroines in urban fantasy. She's badass, but there's a hint of vulnerability there. How do you think Cat has grown throughout the series?
Cat has grown tremendously compared to how she was when readers first met her in Halfway to the Grave. For starters, she’s realized that her humans = good, vampires = bad viewpoint was seriously off base. For another, she came to accept herself, and that’s miles from her self-destructive tendencies in the beginning of the series. And perhaps the most difficult thing Cat had learned over the course of the series was to ask for help when the chips were down instead of trying to solve everything herself.
Bones has a large reader fan base as well. That British accent and those vampy brown eyes are hard to resist. But who is YOUR favorite character that you've written?
I’m so glad that readers have embraced Bones. He’s been wonderful to write and it’s a thrill to see that readers connect with him. Plus, I’ve loved British accents since my teenage crush on Billy Idol, so yay for others who adore Brit speak! That said, I am a fickle, fickle author, lol. My favorite character is whoever I’m writing at the time. When I write a Night Huntress book, Bones and Cat are my favorite characters. When I write a spin-off book, it’s whoever the protagonists are in that. Right now I’m writing Once Burned, the first book in the upcoming Night Prince series, so Vlad and Leila are my favorite characters. Just call me a character tramp!
In First Drop of Crimson, you introduce a new species to your series - demons. Why did you choose demons over other supernatural species and is there another species you'd like to explore in your writing at a later time?
I choose demons because they fit in the mythology I’d already laid down for my paranormal world. From the first Night Huntress book, I traced my vampire origins to the Biblical story of Cain, with a twist of the “mark” of Cain being his transformation into a vampire – according to vampires, anyway. The ghouls in my books claim that Cain was one of them (who says humans are the only ones who can fight over which theology is correct? ;). So since I used a Biblical aberration for vampires and ghouls, it seemed logical that demons would exist in my paranormal world since Biblical stories are rife with demons.
Plus, of course, it gave me a fun new creature to play with. In addition to First Drop of Crimson, demons also feature prominently in my upcoming story in The Bite Before Christmas anthology, so look for more unholy mayhem with that!
Whose book will be next in your Night Huntress World series?
The next book isn’t a Night Huntress World series, but the start of a new recurring character series. The Night Huntress World books are stand-alones, and I do intend to write more of them, but when I got the idea for a Vlad book, I realized he had more than one novel’s worth of stories. Hence, the new Night Prince series that starts with Once Burned. Right now I’m only planning to write two Vlad and Leila novels, but if I find that I have more stories with them once I’m done with the second book, their adventures may continue. We’ll see.
When you set out to writing the Night Huntress novels, did you always know you were going to have the Night Huntress World books and were building up to it, or was that something that came up along the way?
Oh, I had no idea way back when that there would be spinoff books. In truth, when I first started writing Halfway to the Grave, I didn’t know it was the start of a series. I only intended to write one book with Cat and Bones. But, as I found out, Cat and Bones had far too much going on to contain their story within one book. While I was expanding their adventures, certain side characters really stuck out in my mind and began to developing their own stories, too. By the time I sold Halfway to the Grave back in 2006, I knew I wanted to write spinoff books featuring those other characters. This came as a surprise to my new editor, who gently told me that first we had to see how Cat and Bones’s book did before we talked about spin-off books on their series.
Needless to say, romance plays a large part of your books. How do you feel about being an author who is able to straddle the line between urban fantasy and urban fantasy romance/paranormal romance?
I never intentionally set out to straddle genre lines. In fact, I didn’t even think about what genre my book was until I had to write my first query letter and realized that it didn’t really fit into traditional classifications. To me, the relationship between Cat and Bones is the driving force of the series, which put the books in the romance camp. However, all of the paranormal action and darkness in the stories qualifies them for the urban fantasy camp, too. *shrug* It’s my job to write the stories as they need to be told, and sometimes that means having equal parts romance and urban fantasy. Luckily for me, readers have enjoyed the combination of the two.
What can you tell us about Vlad's new series! We're so excited!!
Thank you! As I mentioned before, Vlad’s books will be called The Night Prince series with the first novel, Once Burned, coming out next year. His heroine, Leila, is a human with extraordinary abilities that end up throwing her and Vlad together. Leila is a great character to write because she’s no stranger to the darkness in the world, but she balances that with a sense of humor and a strong survivor’s instinct. Vlad is, of course, at turns ruthless and sexy or funny and terrifying - or all of the above. An excerpt from Once Burned will go up on my website in the next few months, but if you want an advance sneak peek, you can find the longest chunk of it at the back of Magic Graves, an e-anthology I’m in with author Ilona Andrews. There are over two chapters from Once Burned in that.
One Grave At a Time is sixth book in the Night Huntress series! What can readers expect with this release?
One Grave at a Time pits Cat and Bones against the toughest villain they’ve ever faced – a ghost named Heinrich Kramer, a former witch hunter who can manifest flesh briefly whenever he wants, and for an entire evening on Halloween night. All of Cat and Bones’s fighting skills are useless against Kramer because how do you punch, kick, or stab someone who’s made of air, and even worse, how do you kill someone who’s already dead? On top of Kramer, they also have to deal with a new operations consultant, Jason Madigan, who’s shaking things up with Cat’s old team and who has a mysterious connection to her uncle Don.
Look for a lot of action in this book, plus some sexy and touching moments. I’ve already heard several amusing comments from readers about Cat and Bones giving new meaning to the term “mile high club” in One Grave at a Time, but you’ll have to pick it up to find out what they’re talking about, heh.
Let's do some fun questions! If Cat could team up with any other kickass heroine from another series, who do you think she would choose and why?
Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews’s series. Cat and Kate would have hilarious hijinks together, and they’re both tough as nails if the going gets tough. Plus, it amuses me to imagine Cat and Kate discussing the differences between the Night Huntress vampires and the ones in the Kate’s world, or the very different examples of magic.
Let's say that Cat and Bones are hosting a dinner party. If given the chance to invite characters from other series, who would they invite?
Snort. Cat and Bones wouldn’t want to invite characters from other series over for dinner. They’d want a quiet evening at home with no one but the two of them – something they hardly ever get to have with me at the keyboard *wink*.