Heh, I hope everyone is doing well today!
Chess has a major flaw in her character. She is an addict. Why did you decide to give Chess such an unusual character trait?
I was sick of seeing urban fantasy heroines who didn't really have any actual, real problems or flaws, honestly, or who seemed to all have the exact same problems/flaws. And it was a subject I'd wanted to explore for a while. I just wanted to do something a bit darker and a bit more serious, to write an imperfect character, one I could relate to instead of all those heroines out there who just didn't seem anything like me at all.
The Downspeech in your books makes your books very unique and even helps readers differentiate between characters. Why did you decide to create this new dialect?
For those exact reasons, basically; to do something different, to add character, to deepen the world and further immerse the reader in it.
How would you say Chess has grown throughout the series? Do you feel like she has overcome her greatest obstacle?
She's definitely grown, absolutely. In the beginning she had no one in her life, beyond Edsel--who is certainly her friend but only very casually, it's not like they used to go out for drinks together or anything--and Elder Griffin, who is of course her superior at work and so again, not someone she spent time with outside of that. She was completely alone. Now she has actual friends, people she cares about who care about her; her life has really filled up in the last six months or so of dramatic time.
Terrible isn't your average hero. He's not the dashing, handsome figure in your books, but readers still have a favorable response to him. What do you think it is about Terrible that makes every reader want to be his dame?
Well, I can only say what appeals to me about him, I can't say what it might be for anyone else. I think there are a lot of factors: his strength and general badassishness are big ones, heh, but I think there's a lot more to it than that, too. He's smart, and he's brave, and honorable. He'll do anything for Chess without even thinking, and that kind of loyalty is pretty rare, I think. And of course he demands that sort of loyalty and acceptance in return, too; he may be completely head-over-heels in love, but he refuses to let Chess treat him badly. He stands up for himself. He makes her acknowledge his own feelings, and forces her to take them into account. I think he's teaching her things, and I think she's doing the same.
If you could live in any author's urban fantasy world, whose fictional world would you like to live in?
Mine, of course; it means too much to me not to want to give it a try!
As a churchwitch Chess has tattoos on her arms and chest, do you have any tattoos, would you ever have one?
I have four, yes. A lizard on my left shoulderblade, a little equality symbol on my right ankle, a Seshat hieroglyph on my right upper arm (Seshat is the Egyptian Goddess of writing; the glyph itself means "writing,") and the phrase "I am not afraid" on my right bicep. And I definitely want to get more; I'm planning some nautical stars next, I think.
So it's Friday night and Terrible wants to do something special with Chess, maybe a night out. What would he do to woo his girl? *Feel free to get as descriptive as you'd like*
Hmm. That's a tough one, actually, because neither of them are very much into the whole "special nights out" thing; they're not very comfortable places other than Downside, really, and anything they do together is "special" because they're with each other. In between CoG and SM they spent a few nights at a hotel together, but that was more so they could get room service and not worry about being seen together for a few days; they didn't really leave the room. I would say he'd take her to see a band she really likes but they do that all the time anyway.
If you could form a soundtrack for the Downside Ghosts series, what tracks would you pick?
There are soundtracks to each book, actually; they're on my website: click here
Is there a possibility that the Downside Ghosts series will surpass the six contracted books?
I honestly don't know. I'd certainly like to get to finish the story.
SACRIFICIAL MAGIC has just been released! Congratulations! For those who are anxious for news on this book, how would you describe this book compared to the others in the series?
I think it's more emotional; I think it focuses more heavily on Chess's fears and worries than the others (and than the future ones do). Being in a real relationship is such a different thing for her, such a confusing and scary thing, and it's a big problem for her in this one. So I definitely think there's a bit of extra emphasis on that. It's almost a transitioning book for her, where she's trying to accept this huge change in her life, and of course change isn't easy for her and being emotionally vulnerable is incredibly difficult for her.
Will we ever see more of Chess's dark past and/or the reasons why she became an addict in the first place?
I think there's a bit more of it in every book, but of course I want to be very careful with it; I want to make it clear what happened to her and why but also not make the books *about* that or show so much that it either distracts or upsets the reader. I think at this point in the series it's pretty clear that she had a horrific childhood, you know, and there's a point where you're no longer just revealing the character or allowing the reader to understand her more deeply but are instead just exploiting, and I don't want to be exploited or exploit others, frankly, so I try not to cross that line.
Thank you so much for stopping by UTC and letting us pick your brain a bit!
Ms. Kane is giving away a signed copy of Sacrificial Magic!!!
When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.
Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.
As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.
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