HAPPY RELEASE DAY and welcome back to UTC! And congratulations Thea! You won the RITA for Paranormal Romance! What was going through your head when you learned the news? And where is your award sitting right at this moment?
Hi Angela, thank you! I knew I wasn’t going to win the RITA, so when they called my name I went into shock. At the rehearsal, they told us to write a speech even if we knew were weren’t going to win, so I had scribbled down a few notes on a piece of hotel stationary. But then I didn’t know what I did with the notes, so when I got up to take the award, I have no idea what came out of my mouth. It was only after I had sat down again that I discovered I had clutched my notes the whole time in one fist.
Right now, my two awards (the other for RT Book Review’s Book of the Year award) are sitting in a little corner of my dining room. I’m hoping to get a shelf to put them on so that they’re in a secure place.
What can you tell us about Hunter's Season?
Hunter’s Season is about Xanthe, a secondary character from Devil’s Gate, who is Dark Fae and works for the crown. More specifically, she works for Tiago, who is the Dark Fae Queen Niniane Lorelle’s chief of security and mate (main characters from Storm’s Heart). The hero is the Dark Fae Chancellor Aubrey Riordan (also from Storm’s Heart).
I was excited to tell this story because it gave me—and will give the reader—a chance to catch up with what is happening in Adriyel. Also, as characters, Aubrey and Xanthe really spoke to me. I was delighted to be able to tell their story. This is the fourth Elder Races novella and closes down the story arc I started with the first novella, True Colors.
A little birdie told us that Jenn LeBlanc's awesome photography skills were used in the Hunter's Season cover. What are your thoughts on the cover?
The cover is so much fun! I love the autumn colors, and the Dark Fae male is awesome. Kudos and thanks to Angela Waters, who is the cover artist, and to Jenn and her model Karl for providing such awesome material. It was fun to squee with Jenn when she realized that her stock photo had been used!
What can you tell us about the future of The Elder Races Series/novella?
I am very excited to have just completed the draft of book six, which is Aryal’s story. I’m calling it a “hate sex buddy movie love story type thing.” There’s lots of action, surprises character development, and I think some real laugh out loud moments. Now I’m turning my attention to a proposal for book seven, and I’m excited to start getting my ideas down for that project!
As for the Elder Races novellas, I have no plans to pursue more at this point in time. I’m going to concentrate on the full length novels and developing other projects.
You are set to release a new series called Game of Shadows. The first book is called RISING DARKNESS. Where did you get the idea for this series and how will this series differ from the Elder Races?
The Game of Shadows series is actually a duology, and there are no plans to develop this further than the two books. I actually got the original idea before the Elder Races series ever came along (goodness I think it’s been something like seven years ago now!!). The first incarnation was not good, not good at all. After developing it for some time, it stalled, and I set it aside.
Then a few years later I looked at it again, and I realized two things—the first was how bad parts of it were, and the second was that there was some really good stuff in it as well.
I reworked the project and eventually Berkley offered for it, and now I’m thrilled that we have some release dates on the books. It’s been a long time coming.
The books have a strong urban fantasy feel to them, and the mythology is highly developed but it doesn’t have the same Earth as in the Elder Races world. There are four POVs, including the antagonist, so the total “feel” of the stories is quite different.
What does your writing schedule look like? How many hours do you write in a day?
My writing schedule has been very hectic since I signed my first Berkley contract, which is exciting, because I’m thrilled to have the work! As for how many hours a day, that tends to vary. On Saturday I put in close to sixteen hours as I pushed to finish the draft of book six—but that’s a bit unusual. Usually my schedule is dictated by what kind of deadline I’m facing at the time.
Are you a neat freak!? What does your writing space look like?
At the moment, my writing space is a mess because I haven’t cleaned up from this deadline. Usually I start out quite neat with a project and things go gradually downhill from there. When I finish that project, I clean my work space and get ready to do it all again.
What's the best book you've read lately? Or what books would you recommend to readers?
I’m currently reading Patty Brigg’s Fair Game. I adore her work and highly recommend her.
Favorite supernatural creature?
Right now, my favorite are the Djinn.
Can’t. Don’t have just one. Recently, though I’ve been wanting to reread some Katherine Kurtz.
Can’t. Don’t have just one. I just…. can’t. But I will say that when I was a child, I read Black Beauty something like eleven times, and I think I cried every time.
Favorite place to read?
Sprawled on my couch, with my dogs.
Thank you for having me again! It’s been a lot of fun to visit with you!
As a palace guard and assassin for the Dark Fae, Xanthe always wore a mask, hiding her emotions to do her duty. But when her identity is compromised, she trades undercover work for guarding Queen Niniane—a position that often brings her in contact with Chancellor Aubrey Riordan.Aubrey’s trust is shattered. A year ago his wife tried to assassinate their new queen in his name, a betrayal of everything he believes in. And now an attack on his life is proof the dark conspiracy is not yet over. Although injured and weak, Aubrey can’t help but be drawn to this shy assassin and loyal protector. Xanthe is everything Naida wasn’t, and the passion she stirs in him is something he thought had long passed him by.
Warning: Take a man recovering from an assassination attempt, the assassin sworn to protect him, add in a magical Tarot card deck and an isolated cabin, and watch the sparks fly!