FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have a burning question you don’t see answered here, please feel free to contact me and I’ll see about tackling it ASAP!
My debut urban fantasy, Red Hot Fury, debuted from Penguin’s Ace Books imprint in late June, 2010. Book 2, Green-Eyed Envy, will be available on June 28, 2011. So far, Ace has contracted three Shades of Fury books – but I would love to write as many as they want to buy from me. I don’t have a set number of books in mind, but since each book stands alone while at the same time tying into more overreaching themes, the series could easily go on for quite awhile. Sales and publisher allowing!
I get this question a lot from people who aren’t familiar with the genre. Since this usually happens in real life, I try to boil down the genre to something a general audience can immediately recognize. “Think Twilight or Harry Potter for adults. Or if you’re familiar with the television shows Charmed, Angel, or Buffy–it’s kind of like that. Books that mix magic and the real world.” At that point, they usually light up and say, “Aha!”
They will be available in major bookstores, independent bookstores, and online through websites such as Amazon.com. Once I have specific details, I will add links to the major chain bookstore’s websites and Amazon.com. Additionally, both Red Hot Fury and Green-Eyed Envy will be available as e-books as of June 28, 2011.
We have the book’s POV character, Marissa–Fury and Chief Magical Investigator of my fictional Boston–to thank for that. She actually first appeared in a WIP (work in progress) of mine called Furious which features her 16-year-old niece, Cori, as the POV character. I had actually come up with the idea for doing a YA urban fantasy with a Fury as the main character, and when the livejournal community Fangs, Fur, and Fey ran a query contest, I whipped up a one-page query letter and entered it. I actually did really well and got to the next stage which included (if I recall correctly) getting my first five pages read. There was a lot of positive interest in the premise and my query letter, so I sat down and wrote a couple of chapters. But something just wasn’t quite gelling for me.
Eventually, I realized that I kept getting swept up in the backstory of how Cori’s other aunt, Vanessa–Marissa’s sister Fury and best friend–was murdered. And Riss kept demanding more and more stage time, and finally I had to face the inevitable. Time to set aside Cori’s story, with the plan to get back to it later, and in the meantime let Riss take center stage. I haven’t regretted that decision at all. I really, truly think that Red Hot Fury is the best book I’ve written to date, and I just love the cast of characters and the world-building. I have always been fascinated with the mythology of various cultures and love mixing them up and using them for inspiration.
It might be easier to ask what types don’t appear in Red Hot Fury…I love mixing things up, adding my own spin, and featuring items from cultures across the world. Off the top of my head, in Red Hot Fury we have Egyptian, Celtic, Nordic, and German mythologies. Some of the “creatures” featured are Furies, Harpies, Sidhe (AKA faeries/elves), Giants, Goblins, Warhounds, Bastai (AKA Cats)…okay, so the last two are races I came up with, but they are partially based on Egyptian and Celtic mythology–two races of shapeshifters who are also arch enemies–I guess they’re sorta my homage to Tom and Jerry!
I’m a huge proponent of diversity (not just to be “PC”–primarily because I’ve always been fascinated by other people and their experiences and absolutely love learning about them) so often feature characters of various cultures/races in my writing. Typically it’s not something I “consciously” do–my characters just ARE whatever they ARE. I don’t go through and keep a quota when creating characters that says, “Oh! X character is <insert culture/race here> so Y character has to be <insert culture/race here> to balance things out! It just happens that way.
That said, most of my viewpoint characters do tend to be white females simply because right now, that’s my most authentic voice–but I’m definitely planning to branch out the more I grow as a writer.