1. Tell us about River, your book that won the 2007 Eppie award for Best Fantasy.
River is about an alpha female wolf who was bitten and turned into a teenage human girl, and the trials and tribulations as she locates the werewolf who turned her and attempts to go back home. It was the fourth book I’d written but the first I’d submitted and had published anywhere; I signed the contract for it with Mundania Press in 2004 when I was twenty-one.
2. I understand Bloodlines is your new series. How is it different from River?
The two are as different as night and day. River is a much quieter book, character driven without a conventional plot arc; Bloodlines is more balls to the wall fun, traditional urban fantasy with an ass-kicking vampire as the lead. Bloodlines was originally published in 2008, but was going to be re-released with a new cover alongside the sequel; I’d asked if I could rewrite it at the time and my request was granted. The new version is over twenty thousand words heavier, and print copies along with the ebook that’s exclusive to Mundania have a bonus short story included.
3. Can we look forward to a new book or series in the future?
The sequel to Bloodlines, Hunter, will be out this summer (after a self-imposed limbo—it was originally scheduled for publication February 2009). I’m at work on the third book in that series, Lineage. I also have a few other unpublished series in the works.
4. As a reader, if you could pick your three favorite books, what would they be?
My very favourite book I could read over and over is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Beyond that, I have trouble picking just one from my many favourite authors; I love everything by Louise Cooper (though I’ve read Sacrament of Night about six times over the years), and I don’t think I could ever pick just one Lilith Saintcrow novel as all of hers are must-reads for me.
5. As an editor, how do you see the future of publishing?
I’m hesitant to say anything because it’s one of those subjects where even the most uninformed people have an opinion and I don’t believe any of us can be certain—I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to presume to know. I do, however, think the rumours of its death have been highly exaggerated, if not altogether fabricated.
6. Is there anything you’re so sick of seeing you feel like your head will explode?
Twilight clones—I don’t find very old men stalking teen girls terribly romantic. Also, there are bigger problems in life than love triangles (and if I had two hot, paranormal guys fighting over me, I would not be whining about it—I’d start a harem). I’m finding YA paranormal as a genre very exhausting right now.
7. What would you like to see more of?
At Mundania, non-European mythologies used in fantasy (but please, please get them right—readers can tell if you haven’t done any research), and new twists on old tropes in paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I get a lot of books that read like Lord of the Rings fanfic, and at the risk of having rotten fruit thrown at me, I didn’t like the original and have no interest in carbon copies. At Awe-Struck, I’m looking for more non-erotic romance with same-sex couples, and other “non-traditional” romances; love comes in all shapes, sizes, and colours, and I’d like to see more of a variety.
Thank you for having me!
The phone rang. I met Nate’s eyes as it continued to ring; he gave a slight nod. I was closer, so I lifted the receiver to my ear and listened.
Another glance at Nate; he gave me a questioning look and I shrugged, then let out a heavy sigh.
“I’m kinda busy burglarizing someone’s house right now and don’t have all day,” I said. “Talk.”
Nate muttered something I couldn’t entirely make out, but it sounded like his rich boy education taught him a great number of expletives.
“Would you kindly put Nate on?” a man asked on the other line.
“Gladly.” I passed the phone over.
Nate listened for a moment, then leaned back in his chair and exhaled loudly. “It’s Peter.” He gestured to the web cam on the computer. “He’s watching us from another location.”
“Well, here’s hoping he hasn’t called the cops yet. Or his neighbors haven’t. Could you maybe hurry this up?”
They spoke for a few minutes and I wandered toward the back window, winding around stacks of books as I went. I parted the curtains, peered out into the dark—
Then stepped back swiftly, curtains fluttering into place again.
Two figures in black circled the house, guns drawn. Skulking the perimeter, wearing black ski masks... Shit.
“Our friends are here,” I quietly called to Nate. “Make it quick.”
“While I appreciate the need to speed things up,” Nate raised his voice loud enough that I knew he spoke to me and not Peter, “this isn’t The Zara Lain Show and you’re not calling all the shots.”
I rolled my eyes. “‘You’re not the boss of me?’ Really? What are you—five?”
He didn’t miss a beat. “Says the bossy eight-year-old.”
Ugh, we so didn’t have time for this. I spun away from him again, my long ponytail of hair whipping my shoulder, and unholstered a gun. Either I’d shoot him or the people circling the house. Hadn’t decided yet.
“Yes, Lain,” he said in a lower voice. “You do? Interesting.”
“Tea and hugs later, girls—like maybe when we’re not about to be attacked.”
An irritated sigh. “Top shelf, green binding, and in the corner—got it. I have a disposable cell; I’ll call in a few days.” The chair creaked as Nate rose and returned the phone to its cradle, then he joined me at the window.
“He recommended a book for us?” I peered between the space in the curtains, acutely aware of Nate right there, warm, breathing, and smelling of faintly of wintery soap and a spicy aftershave over my shoulder.
I glanced back and up; he looked out the window instead of at me. “‘Mmm-hmm?’ Well, what’s it say? Does it have our demons in it?”
“It’s a book on vampires. Killing them with magic, specifically.”
I opened my mouth to snark about how we weren’t dealing with vampires, then caught his drift. The prick. “Aww, you wouldn’t kill me, Nate.”
“It’s crossed my mind, if only for the blessed silence it would bring.”
“Nope.” I batted my eyelashes dramatically. “I’m just too pretty.”
His gaze shifted to look down at me, blue moonlight etching the strong lines of his face. Tension simmered in the air and a little chill walked my spine. One of his dark brown brows rose skeptically.
“Constantly disagreeing with me on this point would probably hurt my feelings if I had any.”