Yes, it’s almost eleven at night and I’m only posting this now. It was a busy day, that’s all I can say. But still, guess what I received in the mail today?
Woo! What a prize. Opening up that box felt like cracking open a treasure chest and getting an eyeful of precious gems. I love this job! And I’m not the only one who’s excited. There are three other lovely ladies in the Wild Thing anthology, and to celebrate its release, we all did a little round-robin interview that we passed on to one another. Here’s my Q&A, courtesy of Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day, and Meljean Brook (who is hosting a fun scavenger hunt at her blog):
Was there any research that you did for this novella that surprised you? Something that you hadn’t known before, or that fascinated you so much that your interest went far beyond the bounds of the story?
I wrote this novella entirely by ear—which means that the only research I did was for location. Easy enough, given that I used to live in Seattle. I was also there for my high school reunion only a few weeks before I began writing the story. No surprises, but I was reminded once again that each city has its own particular character, with nuances as distinct as any person.
You wrote “Hunter Kiss” in first-person present tense and totally pulled it off! Why did you decide to go that route—and did it start out that way, or did you change the tense/POV part of the way through?
Thank you! As for why, I really didn’t have a choice. From the very beginning, there was no other way to write Maxine’s voice—which was strong, so strong. The present tense also came naturally—there was an immediacy to it, an urgency, that seemed to go hand-in-hand with the heroine and her life, her journey—which is all about now, the present, keeping herself firmly in the moment. Because Maxine really doesn’t have much of a future—and the past is just too painful to think about.
In honor of WILD THING, what is the wildest experience you’ve had as an author recently?
Getting stopped on a Taiwanese mountain in the middle of the night by soldiers armed with M16s; helping my mom fight off a squirrel exploding out of a toilet; having very nice homeless men sneak up on me to smell my hair—none of which is especially wild, but does make for some good stories every now and then. I’ve got a lot more, but like I said, nothing too wild.
Just for fun, what is your favorite movie in the paranormal genre? Or top 5, if you can’t narrow it down?
My tastes are all over the place, like crazy. When it comes to movies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., and Blade Runner give me chills every time I see them. I loved the fantasy flick, Krull when I was little, as well as Legend—which is still good, though I prefer the Director’s Cut version. The television series, Beauty and the Beast, still remains a favorite—though I don’t know if it counts as a paranormal—but then, there’s always Wings of Desire, It’s A Wonderful Life, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Willow, The Neverending Story, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Red Sonja, and so on. So, um, yeah. I like my entertainment.
Do you have any pre-writing or during-writing rituals or habits you use to get your muses flowing?
Not really. I just get up and go.
In this particular story, what actor and actress would you choose to play the leading roles?
Hard one! The actresses I would choose are all dead or a bit older than the heroine. Still, give me a mix of young Shirley McClaine, Audrey Hepburn, and Leslie Caron—and there, you have Maxine Kiss. A combination of vulnerable and tough, with that good strong spirit shining through.
As for the hero, Grant Cooperon—former priest, man of all trades, and a really good guy…
I mean, come on! Look at that man!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on another Dirk & Steele novel, which is about Amiri, the Kenyan shape-shifter who was first introduced in SHADOW TOUCH. The book is still untitled, but it’s going to be an action thriller romance set in contemporary Africa—and will be released in February 2008. I am having a fabulous time writing his story, and the heroine is crazy—in the best way possible.
What comes out next for you?
Soul Song, the next book in my Dirk & Steele series. It’s about a merman, a prince and warrior of the sea, who has been captured by a witch who wishes to use him as her personal slave and assassin. It’s an informal sequel to A Dream of Stone and Shadows, and also ties into Tiger Eye. In fact, the heroine is Dela’s best friend, Kit Bell, violinist extraordinaire.
Dorchester is sponsoring a buzz campaign for the release, and if you�re interested in participating, please follow this link and fill out the brief survey. Not everyone will receive an ARC—that�s entirely up to my publisher—but better to try than not at all! The more the merrier!
I sincerely hope that all of you enjoy the anthology. Here’s the official tagline: New York Times bestselling authors Maggie Shayne and Marjorie M. Liu, and sizzling newcomers Alyssa Day and Meljean Brook discover the wild instinct in everyone with four all-new stories of feral heat. Fans will get swept away by the passions in the unfathomable depths of Atlantis; they�ll follow the shadows that stalk both the living and the undead in a world of vampires and guardian angels; they�ll enter the forbidden world of the demon horde and their willing victims; and they�ll be privy to the secrets of a beautiful animal-whisperer who�s drawn closer to the most suspect of all male animals � man.