Today we are very happy to welcome author Patricia Briggs on Book Lovers Inc! Patty’s new book Wolfsbane will be released this week. This is the 2nd book in the Sianim series. The first book Masques was re-released last month. We want to thank the hurog board for helping us with the interview questions! THANK you! Let’s give a warm welcome to Patricia!
The Charmed Lover: can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Patty: Hah. I’m older than I think I am — and fatter too. I have two hobbies — books and horses. I am currently getting my toes wet breeding Arabian horses with a lovely and sweet Kadraj NA daughter who is in foal to Varian Arabian’s stallion, Audacious PS. Next spring, I plan on breeding two other mares. I have been known to randomly spout Arabian pedigrees or biographies of horses long dead for hours to people who innocently ask me a question. With books I’m rather more inclined to read than talk about them. I’m not a good housekeeper, I’m an indifferent cook, and a terrible gardener. My family puts up with all of that.
The Charmed Lover: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you two more a planner or pantser?
Patty: I get up and Jeeves prepares my honey herbal tea with toast and crumpets. The housekeeper nods her head subserviently as I mention that the window in the fourth floor library needs cleaning. Household under control, I go into my office and wait for the muse to strike me with genius — You do have to remember I lie for my living
My reality is that like most authors, I have to write whatever the state of my muse — which usually starts speaking to me only after I’m writing anyway. I write anywhere between four to sixteen hours a day, six days a week. After a particularly intense bout of writing, I sometimes have to take a few days off. I’m a pantser, which used to slow me down a lot. But I’ve gotten faster over the years.
The Charmed Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Patty: Semantics — or possibly degrees of affliction.
There are people who take pleasure in rare books, in beautiful books, in signed books. They often buy two copies — one to read, and one to put on a shelf. They like to get series in the same format so that the books look good on the shelf. There are people who don’t worry if the book cover gets bent or torn. They stick paperbacks haphazardly in with hardbacks. This is where I belong (although, I did have an odd moment last year at a book convention in France in which I lusted after all the beautiful books I hadn’t read — even though I don’t read French).
As with all things, there are degrees of affliction. My own affliction is pretty serious, though not fatal as long as none of the stacks of books fall over on someone.
The Charmed Lover: Why werewolves/shifters? What attracted/intrigued/appealed to you in this supernatural species?
There were several factors. I’m an animal person and wolves are among my favorite critters. I first discovered vampires and werewolves while reading comic books (at a very tender age)
, it was a werewolves I was drawn to. Also, when my editor asked me if I wanted to write an urban fantasy with an emphasis on either vampires or werewolves, there were several terrific vampire series, but no one was concentrating on the werewolves.
The Charmed Lover: Masques was the first novel was the first novel you ever attempted to write. How did it feel to see it in print for the first time and now after quite some times to see it published again?
Patty: At first it was surreal to see a book with my name on it in print. I’ve gotten used to it over the years, of course — though I never escape that happy little zing when a new book comes out. I’m very grateful not to have to answer sad or angry emails from people searching for Masques — some of whom seemed to think Masques’s rarity was a conspiracy between myself and my publisher to drive up the price of the book. I do think that the new cover is lovely — and it is nifty that readers were excited enough by Masques return to print to push it onto the New York Times bestseller list. How cool is that?
The Charmed Lover: Tell us a bit about the world your Aralom novels are set in?
Patty: The world of Sianim was something I’d started dreaming up as a kid, when my friends and I would get together and pretend we were horses, when we weren’t playing we were genies (from I Dream of Jeannie) or space explorers (from Star Trek). We weren’t old enough to have caught the original episodes, but cable TV had reruns. When a friend of mine and I decided to write a book when we were in seventh grade, the word was refined a bit and the Sianim mercenary city-state was born. But it wasn’t until I was in college with the better part of a history degree under my belt that I solidified it into the world in which Masques, Wolfsbane, Steal the Dragon, and When Demons Walk take place. I envisioned a world in which an epic change was taking place on the big stage (an invasion that bore a strong resemblance to the Norman invasion of England, including the imposition of worship and culture) while my stories took place on the small stage.
The Charmed Lover: What do you think is the appeal of fantasy in contrast ti urbanfantasy? And which of both is personally your favorite genre?
Patty: Picking a favorite genre between traditional fantasy and urban fantasy is more a matter of mood than absolute enjoyment for me. IMHO, one of the reasons that urban fantasy is more popular than traditional fantasy right now, is that urban fantasy is easier for the general reading public to access. Vampires and werewolves are familiar enough constructs and the world is our own, tweaked just a bit. There is a bit of a learning curve in straight fantasy that is lessened in urban fantasy.
The Charmed Lover: can we expect of Wolfsbane?
Patty: Wolfsbane was originally written after When Demons Walk and before The Hob’s Bargain, and then polished and tightened up between Raven’s Shadow and Raven’s Strike. It is a better book than Masques, even with the revisions, less predictable and more complex. Of the four books in the Sianim series, Wolfsbane has the tightest focus. It takes place entirely in Aralorn’s childhood home and the arc of epic change that forms the background of all the Sianim books, is very faint in this book.
The Charmed Lover: Do you plan to write more traditional fantasy books like Masques/Wolfsbane?
Patty: If there is world enough and time, yes. I’m not sure I’ll ever write another Sianim book, but a Hurog book (Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood) is a near certainty — and I’d like to play around in the Raven world some more, too. The Hob’s Bargain really calls for a sequel as well, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to it.
The Charmed Lover: And just because we can’t help ourselves: How many books do you plan on writing in the Mercy Thompson series? Any plans after that?
Patty: I have one more under contract after River Marked, which will make a total of seven. After that, I’ll continue telling Mercy stories until either I or my readers get tired of them. Mercy is an interesting person to write about and I enjoy the time I spend with her.
The Charmed Lover: Have you found a change in writing the Mercy Thompson series now that the tension between Adam and Samuel is no longer focused upon Mercy?
Patty: Hopefully every book is different from the one before. I don’t want to get into a routine, or write the same story over and over. I have plenty of things that should keep the romantic tensions going even though Samuel and Adam seem to have worked out most of their issues with Mercy. Having been happily married for 25+ years, I can tell you that happily ever after is hard, but rewarding, work.
The Charmed Lover: Can you give us any hints for River Marked?
Patty: Expect to find out more about the Walkers and about Mercy’s father.
The Charmed Lover: In any of your popular series, did anyone or anything take a surprise turn from what you had originally planned?
Patty: Always! That’s the joy of being a pantzer *g*. If I ever have a book turn out exactly as (sort of) planned, it’s because I did it wrong. If my stories don’t surprise me, I don’t enjoy them – -and I’d expect neither would any of you.
The Charmed Lover: What’s the status on the short fiction you’ve mentioned on your Hurog Board? What are the titles of the stories, if you’ve got them yet, and of the collections they’ll be in?
Patty: I have three short stories written, all of them take place in Mercy’s world, though only Warren’s story has characters from either the Mercy or Alpha and Omega series.
“In Red With Pearls” is a Warren story, told first person from Warren’s point of view. It will be in a collection edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin called Down These Strange Streets
. Hardcover publication date is November 2011 from Penguin Putnam.
“Fairy Gifts” will appear in an Ellen Datlow anthology from St Martin’s called Naked City. Publication date is July 2011. This is a vampire/fae story set in my hometown of Butte, Montana.
“Gray” is a vampire story set in Chicago and it will be in the Toni L. P. Kelner/Charlaine Harris anthology Home Improvement: Undead Edition. Again this is Penguin Putnam and scheduled for August 2011. Urban fantasy meets home improvement, how fun is that?
The Charmed Lover: What is next on your schedule?
Patty: This week I’m working on copyedits for River Marked, and then it’s time to start on the next Anna and Charles book, which is due in February.
The Charmed Lover: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Patty: Like Mount Everest, they are there. Not to mention that reading a book is cheaper, easier and more fun than climbing to 29,000 feet above sea level. You can frame the dust jacket and hang a piece of Daniel Dos Santos’s artwork on the wall. It give you something to do between episodes of True Blood.
The Charmed Lover: What’s the one thing that you would like to do but can’t or are just not able to yet?
Patty: Fight crime in a nifty spandex costume.
The Charmed Lover: If you could send a message to your younger self at the beginning of your career, what advice (or warning) would you give?
Patty: The same advice I give to all beginning writers — keep your day job.
The Charmed Lover: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
Patty: Teaching school, which would be a shame because, although I finally became a good substitute teacher, I would be a lousy real high school teacher.
The Charmed Lover: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions.
Patty: Thank you!
We decided to give away a copy of Masques or Wolfsbane to 1 lucky commenter (Winner’s choice)
All you have to do is ask Patty a question
or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name-
no way to contact you – no entry).
This giveaway is open where the Book Depository ships.
Giveaway ends on Saturday, November 13th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.