Today we have the pleasure to welcome Author Faith Hunter on Book Lovers Inc. Mercy Blade, the 3rd book in her Jane Yellowstone series, was released last week. Jane is a very ‘wild’ vampire-hunter and she is always very well surrounded…just sayin’ *wink* Please give a warm welcome to Faith! Stay until the end for a chance to win 1 of the 5 copies of Mercy Blade and a gorgeous pearl and crystal necklace!
BLI: Faith can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Faith: I am a fantasy writer, born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. As Faith Hunter, I write urban fantasy (Jane Yellowrock series) and post apocalyptic fantasy (Rogue Mage series). Under the penname Gwen Hunter, I write action adventure, mysteries, thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, I have 22 books in print in 26 countries. I make jewelry for relaxation, and for fun I RV with the hubby and the two Pomeranians to Class II and II rivers and kayak whitewater. (The dogs stay in the RV, in air-conditioned comfort!)
I am one of the founders and contributors of MagicalWords.Net, a forum for writers and readers, about writing and all things fantasy.
www.faithhunter.net, www.gwenhunter.com, magicalwords.net
BLI: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Faith: I am an outliner, for sure. I call it OOPS – Organic Outline ProcesS. But what I outline are only plot points. What happens inside the character in the book, that is always such a surprise! And that surprise factor is why I keep writing.
My day is pretty mundane. Up at 8-ish. Take dogs out. Email and work. Rewrite previous day’s pages. Brunch. Write about 8 hours. Supper at 8. TV and dogs and hubby get attention. Bed at midnight. Except when I’m on the water. Then the schedule goes all to hell!
BLI: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Oh wow. A reader will pick up a book and put it down to fix supper or watch a TV show. A book lover, however, opens a book and lifts it to her nose and inhales the ink scent. Yeah, I know it’s probably toxic, but work with me here! If she has a Kindle or Nook, she also buys the paper version so she can have the book-experience: the smell, the texture of the paper. When she opens a book, she’s looking for an experience, looking to be sucked in to a character’s world. She carries the book to the kitchen and the bathroom and forgets she has to work tomorrow until her SO rolls over and growls, “It’s two a.m. Shut off the light!” She tells all her pals about a book she loves and is always waiting for the next great book find. But mostly? If she has to choose between a pair of killer shoes and a month’s worth of good books – she takes the books! I know I do. I didn’t buy a pair of boots in 2010 at all. But I blew a lot of money on books!
BLI: Most parts of your Jane Yellowrock books are set in New Orleans. What do you think is the appeal of the Big Easy as a setting for a novel?
Faith: New Orleans, even after the devastation of Katrina, is unlike any place in the US. It is a vibrant, friendly town. It’s old and new, rich and poor, white and black, sitting cheek-to-jowl. It smells and feels old-world rich and old-world poor, nearly European in its energy, yet full of life and industry and an organic passion. It smells of coffee and food and you can hear music everywhere! I adore it!
BLI: Can you tell us a bit more about the world your novels are set in?
Faith: The Rogue Mage novels are set in a post apocalyptic world where the angels came back and billions of humans died of the plague they brought, of war with the demons and Darkness that followed. And when the first generation of PostAp babies were born – they could do magic. Thorn St. Croix is a stone-mage. And becomes a battle-mage as well.
The world of the Jane Yellowrock novels is our world in every way. Except for a shift in the historical time line when vamps and witches came out of the closet. When Marilyn Monroe was staked by the Secret Service while trying to turn the president of the US, in the oval office, the millennia-long secrets were revealed. From that moment, everything is both the same and very, very different. These books are more lighthearted and funny and real, in the sense that the world is our world.
BLI: The vampire society in your novels is rather complex. How do you yourself keep track of those?
Faith: Oy. Not easy. Okay, it’s hard! I have a computer file that is in desperate need of updating. I never really expected the books to be as popular as they are, and I was sloppy in keeping the file up to date. I just turned in the 4th book of the series, Raven Cursed, and I have a month for other projects – one of which has to be updating the file!
BLI: What I always found exceptional in your novels is the concrete distinction between Jane and Beast. It made it very easy to distinguish who is in charge and it always fascinated me to see the different way both characters thought. How did you came up with that idea?
Faith: I’ve always heard voices. The story-telling voices not the other kind. Well, maybe the other kind too. Anyway, I was sitting with Kim Harrison and we were exploring the idea of new books and series and I bounced it off of her. Then I read the first Temple Grandin book and I was hooked on the animal brain as opposed to the human brain versions. And I began to remember the old Tarzan movies. You know, Me Tarzan. You Jane.
BLI: Jane is a really complex character, not only because of her coexistence with beast. Can you try to give us a short rundown about her?
Faith: Try is right. It’s not easy, because to me, Jane is like one of those faceted crystal prism balls. When you hold it up to look inside, it looks transparent, but it also bends light around in strange and wonderful ways. It is clear, but throws off rainbow hues. Jane is like that. Violent, broken, tender, loving, giving, solitary. She is a Cherokee Skinwalker—possibly the last of her kind. She is a modern woman. She is a warrior woman who accidentally did black magic once, very long ago, and now has the soul of a mountain lion inside with her. She is … complicated, partially because her own history is lost to her in a version of traumatic, protective amnesia that left her isolated from everyone. I thought the series would be a way to unravel who she is, but is seems she is growing more complicated! Welllll… Her love life is growing more complicated…
BLI: In Blood Cross Jane was found kissing 2 very different men. Will we see more of Rick and Bruiser in Mercy Blade? *puppy eyes*
Faith: Yes. Oh my yes! Both men are a big part of her life. Jane likes one guy and her Beast likes another, so it’s hard to just pick one… And Beast assures Jane that, “Big-cats do not mate for life.” In Raven Cursed (book 4) we’ll see Rick and a new guy. And then a set up for a Leo and Bruiser book (5). Not that Jane sleeps around. She’s a little too uptight and reserved for that. But she is sexual. And men like her.
BLI: What can we expect of Mercy Blade?
Faith: A lot of action! A lot! Jane is torn in new and different ways with the appearance of weres in her life. She has an unwelcome houseguest. Rick goes missing, undercover again. Or is he? Bruiser is always there. But something isn’t right with him either. And then there’s the Mercy Blade (what is he?), and the weres, and the Grindylow, who is a different kettle of fish altogether.
BLI: In Mercy Blade the shifters are finally coming out to the world. How do you think our society would react to something that?
Faith: Panic, curiosity, denial, attack, delight. Every single person would go nuts in their own way. I would love it! I would even love watching the conspiracy nuts banging off the walls! The religious trying to adapt to a new world view. What fun!
BLI: Will there be more books in this series?
Faith: After Raven Cursed, I have nothing under contract. It all depends on the readers and how faithful they are to the series. Fans make or break books, and writers live on their joy and love of books. If fans buy books and tell their friends to buy books, then a writer gets contracts. So far, Jane Yellowrock is selling, If I do my job well and the fans like it well enough to do theirs, then yes! I can only hope!
BLI: You have also written the Rogue Mage series, do you have plans to have follow-ups, following Thorn or different characters?
Faith: Because the last book felt like there was more scope to explore some loose ends. I loved Thorn’s world, and I am hoping when that when my agent goes back to contract negotiations, she will be able to get a Thorn book. I have the 4th book all outlined! Also, I have the Rogue Mage world book / role playing game coming out some time this year, and that might spur some sales. So it is possible, and I am hoping!
BLI: Do you have anymore ideas percolating that you would like to write, for example like different genres?
Faith: I wrote so many books in the mystery / thriller genre, that I’ve enjoyed the break for the last 3 years, but I’m getting an itch to do another. Maybe a thriller crossover into Jane’s world, with another, secondary, male character as lead. I also thought I might like to do a historical thriller. We’ll see.
BLI: What is next on your schedule? Anything else we should keep our eyes open for?
Faith: I have 5 short stories to write. Raven Crossed comes out sometime at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012. I’d love to have an early release! And Rogue Mage, the RPG.
BLI: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
1. If you read urban fantasy, and you like a little romance with your action, Jane Yellowrock is your gal!
2. If you want something different in a character voice, well, Jane has two – herself and Beast.
3. My heroes are very sexy, complicated men. And Jane just can’t pick between them. Sexual tension is the name of the game.
4. (I know you said three, but I really do have four!) Bad guys you love to hate, and good guys who are To. Die. For. Maybe literally.
BLI: Which 4 characteristics should a perfect heroine have in your opinion? And do you think Jane fits this description?
Faith: Wow. That is the first time I’ve ever been asked this! Good question.
1. She should be strong. Readers want to read about someone who can do what they can’t do, but want to do. Like kick bad-guy butt.
2. She should be broken. Readers like to see characters who have flaws, problems, empty or dark places in their souls, people who make do and push through the darkness no matter what. Life is hard. If a broken character can do it and find joy, then maybe I can too. I think that’s why I write broken characters. I’m broken. Healing, but broken.
3. She should be tender. A character who is too hard is boring. A robot. A character has to care for someone. Otherwise she’s just a psycho killing machine. Something has to make her weep.
4. She should be capable of love, even though she fears it. She should be willing to step out and try love. Even though she’s scared.
And yes. Jane is all that. She is Beast-strong. Broken by her past and the years she lived away from humans in her Beast body. She loves Angie Baby and Molly, her godchild and best friend. She wants to love. Even though it hurts.
BLI: Could you give us a short summary of your novel twitter style (140 characters or less)?
Faith: I don’t twitter well, but here goes.
Jn Yllwrock vs wwolvs n bar. MB saves. Leo nuts. Ppl kild. Jane investgats & fights. Brusr n Jn n shower. Hot. Rick kdnppd & suprse endng.
That left out so much. But I’ll take it.
Thank you for the opportunity to be here.
You guys are GREAT!
BLI: Thank you Faith for taking the time to answer all our questions…even the evil ones *wink*
Faith is generously offering lots of prizes:
– 5 copies of Mercy Blade to 5 lucky commenters
– A fantastic pearl and crystal necklace with an adjustable chain length
All you have to do is ask Faith a question or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
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 worldwide!
Giveaway ends on Saturday January 29th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.