First of all, happy holidays and thanks for having me here! I’m really looking forward to having Christmas dinner at my son’s house in Vancouver. This is the first year that I haven’t hosted the holiday meal, so this will be very special. My son volunteered to cook. No way I’m going to refuse!
Are there any special traditions you like to do during the holidays?
We always watch A Christmas Story. I love that movie. It never gets old. In fact, since TBS runs it for 24 hours, we just leave the TV on and walk by, quoting lines as we go about our business. LOL. A fave quote: “Frah-gee-lay. Must be Italian.” “That’s fragile, dear.”
What do you do writing-wise during the holidays? Like, take a break or secretly write when everyone's gone to bed.
I still have regular writing hours during the holidays. I take a break once I hit my daily goal. During the holidays, I write fast. LOL.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of the holidays?
My fave part of the holiday is just relaxing with friends and family, having a glass of wine and looking at the Christmas lights. The least fave is all the stress that comes with the holiday, the stress we force upon ourselves with all the commercialism. I’m trying to bring back the magical, relaxing part of the holiday by trimming down the shopping and doing the simple things instead. Cookies. Snowballs. People.
What are some resolutions you have for 2011?
As of the moment, none. We’ll see what happens when the new year rolls around.
I read Rush of Wings (still haven't got my hands on the rest of the books) and loved it the moment I read it, how did you come up with the series?
Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I came up with the characters first—Dante, Heather, Lucien, and Von—then developed their world. Music, Nine Inch Nails in particular, inspired the character of Dante. I’ve always been fascinated with vampires and fallen angels and put together a world where they exist and a mythology behind that existence. But Dante was the heart of everything.
What is Black Dust Mambo about?
BLACK DUST MAMBO is the story of Kallie Rivière, a hoodoo apprentice, and her friends, who get caught up in darkest murder, mystery, and chilling revenge while attending the annual May Madness Carnival for magic-users in New Orleans. While struggling to keep herself and those closest to her alive as she races to figure out who is behind the murder and why, Kallie also finds herself tossing buckets of water on hunky conjurers in their boxers and facing-off with a good-looking nomad who is determined to keep her alive.
You told me about the second installment in the Black Dust Mambo, are there any hints you can give us for what the second book will be about?
You bet! BLACK HEART LOA will be out July 2011 and will pick up where BLACK DUST MAMBO left off.
While searching for her missing bayou-pirate cousin, Kallie Riviere, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds out the hard way that someone’s undoing powerful gris-gris down in the bayou and changing the very nature of magic. Suddenly working magic is like rolling a handful of dice—random and definitely not what you planned.
Now the wards woven by conjurers to protect New Orleans and the Gulf coast are in danger of unraveling, leaving the city and the coastline vulnerable just as the deadliest storm in a century is born. And aims for the Cajun coast.
As Kallie races to uncover the random magic’s source and restore the wards, she learns a dark and unsettling truth: she might be the source. And she and everyone close to her—including a certain sexy nomad who can wear wet boxers like no other man—are being hunted.
Then Kallie steps right into the most dangerous trap of all, a trap set just for her in the form of a tall, dark, and grumpy loup-garou designed to steal her heart. Literally.
Other than the second book in the Black Dust Mambo series, do you have any new projects coming up?
Book four of The Maker’s Song series, ETCHED IN BONE, will be out February 22, 2011, with books five and six to follow. I have more of the Kallie books coming as well, and maybe a new project as well. *winks*
Do you have any tips you would like to say to inspiring writers?
Always follow your heart and write for yourself first and foremost. Also, plant your butt in the chair and write. Discipline and consistency are essential if you want to succeed. Even if you only write a page a day or only have a half hour to write, that’s fine. Even if it’s only a paragraph a day, keep at it. Always move forward. Even if you think you’re writing utter crap, keep going, get it done. Odds are you’re wrong about it being crap, because we’re our own worst critics. And even if it is crap, move on to the next project.
We learn and grow as writers and story-tellers with every single thing we write. Dare to bad! Let the creative genius flow! When you’re done, you can always fix things—if necessary. It might not be. But if you never finish anything or you linger over the same story forever, you stagnate. You don’t grow as a writer—especially when you’re stuck in a critical mind-set. You can’t be creative while editing. Edit when you’re done, then move on to the next project.
So two key points: Always follow your heart and tell the story you want to read. And sit your butt in the chair every day and write.
It was a pleasure being here! Happy Holidays and all the best in 2011!
Peace and Fangs,