TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Kalayna: Once upon a time, this would have been a really simple question because when I first graduated from college I was so accustomed to writing academic papers I didn’t use contractions. At all. So after I completed my first novel, I had to go back in and add contractions. I’ve grown out of that quirk, so now this is a much tougher question.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Kalayna: My list of favorite authors is ridiculously long. If you picked another author in my genre, he or she would probably be on the list because there is a lot of great talent writing urban fantasy right now. To name just a small handful I’d have to say: Ilona Andrews, Karen Chance, Patricia Briggs, Chloe Neill, and Kim Harrison. As far as who influenced my writing, I’d have to point to Laurell K. Hamilton as sparking my interest in the genre back when the genre didn’t even properly exist yet. Since then, the other authors in the genre (and many in outside genres) have inspired me to aim to entertain readers the same way their books have entertained me.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?
Kalayna: I’m a plotter who pantzes a lot. I create extremely detailed outlines before I begin writing a book, but as I write my process becomes more organic and I have to update the outline as I go along. I keep the outline though, because the actual structure rarely changes. I just tend to add in a lot of extra scenes and characters as I see how ideas play out on the page.
TQ: How many books are planned for the Alex Craft series?
Kalayna: Well, right now three novels are under contract in the series, but I have ideas that span beyond those three so I hope I get the chance to continue. Currently I have no definite end planned for the books but I do know where the characters are headed.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Grave Witch?
Kalayna: Since the world building in Grave Which is based on a magical awakening that occurred when Fae of folklore revealed their existence to the world, I had the opportunity to really indulge my love of folklore in the guise of research. I spent a lot of time reading collections of lore which had been only oral traditions until the late nineteenth century. Most stories were European, but not all were. I also did some forensic and police procedural research
TQ: Do you and Alex Craft have anything in common?
Kalayna: Of course—We both talk to the dead! Er, wait. No. That’s not true.
I think all characters share some aspects with their authors, but it is mostly little things. With Alex, the only big similarities we have are a shared penchant for boots and the fact I gave Alex a breed of dog that is one of my favorites. Her dog, PC, is a Chinese Crested, which if you’ve never seen one, is a small dog with hair only on their heads, paws, and tails. A lot of people think they are hideous and sickly looking, but I find them pathetically adorable.
TQ: Are there any other genres in which you would like to write in addition to urban fantasy?
Kalayna: Before I started writing seriously, I was afraid I’d run out of ideas one day. I no longer have that fear because I have more story ideas queued in the back of my mind than I could write in the next couple of decades. The big contenders outside urban fantasy are a Cyber Punk novel, a YA, and a steampunk idea.
TQ: What's next?
Kalayna: New adventures for Alex and for Kita, the heroine of my Haven series. The Next Novel of Haven will be out the first part of next year, and the next Alex Craft novel is scheduled for summer of next year.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Sally!
TQ: Thank you for joining me at The Qwillery!
About Kalayna's Books:
Alex Craft Novels:
Grave Witch (Alex Craft Novel 1)
Not even death can save her now.
As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she's even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she's seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she's raising a "shade" involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn't want her to know what the dead have to say, and she'll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why...
The Novels of Haven:
Once Bitten (Novel of Haven 1)
Kita Nekai, on the run and the smallest of her shifter clan-a calico cat among lions and tigers-is being hunted. She was expected to accept her role as her father's successor whether or not her cat was up to the task of leading the clan. She disagreed. Now she's less than a step ahead of the hunters, bone-tired, cold, and living hand-to-mouth in the city of Haven. And that's the high point of her day. She's also drugged, "accidently" turned into a vampire, and sentenced to death for recklessly creating a rogue shifter who tortures its human prey. She's got seventy-two hours to find the rogue, evade a city full of hunters, prove she's not responsible for the rogue, and keep the vampire council from killing her. All while sorting out an apprentice mage, a married ex-boyfriend shifter-hunter, and the vampire who made her.
Twice Dead (Novel of Haven 2)
Newly undead shifter-turned-vampire Kita Nekai is coming to grips with the reality that her cat has not awakened since her change.
What she needs is a little time to adjust to her new liquid diet and the increasingly complex attraction to her sire, Nathanial. What she gets is a headless harlequin. With the body count rising, Kita is dragged into a dangerous game of vampire politics. Her involvement draws the attention of an ancient vampire known as the Collector who has a penchant for acquiring the unusual - like a pureblood shifter-turned vampire.
Kita still has unfinished business of her own and finds herself deeper in magical debt.
It's a bad time to be a kitten who can't slip her skin.
Kalayna Price's debut novel, ONCE BITTEN, earned rave reviews and reached #1 on Amazon.com's "Fantasy Bestseller List." TWICE DEAD returns readers to a dark, seductive world where magic rules and ancient loyalties collide with modern challenges..
Third Blood (Novel of Haven 3) will be released in 2011:
Going home after five years is difficult. It's harder still if you've changed species in the interim.
Kita Nekai, once the smallest shifter in Firth but now the newest vampire in the city of Haven, has no intention of returning home or informing her father and clan what she's become. Not that she has a choice. When the mage who holds her death certificate in his hands demands Kita return to Firth as his errand runner, she has to comply. Of course, there is no leaving her sire, Nathanial, behind. Which means introducing daddy dearest to the man—well, vampire—she may be falling for and confessing that she's lost the ability to shift. Talk about awkward.
Her homecoming goes from bad to worse when an attempt is made on her life, and Kita finds herself facing an unknown threat in a hostile world she never fit into in the first place. Can she survive long enough to complete the judge's task, stand trial before the elders for the rogues she created while on the run, and help defend her father's territory from an encroaching band of misfit shifters? Or is this cat down to her last life?
Kalayna Price is the author of the Alex Craft Novels, a new dark urban fantasy series from Roc, and the author of the Novels of Haven from Bell Bridge Books. She draws her ideas from the world around her, her studies into ancient mythologies, and her obsession with classic folklore. Her stories contain not only the mystical elements of fantasy, but also a dash of romance, a bit of gritty horror, some humor, and a large serving of mystery. She is a member of SFWA and RWA, and an avid hula-hoop dancer who has been known light her hoop on fire. To find out more, please visit her at www.kalayna.com.
What: A copy of Grave Witch (Alex Craft Novel 1).
How: Leave a comment telling The Qwillery which author from the past you would talk to if you had the power to talk to the dead?
You can receive additional entries by:
1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.
2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.
3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.
There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.
Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.
Who & When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.