TQ: What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Suzanne: Thanks so much for having me here at the Qwillery! Hmm, writing quirk? Well, before I start writing I have to stick my fingers in my ears, hop on one leg whilst chewing a liquorice torpedo and humming the theme tune to Rocky. This helps me get in the mood— oh darn it, I can see by your expressions you don’t believe me. So I’ll own up. I don’t have any interesting quirks . . . unless you count calling all my yet-to-be-named characters, Dave . . . *g*
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Suzanne: Charlaine Harris, Kelly Armstrong, Ilona Andrews, Rachel Caine, Emma Bull, Mike Carey, Kim Harrison, Ann Aguirre, Tanya Huff to name a few. (I have a lotof favourites :-D). And I think that every book I’ve read has influenced my writing in some ways, but as my favourite genre is urban fantasy, those writers I love most have probably had more of an effect than others . . . *wanders off to dream of Eric* *g*.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?
Suzanne: I’m a planster! (© Jaye Wells, my fab crit partner.) I plot out the major arcs of my books, usually starting with the murderer and working out why/how/when the baddie does the “horrible” deed. Then I weave the murder plot into Genny’s – my MC’s – life, and work a road map of scenes for the book. Then, I start writing! Which is where the plantster bit really comes in. Initially I follow my map but like any journey there’s always more than one road to reach “The End”. So as I write I take some unexpected, interesting and exciting detours, this leads to more “bad things” happening to my characters, and then I usually pull over to re-plot my road map so I still reach “The Ending” I planned :- ).
TQ: Describe the Spellcrackers series in 140 characters or less.
Suzanne: Spellcracking books set in London about magic, mayhem & murder – liberally spiced with hot guys, kick-ass chicks & super-cool supes!
TQ: Tell us about The Cold Kiss of Death (Spellcrackers 2).
Suzanne: Genny’s got a whole heap of problems, she’s being haunted by a ghost, her witch neighbours want her evicted, she’s not sure what Finn (her boss and sort of Ex) wants from her, and London’s vamps keep asking her out on the Town (all apart from the one she’s really interested in!). Then as she’s trying to sort her way out of all that, her friend is murdered, and Genny ends up the main suspect. She goes on the run, determined to find out who the murderer really is . . . And that’s when the evil author in me really starts to have fun! *g*
TQ: What inspired you to write the Spellcrackers series?
Suzanne: I love reading urban fantasy with its mix of the mundane, magic and murder, and I love series where the story follows the main characters’ lives, friendships and romances, and shows how they grow and change. I also like books to have relatively self-contained plots, especially when it comes to the baddie getting their comeuppance. So, when I started writing the Spellcrackers series, I wrote the sort of book I love to read :-D
TQ: What sorts of research did you do for the series?
Suzanne: Research for me usually falls into three categories. The first is where I daydream, er, do lots of thinking and make copious notes. This type deals a lot with characters, plot, how they interact, and how stuff in the Spellcrackers world, like magic or ‘how vamps become vamps’, frex, works.
The second part is where I mine myths and legends, reference books, the internet, TV documentaries and anything else that might have caught my interest, looking for cool little nuggets to back up any wacky ideas I might have, and search for those all important RL facts that make the world feel more real.
The third part is where I get to go shopping in London . . . oh, sorry, I meant “serious research” checking out the real places in the books, again so I can make them feel “real” *g*. And often I find these research visits give me lots of new, interesting ideas (and strangely enough, occasionally new shoes too! *looks innocent*).
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is your favorite scene or scenes in The Cold Kiss of Death?
Suzanne: It has to be where Genny visits Southwark, the area round London Bridge. She goes to the Clink Museum, sees the replica Golden Hinde moored on the Thames, and climbs up Nancy’s Steps at the side of London Bridge (named for where Nancy, in the original musical of Dickens’ Oliver Twist, was murdered). Partly I love the scenes set there because they were some of the easy writing ones, but the main reason is when I researched the area, Mr Mc and I were on a short holiday in London, so they bring back lots of happy memories :- ).
TQ: Which character in the series was the most difficult for you to write and why? Easiest?
Suzanne: All the main ones have me tearing my hair out on occasion. If it’s not Finn being difficult, it’s Malik, and I’ve threatened to kill both of them off a few times if they don’t get their acts together! But the easiest characters are always the walk ons
TQ: What's next?
Suzanne: Genny’s next adventure is “The Bitter Seed of Magic” (out now UK, and Dec 2011 US). Genny’s trying to find a way to break an eighty-year-old curse which is making London’s fae infertile. The fae think they’ve got the perfect solution, but Genny’s convinced they’re wrong, and sets out to prove it. Then dead faelings – half fae, half human – start being fished out of the River Thames. It looks like the curse is responsible for their deaths, and as Genny investigates, she soon finds she has to crack the curse before she ends up the next victim.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Suzanne: It’s been great to be here, thanks so much for having me!
About Suzanne's Books
The Sweet Scent of Blood
(US - April 27, 2010)
'My name is Genny Taylor. I work for Spellcrackers.com. It’s a great job, pays the rent, lets me do the thing I’m good at – finding magic and cracking it – and the bonus is it’s run by witches, which stops the vamps from taking a bite out of me.
Not that vampires are the big bad any more, not since they launched a slick PR campaign – oh, and they brought the goblins on board. Now the vamps are sought-after celebrities, and Getting Fanged and taking the Gift are the new height of all things cool.
But only if you’re human.
And I’m not.
I’m Sidhe fae.
And I know firsthand just how deadly a vampire can be.’
When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers – and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities . . . and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders
The Cold Kill of Death
(April 26, 2011)
Making Magic Safe. But her own life is anything but safe!
The ghost grasped her shift and ripped it open. The three interlacing crescents carved red-raw and bleeding into her thin chest didn’t look any better than the last dozen times I’d seen them. The wounds weren’t lethal – they weren’t even recent; she’d been dead for at least a hundred and fifty years – but my gut still twisted with anger that someone would do that to a child.’
Being haunted by a ghost is the least of Genny’s problems: she’s also trying to deal with the witch neighbour who wants her evicted. Finn, her sort-of-Ex – and now her new boss – can’t quite decide whether he wants their relationship to be business or pleasure. And then there’s the queue of vamps inviting her to paint the town red; how long before they stop taking no for an answer?
Just when it seems things can’t get any worse a human friend is murdered using sidhe magic. Determined to hunt down the killer and needing help, she turns to one of London’s most capricious wylde fae and the seductive vampire Malik al-Khan.
But all too soon she realises she doesn’t know who she can trust – and now Genny’s the one being hunted, not just by the police, but by some of London’s most powerful and dangerous supernaturals.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders
Book descriptions from Suzanne's website.
See my 4 1/2 Qwill review of The Cold Kiss of Death by clicking here.
What: One commenter will win US Mass Market Paperback copies of The Sweet Scent of Blood (Spellcrackers 1) and The Cold Kiss of Death (Spellcrackers 2).
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
In what city, town, or place would you like to see an Urban Fantasy set?
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Who and 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, May 4, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*