TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery and Happy Release Day for Shadow City!
Diana: Hello and thanks for inviting me to play in the sandbox with you!
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Diana: Hmmm. A quirk. Well, you know how people at home will shout at the people on the TV expecting them to listen? Like when the person on Wheel of Fortune should know the puzzle but doesn’t? I do that at the characters on my computer. I will yell at them and tease them and generally abuse them. Out loud. And pretend like I have no control over what they do. I mean, I OWN the delete button, right?
TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?
Diana: Honestly, it depends on the story. I like to have some things planned out and the more the better. But a lot of times it takes me writing the story to discover what will happen. So even if I plan, I often end up pantsing. But sometimes when I plan, I will actually follow it. And sometimes I start with a voice or an image or a scene and just chase it down to see where it’s going to end up.
TQ: What inspired you to write the Horngate Witches series, Bitter Night, Crimson Wind and Shadow City?
Diana: I was noticing that all sorts of things were happening all over the world. Bridges collapsing, the mud volcano in Jakarta, hurricanes, tornadoes, famines, floods, disease . . . Pretty apocalyptic stuff. And I started wondering, what if someone was behind all of it? That it was purposeful? Then I started wondering who and why and the answers evolved into the Horngate books. I also had this face in my head of a girl I’d seen on a bus in Ames, Iowa a number of years ago. I never forgot her or her expression and walked into my questions and started tearing up the place and became Max.
TQ: What sort of research did you do to create the world of the Horngate Witches?
Diana: I read a lot about magic and folklore. Most all the critters in the books come from some kind of real stories from around the world. I have very little that I make up. There is such a rich story heritage out there and I want to take advantage of it. Who knew that Easter Island had its own peculiar brand of fairy? Or that Hags came in varieties? It makes writing very exciting.
I also research places. I want them accurate. I go there if I can, but Google World is my friend and so is the internet in general. And people. My goodness, but I’ve had some amazing help from kind strangers on the net who go visit places for me and report back, or they take pictures. I can’t tell you how important that has been.
TQ: Describe Shadow City (Horngate Witches 3) in 140 characters or less.
Diana: Max goes to war with Scooter and Horngate ends up with a magical nuclear bomb in the backyard. It gets very ugly.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Shadow City?
Diana: Hmmm. Not giving anything away. That’s not hard or anything. I would say . . . there are several, but I can’t mention a couple. But I can mention: When Giselle gets to meet Holt and Valerie and has to ask them for help. I did like that scene. Oh, and when someone very important dies and someone very important goes off the deep end. And the Torchmarch. I love the Torchmarch.
TQ: In the Horngate Witches series, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?
Diana: I think Scooter is the hardest to write because he is so enigmatic to everyone, even me, and I know a lot about him. Making him feel like a real person was tough. The easiest is probably Max. I know her so well now. And she’s so fun to write. I guess troublemakers are.
TQ: Do you and Max have anything in common?
Diana: She and I both like to eat a lot? Only she never gains weight, dang it. I like guns too. And I’m a bit snarky with my friends. Who are snarky back.
TQ: How many books are planned for the series?
Diana: Right now, four. I’d like to explore some other characters and some other places and have some ideas for those, but a lot depends on how well received these books are. So please! Go buy one for Christmas! Buy ten and give them a way!
TQ: What's next?
Diana: I’ve got a short story coming out in Demon Lover: Succubi, which will release very soon. I’m finishing up Blood Winter, which is the fourth Horngate book, and I’m working on some other things that I hope will see the light of day soon. And maybe sleeping. And probably shoveling snow. And doing laundry, dishes, and cleaning bathrooms . . . Ah, the glamorous life of a writer.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
About the Horngate Witches
Shadow CityHorngate Witches 3
Pocket Books, December 27, 2011
Mass Market, 384 pages
The world is falling apart. The magical apocalypse has come. Now is the time to guard the covenstead against both raiders and refugees. But Max has been stolen by a powerful demi-god who is determined to force her to find a way to use a magical power she never knew she had—even if it kills her. Meanwhile, back in Horngate, a Fury is birthing. When the creature breaks free of the fragile bonds that enclose her, her rage will scour the covenstead from the earth.
Max finds herself in the Shadow City, a place of mysteries and magic, where she must battle for her freedom or become a slave to creatures of dreadful greed and power. Back in Horngate, Alexander must swallow his anger and pride if he hopes to defeat the Fury, a creature that no one has ever successfully fought before.
In the end, it will be courage, friendship, faith and loyalty that win the day. Or else so one will live to see tomorrow.
Crimson WindHorngate Witches 2
Pocket Books, December 28, 2010
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
THERE ARE GOOD GUYS. THERE ARE BAD GUYS. AND THEN THERE'S MAX.
Max knows what trusting the wrong person can cost you. Her former friend Giselle, a powerful witch, enslaved Max years ago, turning her into a Shadowblade—a deadly warrior compelled to fight for Giselle. But there's more at stake now than Max's thirst for revenge. The Guardians, overseers of the magical world, have declared war on humanity and on any witches not standing with them. Max and Giselle have come to an uneasy truce in order to protect what's left of Horngate, their coven's home. Max would do anything for Horngate—even give herself over to a mysterious otherworldly creature in the nearby mountains in exchange for his help. But first, she intends to save the mortal family she left behind. And Alexander, the Shadowblade warrior who could be her closest ally or her deadliest enemy, is going with her.
On a road trip into the unknown, Max and Alexander face wild magic, desperate enemies, and battles that bruise both body and soul. But the greatest challenge will come from unexpected revelations that test everything Max believes about who she is—and where her loyalties lie. . . .
Bitter NightHorngate Witches 3
Pocket Books, October 27, 2009
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
SOMETIMES YOU CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. AND SOMETIMES, THEY CHOOSE YOU...
Once, Max dreamed of a career, a home, a loving family. Now all she wants is freedom...and revenge. A witch named Giselle transformed Max into a warrior with extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance. Bound by spellcraft, Max has no choice but to fight as Giselle's personal magic weapon -- a Shadowblade -- and she's lethally good at it. But her skills are about to be put to the test as they never have before....
The ancient Guardians of the earth are preparing to unleash widespread destruction on the mortal world, and they want the witches to help them. If the witches refuse, their covens will be destroyed, including Horngate, the place Max has grudgingly come to think of as home. Max thinks she can find a way to help Horngate stand against the Guardians, but doing so will mean forging dangerous alliances -- including one with a rival witch's Shadowblade, who is as drawn to Max as she is to him -- and standing with the witch she despises. Max will have to choose between the old life she still dreams of and the warrior she has become, and take her place on the side of right -- if she survives long enough to figure out which side that is....
She has a fascination for the Victorians, weather, geology, horses, plants and mythology, crocheting and random facts. She likes spicy food, chocolate and cheesecake, and she has an odd sense of humor. She has a husband, two children, and two very spoiled corgis. Incidentally, the Pharaoh is in fact her real name, and oddly enough, is of British origin.
What: One commenter will win a Bitter Night (Horngate Witches 1), Crimson Wind (Horngate Witches 2) and Shadow City (Horngate Witches 3) from The Qwillery.
How: Leave a comment answering 1 of the following question:
Who is your favorite witch from literature or TV?
Who is your favorite female warrior from literature or TV?
You can list more than one if you have more than one favorite!
Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.
You may receive additional entries by:
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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.
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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 Tuesday, January 3, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*