Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Interview with Hanna Martine and Giveaway - June 6, 2012

Please welcome Hanna Martine to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Hanna's debut, Liquid Lies (The Elementals 1), will be published on July 3, 2012 by Berkley.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Hanna:  Quirk? Everything I do is perfectly normal! In all seriousness, I'm not sure. Most of my quirks I've accepted and adopted as part of my creative process. I draft best on my laptop in really noisy places with lots of activity, like restaurants or coffee shops. I love white noise and can't write to music with words. I only edit on paper, and I can only input those paper edits on my desktop computer, which is located in a windowless basement office I have named The Cave.

TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Hanna:  I view J.R. Ward and Suzanne Brockmann's novels as a master class on deep point of view. Harper Fox's atmospheric prose is to die for. Ann Aguirre's sense of story pacing is incomparable. I like to think each of these talented women has influenced my writing, but really all I'm doing is praying to be like them one day.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Hanna:  I'm a pretty serious plotter, but I leave lots of wiggle room for pantsing as I go along. Stuff continually changes. I never marry anything--that was such an important and difficult rule to learn in my process. When I clung to certain characters or plot points or turns of phrase, I realized I was trying to fit square pegs into round holes. When I learned to let the story direct itself, rather than me shoving it into places it didn't want to go, my plotting and pantsing became amiable bedfellows.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Hanna:  The phase after I bang out my complete zero draft is when I take a critical eye to the flow of the story, the character arcs and the general plot issues. The zero draft is a sloppy mess of backstory, random scenes, clunky dialogue, telling instead of showing, etc. There are incomplete paragraphs, scenes, even sentences. Revising the zero draft is always a major overhaul to the book, and after the high of completing a full manuscript, it is always daunting and makes me feel like the world is meaningless and full of pain. It's a huge struggle to rewrite at this stage, but once I get over the hump, it becomes a major triumph.

TQ:  Describe Liquid Lies in 140 characters or less.

Hanna:  Hot, ex-military mercenary with shaved head has got it bad for the smart, driven water-magic sorceress he's been hired to kidnap.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Liquid Lies?

Hanna:  A single scene just came to me one day: A human mercenary who'd been hired to kidnap a woman with magic was being ripped away from her, calling into question everything he'd believed about his life. That scene doesn't exactly appear in the final book, but it was the bullseye from which I built the story outward.

When I was devising my heroine's system of magic, I was thinking about characters who were the complete opposite of myself. I had also just come from working a decade in an office, so that culture was pretty ingrained in my mind. I made my heroine a driven corporate climber and a water elemental. I did not enjoy the business world and I'm absolutely terrified of water. It seemed like a fun and challenging thing to explore, and lo, my heroine and her magical world were born.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Liquid Lies?

Hanna:  I had to look up the depths of the U.S.'s deepest lakes. (Crater Lake is #1, Lake Tahoe #2, in case you're wondering.) I did a lot with maps, trying to figure out distances between states and cities, and planning routes. The rest came from my head.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Hanna:  Gwen, my heroine, was the easiest to write. Probably because my early drafts of this book were entirely in her first-person point of view. I had her pretty well figured out, and when I know a character that in depth, he/she comes out on the page fairly easily. Xavier was the most difficult, because his story was just so sad and painful to get out. Taking him from where he is when the story opens to where he is when it ends--with a limited number of POV chapters--was a challenge. But a good one.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Liquid Lies?

Hanna:  I love Gwen and Reed's first kiss. The emotion fueling it isn't what you'd expect, and I love how they come at it with completely different mindsets. Originally the scene was written in Gwen's POV, but ultimately I felt it was stronger in Reed's, so I switched it.

The very last chapter is also a favorite of mine. I'm a chronic reviser/rewriter and my drafts are drastically different from one to the next, but the final chapter of LIQUID LIES (and it's a romance, so you can get some idea of how it ends) barely changed from first draft to final. It just felt right to me, from the moment it came from my fingers. I'm proud of the emotion, the dialogue, the situation, and the character connection.

TQ:  What's next?

Hanna:  The follow-up to LIQUID LIES, the second book in The Elementals series titled TASTE OF ICE, will release January 2013. I also have a novella, taking place in the Elementals world, that will appear in a paranormal romance anthology, tentatively titled UNBOUND, coming from Berkley Sensation (release date TBD). I love to write erotic romance, and I'll have a short story called "In the Dog House" in the anthology ONLY YOU, coming from Cleis Press (release date TBD).

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Hanna:  Thank you so much for having me!

About The Elementals

Liquid Lies
The Elementals 1
Berkley, July 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Magic is corporate America's best-kept secret, and Gwen Carroway is the best at selling it...

With her ability to pick up any language in an instant, Gwen Carroway is taking her family business global. As dutiful future leader of water elementals, she'll do anything to protect her people's secrets and bloodlines--including enter an arranged marriage. Inside, however, she yearns for the forbidden.

Reed is a mercenary addicted to the money and adrenaline rush of his work. After he inadvertently saves Gwen's life, he ignites her taboo desire for men without magic--and with bodies of gods. Just as things heat up, Reed discovers that Gwen is exactly who he's been hired to kidnap. He resolves to put work before lust, yet her luscious beauty and fiery spirit unravel him...

But there is a terrible truth behind Gwen's family business--and now, caught between the kinsmen she no longer trusts and an enemy bent on vengeance, the only ally she has is her abductor...

About Hanna

Hanna Martine's only goal growing up was to become a writer, specifically a fantasy writer. That dream stuck until she realized that most speculative fiction novels faded to black during the best parts or skipped over love stories altogether. When she discovered paranormal romance and urban fantasy, she found the genre of her heart. After the arrival of her daughter, she couldn't think of a better lesson to teach the little one than: Have a dream. Go after it. Be fulfilled. So she set aside all thoughts of returning to the business world and focused on writing and learning about the industry. She finished two novels before coming up with the idea for the world of The Elementals. She joined the Romance Writers of America (RWA), placed in numerous contests, and found an agent and editor who believed in her unique stories. She loves writing about secret worlds, magic, and the intense emotional and physical relationships that exist within them.

Find Hanna:  Website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Liquid Lies (The Elementals 1) from The Qwillery. Please note that the novel is not out until July 3, 2012.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

If you were an Elemental, what would your element be?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may 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. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

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, June 13, 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.*


  1. Thanks for a great post! I love the cover of this book and the premise! I already had it on my wishlist due to the pre-release buzz :)

    I'd want to have water elemental powers ;)

    gfc: erin

  2. Wind would be handy if I could use it to transport myself.

    Follower GFC Anne38
    FB Anne M
    Twitter acm05

  3. Earth!
    We pigs are very good with earth related things: like truffles!

    +3 (comment, follower, tweeted)

  4. I'd be fire but I'd want to be water. I'm a fire sign so it just goes to figure that it would be my element too. +1
    Follow as Victoria Sloboda +1
    Tweeted: +1


  5. Hi

    Great post, I am excited to start a new series. I would want to have the element of fire.

    Thanks for the chance



  6. I want the element of wind!

    Sounds like a great new series! How many books are planned in the series?

    GFC: books4me


    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  7. If I were an elemental, my element would be water, there is so much magic in water already, it would be fantastic to be able to control it. This sounds like a great series, I'm looking forward to reading the start of it, Liquid Lies.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC: Barbara E.

  8. I would want to have the element of water. Please enter me in contest. I really want to read this book. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  9. My element would be the earth. Congrats on your book.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  10. I would want to have the element of air - no, it's not because I'm full of hot air (LOLs). Would be so cool to be able to fly!
    +3: comment, follower, tweeted

    Thanks for the opportunity to win. This looks like a good book.

  11. I would be fire ;) edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom Thank you so much for the chance to review and read this book!

  12. I would be air being able to control the wind sounds cool.
    gfc follower
    wanda f
    posted to my blog

  13. My element would have to be water. So much power & potential.

    GFC: Mary Preston



  14. definitely water, no question. I basically live in the water now anyways.
    katerahm at aol dot com

  15. If I were an elemental, i want my element would be wind.
    Thanks for giveaway :)

    GFC as Filia Oktarina
    Tweet :

    TsukiSelene at yahoo dot co dot id

  16. My element would have to be water. So much power & potential.

    GFC: rogier
    twittr; rocapri


    student.caprino at gmail dot com

  17. water elemental !!

    GFC nurmawati djuhawan

    twitter @chiko_jubilee

    share on blog :


    thx 4 the giveaway :)

  18. My first choice is air, with water as second.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  19. I think that my first choice would be earth, followed by water. Thanks for the fantastic giveaway! +1 Comment, +1 Follower

  20. I would like to be air! I just love the wind and how it can be a gentle breeze and a freezing powerful gush of tornado.

    Thank you for the great giveaway!

    +1 commented
    +1 follower
    +1 tweeted:

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. Is thunder and electricity count as nature element? I would love to be able to wield it. I don't know reason why I choose it. Just to look cool and powerful, lol!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    +1 comment
    +1 Gfc follower

    sawamura_foxman at yahoo dot com

  22. I'd choose a water element.

    I follow the blog.


  23. The element of fire because for me it would be a challenge. It's dangerous and exiting.

    GFC: Na