Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interview with J.A. Pitts - June 21, 2012

Please welcome J.A. Pitts to The Qwillery. J.A. is the author of the Sarah Beauhall series, the most recent of which is Forged in Fire (Tor, June 19, 2012).

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

J.A.:  Speed writing. I go days without writing due to my hectic schedule, then I write between 1k and 2.5k an hour for a few days. Would be cool to spread that out more evenly. Would mean more books faster. Oh, and I'm horrible at punctuation. Major clean up efforts each novel. You'd think I'd start learning where commas go at some point.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

J.A.:  Novels: Plotter. Short story: Pantser

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

J.A.:  Commas, finding the time to dedicate to the words.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Sarah Beauhall series?

J.A.:  Very long story. Basically I was prompted to write a short story about a sword. The short story, Black Blade Blues sold, but the editor of the anthology strongly encouraged me to write the novel.

TQ:  You use Norse mythology in your novels. Is there a particular legend that inspired your work?

J.A.:  Bugs Bunny: What's Opera, Doc.

TQ:  Mythology aside, what sort of research do you do for novels?

J.A.:  Everything I can think of. I write to experts, visit places, watch blacksmiths work live and on youtube. Read, read and read. Talk to people about the littlest detail, google maps, National Geographic, Audobon society books, etc. Observer life, note details, ask questions.

TQ:  Which character from the Sarah Beauhall series has surprised you the most?

J.A.:  Katie. I didn't realize in the beginning what a pivotal role she'd play. That happened very early in book 1 and she continues to evolve.

TQ:   Describe Forged in Fire (Sarah Beauhall 3) in 140 characters or less.

J.A.:  Sarah Jane Beauhall, hot punk-rock lesbian blacksmith in Seattle battles blood cult before more friends die. Necromancers and dragons force strange alliances

TQ:  Tell us something about Forged in Fire that is not in the book description.

J.A.:  Katie totally kicks ass.

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

J.A.:  Opening scene is pretty powerful.

TQ: The Sarah Beauhall series is Urban Fantasy. Are there any other genres or sub-genres in which you'd like to write?

J.A.:  Straight up fantasy is in the works. Also post apocalypse fiction is near and dear to my heart.

TQ:  What's next?

J.A.:  Currently writing Hearth & Home, the 4th book in the series. I've outlined books 4,5 & 6, so lots of very cool stuff coming. Some fan requests as well. Oh, and I may wreck a city along the way.

TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

J.A.:  Thanks for having me. Hope I've entertained your readers.

Sara Beauhall

Forged in Fire
Sara Beauhall 3
Tom Doherty Associates / Tor Books, June 19, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

Sarah Jane Beauhall, the blacksmith turned dragon slayer, has it all figured out—little things like dealing with the political intrigue of dragons who secretly run our world, and learning to wield the magic that she has been given by none other than Odin, who has been fighting the dragons for millennia. And then there is the matter of coming to terms with who she is…and how to build a life with her partner, Katie.

All these things are forced into the background however when a magic-wielding serial killer starts prowling the Pacific Northwest. And all of his victims have ties to Sarah.

Sarah must unravel the web she finds closing around her as a powerful necromancer and a crazed blood cult known as the Dragon Liberation Front work to tear apart everything she holds dear.

Forged in Fire is the third volume in J. A.Pitts's compelling urban fantasy series.

Honeyed Words
Sara Beauhall 2
Tom Doherty Associates / Tor Fantasy, May 22, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Trade Paperback and Hardcover (July 5, 2011)

Sarah Beauhall is a blacksmith, has a night job as a props manager for a low-budget movie, and spends her free time fighting in a medieval reenactment group. Her world falls apart when she discovers that dragons are real and live among us as shapeshifters; in fact, it is they who have been the secret masters of our world from time immemorial. On top of all this, it appears that Sarah has managed to reforge an ancient sword that everyone suddenly wants...and those who don’t want the weapon want Sarah to take on her destiny and become humanity’s saviour.

As Sarah tries to make her way in this new world, she discovers just how little she knows of reality. Fairies and dwarves and giants abound, the fault line of the Pacific Northwest is rife with ancient Norse magic. Odin himself appears with ravens at his side and cryptic advice for the fledgling heroine. And the cherry on the sundae? The discovery that Sarah’s girlfriend is from a family that has been battling these forces for generations and they look to Sarah as their last best hope.

What’s a girl to do when the powers of the world decide that you’re responsible for cleaning up the magical mess?

Honeyed Words is the second book in J. A. Pitts' Sarah Beauhall series.

Black Blade Blues
Sara Beauhall 1
Tom Doherty Associates / Tor Fantasy, March 29, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Trade Paperback and Hardcover (April 27, 2010)

Sarah Beauhall has more on her plate than most twenty-somethings: day job as a blacksmith, night job as a props manager for low-budget movies, and her free time is spent fighting in a medieval re-enactment group.

The lead actor breaks Sarah’s favorite one-of-a-kind sword, and to avoid reshooting scenes, Sarah agrees to repair the blade. One of the extras, who claims to be a dwarf, offers to help. And that’s when things start to get weird. Could the sword really be magic, as the "dwarf" claims? Are dragons really living among us as shapeshifters?

And as if things weren’t surreal enough, Sarah’s girlfriend Katie breaks out the dreaded phrase… “I love you.” As her life begins to fall apart, first her relationship with Katie, then her job at the movie studio, and finally her blacksmithing career, Sarah hits rock bottom. It is at this moment, when she has lost everything she has prized, that one of the dragons makes their move.

And suddenly what was unthinkable becomes all too real…and Sarah will have to decide if she can reject what is safe and become the heroine who is needed to save her world.

About J.A. Pitts

J. A. PITTS is a graduate of the Oregon Coast Writers Workshops and holds degrees in English and Library Science. Forged in Fire is the third title in Pitt’s urban fantasy series.

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