Saturday, March 29, 2014

Interview with Marjorie M. Liu - March 29, 2014

Please welcome Marjorie M. Liu to The Qwillery. Marjorie's most recent novel is Labyrinth of Stars, the 5th novel in the Hunter Kiss series.

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. You have published over 20 novels as well as numerous short stories. In addition you have written the stories for many comics. How has your writing process changed (or not) over the years? Are you a plotter, pantser, or hybrid plotser? Has writing comics influenced (or not) the way you write novels or vice versa?

Marjorie:  In some ways it has absolutely changed. I used to be non-stop panster. I'd just barrel through the work, playing everything by ear. Of course, sometimes that would take me in the wrong direction entirely, and I'd stall out. Writer's block, I called it. Overcome only when I fixed whatever went wrong. It's happened more often than I'd like to admit, so to make my life easier I've tried to plot more. Call me a hybrid plotser, if you like. I ask a lot of "what if" questions that tend to give me material.

Writing comics has contributed to this hybridity, as I have to write them quickly and can't just go back and fix a problem after the script has been turned in. Once the art is done, it's done. There's no revising. That means I need a clear picture of the whole story before I begin, so I don't go off the rails.

TQ:  You've written the Dirk & Steele series (PNR) and the Hunter Kiss series (UF). How do you keep things straight when you are writing a series?

Marjorie:  I'm always forgetting things! I mean, heck, while writing this last book I totally forgot that I'd already killed off a character. I didn't remember until I was several paragraphs into writing him, and then it hit me. Still, though, it could be a lot worse. I remember big events, more or less, and skimming previous titles usually jogs my memory. What also helps is that my characters have very distinct voices and histories, and so once I start writing them, the rest of their lives kick in. It's like hanging out with people you really like. You can remember almost everything about them, just not all at once.

TQ:  Your latest novel is Labyrinth of Stars (Hunter Kiss 5). Please tell us something about Labyrinth of Stars that is not in the book description?

Marjorie:  The enemy is very close to home. And it wears a familiar face.

TQ:  What sorts of research have you done for the Hunter Kiss series?

Marjorie:  It changes from book to book. I've done research on everything from crystal skulls and alien conspiracies -- to the Catholic church and the legacy of the "Black Madonna". In Labyrinth of Stars I needed to find a real life restaurant that specialized in pies -- and lo and behold, I found one in Texas. Exactly where Maxine needed to be.

TQ:  In the Hunter Kiss series so far which character has surprised you the most? Who is your favorite character?

Marjorie:  They've all surprised me, to some degree -- but I think Zee and the boys have given me the most pleasurable shocks. When I first began writing the series I didn't know exactly what they were or who they had been, but the truth was revealed to me as I wrote each book, and that slow process of picking apart the puzzle allowed me to glimpse an unusual, tragic, history. As for my favorite character? Easy, that's Maxine. She's strong, capable, but also very vulnerable.

TQ:  What's next?

Marjorie:  I'm working on a book about an elderly dominatrix and her granddaughter, who is a veteran of Desert Storm. Together they solve mysteries!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Marjorie:  Thank you so much for having me!

Labyrinth of Stars
Hunter Kiss 5
Ace, February 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Tattoos with hearts, minds, and dreams. Created to be the armor that protects my body, these obsidian shadows come alive at night—demons made flesh.

After the Aetar nearly kill Maxine’s unborn child, and a betrayal within her own ranks leaves Maxine’s husband, Grant, poisoned and dying, Maxine is forced to attack a race of beings that possesses almost unlimited power. Doing so will require she make a deal with the devil—the devil that lives inside her—risking both her sanity and her soul as she slowly transforms into something more than human.

But even that might not be enough to save Grant, because the very thing that Maxine is becoming is destined to destroy the world.

The Mortal Bone
Hunter Kiss 4
Ace, December 27, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

When the bond Maxine Kiss shares with the demons tattooed on her skin is deliberately severed, the demon hunter is left vulnerable and unprotected. For the first time in ten thousand years, the demons have a taste of freedom. And as the little demons grow more violent and unpredictable, Maxine starts to fear they will lose their minds without her. Reuniting won't be easy, since a greater temptation waits for these hellions: a chance to return to their lives as Reaper Kings, and unleash hell on Earth.

Armor of Roses and The Silver Voice
A Hunter Kiss Novella and an Original Hunter Kiss Short Story
Ace, December 6, 2011
eNovella and eShort Story

A compelling novella, “Armor of Roses,” and a bonus never-before-published original short story, “The Silver Voice,” both set in the world of New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu’s stunning Hunter Kiss urban fantasy series.

When New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu’s demon slayer Maxine Kiss investigates a grisly murder, she finds herself involved in a conspiracy dating back to World War II—and a secret mission that her grandmother may have carried out for the US government, one that involves the mysterious armor of roses.

On their honeymoon, Maxine helps Grant explore his heritage through memories locked inside a mysterious seed ring, leading him to the silver voice and secrets his mother kept hidden from him—until now.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Books-A-Million : iTunes : Kobo

A Wild Light
Hunter Kiss 3
Ace, July 27, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

For too long Maxine Kiss has felt an inexplicable darkness inside her-a force she channels into hunting the demons bent on destroying the human race. But when she finds herself covered in blood and crouched beside her grandfather's dead body with no memory of what happened, Maxine begins to fear that the darkness has finally consumed her.

Darkness Calls
Hunter Kiss 2
Ace, June 30, 2009
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Demon hunter Maxine Kiss, inked with living tattoos, is on a mission to rescue the man she loves from a bloodthirsty army. To save him, Maxine has only one choice: to lose control—and release her own powers of darkness.

Hunter Kiss
A Companion Novella to The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls
Ace, February 6, 2009
eNovella, 94 pages

In this eSpecial, New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu provides a companion novella to The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls, the first two books in her gripping new urban fantasy series. Meet Maxine Kiss, the Earth’s last protector:I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss. By day, my tattoos are my armor. By night, they unwind from my body to take on forms of their own. Demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. My only allies. Until one moment—and one man—changes everything…

The Iron Hunt
Hunter Kiss 1
Ace, June 24, 2008
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

First in a stunning new urban fantasy series from an author who “NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE.” (BOOKLIST, STARRED REVIEW)

Demon hunter Maxine Kiss wears her armor as tattoos, which unwind from her body to take on forms of their own at night. They stand between her and her enemies, just as Maxine stands between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment—and one man— changes everything.

About Marjorie

Photo by Nina Subin
Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney and the bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as comic books for Marvel. She is, occasionally, commandeered by poodles – and highly opinionated cats – and divides her time between Boston, MA, New York City and Beijing/Shanghai, China. Visit her website at or find her on Twitter at


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