Holla!!!! It’s Tori. I’m so pleased that I am here with Erica Hayes to talk about life, books, urban fantasy, smexy men, and her newest release-Poison Kissed, #3 in her Shadowfae Chronicles.
Hi Erica! (insert fangirl SQUEEE) Thanks so much for being here with me today at Smexy Books. I LOVE your Shadowfae world and am VERY excited about your newest release Poison Kissed, which came out September 28, 2010. Can you tell us a little about it?
Thanks so much for having me! POISON KISSED is book #3 in my Shadowfae Chronicles series — it’s dark and sexy urban fantasy/romance, set in a weird, fairy-infested, demon-haunted city. Here’s the cover copy:
“Beyond the veil of magic, a fairy otherworld pulses with glamour and dark beauty. It’s a place where passions run deep and dark — and death is just one kiss away…
Mina is a banshee whose greatest power lies in her siren song. She’s beholden to her boss Joey, a snake-shifter who once saved her life and now employs her as a gang enforcer. She refuses to upset the fragile balance between them by admitting that she longs for him, that his embrace is the only thing she craves more than revenge for her mother’s death…
When Mina learns that Joey may have been involved in her mother’s murder, fury threatens to spill out of her, note by vicious note. She and Joey have always trusted each other to stay alive, but now she’s not sure what to believe. The evidence stacked against him — or the one man who haunts her dreams and burns in her blood…”
I noticed the cover for this one really deviates from the last 2. What prompted the change?
I love the new cover! I mean, I adore the previous covers too. But I think the new one reflects the tone and focus of the books a bit better. It’s clearly an urban fantasy cover, whereas the others are a bit ambiguous. Each of the books has a really strong romance and a HEA, but there’s too much other stuff in there for them to be pure romance, and the heroines are clearly the main characters. I think the publisher wanted the covers to reflect that.
Mina’s pretty hot, I’ll give you that. ;) Which leads me to my next question. Where do your ideas for the Shadowfae world and your characters come from?
My head. Ha ha. No, really, I make this stuff up from nothing. Now that I have the world straight in my mind — and that came from a mixture of real-life drama and wishful thinking — now that I know what the world’s about, I usually begin with a character who has a problem.
In POISON KISSED, for instance, I started with Mina, a kick-ass banshee gang enforcer who has two problems: the search for her mother’s murderer, and a desperate crush on her boss, whom she thinks doesn’t know she’s alive. And there’s your book. TWO problems?? Awesome! Any writer can get a hundred thousand words out of that no problem :)
Can these books be read as stand alone(s) or do you feel you really need to start from book 1-Shadowfae to understand this FABULOUSO world?
‘Fabuloso’!! I like that :) The books can be read as stand-alone, in any order. Each has a new hero and heroine and a HEA. But there is an ongoing plot in the background, and though it’ll still make sense in each separate book, you’ll probably get more out of those parts of the story if you read in order.
How many do you have planned for this series?
I’ve written 4 so far. Beyond that, we’ll have to wait and see (nudge, wink, tell all your friends to buy them and maybe there’ll be more!). But I do have ideas for a couple more… Kane doesn’t have his story yet, after all…
OooooO…. Kane….*mind wanders off* Oh excuse me. *clearing throat* Where was I? Oh yes. So do you have anything planned beyond the Shadowfae Chronicles?
I’m working on a futuristic at the moment, sort of an urban tech action story with a secret agent heroine. Spaceships and rayguns! Yay!
How cool. You can never go wrong with spaceships and rayguns-that’s my motto. Seriously, it is. Now, more about Poison Kissed. :) I have always been a sucker for minions who love the big bad boss. Joey sounds mucho HAWT; but I have to say that a snake shifter intrigues and creeps me out a little. What made you choose a snake?
First, I just want to say that it’s my mission to get snake shifters the legions of drooling fangirls they deserve. If I achieve nothing else in my career, so long as I can go out as ‘the chick who wrote that smokin’ hawt snake shifter book’ my work here will be done :D
Now I have that off my chest :) that cocktail of intrigue vs creep-out is exactly why I wanted to write this! Part of Joey’s problem is that he creeps himself out a little. He and his creature have a love-hate relationship. I wanted that to mean something — if his creature was one that’s commonly regarded as noble or beautiful, it’d be hard to have sympathy with his misgivings. And he’s hidden himself from Mina for years. He’s desperately afraid of what she’ll think of him when she finally sees what he’s really like underneath. I wanted that fear to be real.
Do you get to see the big reveal scene in the book? Of course. Do they (ahem) get it on? Absolutely. Is it scorching hot? I hope so!
Besides, I’m over werewolves. And werecats. And were-anything-furry-and-cute. Meh. Give me some really scary creatures!
Joey….sexy snakeshifters…getting it on…*again- mind is wandering.*
Am I going to LOVE Joey? Because I already love Kane, Rajah, Indigo and I’m running out of bed space. :P
I hope so! I really do. I adore Joey. He’s probably the most alpha of my heroes so far. Passionate, single-minded, unafraid — it’s his nature to take what he wants, and he wants Mina real bad. But he’s also iron-willed, and that includes self-denial. Irresistible force meets immovable object. Tension? He’s so tense he bursts out of his skin, sometimes literally. Frustration? How about a seething mass of unrequited serpentine passion? That’s Joey. Bwahaha…
P.S. A word of advice. Kane is immortal, more or less. He’ll be around for a long time. He’ll wait for you. Just don’t expect him to do it alone. And Rajah still has six hundred years of thrall to go. He’s not going anywhere. If I were you, I’d be hitting on Indigo first.
How about a seething mass of unrequited serpentine passion? I LOVE that!!!. Oh girl, you ain’t lying. I’ll be hitting Indigo A LOT. :)
Let’s talk about you now. I see you have led a very interesting life. AF Officer, law student, ect… Have you always had stories to tell?
Yeah. I mean, I’ve always written stuff. All those other jobs and things just got in the way :) but I did learn things. Having trained as a lawyer, I have no desire to write courtroom dramas. Anyone who’s ever spent a day in court knows it’s the most boring thing ever. The air force came in handy for writing science fiction — I can invent techie military stuff and make it sound realistic. And I’m a musician, which means I know how to bash away at some annoying little thing over and again and forever until I get it right. It all comes in handy for writing!
Has it always been Urban Fantasy for you? What other genre’s interest you writing wise?
I tried to write paranormal romance, but it turned out as romantic UF, and I guess I’ve been stuck there ever since. In fact, I still write these books as romances — but in UF I’ve got the latitude to let the other stuff creep in — more action, more focus on the heroine, subplots, secondary characters with their own points of view, or whatever.
Lately I’ve had a break and I’ve been writing futuristic/urban tech, and I’m loving it!
What are your “must have” things in order to write?
Computer and brain. Nothing else required.
Where do you picture yourself five years from now?
With another 15 books out, and more famous :)
What authors are a must have on your bookshelf?
That’s a tough one. I read lots of different stuff, and many of my absolute favorite books are one-offs. I love The Name of the Rose, but I’m too dim to understand anything else Umberto Eco writes. I always enjoy Stephen King, though I haven’t read all his books. Unfortunately in my own genre (UF) I’m unbearably fussy. I guess being a writer means you invariably pick holes in every book you read.
What is big thing you want to do you haven’t done yet?
I’d like to ride the Trans-Mongolian Railway, all the way from Beijing to St Petersburg.
Wow. That sounds like so much fun.
Now for the quick responses:
Coke or coffee?
Hot chocolate. But if I have to choose, definitely coffee.
Big breakfast or a donut on the run?
Donut. Or nothing at all. (I wonder if she loves bacon maple donuts like me???)
Vamps or shifters?
Vamps. Unless they’re really cool shifters.
Do you agree that Starbucks is THE evil empire that must be destroyed?
Starbucks are definitely the evil empire. But, y’know. That’s okay with me.
Dead tree books or e books?
Dead trees, unfortunately. If we relied on e-books in my country, we’d have hardly anything to read.
Mac or Windows?
I’m sorry, did you say something after ‘Mac’?
Well, I don’t know about you but I had a BLAST talking to you and hope to do so more in the future. Thank you again for your time answering my questions and give us the skinny on your world.
Thanks to the Smexy girls for having me! It has been a blast :)
Erica Hayes has kindly now offered FOUR books up for grabs. We will pick four winners and each will have a pick at which book they would like in the series.
To enter, leave a comment and your email address. Giveaway open to everyone through October 21st.