TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Inara: I’m not sure I’m very quirky (I wish I was—quirky people are so interesting!). Probably the weirdest thing I do is make my computer read my manuscript to me after I’ve finished a draft. It’s not a fancy program, just the built-in Mac software. The voice is very funny and robotic, but I love hearing the words spoken aloud. I find lots of things to edit when I listen that I would never have found by reading.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Inara: Definitely a plotter. I use lots of charts and spreadsheets when I’m figuring out the arc of a story. I get very visual with my process.
TQ: What inspired you to write the Handmaid’s Seduction series?
Inara: Um, would you hate me if I said Barbie Fairies? LOL! My daughter had a bunch of these Barbie faeries that she would play with in the bath and I thought (because I’m twisted like that) that these Barbies would be great romance novel characters. Particularly if they were used to being the most beautiful creatures in the world, and then had to become mortal, and imperfect.
TQ: What sort of research did you do to create the world in the series?
Inara: I set the story in Miami, but live in Oregon, so I had to visit Miami for research. ;-) Actually, I did spend time eating the food, walking along the beach, and visiting neighborhoods to make sure I’d gotten it all right. I also chatted with florists about their jobs, and contacted a real estate agent to get ideas for the type of home that Portia, my grande dame, would own.
TQ: Describe Radiant Desire (A Handmaid’s Seduction 1) in 140 characters or less.
Inara: The object of every man’s desire must break a man’s heart or lose her wings forever. But what if she’s the one falling in love?
TQ: How did you create the names for the Fey in the series?
Inara: There’s no real science – just a lot of time on baby name websites. With the Handmaids, I really wanted names that were lyrical and sensual. Something that would flow off a man’s tongue easily when he was in the throes of passion. ;-)
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Radiant Desire?
Inara: I adore the scene when Kaia and Garrett fight, and she challenges his long-held beliefs about his family and his life. There’s another scene I love, but I can’t tell you which one because it would be a spoiler! Basically, I love “resolution” scenes, where the Big Emotional Moment happens. They’re so fun to write, and as a reader, they’re the moment that I’m most engrossed in the book.
TQ: In Radiant Desire, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?
Inara: Garrett was my hardest character. I struggle to make my men alpha enough to be enticing to readers, but not jerks. Garrett verged on jerk a few times, and I had to dial him back and make him more vulnerable. Writing good men is a true art!
Easiest was Kaia. Though I had to really double and triple think about her perspective as both a faerie and a human, I found the path she takes very easy to picture. Her realizations about love and humanity mirror my own beliefs about the essential goodness of the human heart.
TQ: How many books are planned for the series?
Inara: There’s definitely room for each of the Handmaids to have their own book, but I’m taking it one faerie at a time. I want to make sure each Handmaid’s story is fresh and begs to be told.
TQ: What's next?
Inara: I am currently working on Mina’s story, revising a young adult novel, and plotting another YA. I can’t imagine a time when I won’t be writing.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Inara: Thank you!
About Radiant Desire
Radiant DesireHandmaid's Seduction 1
Entangled Publishing, October 2011
Contemporary Fantasy Romance
The object of every man’s fantasy just lost her wings…
Kaia Verde is one of the four Faerie Handmaids of Zafira, Queen of the Fey. To redress an ancient wrong done to Zafira by a human king, the Handmaids make sport of mortal men, seducing and humiliating them. When Kaia sets out to seduce Garrett Jameson, but ends up being the one surrendering to pleasure, Zafira is furious. Kaia’s punishment is simple: make Garrett fall in love with her by the summer solstice, then break his heart, or face eternity without her wings—or her soul. To make the task harder, Zafira tells Kaia she cannot use her faerie magic or charm to lure Garrett into her bed.
…and now she’s losing her heart…
Kaia thinks her task will be relatively easy—as a faerie, she understands lust, and can love be much different? But once she is living among the humans, Kaia discovers the race she once disparaged is far more complex and beautiful than she imagined. She learns before she can break Garrett’s heart, she must find a way to heal it. And eventually, discovers that losing her wings may be a far easier price to pay than losing her heart.
She loves to hike, canoe, and play outside. She is addicted to yoga. She has a deep affinity for water (she used to believe she could learn to breathe underwater, if she stayed down there long enough).
Inara is a geek through and through. She fears deep, intellectual books and loves romance and fantasies. She listens to cheesy, happy music. When she was in high school, her friends considered having a clothing intervention for her because she insisted on making her own clothes and shopping at thrift stores. Somehow, she survived.
What: One commenter will win an ebook copy of Radiant Desire (Handmaid's Seduction 1) from Entangled Publishing.
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
Barbie or Ken?
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