TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Kira: I write best under a little pressure, so I use Write or Die to race myself. The program allows me to input either a time or a word goal, and I write until I reach that goal (usually 1k words). If I stop typing, the screen flashes red. If I don't start typing again, the program plays a siren. If I still don't type, it starts deleting my words. It's quite a good motivator to get the words on the page fast, and it helps me quiet my internal editor. First drafts are fast and sloppy, but they usually contain some diamonds in the rough.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Kira: There are so many! In romance and urban fantasy: Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Joanna Bourne, Lisa Kleypas, Patricia Briggs, and Larissa Ione. The authors who had the biggest impact on my developing writing style and imagination were the ones I read multiple times as a kid: Peter Beagle (The Last Unicorn), Garth Nix, Philip Pullman, Patricia C Wrede, Richard Adams (Watership Down), and Scott O Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins). I read a lot of historical romance. They're like Disney movies for grown ups.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Kira: I started off as a pantser, but now I'm a plotter. For Hearts of Darkness I had a very clear beginning and ending, but a foggy grasp of how to get from point A to point B. I started it during National Novel Writing Month and ended up trashing half the scenes I wrote. Plotting is a lot more efficient. The scenes I write end up in the story, and I have fewer sessions where I stare at a blank page and wonder what happens next.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Kira: Trying to fit it in around teaching my toddler the score to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, assisting the Laundry Fairy in her valiant crusade against dirty clothes, and Prince Charming's busy schedule as he travels from kingdom to kingdom vanquishing giants. Basically, making time for it. I get tons of ideas and write brilliant scenes when I'm away from my computer, but in the few precious moments I have to sit down to write, those ideas vanish like the fine morning mist.
TQ: Describe Hearts of Darkness (Deadglass Trilogy 1) in 140 characters or less.
Two shape shifter races fight over the Gate to the Land of the Dead in a gritty, alternate Seattle. Werewolf & Nurse risk all for love.
TQ: What inspired you to write Hearts of Darkness?
Kira: The Seattle Ghost Tour and a quote attributed to Chief Seattle, in which he said, “These shores will swarm with the invisible Dead of my Tribe. The White Man will never be alone. Let him be kind and just to my People, for the Dead are not powerless. Dead, did I say? There is no death, only a Change of Worlds.” The Ghost Tour covered Pike Place Market and focused on the scandals of our city's founders and the spirits that still stalk the dark streets. The historic landmark Butterworth Mortuary building particularly sparked my imagination, and it's the setting of a number of scenes from the book.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Hearts of Darkness?
Kira: I researched the historic understanding of Aether, electromagnetic pulses, and how a car would start without electricity. Everything else I made up.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
Kira: Hart, the hero, was easiest. He bounded fully formed from my imagination like Athena's birth from Zeus's brain. He was really fun to write, but I don't know why he would be easy. Kayla was a lot harder. A romance heroine has to be relatable-- someone the reader wants to be best friends with. But she also has to be flawed so that she can complete her transformation from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Taking a character who has no notion of the supernatural and no survival skills and plopping her down in the middle of a supernatural war, well, she's not going to have an easy time of it. Kayla had to stumble around in the dark for a bit before she found her footing, and it was a challenge to make her likable during that steep learning curve.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Hearts of Darkness?
Kira: I love the scene in Butterworth's with Hart and Sven Norgard. It was the first one I wrote, and it's still the most vivid to me. I also like the scene with Norgard and his brother Leif in Leif's laboratory. It's a bit mad science.
TQ: What's next?
Kira: Deadglass book 2, Hearts of Shadow, is due out May 2013, and book 3, Hearts of Chaos, is February 2014. I'm looking forward to Leif and Grace's story in book 2 and Emory and Lucia's story in book 3. After that, it'll be a surprise for both of us. ;)
Hearts of DarknessDeadglass Trilogy 1
Kensington Zebra, August 7, 2012
Mass Market Papberback and eBook, 352 pages
In the first of a dazzling new romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war—and an irresistible passion…
Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies…and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.
Hearts of FireDeadglass 0.5
Kensington Zebra, June 26, 2012
In the prequel to a stunning new paranormal series, one woman's desire for a forbidden man will spark a centuries-long supernatural conflict--and a love nothing can destroy.
She's the heiress to Seattle's most powerful shifter clan. Her destiny is as controlled and certain as moonrise. However, from the moment Alice Corbette encounters the man known as Brand, she will defy all constraint and break every rule to make this dragon-shifter hers. Brand is determined to repay the clan leader he owes his life to. But one taste of Alice's exquisite spirit will make him question his loyalty--and plunge them both into the middle of a ruthless power play. Their only chance at freedom is a gamble that could risk the future of humans and shifters alike. . .
Hearts of Shadow (Deadglass 2) will be published in May 2013 and Hearts of Chaos (Deadglass 3) will be published in February 2014.
Website : Facebook : Twitter : Google+ : Goodreads
What: One commenter will win a copy of Hearts of Darkness (Deadglass 1) from The Qwillery.
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
Have you ever been or felt you have been someplace haunted?
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 Tuesday August 14, 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.*