Please welcome Susan Krinard to The Qwillery. Mist, Susan's most recent and her first Urban Fantasy novel, was published on July 16, 2013 by Tor Books.
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery! You have written well over 20 novels, but never an Urban Fantasy until now. What was the most challenging thing about writing Mist (Midgard 1)?
Susan: The most difficult transition from romance to urban fantasy was the need to keep track of a complex plot over three books, instead of one self-contained novel. The story and characters are more complex, and because I do so have so many characters and several sub-plots, it’s a lot to remember. I also have more freedom to build different kinds of relationships, and the temptation is to develop these to the point that you’ve gone way over your word count!
TQ: Describe Mist in 140 characters or less.
Susan: Mist, a centuries-young Valkyrie living in San Francisco- discovers that the gods she thought destroyed are ready to bring their battle to earth, and only she can save her adopted world. (A few characters over … I can’t do tweets!)
TQ: What inspired you to write Mist?
Susan: My long-time love of mythology, fantasy and comic books I read lots of mythology, including Norse, when I was young, around the same time I discovered a love for science fiction and fantasy. I also started irregularly reading comic books, and my favorite was “Thor.” I actually wrote the story upon which the novel is based, “Mist” in Tor’s Chicks Kick Butt, well before the Thor movie was released. I was really hoping to do something a little different in urban fantasy.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Mist and what appealed to you about Norse mythology?
Susan: I did a lot of online research and also bought a number of books about Norse mythology. I like Norse mythology because it’s so vigorous and romantic in a lot of ways, bold and yet a little twisted. The gods are just like people—quarrelsome, treacherous, malicious at times, yet capable of great loyalty and generosity. They’ve always seemed very much “alive” to me in comparison to other pantheons. I have always loved tricksters, too, so Loki is a particular favorite, and I loved writing him (again, before the movie came out, though there are similarities there!) I also love women warriors, and making a Valkyrie my heroine seemed a perfect fit.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
Susan: I think the easiest was Loki. I like writing ambiguous characters who can get away with things the protagonist can’t, can behave very badly and yet seem a little sympathetic. He came to life right away for me.
Mist was the hardest. She’s the “straight woman” in the story, serious by nature, with a dry sense of humor that is often overshadowed by the seriousness of the situation. She has to hold it all together, and the responsibilities on her shoulders are immense. She’s not only fighting in the shadows, but will be helping to lead a war. So I had to find complexities in her very straightforward, warrior’s personality that could really make her come alive. It took me a lot longer to “discover” who she really was. (Sometimes that doesn’t happen until you’ve written half the book!)
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Mist?
Susan: I’m torn between three scenes. The first is near the beginning of the book, where Mist, in a very physical and direct way, discovers that neither the gods nor their enemies were destroyed in the Last Battle, Ragnarok. She finds herself fighting one of these enemies in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and then runs across the elf , Dainn, who is to be her partner and ally in the battle to come. I particularly like her discovery of Dainn and the byplay between them.
I also like the scene where we first meet Loki, and Mist fights him in a bar belonging to two of Odin’s sons (who, like Mist, have been on earth for hundreds of years.)
Finally, I like a scene between Loki and Dainn that occurs toward the end of the book, but it’s not one I can really describe properly in a few words. You have to read it for yourself!
TQ: What's next?
Susan: This is a trilogy, so the next book, Black Ice (which I’m currently finishing now) will be out in July 2014, and the third book, Battlestorm (title indefinite) the year after that. I am also writing a series of post-apocalyptic vampire/human war books for Harlequin Nocturne. I have done careful world-building, so except for the strong emphasis on romance, I could probably have written these as straight fantasy. It’s the “Nightsider” series, and the first one, Daysider, is out in August, followed by the other two three or four months part.
So, come this November, when all books are finished, I’ll be a free agent again and, if I don’t get another contract right away, I’ll be working on a couple of my own projects to put out there. They’ll all be fantasy, either urban or epic or possibly “bustlepunk,” if you’ve heard the term. I’ve had some major career changes over the past couple of years, but now that I’ve begun to write what I’ve wanted to do for years, I’m not going to stop!
I’m running a bookmark giveaway and contest (books and t-shirts) on my website, www.susankrinard.com. The contest ends on July 26.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Susan: Thank you!
Tor Books, July 16, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie Mist one of the only survivors.
Or so she thought.
When a snowy winter descends upon modern-day San Francisco in June, Mist’s quiet existence starts to feel all too familiar. In quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god Loki, alive and well after all these years.
Loki has big plans for the modern world, and he’s been hanging around Mist to get access to a staff that once belonged to the great god Odin. Mist is certain of one thing: Loki must be stopped if there is to be any hope for Earth. But the fight is even bigger than she knows.
Because Loki wasn’t the only god to survive.
Susan’s love for Science Fiction and Fantasy began when her fourth grade teacher read Madeleine L’Engles’ A Wrinkle In Time to the class. She attended her first Star Trek convention at the age of 14. Since then she’s continued to read voraciously and has attended numerous local and World Science Fiction conventions. Her first major urban fantasy series is the “Midgard” series, beginning with Mist, a July 2013 release from Tor Books.
Susan and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband Serge Mailloux—whom she met because of a mutual love of the works of writer C. J. Cherryh—dogs Cagney, Nahla and Freya, and cats Agatha and Rocky.
Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads
What: Three commenters will each win a Trade Paperback copy of Mist (Midgard 1) and bookmarks from Tor Books. US/CANADA ONLY
How: Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.
Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on July 31, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change.*
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I've always liked the idea of Loki (a trickster!) but I suspect the reality would not be as fun as I would hope, lol.ReplyDelete
I used to be a big fan of Thor but recently I've come to admire Odin, the big guy, more than any other. Not sure why.ReplyDelete
I have loved Thor since I was a little girl and I'm 60 now... so that's been a long time. I really enjoyed your interview above and will look for your book (if I'm not lucky enough to win it! Thanks for the giveaway!ReplyDelete
I've always been partial to Thor, and my favorite movie lately is The Avengers, although I really liked the movie Thor as well. :D I used to read comic books as a girl and loved the ones featuring Thor.ReplyDelete
I've got to go Freya. Not only is she super important but I've heard her described as the 'party girl' of the Norse gods (because of her love of various 'pleasures.')ReplyDelete
Thor :) Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
I'm a fan of Hel, ( or possibly Holle or Hulda ) the goddess of death and the afterlife :)ReplyDelete
I'm going to have to say Thor. The helmet, the hair...yep, Thor! Thanks for the giveaway!ReplyDelete
I will have to go with Thor, as he is the only one I know. I have yet to read a story with Norse mythology and am looking forward to it :)ReplyDelete