Monday, January 06, 2014

Interview with Lisa Shearin, author of The Grendel Affair and more - January 6, 2014

Please welcome Lisa Shearin to The Qwillery. Lisa is the author of The Raine Benares series and the new SPI Files. The Grendel Affair (SPI Files 1) was published on December 31, 2013.

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery. You've written 6 novels in your Raine Benares series and now the first novel (at least) in the SPI Files. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Has your writing process changed over the years?

Lisa:  For me, the most challenging—and also the most rewarding—part of writing a book is the first draft. It’s challenging because I’m part plotter/part pantster. I tend to have the beginning, the ending, and a few scenes scattered through the space in between. That leaves a LOT of empty space to fill. It’s not filling the space that’s necessarily the challenge; it’s doing it on a tight deadline. Unlike many writers, I prefer the rewriting/editing part of the writing process—the part that comes after getting the first draft (aka “the story”) down. That’s when I can start to play and have fun, because at that point, I’ve got something to work with.

TQ:  Tell us something about The Grendel Affair (SPI Files 1) that is not in the book description.

Lisa:  How about why supernatural beings came to our world/dimension in the first place? They want the same things as the rest of us: a good job, nice house, 2.5 kids/spawn, and a dog. The others? Well, their powers are stronger here, their greed is bigger, and any treaties or bindings that might have made them behave back home don’t mean squat here. They don’t just want their slice of the American Dream; they want the whole freaking pie, and they don’t care what they have to do, who they have to kill, or how many city blocks they have to level to get what they want.

That’s why we’re here.

Someone has to even the odds.

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Grendel Affair?

Lisa:  I love movies like Men in Black, Big Trouble in Little China, and Ghostbusters. Nothing’s more fun to me than watching or reading about the chaos—and comedy—that ensues when people are faced with the reality that the creatures and things they didn’t believe existed are all too real. They’re sitting next to you on the subway, they’re driving the cab you just got into, and you found out this morning that your boss really is a troll. The story possibilities are endless—and so much fun.

TQ:  Does the SPI Files series have anything in common with your Raine Benares series?

Lisa:  Over the years, I’ve found I have a tendency toward quirky ensemble casts. I’m not a main character and that’s it kind of writer. Facing down beasties that go bump in the night (or goblin mages bent on world domination) is a lot less scary when you know your heavily and creatively armed friends have your back.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Grendel Affair?

Lisa:  I did quite a bit of research on the tunnel systems that run under New York City—sewer, subway, electrical, water, and especially those that have been abandoned. Before 9/11, there were tours of underground New York. I would so have loved to have taken a tour of the tunnels, and am completely bummed that they’re not offered anymore . I also researched Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. I drove past it on my way from LaGuardia into the city for a meeting with my publisher this past spring. I’d really like to take a tour when I’m in New York with more time. Then of course, there was the Beowulf/Grendel research. I fell in love with the idea of “what if?” in terms of Grendel being turned loose in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

TQ:  Why did you set the SPI Files in New York?

Lisa:  Since SPI is a worldwide organization, it seemed natural for me to put their global headquarters in New York. And if supernatural creatures wanted to be among humans, but concealed in the crowds, New York was the perfect choice. And I just love New York. : )

TQ:  What's next?

Lisa:  I’m presently writing the second book in the SPI Files – The Dragon Conspiracy. After that I plan to write an e-book novella set in Raine’s world. A lot of my fans have told me that they miss Tam. I miss Tam, too. Something that was hinted at in Magic Lost, Trouble Found, but not explored was how exactly did Raine and Tam meet, and what happened when they did? You’re the first one I’ve told about this project. ; ) The plan is to have it ready to go this year, but first I have to finish writing The Dragon Conspiracy.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Lisa:  Thank you so much for inviting me; it’s always fun!

SPI Files

The Grendel Affair
SPI Files 1
Ace, December 31, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…

When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out.

Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.

About Lisa

Contrary to popular belief, most authors do have day jobs just like everyone else. Lisa’s happily freelancing for an advertising agency as an editor and proofreader. In her previous corporate life, she’s been a magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.

Lisa is the national bestselling author of The Raine Benares novels, a series of six comedic fantasy adventures. Her next series—The SPI Files—is an urban fantasy that’s been described as Stephanie Plum meets Men in Black. It will debut on December 31, 2013.

Lisa is a voracious collector of fountain pens both vintage and modern. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and a Jack Russell Terrier who rules them all.

Website  ~   Twitter @LisaShearin  ~  Facebook  ~  Goodreads


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