Please welcome D. L. McDermott to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Cold Iron (Cold Iron Trilogy 1) was published on February 10, 2014.
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?
D. L.: I got hooked on Nancy Drew in the second grade and wanted to become a writer from then on. My first real break came at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., where we produced an annual Halloween event featuring ghost stories performed in historic houses. I wrote four new period pieces every year and was able to experiment in the styles of my favorite fantasy authors, like Poe, Hawthorne, Lovecraft, LeFanu, Dunsany, and M.R. James. Seeing your work performed in front of a live audience is an amazing way to receive feedback, and it helped me learn how to tell better stories.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
D. L.: I’m a plotter. I plan out the emotional journey my characters will take, but I think my outlines are less like a set of directions and more like a GPS that adjusts itself as you travel.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Where do you write?
D. L.: The thing I love about urban fantasy and paranormal romance is the sense of the possible—that there might really be a hidden world just around the next corner—so I work hard to make the world feel as real as possible. I like to switch up my writing so I work at home in my office, and at the dining room table, and in my favorite coffee shop—wherever feels right at the moment.
TQ: Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?
D. L.: Fritz Lieber, Jack Vance, Alfred Bester, and CL Moore are my favorite classic spec writers. And I’m hooked on Kresley Cole, Chloe Neill, Jeannine Frost, and Nalini Singh right now.
TQ: Describe Cold Iron in 140 characters or less.
D. L.: Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in the Fae. She’s always credited her ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until today.
TQ: Tell us something about Cold Iron that is not in the book description.
D. L.: In the world of Cold Iron, the Irish gangs in South Boston and Charlestown are really warring groups of Fae.
TQ: What inspired you to write Cold Iron?
D. L.: House hunting in South Boston and Charlestown. Both communities feel like worlds apart from downtown Boston, and the Irish character of those neighborhoods suggested the Fae connection.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Cold Iron?
D. L.: I read a lot of Irish mythology, and brushed up on Celtic material culture and archaeology.
TQ: Why did you choose to write a Urban Fantasy Romance? Do you want to write in any other genres or sub-genres?
D. L.: I enjoy reading UF and PNR and wasn’t finding enough Fae stories.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Who is your favorite good guy, bad guy or ethically ambiguous character?
Beth Carter and her best friend Helene were easy to write because I worked in museums for so long that I knew their world. Writing the Fae means stepping back and thinking about what their worldview would be. They’re ancient and immortal. They live for thousands of years, they’ve seen the grand sweep of history, but they’re sybarites, so they live in the present, today. I love writing the Prince Consort, because he’s a villain, but he’s also the hero of his own story, and eventually he’s going to get his own book…
TQ: Give us one of your favorite lines from Cold Iron.
D. L.: Rational Beth said, It’s some local joker playing with you, but irrational Beth, the Beth who could feel the old places through maps and pictures, heard a voice whisper, The Good Neighbors. The Fair Folk. The Lords and Ladies who dwell in the earth. The Sídhe. You’ve always known they would come for you.
TQ: What's next?
D. L.: The next two books are coming out back to back. SILVER SKIN, which is Miach and Helene’s story, will be out in April and STONE SONG, Elada’s story, is coming in June!
Cold Iron Trilogy 1
Pocket Star, February 10, 2014
eBook, 381 pages
For fans of Jeaniene Frost and Kresley Cole, this full-length novel is the first in D.L. McDermott’s fast-paced, sexy paranormal romance series—available exclusively in ebook!
The Fae, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Aes Sídhe, creatures of preternatural beauty and seduction. Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in them. She’s always credited her extraordinary ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until she discovers a tomb filled with ancient treasure but missing a body. Her ex-husband, the scholar who stifled her career to advance his own, is unconcerned. Corpses don’t fetch much on the antiquities market. Gold does. Beth knows from past experience that if she isn’t vigilant, Frank will make off with the hoard.
So when a man—tall, broad shouldered, and impossibly handsome—turns up in her bedroom claiming to be the tomb’s inhabitant, one of mythic god-kings of old Ireland, Beth believes it is a ploy cooked up by her ex-husband to scare her away from the excavation.
But Conn is all too real. Ancient, alien, irresistible, the Fae are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, their attentions so addictive their abandoned human lovers wither and die. And this one has fixed his supernatural desire on Beth.
A native of Bergenfield, New Jersey, D L graduated from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History. For many years she managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, and wrote and directed the Witch City’s most popular Halloween theater festival, Eerie Events. She later earned an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. D L has been a sorority house mother, a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow, a WGA Writer’s Access Project Honoree, and a staff writer on the ABC primetime drama, Cupid. Her screenwriting credits include episodes of the animated series, Tron: Uprising. Her short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Albedo One. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project, The Night Caller, aired on WNET Channel 13 and was featured on Ain’t It Cool News. She is married with one cat and divides her time between Los Angeles and Salem.