This posts starts out with a fun case of serendipity. I wrote to Jill Archer a few years ago because I read a book called Dark Light of Day. I loved the book so much I had to write to the author, well I did but I wrote to the wrong one. I’d meant to write to TM Frazier but instead wrote to Jill who also has a book with the same title so she politely told me I was mistaken and thank you for writing.
As I read Jill’s blog, I decided to subscribe because other than promoting her books she had interesting posts about writing and also fun stuff about her life. Over the last two years her blog has helped me on more than one occasion when I was blocked or feeling down. If you are an author or an avid reader subscribe to her newsletter and don’t worry she doesn’t over post.:} Also stalk her on social media and check out her book links below.
Jill took time out of her business day to answer my 5 burning questions. She’s so creative she took my questions and switched them up. The first half are answered by her heroine Noon and the last half are from Jill.
1. Let’s start with Kill, Marry or Screw? Your ex-boyfriend, a former classmate, or your boss?
Seriously? Because the same person – Ari Carmine – is my ex-boyfriend, former classmate, and my new boss.
Kill him? A tough question. I was a raging pacifist until recently. Killing was not in my wheelhouse. But I’ve made my peace with blood now, if not death. Wish Ari dead though? No… Never. And if I ever said it as a joke… I take it back. Luck listens sometimes and wishes can go terribly wrong in my world.
Marry him? I thought about marrying Ari. Once. Before I really knew him. Before I found out he’d lied to me – about being a demon! I’m still working on “forgive” so forget about “until death do us part.”
Screw him? I’ve already screwed Ari. Many, many times. Now my goal is not screwing him, which you might think would be easy (see above paragraph, i.e. the part where he LIED to me!!) but Ari is nothing if not persistent. Rumor has it he’s going to vow to seduce me once I show up for work. As if. I’ll have bigger things to worry about though. Like surviving my residency…
2. If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone to it, who would it be?
Ivy and Fitz – my two besties. They’re “Hyrkes,” meaning they’re humans with no magic, which is pretty common in Halja. I was raised as a Hyrke (long story) and hanging with Hyrkes doing non-magic-y stuff soothes my nerves. Fitz is a charmer. He’s also a carrot-topped constant talker. He loves All Things Outrageous. Ivy (short for Ivana not toxicodendron radicans) loves to shop, gossip, and study. She’s always lecturing me about the advantages of buckles versus ribbons, platforms versus heels, impleader versus interpleader, judgment as a matter of law versus judgment notwithstanding the verdict. I think she knows it distracts me… from the blood… and the demons I have to deal with…
The Patron Demon of Place Settings because Fitz asked me to put him on the list.
Fara and Rafe – Guardian Angels, one past, one present. Because, if I’m inviting a demon, I should invite a couple of angels too, right? Fara will definitely come. And she will likely introduce me with some vaingloriously-long list of all of my accomplishments. Rafe probably won’t come, because he’s training to be some sort of angel knight, but if he did, he’d likely introduce me as “the girl who can finally fillet a fish.”
3. What’s your favorite swear word?
Luck. Heard it rhymes with one of the old favorites.
Do you remember the first romance or paranormal book you ever read? Can you tell me about it? I think Interview with a Vampire was the first one I read in 1988.
I read that a couple of years after you. Loved it, as well as the first five or so books in that series. The series of hers I loved even more though was the Mayfair Witches one. I had a big author crush on Anne Rice.
I recall one of the original covers for The Witching Hour had this beautiful southern mansion on the front – all white columns, iron railings, and dark storm shutters. I’d heard the book’s setting was inspired by the author’s actual house and I decided to find it. It sounds a bit stalkerish now, but the Garden District in New Orleans is a big tourist attraction. I wasn’t the only one interested in the houses there. I was very taken with her house, not just its history and grandeur, but also the fact that it served as partial inspiration for the novel. If anyone’s interested in reading more about it, check out this article in Atlas Obscura on The Rosegate House.
As for the first romance or paranormal book I ever read, it would have to be a fairy tale, although I don’t remember which one. But most of them have both paranormal and romance elements: love, magic, a whiff of darkness (sometimes more) and, if the heroine is lucky, an HEA ending.
4. What type of stories would you like to write but haven’t yet?
I’ll probably always write stories with both romance and otherworld elements. That’s what I’m into. I also love the idea of subversive literature, but the idea of writing it? I dunno. Probably too ambitious for me. And I’d have to read a lot more literature (I’m a big – HUGE – genre fan).
If it wouldn’t break the bank (meaning I’d have to think carefully about whether the time and money I’d put into it would be worth my return) I might package my “Dream, Interrupted” story differently. It was published in the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance (the cover of which has a house on it that looks a lot like Anne Rice’s old house!). Sometimes I think it would be neat to combine that story with other “dream” and/or “dark queen” themed stories and self-pub them with a fun, non-preachy readers guide.
Honestly though? I plan to spend the next 1-2+ years wrapping up the Noon Onyx series. Between those books and/or after them? We’ll see…
5. What’s your writing process?
For Pocket Full of Tinder, which I’m working on now, I did things a bit differently than I did for the first three Noon books. I plotted the whole thing out on index cards, which I’d never successfully used before. But it was a great way to get started. Basically, I went through the first three books and wrote a card for every scene I thought should be in this book. Then I pinned them on a bulletin board, rearranged, and filled in gaps. And then I started really plotting.
I like to start with a general outline (maybe just a list of chapters with a brief description), GMC for my MCs, the big setting, a central question, a theme, and maybe some motifs. I usually research as I go. About halfway through (I’m past that point now), the whole thing gets blown off the rails. Whatever ending I originally envisioned never happens. But that’s okay. Because all you really need is a process that gets you started… and keeps you writing!
Interested in connecting? My quarterly newsletter launches next month (new release announcements, sneak peeks, giveaways, extras, etc.) It’s mostly for readers who love my books and want to hear more about them, but new readers who just want to sample and see if the series might be right for them are more than welcome! Sign up here.
You can also find me on my blog (inconsistently scheduled, often long-winded posts about writing, movies, books, and day tripping), Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest (I’m just getting started on Pinterest, but hey, come follow me – it’ll be fun! J).
Thanks for the great interview, Susan! Good luck and best wishes to you and all your readers!
WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE
NOON ONYX #3
One out of every two hunters who follow the Old Trail will not return…
After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race. Noon’s task, however, is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse – and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…
“High stakes and powerful magic collide” —Publishers Weekly
“Demanding, powerful, full-flavored and utterly destructive” —Bitten by Books
“I was hooked from the beginning.” —Night Owl Reviews (TOP PICK)