Posted on March 25, 2011 in Fantasy
, Urban Fantasy
with 41 Comments
I’m such a huge fan of Laura Bickle’s, so I was so excited when she agreed to an interview! Laura is the author of two urban fantasy series, and also is one of the sweetest gals in the biz! Please welcome her to the blog!
Laura is also generously offering a copy of Embers for giveaway to one lucky winner!
Giveaway is now CLOSED
My Bookish Ways: Anya and Sparky are two of my favorite characters to come along in urban fantasy in a long time! When you set out to write Embers, did you have an idea as to where the story would go, or did you plan on just seeing where Anya would take you?
Laura Bickle: Thanks so much for interviewing me today!
I’m a plotter (which I know isn’t very exciting). So I had a pretty good idea of where the story would go. I had the idea of Anya as an arson investigator firmly in my head. And I’d been wanting to play with the idea of a fire salamander familiar for a long time.
As I write, I do have some surprises, and like to follow those ideas down rabbit holes. Some things about the story were pure serendipity – like the image of Sirrush from the Ishtar Gates actually being housed at the Detroit Museum of Arts. And it became clear to me that Anya was an avatar of Ishtar. Turning the Detroit Salt mine into a dragon’s lair followed naturally from research, and the dots began to connect themselves. I love it when a story gets to that state of flow, where one idea moves into another.
I imagine your background in criminology helped quite a bit when writing the more procedural parts of the book, such as Anya’s fire investigations. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve worked in and around criminal justice for more than ten years, so I wanted to get the investigative details correct. I feel like I can suspend disbelief and buy into fantasy more readily if I know that the real-world details are accurate. I’ve been scribbling since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I don’t know that I really thought that being a writer could be a viable career. I never knew anybody who was a writer growing up, so it felt very much like a hobby to me. Something to do when the day job was done. And it’s still very much like that. Writing gets squeezed into the nooks and crannies of free time.
What were some of your favorite authors while you were growing up? Any particular books or authors that inspired you?
I read Robin McKinley’s HERO AND THE CROWN when I was a kid, and it really made an indelible impression on me. It was the first fantasy I’d read in which the heroine slew her own dragons. It opened up a whole world of possibilities for me.
What are your current faves?
My current favorites are Elizabeth Bear, Ann Aguirre, Jeri Smith-Ready. I love reading stories that challenge me, and there’s always something new in their arsenals that I hadn’t considered before.
If Embers was made into a movie, who would you picture as Anya?
Oooh, that’s a toughie. I don’t think that I had anyone in particular in mind when I wrote her. I love the cover artist’s interpretation, though. She’s very close to who I imagined. As far as a well-known actress…maybe someone like Alyson Hanigan?
When you write, do you have a favorite writing spot, or can you write anywhere?
I wish that I could write anywhere. I’m very envious of writers who can stake out some space in a coffee shop and get to work. I’m too easily distracted; I can’t write with the television on. And I can’t write around other people. I think it’s because I know that I’m chewing my lip and making weird concentration faces while I’m writing. I don’t think that anybody really needs to see that.
Is there something you can tell us about yourself that maybe not a lot of people know?
My husband and I are amateur astronomers. Very amateur. But we have a lot of fun lugging the telescope out to the countryside and trying to find Saturn without losing our lenses. Not like that sort of thing has ever happened before…
Do you have any news or teasers about upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I also write urban fantasy as Alayna Williams. My newest release, ROGUE ORACE, came out in March. It follows the adventures of Tara Sheridan, a criminal profiler who uses Tarot cards to solve crimes. More info on that story and my other novels is here: www.salamanderstales.com
Stalk Laura: Website | Blog | Twitter
Stalk Sparky: Twitter
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