Interview and Giveaway with Laura Bickle!

Β 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:

Stalk Laura: Website | Blog | Twitter
Stalk Sparky: Twitter


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today! I'm so excited to say hello to you and your readers! πŸ™‚

  2. Kristen My Bookish Fairy Tale

    hey Laura!! I love the cover of your book and I cannot wait to read it! Wow! It's amazing to know what some authors did before they started to write and working in Criminology is amazing!

  3. I have loved recently reading your Oracle series and Ember looks fantastic. I cannot wait.

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  4. Hey Laura, Your book sounds great. I love finding nnew series, can't wait to get this one. Thanks!!

  5. I have just recently started reading the Oracle series and I like it can't wait to read Ember.

  6. Thanks, Kristen! I have really lucked out with covers. πŸ™‚

    Hi, Teril! Thanks so much for trying my books. *hugs* and many thanks!

    Thanks for stopping by, Tanya! I hope you enjoy!

    YA Books Review, I appreciate you picking up my books! Thank you! πŸ˜€

  7. I really like the sound of this book and I like that the main character is an Arson investigator, something a little bit different.

    I noticed you worked in criminal justice. In what capacity did you work within Criminal Justice and Criminology?



  8. This is so great! Thanks!

  9. Thanks, J-9! I never worked as an arson investigator, so that was fun research. I never did anything that exciting, trust me! πŸ˜‰

    The GirlOnFire, thanks for stopping in!

  10. This is fantastic!! Thanks again!.

  11. Thanks, Vivien! πŸ˜€ I appreciate you stopping by!

  12. Great interview. This is one case where I don't need to enter the contest, since I've already read "Embers" and "Sparks." I read them back-to-back, since I was enjoying "Embers" so much that I bought "Sparks" before I even hit the halfway mark in the first book!

    I'm anxiously awaiting the third Anya/Sparky book.

  13. Aanchal @ Book Flame

    I love discovering new series to get into, and I must say the covers are awesome

  14. Thanks for the follow, Kristin. I returned the favor and I'm looking forward to visiting often. Great header, by the way. If you're interested in an interview or guest post about my supernatural thrillers, just let me know πŸ˜‰

  15. This is why I love the blogging community finding new authors though I have been eyeing the Oracle series for awhile now.

    Embers looks as fascinating as Oracle series


  16. Thank you for the great interview I love her books I have read ! I have not read Embers yet and always wanted to! Thank you so much for the great giveaway!

  17. Hi Laura–I'm very glad that you're doing this interview. I work in Detroit, and I was thrilled to see an urban fantasy set in my city. (disclaimer: I am a commuter. Even though I would like to, I do no not live in the city and cannot therefore claim all that much cred.)

    Obviously, some parts of the city (the DIA, the salt mine, and the long history of arson) helped to fuel this book. Did you have any special challenges writing about Detroit?

    Many other urban fantasies obviously take place in urban environments, but they don't often include as much detail about their settings as you did. Most of the U.S. doesn't really know Detroit that well. Was it a conscious decision on your part to include so much of the real city?

  18. Thanks so much, ratkin! I'm so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the adventures of Sparky – and I love to hear from readers. πŸ™‚

    Thanks, Anachel! I've been very, very lucky with covers.

    Hi, Vanessa! Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi, BLHMistress! Thanks for the kind words.

    Thanks so much, latishajean! I'm excited that you liked them. That means a lot to me! Thanks for entering! πŸ™‚

    Hi, Nancy! I loved having the opportunity to write about Detroit. My husband is from Detroit, and he played tour guide for me. We both have family in Michigan, so it was a good opportunity to explore many of the places that were important to him – and them. And I did want to include as much of those magical places as possible.

    Detroit has such a rich landscape for urban fantasy…places like Michigan Central Station, the Detroit Salt Mine, DIA…there are so many places that really have so much power of their own. Their own gravitational pull, almost. Places that I can ask myself: What if this place was a way station for ghosts? What if this was a dragon lair? What kinds of spirits might mill around the museum after dark?

    I hope to have the chance to write about it again. Detroit occupies a lot of real estate in my imagination now, and I'd love to continue to exlpore it.

  19. All her books sound amazing and are on my WL!
    Once I feel like I 'know' an author a little it makes me more desperate for their books. Also, and I hope this doesn't sound creepy, but I think someones picture can tell a lot about them. And Laura's picture makes her look like very warm and kind person. The interview confirms that too;)

  20. Laura,

    Your book looks like a very good read, the cover is also awesome. I am looking forward to reading it.


  21. Hi Laura! I was wondering if you have ever envisioned yourself where you are today as an author?

  22. Offbeat Vagabond

    Wow! What a great interview. I have to admit, I am quite envious that you have a degree in criminology, fantasy or not, I imagine it gives you quite the edge. I am so with Kristen, the book covers are beautiful and epic. I can definitely see this as a movie and Alyson Hanigan, love her. Thank you both for the great interview and giveaway, crossing my fingers for this one.

  23. Great interview. How did you come up with the cover for youe book?

  24. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    I love all the new genres out there. Makes the book world feel so fresh.

    I'm a new follower (though I thought I was an old follower.)

  25. Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations)

    thanks Laura, I really enjoyed your books. I love how unique they are.

  26. Hi! I just wanted to let you know I gave you an award! You can see it here:

    Michele aka MikiHope

  27. Thank you for the great interview. And thank you for the chance to win!

  28. Totally love the Oracle series you write as Alayna! Really need to check out this first one though! Sounds awesome!

  29. Awww…Thanks, Candace! My husband took that picture for me. I will tell him that you liked it! πŸ™‚

    Thanks, Judy! I hope that you enjoy. I love the cover, too! πŸ™‚

    Hi, Moonlight Gleam…good question! I don't think that I ever really considered being a writer as a career. I didn't know anybody growing up who made a living with art, so it seemed pretty relegated to hobby territory. I still have a day job. Maybe someday it will be a full-time occupation for me…I hope so!

    But, no…I don't think that I ever thought I would wind up here. I have to pinch myself every so often!

    Offbeat Vagabond, thanks so much! I don't know that criminology gives me that much of an edge…every writer brings something unique from his/her experience to the table. And we all tend to write just a bit about what we know. πŸ™‚

    Hi, Lora1967! The cover, as all my covers are, were happy surprises. I'm cruising along in life until I get an e-mail from the publisher with an attachment…and BOOM, there the cover is! It's always a wonderful surprise.

    Hi, Deb Nance! That's one thing I love about UF…there are infinite possibilites to take things in new directions. πŸ™‚

    Hi, Miki! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

    Thank you, Mary Ellen, for entering!

    Thanks, Jessica! I'm so glad that you liked the Oracle books. Thanks so much for giving me a try!

  30. Wow this sounds so interesting, I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks for the giveaway ^_^

  31. Thanks for stopping in, faefever25! πŸ™‚

  32. Sophia the Writer

    Interviews are always awesome! Thanks for coming by.

    I'm Follower 1000 – wooo! I think there should be streamers πŸ™‚

  33. Sophia-there should be streamers, LOL! Lucky 1000!

  34. This one definitely sounds different. Thanks for the chance at this one. :0)

  35. Hi, Sophia – and congrats on being #1000! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for entering, Tracy H! πŸ™‚

  36. Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway. I am glad to be a part of it. πŸ™‚

    Laura – I have SO been wanting to read your books. The covers are beautiful and I love the whole idea behind your books. How long have you been writing?


  37. I loved the Oracle series and I'm looking forward to reading Embers. I love the cover too! Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  38. Hi, ChiKitty! I've been scribbling since I was old enough to hold a crayon. And I have lots of stories and shoebox books crammed in the back of the closet that will probably never see the light of day. But it's a dream come true to be published. My first book came out in April 2010, and I still have to pinch myself!

    Linda2060, thanks so much! πŸ™‚ I am very, very lucky with covers.

  39. this book sounds so awesome I can not wait to read it .

  40. melissasmeanderings

    Sounds great! And I so understand needing quiet to work!!

    mk261274 at gmail dot com

  41. Thanks, Anna!

    Melissa, I just can't focus on more than one thing at once…so silence works for me. I wish I could multitask better, though!

Comments are closed