The long awaited fifth installment in Marjorie M. Liu’s Hunter Kiss series, LABYRINTH OF STARS, is finally here, and Marjorie stopped by to answer a few questions about the book. Also, we’ve got a copy up for grabs to 1 lucky winner!
Congrats on the new book LABYRINTH OF STARS! You gave up law in 2004 to write full time, but did you always want to be a writer from an early age? Will you tell us a little more about how you started writing?
Thank you so much! Yes, I always wanted to be a writer – or rather, I LOVED telling stories. I was always making up adventures for my toys: grand epics, wild tales of derring-do (cardboard boxes make excellent caves for monsters). That love of storytelling became a love of writing. And I just kept writing, and reading, and never stopped.
What was one of the earliest things you remember writing?
It’s funny you ask, because I recently discovered one of my first attempts. I was going through a box of papers and found a journal that my mom had gotten me when I was very little – maybe three or four years old. It had an orange cat on the cover. I very clearly remember opening it up, and writing a short story about that cat. It was only a few sentences long, but that was the start.
Will you tell us a little about LABYRINTH OF STARS and what readers can expect from this installment?
Maxine is pregnant and her enemies want to kill her baby and husband. Simple as that. She’s got an army of demons at her disposal, but they can’t protect her. Her only weapon is herself. And there’s a price to that, of course.
What do you like most about Maxine, and why do you think readers root for her?
Maxine’s loyalty and her deep, profound compassion for those she loves. She tries so hard to pretend that she’s cold, heartless, when instead it’s just the opposite. Her capacity for love runs deep. And ultimately, that’s always what saves her.
How would you say Maxine has changed the most from THE IRON HUNT to now?
Her world used to be very small, limited to the stories her mother told her, family lore passed down from generation to generation about who she was, and what she’d been born to do. She thought she understood her purpose, but it was an incredibly lonely life – without a lot of hope. But that changes as soon as she meets Grant –and with each book we see her eyes opening, her mind expanding, her heart growing larger. Everything Maxine thought she knew turns out to be a lie, or just a shadow of the truth, and for the last five novels the reader has been with her as she transforms into a new, more powerful woman. A woman with hope.
When you started the series, did you already have an idea of how many books you’d like to write, or did you just decide to see where the series took you?
I had no idea whatsoever. I wish! Instead, I just went where the series took me, and that was often to some very strange, unexpected places. Ideally, I would have had all that planned out ahead of time, but the discoveries came about as I wrote: part of an organic process that created the world that Maxine inhabits. It was an adventure for me, as well. I never could predict how these novels would end – just that Maxine would have her boys, Grant. That her heart would only fall deeper in love with those around her.
What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pantser! But I’m trying to become a plotter, as much as I’m able. It’s nice to have a plan, sometimes – even a little one.
What are a few authors that have especially influenced you?
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Gene Stratton Porter, Kelly Link, Sara Donati, Maxine Hong Kingston, Isabelle Allende, Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, and many more.
Read any good books lately?
Lynn Viehl’s Disenchanted & Co., Part 1: Her Ladyship’s Curse. Loved that. I’ve also been reading a wonderful graphic novel called Fatale, by Ed Brubaker.
You’ve traveled extensively, especially in Asia! Where would you like to go that you haven’t yet visited?
Istanbul! Budapest! Paris!
Will you tell us something about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I’m not a huge fan of cake. Or icing.
What’s next for you?
I’m revising a novel about an elderly dominatrix and her granddaughter who set out to solve a murder. And, hopefully, there’s another comic book coming. More on both these projects soon, but folks can stay tuned to my twitter feed or website for updates: http://marjoriemliu.com/ and https://twitter.com/marjoriemliu
2.) Giveaway is for 1 copy of LABYRINTH OF STARS by Marjorie M Liu to 1 winner
3.) Giveaway is open to those with a US mailing address only (no PO Boxes)
4.) You must enter on or before 3/14/14
5.) Giveaway book courtesy of Ace
6.) Please see my Giveaway Policy.
About LABYRINTH OF STARS:
Tattoos with hearts, minds, and dreams. Created to be the armor that protects my body, these obsidian shadows come alive at night—demons made flesh.
After the Aetar nearly kill Maxine’s unborn child, and a betrayal within her own ranks leaves Maxine’s husband, Grant, poisoned and dying, Maxine is forced to attack a race of beings that possesses almost unlimited power. Doing so will require she make a deal with the devil—the devil that lives inside her—risking both her sanity and her soul as she slowly transforms into something more than human.
But even that might not be enough to save Grant, because the very thing that Maxine is becoming is destined to destroy the world.