Today, I´d like to welcome H.P. Mallory, indie Urban Fantasy author of “Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble” and “To Kill A Warlock”. H.P. has agreed to answer my many questions. What´s more, she´s giving away a copy of “Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble” and “To Kill a Warlock”! So please give a heartly welcome to H.P.!
While the book is literally about Jolie's journey as she realizes she's a witch, falls for her boss and ends up at the center of a custody battle (Underworld style), on a simpler level, it's really about Jolie learning about herself and learning to love herself, really.
Is it possible to share a little teaser about “Toil and Trouble”, the second book in the series?
Toil and Trouble will really focus on the war between Bella and Rand but there will be an enormous surprise along the way. How's that for a teaser? LOL
Do we get to see more of Rand and Jolie? Will Sinjin be in the second book as well?
You'll see a ton of Rand and Jolie and yes, Sinjin will be thrown in as well.
Do you have more books planned in this series?
I'm basically allowing the series to go where it wants to, whether that means 3 books or 10. I think it's really up to my readers--if Jolie and Rand are in demand (poet and didn't know it moment!), then I'll keep working on subsequent books!
Did you do a lot of research for your book or books in general? Did you choose a real house or setting as model for Rand´s house or the settings in your book?
I didn't really do a lot of research for either of my books. Fire Burn takes place in a real location, Alnwick England and I did visit the town and loved it. To Kill A Warlock takes place in a fictional setting so I wasn't able to visit that, unfortunately! And, yes, many of the places I've visited figured in Fire Burn. Rand's house is fictitious but based on real life locations in Britain. There are so many stately and ancient homes in England that Rand's home could easily exist just about anywhere.
One quote kind of caught my eye: "I guess I was keeping company with Stonehenge, the Egyptian pyramids...hmm what else has never been explained? Every episode of LOST." Are you a fan or an unfortunate victim?
:) I'm a fan. I managed to watch the entire show but I must admit that the ending threw me. I was hoping for something a little more finite.
I love your funny and very unusual covers and the design both of your website and your blog. Can you share the name of the cover artist? Did you have any say in the selection of the cover?
Well, I had total say on the covers because I designed them! LOL While I didn't create the artwork, I did massage it in photoshop, added the backgrounds and the special touches (red eyes, vampire teeth, horns, etc) on the images both on my covers and on my website (www.urbanfantasynovels.com). I really wanted the covers to echo the humorous tones of the books but also reflect the scary side of them as well.
You have very recently released the first book in another Urban Fantasy series, called “To Kill a Warlock”. can you tell us a little bit about it? Are there any parallels to "Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble"?
Sure, To Kill A Warlock is also the first book of a series and it's about a fairy named Dulcie who acts as law enforcement for the Netherworld. When a warlock is murdered, she has to figure out whodunnit. I've also thrown in a few love interests along the way just to keep it exciting. LOL
Can you name the key ingredients of your books in short words?
1 cup flour, 3 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon...JK. This is a good question--I would say: humor, mystery, surprise, sexuality, passion and a touch of horror
You describe yourself as an indie urban fantasy and paranormal romance author. What exactly made you decide to try to make it on your own? Can you share a few of your experiences, successes and blow-backs as an indie writer?
Well, when I first wrote Fire Burn which was about two years ago, I decided I should try and get an agent. I sent out a ton of queries and ended up landing my dream New York agent. So, I thought my fate was sealed--I'd sell the books to the highest bidder and retire a millionaire! Well, needless-to-say, that didn't exactly pan out. My agent ended up not being able to sell the book and then she went MIA and I never heard from her again. I sent out a ton more queries for round 2 and got a bunch of agents interested but they all wanted me to change the tone of the book by removing the humor. Well, that's just the way I write so I couldn't bring myself to do it. Then I read an article about someone who had self published and was doing amazingly well so I thought, what the heck, I'll try it. And I'm soooo glad I did! My books are doing really well and I love the fact that I'm in control of my own career. And the crowning glory has been the fact that many of my readers said they love the humor in the books. So, take that, agents!
Would you say that your mood has an influence on your writing?
Yes. I outline all my chapters so my mood might influence the tone of a chapter but it won't necessarily dictate the chapter, if that makes sense?
Where do you get your inspiration from? Music, books, TV shows or real life?
I get my inspiration from so many different things. Music really influences me and I like to listen to it while I'm writing. TV, movies and books definitely influence me too but I'm very careful to make sure that influence doesn't turn into replication. I think it's extremely important to maintain your own unique story and not borrow from existing ideas.
A question that I am always curious about (but could be kind of personal) is: are your characters based on people you really know or maybe even a little bit about yourself or are they all purely fictional?
My characters are purely fictional in everything from their looks to their personalities.
How did you chose the names of the characters in your book? Do they have a special meaning?
I'm not good with being inventive about names so on both my books, I went through a baby naming book and wrote down all the names I liked. Then the characters just sort of fit their names I think.
What do you like most about being an author? And what annoys you?
Nothing really annoys me about being a writer. I wish I had more time in the day to devote to my craft but that isn't really an annoyance. And as far as what I like most about being an author, I love being able to invent people and places and situations. I love being creative and seeing how far my imagination will take me. And it's icing on the cake when other people like my stories. That is the coolest part about the whole thing!
Did you ever have a writer´s block? If so, what did you do to deal with it?
I don't really get writer's block because I outline everything but there are days when the words don't flow as well or as quickly as other days. Sometimes it's more of a chore and on those days, I tend to focus on editing my previous chapters.
Tell us something about your favourites:
Favourite authors? Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte to represent the classics, from modern Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance, I love the Sookie Stackhouse series and I also loved the early works of Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake series)
favourite paranormal creature? Vampire
favourite all time hero/heroine? I think my all time favorite heroine is Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice
favourite all time villain? Can't really think of one.
Which one do you prefer, book or e-reader? Books will always be important to me--especially the classics. I love having hard copy books in my library and I will always love them. But, the ereader is just so darn easy. So, I'd have to say I love them both.
favourite distraction? Watching True Blood
As an English major, I've had many love affairs with books. But here are just a few of my favs: Emma, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Gone With the Wind, Hamlet, Anything by Edgar Allen Poe, Dracula, Anything by Oscar Wilde, The Catcher in the Rye, The Day of the Locust, A Cool Million, The Graveyard Book, Northern Lights (all 3 books in this series), those are just a few that come to mind
Was being an author something you´ve always wanted or did it just happen?
Ever since I was 12 years old, I've wanted to be an author. And I'm thrilled to be making that dream a reality.
Is there any question you´ve always wanted to be asked? And if so, what would be the answer?
Question: Would you like us to publish your books, turn them into movies and pay you enormous amounts of money? Answer: Yes
A question that is inspired by another interview I did with an author: If you would be Superman, what would be your cryptonite?
Sugar. I have a sweet tooth that won't quit. LOL
I'm reading another indie author, Amanda Hawking--her first book in a series. It's called “My Blood Approves”.
And finally: Is there anything you want to say to your/my readers?
I just wanted to say thank you for taking a chance with my books. It really means so much to me that there are people out there who enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. And I love hearing from my readers--whether it's a question, comment, or concern, just drop me a note at hpmalloryauthor at yahoo dot com.
Also, if you'd like to check me out on the web, you can find me at:
www.indieurbanfantasy.com (website I manage which is devoted to all indie authors in urban fantasy and paranormal romance--there are some great books on this site so be sure to check it out!
Thank you so much to Christine for reading my book and for the interview!
Thank you, H.P., for answering all my questions! It´s been both a great pleasure and honor for me!
And now to the part you are probable waiting for:
Like I mentioned before, H.P. is giving away a copy of her two books!
The giveaway is open INTERNATIONAL, two winners will be chosen, one gets “Fire Burn & Cauldron Bubble”, the other “To Kill A Warlock”
All you have to do is leave a comment for H.P. and fill out the form below! The giveaway is open until September 10th, The winner will be drawn with random.org.