1. What do you think would happen to the world if the demons from The
Demon Trappers series really were to invade us?
Heaven help us if that happened. Should that occur, I suspect there
would be groups of intrepid souls battling those demons, both the highly armed
specialty attack squads (much like the Demon Hunters) and the guys who have no
budget but still manage to get the job done (Demon Trappers). I know I’d be
stocking up on Holy Water, that’s for sure.
2. Assuming you’ve read the Harry Potter books, if you went to
Hogwarts, which house do you think you would get sorted into?
Hufflepuff according to a poll I took online. It was a near thing though
as I was only one point off from Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. I *so* wasn’t
3. What do you think inspired you to come up with the idea for
I read Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens years ago and it intrigued me because of the
machinations of Heaven and Hell. (The story is about an angel and a demon
trying to prevent Armageddon.) I thought it would be cool to write about the
cosmic chess game, examine the roles of good vs. evil.
That idea resided in the back of my mind until 2008 when I attended the
World Fantasy convention in Calgary. At the art show, I happened to see a piece
of artwork by Todd Lockwood. The piece was the graphic battle scene between
angels and demons, but it was depicted as being on the back of a man. I found
that fascinating, as that’s exactly the struggle we face every day – the fine
line between the light and the dark. Once I returned home from the convention, Riley
Blackthorne was born.
4. Can you give any advice to any aspiring authors, and also tips
on helping yourself to get published?
Despite rare exceptions where really poorly written books find their way
into print, the bottom line is that you have to write well. Write a lot. Read
just as much, because you’ll learn from those who are better than you. Finish
those stories you start and then submit them to a critique group to gain
feedback. Then revise them until they shine and at that point you can try to find
someone to publish them. Cutting corners only means that you’re not looking at
this as a profession and the work you do is going to be shoddy. You’ll be
rejected. Get used to it. Just keep writing and submitting your stories to the
appropriate editors or literary agents. Committed persistence will pay off in
5. What do you find is your favourite part of writing and of being
an author, as well as the worse aspects?
Best: Readers. They’re great people. They invest time to read my books,
see different aspects to my characters I never considered. They make the
stories come to life. I also love conducting research. I can lose whole days
reading about obscure stuff that never makes it into the books. All of that is
“author backstory” as I call it, the foundation I need to write a convincing tale.
Worse: There is a lot about this business over which I have little
control. For a Scorpio, that’s tough to take so I have learned it’s best to
chill when things are not going right. Most of the time my editor can fix the
problem, but sometimes it’s beyond our control. That’s when I don’t like the
job that much.
6. Do you get writer’s block? And if you do, how do you move on
I don’t tend to get writer’s block, per se, as in the kind that keeps me
from writing for days on end. My deadlines don’t allow me that luxury. I do get
confused every now and then and just don’t have a clue where to go next in the
story. That’s when I do something completely different—clean out a closet or a
cupboard, organize my spices, something totally unrelated to writing. If I stop
pushing so hard, the next scene will come to me and I can move on.
7. Imagine that from now on, you could only read 5 books, and
nothing else – what would they be and why?
Only five books? Lord, that would be a form of Hell for me. I would most
likely take The Complete Works of Shakespeare, the Complete Works of Edgar
Allan Poe and the same of Sherlock Holmes. I’d throw in some Pratchett
(probably Night Watch) and the fifth
would be a blank journal, so I could write my own book.
8. If the series were to be made into films, which scene so far
would you be most anticipating seeing on the big screen?
I think seeing the big battle scene at the end of Forgiven would be awesome. Between the magical folks casting
spells, the hunters and trappers fighting the various demons (the Archfiends
would be SO wicked) there’s the showdown between the forces of Heaven and Hell.
All set in a Victorian cemetery. I’d buy a ticket to see that, for sure.
My second most anticipated scene is in Foretold. It’s set in Hell with Lucifer and his demons, but I can’t
say much more about that or it’d be a spoiler.
9. Which set of book covers do you prefer – US or UK, and which
one of those?
I *love* that the UK chose one cover model and continued with Elizabeth May throughout the
series. The covers feel so amazing, like satin. Each of them is like fine art. The
US covers have changed along the way as the publisher got a better feel for the
series. I have to admit that the fourth US cover is probably my favourite. So
Best of Series to the UK and Best Cover to the US. How’s that for diplomacy?
10. Did you know from starting the first book, Forsaken,
how the entire series would map out or did it come to you as you progressed?
Originally I saw three books, but the story grew on me. They usually do.
The final scene I originally dreamed up is not the one at the end of Foretold. I’m pleased to say the one
that made it into the book is infinitely cooler with twists and turns that I
discovered along the way.
11. Do have any plans for any other books or series at the minute?
I’m currently working on a couple of proposals for new books. These
would be standalones (single novels) rather than a series. Those offer a
different challenge and will allow my brain to cool down from all the
gymnastics required to sustain a full-blown series.
12. If you were forced to go on a desert island, and could only take
three of your possessions with you, what would they be?
Since you limited it to my possessions, that rules out taking a Tardis
along. Drat. I’m thinking the book on survival techniques would be vital, one
of my knives and a gallon of water. With some luck, I could find lizards to
eat, dig a hole in the sand to get more water and read fast enough to stay
13. Who is your least favourite character in The Demon Trappers
series and why?
I have to admit that Lucifer fits the bill. Oddly enough, you would
think it would be Sartael, but he is very single-minded. Lucifer switches from
cunning to friendly in a heartbeat and that creeps me out. But then what else would
one expect from the Prince of Hell?
14. Can you give us any hints as to what the final book, Foretold,
The previous book (Forgiven) helped
Riley and Den deal with a lot of their emotional baggage. Unfortunately Beck decided
at the very last to back away from her, afraid that his past would hurt Riley
and/or make her hate him. Foretold is
the story of them coming to terms with the legacy of Beck’s horrific childhood.
It is very much their story. For
those readers who love demon trapping, not to worry—there’s lots of Hellspawn
in this one as well.
15. And finally, tell us a random fact about yourself?
I easily memorize long strings of numbers
and letters. It drives my husband to distraction until he is in need of a
password or frequent flyer number. Then it’s cool. ;-)