1. What are the most important ingredients for you writing in the Urban Fantasy genre?
Most of my favourite UF series are high-concept. Meaning that they've got that one big yet simple idea that makes the whole world work. Vampires in high school, a telepathic waitress, exorcist gets possessed by a demon, or whatever. I think if you can describe your world in a few sentences, you're off to a great start. For my series, the concept is that the city's infested with fairies and vampires, and ruled by a demon – but humans don't know, because everything's hidden behind magical glamour.
The other ingredient is imagination, I guess. You need to explore your world to the last little detail, even if it doesn't all go in the books. And it's not just thinking of cool settings or weird creatures. You need to have a cunning streak to think up all the juicy bad stuff that could happen to your characters, so they've got a chance to impress. UF is a plot-driven suspense genre, really, so the worst trap you can fall into is making things too easy for your heroine.
2. The quirks of Erica Hayes are…?
I talk to myself. I sing when I think no one's there. I walk around the house muttering and waving my arms when I'm trying to sort out plot points. My house is like a one-woman insane asylum, complete with spidery handwriting and paper stuck on the walls. Until my husband gets home, whereupon I turn into a domestic love goddess.
3. When the characters give you a hassle what do you do? Massage, rant to friends, eat a pound of chocolate?
Chocolate's always welcome! I've been known to have a binge when the writing's out of sorts. But often for me the best remedy is just to have a little break, go do something else for a few hours, and then keep writing. Leaving it for too long just makes me feel even stupider.
4. The best surprise writing SHADOWGLASS was…?
That I could make the whole thing work. Umm, trying not to give any spoilers here… you know, the business about Indigo and Ebony… That was a risk, especially for a major character. If people don't like Indigo, the book will have problems. Luckily he seems to have struck an attractive note so far :)
If the book was a pure romance, I probably wouldn't have gotten away with it. Hooray for urban fantasy, where characters can be bad!
5. If you could go on a date with any of your characters, who would that be and why?
Oh, gosh. I love 'em all. But none of them are harmless. Most of them would probably kill you once dinner was over. Either that, or you'd be the dinner. But Indigo would be a hot date. He's funny and sexy and a little crazy and dead sexy… did I mention that? Hell, let's skip the date and go back to his place :)
I think I'd take my chances with Kane, too. He's a bit like chocolate fudge. You know it's bad for you, but you just can't resist…
6. If demon lord Kane would read a book which one would that be?
Kane's more of a TV guy. He reads gossip magazines. He's tried a few romances, but he doesn't understand them. He'd probably be better off with a Jackie Collins or a Sidney Sheldon, with loads of glitzy women, backstabbing and hot meaningless sex. He'd get that :)
But never fear. Kane's learning his lesson. By the time the series ends, he might even find himself a lady…
For those who haven’t read SHADOWGLASS yet, can you reveal a few random juicy facts about Indigo and Ice?
Random juicy facts… well, they're a pair of dirty thieves, aren't they? And being fairies, they like to steal shiny things. Ice, who's a waterfairy, has a diamond fetish. The only thing she wants more than stolen diamonds is Indigo, a frosty metalfairy thief whom she idolises. She lives in hope, but she always makes an idiot of herself in front of him, and he always brushes her off.
Indigo is a problem child :) He's gorgeous, of course, as befitting a hero. A little weird, maybe – his skin is dark blue, and he's got blackmetal hair and copper claws and silvery wings… who doesn't love guys with wings? But he's got some dark and dangerous secrets he'd rather not share with anyone, especially a cute sweet girl like Ice.
Here's a little excerpt to show the kind of thing that goes on between Ice and Indy. He always seems to show up right at the worst moment. This one's late at night in a nightclub, and Ice has just done something really embarrassing with a vampire :)
"Ice? Are you . . . Is everything okay?"Thanks Leontine for having me here today! You can find out more about my books, watch trailers and read some excerpts at ~website~
So improbable that for several seconds I refused to recognize that velvet-steel voice.
So riveting, my heart clogged in my chest, thick and silent.
So typical, I had to laugh, my forehead still smearing the glass.
Bleeding, crying, half drunk, and terrified. Could I possibly be any more unattractive? . . . Hang on. . . . Nope. Don't think so.
Not that I care, of course. I'm over him, remember? I sighed. "Yeah, I'm just great, Indigo. Thanks for asking."
"My pleasure." His voice dripped over me like a molten shower, and his iron-drenched shadow swallowed me, teasing dark shivers from my skin. I swallowed, edgy. I forget how big he is, not just taller than me but also solid and unfragile, like a fairy rarely is. Indestructible. An uneasy metalfae anomaly.
I craned my neck sideways. There he stood, shoulder leaning lightly on the glass, his reflection a dark blue shimmer in a halo of silver. His glamour flickered, a neon-lit ghost, and for an instant, I glimpsed his overlay, bland, unassuming, smaller and plainer than he really is, his rich cobalt tones blanched to ordinary chocolate human skin, his blue-black hair muted. Look away, whispered his glamour, don't see me, and for a moment my gaze obeyed and slid lazily off him like oil. I blinked, and the effect dissolved.
Awkwardness crunched in my mouth like popcorn. Why does he do that? Fairies don't glamour-whip fairies. It's not fair.
I sniffed, sticky. God, he was such a show-off in those clothes. Anyone else might look a bit girly in slashed-off sleeves and metal jewelry, but there was nothing girly about Indigo. Not even with those perfect lips that looked carved from silver. Inky skin, bare arms strong and light, rainbow titanium bracelet wrapping his left forearm, steel-gray shirt just tight enough to show me curves I'd dreamed about licking. Straight muscle-hugging jeans—god, that fairy's thighs could kill you. And those wings, sharp like silvery glass and as dangerous.
He said nothing. Just stood there and smelled good, warm steel and fire.
Sure. I was over him, all right.
Giveaway: Erica has also been generous to send one lucky commenter a copy of SHADOWGLASS. Just leave a comment or a question for Erica and a way for me to get in touch with you (if e-mail is not part of your profile).