In honor of the release day (today!) of Laura Resnick’s The Purifying Fire, Laura is stopping by for the first leg of her blog tour. SciFiChick.com interviews the author below. And keep reading to enter a giveaway of the new release!
Can you tell us a bit about Chandra Nalaar?
Chandra Nalaar, a young and impulsive female fire mage who hates authority, is trying to master her enormous talent, and tends to get into trouble. She’s a planeswalker, which means she has the rare ability to travel between the planes of Magic‘s many-dimensional Multiverse, so that her adventures occur in various different worlds.
During the course of The Purifying Fire, Chandra becomes the target of assassins, pursues a mysterious artifact, gets captured by a mad vampire prince, confronts a powerful cult and reluctantly teams up with an enigmatic stranger who she’s pretty sure is trying to collect the bounty on her head.
All in a day’s work for a fire-wielding planeswalker.
What did you enjoy most about writing for the series?
There are a lot of very creative concepts and terrific art in Magic, and it was great fun to leaf through the game’s (thousands of) cards in search of inspiration for various allies, adversaries and settings for my character to deal with.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.
I write an urban fantasy series (next book, Doppelgangster), as well as a traditional fantasy series (next book, The Palace of Heaven), and I’ve published about sixty sf/f short stories (latest anthology, Swordplay). I’ve also released a nonfiction book which is a collection of my columns about the writing life (Rejection, Romance, and Royalties: the Wacky World of a Working Writer). In my copious spare time, I’m finishing a master’s degree in journalism, I interned at a news bureau in Jerusalem and I recently served as president of Novelists, Inc., which is an international organization of professional novelists.
What inspires you?
As a writer? I have no idea. I know that I see and hear things every day that make me think, “What if…?” But I don’t know why my brain is wired that way, and it was only quite recently (I’m a little slow on the uptake) that I learned that the reason people are always asking where writers get our ideas is because not EVERYONE gets story ideas nearly every day of their lives. Until pretty recently, I honestly thought everyone did. (Then a few months ago, a close friend set me straight about this. Who knew?)
Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?
Although I’m a fantasy writer, and also a voracious reader, I actually read very little fantasy. There are a lot of great fantasy writers, and I think it’s a genre whose writers set the bar high in terms of well-crafted prose. But I find that when I read fantasy, I feel as if I’m still working, not settling down to relax. Busman’s holiday, I guess.
In fiction, I’m a big fan of several mystery writers, including: the late Sarah Caudwell, a very witty English writer; Elizabeth Peters aka Barbara Michaels, (I recently enjoyed her latest, Laughter of Dead Kings); and Linda Fairstein, a New York City prosecutor turned suspense novelist. I also enjoy Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John mysteries, which are a spin-off series of her better-known Outlander novels. I recently read The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham for the fourth time (a great favorite, obviously; though, ironically, it’s the only Maugham novel I’ve ever been able to get through!), and I’ve been re-reading some favorite old Mary Stewart novels this year. Some novels/novelists I’ve tried recently for the first time and really enjoyed: Ten Thousand Lovers by Edeet Ravel; People Like Us by Dominick Dunne; Snobs and Past Imperfect, both by actor/screenwriter Julian Fellowes.
I read a lot of nonfiction, both for research and for pleasure. Some nonfiction books I’ve read lately for fun and really enjoyed include The Lost Painting: the Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr; A Natural History of the Rich by Richard Conniff; Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill by Gretchen Rubin; The Dead Travel Fast by Eric Rubin; Janis Ian’s autobiography, Society’s Child.
What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?
I love to cook, and I love to spend time with my friends. So my favorite thing is to invite friends over and cook for them. Cooking a meal is the antithesis to writing a book; it’s physical and sense-oriented, rather than mental and in phosphor; and people can enjoy it the day I make it, rather than a year later, when it’s finally published.
Are you working on any new projects right now?
Writing is my full-time self-supporting career, so I’m always working on a new project! Currently, I’m writing my next urban fantasy novel and my next traditional fantasy novel. My next release is Doppelgangster, an urban fantasy novel, in January 2010.
Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast, I have giveaway copies of The Purifying Fire, by Laura Resnick for five (5) lucky winners!
Contest is open to U.S. residents. To enter, just fill out the form below. To increase your chances, enter daily!
Contest ends July 17. I’ll draw names on July 18, and notify winners via email.
Next stop on the blog tour:
Lauras will be at SciFiGuy (http://www.scifiguy.ca) on Wednesday, July 8th, talking about her favorite scene from The Purifying Fire, her next fantasy novels, her experiences writing romance novels, and talking about her some of her all-time favorite novels. Then on Thursday, July 9th, Laura will visit Fantasy Café (http://fantasycafe.blogspot.com) to talk about her research process, her experiences living abroad, and what book she’d love to take credit for if history could be rewritten.