WITHIN THE FLAMES is your eleventh installment of the Dirk & Steele series. How many more can fans expect?
It’s difficult to say. I’m launching a brand new paranormal romance series next year – set in a dystopian world filled with werewolf gypsy gladiators, vampire historians, zombie armies, and desert road gangs. It’s been a lot of fun to write.
You have also co-written the Dark Wolverine series for Marvel, are the ongoing writer of the X-23 series, authored Black Widow: The Name of the Rose, NYX: No Way Home, and X-Men: Dark Mirror. How did you get involved with comic books? Were you interested in them as a child?
I didn’t start reading comic books until college. I just didn’t have access to them, and without access it’s difficult to generate interest. I did, however, watch the X-Men cartoon that aired on Fox – and that provided the motivation to check out some actual comics when I realized there was a little comic book store just down the street from my dorm. I fell in love within the first few pages. Beautiful art, combined with great storytelling? What’s not to love?
As for how I got involved, that happened after writing X-Men: Dark Mirror, a prose marvel that was released in 2005 from Pocket Books. Folks at Marvel had to approve the story, and I was told they enjoyed it very much. That gave me the courage to introduce myself at New York Comic Con, and after three years of back-and-forth, they assigned me my first project: NYX: No Way Home. I worked with a wonderful editor, John Barber, who gave me another opportunity to stretch my writing skills with Dark Wolverine (co-written with Daniel Way). Since then, I’ve been offered some fantastic projects, including Black Widow and X-23.
In WITHIN THE FLAMES your pyrokinetic protagonist, Eddie, is sent to protect Lyssa, a shape-shifting dragon with fire as her weapon; a far cry from a typical damsel in distress. Who is the real hero in this book?
I think both characters are heroic. Lyssa and Eddie suffered severe childhood traumas, which have affected them well into adulthood. Yet, they manage to overcome their vulnerabilities and fears in order to trust one another – and trust does not come easy for either of them.
Your first Dirk & Steele novel, TIGER EYE, was made into an interactive game by PassionFruit Games in 2010. Can you tell us about the process and what it was like to see your book take a new form?
The process seemed to run along two tracks: developing the script for “cut scenes” and then designing the actual game play. I wrote the script with some very useful direction from one of the studio leaders, and from there we went on to choose voice actors to read the various roles: Hari, Dela, and Long Nu, specifically. As for seeing my book turned into a game, though…it was fun, but surreal!
If you could have one super-natural power what would it be, and why?
I would love a healing factor. Or the ability to heal others.
What other projects are you working on now?
Again, that new paranormal romance series being released from Avon next year – along with more comic book work. Big announcements from Marvel about my new project with them should be coming soon.
What’s your supernatural alter ego? Are you a Gargoyle, Cruor Venator Witch, Pyrokinetic, or a Shape-Shifter? You can take the quiz here.
Courtesy of Avon Books, I have a review copy of Within the Flames by Marjorie M. Liu for one (1) lucky winner!
Contest is open to US and Canada only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends January 6. I’ll draw a name on January 7, and notify winner via email.