Today on the blog, I'm excited to bring you a interview from Kimberley Frost the author of the Southern Witch series. This series is a favorite of mines. If you are a fan of Sookie Stackhouse, you will love this series too. Just be warned the humor, is probably funnier. Kimberly will talk about her series and upcoming projects, so read on and enjoy.
Kimberly Frost Links:
OUaT: When or how did the idea of writing your Southern Witch (SW) series come to you?
KF: At the time when I was brainstorming WOULD-BE WITCH, I’d been reading a lot of humorous mystery, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy and I loved many of the elements from each genre. I wanted to blend them together in a fresh way and to bring readers an experience that I myself enjoyed as a reader.
OUaT: I must ask why you chose the town of Duvall, TX?
KF: I’d met some people from small Texas towns and loved their accents and the anecdotes they shared. Knowing that for the Southern Witch series, I would want a quirky cast of characters, a small town just seemed to fit. I wanted a hot saucy setting where kids go skinny-dipping in swimming holes and learn to shoot targets and where everyone knows everyone else’s business. In this case, the setting is almost a character.
In my new Etherlin series, the setting is a glittering community in the Colorado Rockies where we’ve got snow-capped mountains and lakes formed from melted glaciers as the backdrop. Just outside the glamorous, pristine world of the muses is a dark urban community controlled by a preternatural crime syndicate. The world is sophisticated and stylistically different from my earlier work, and that’s reflected in the prose.
OUaT: When writing the SW series, did you at any time change who Tammy Jo was? Was her being a witch always there or did you try on other forms?
KF: I always knew that Tammy Jo was a witch. That certainty had to do with what I had in mind for the stories. I wanted her to come of age. I wanted her spells to go wrong. With witchcraft there’s tremendous versatility. She can mix potions, call power from the earth, etc. Whatever adventures arise, we can see her employing different types of spells. As a reader, I like to be surprised, so I wanted to deliver unexpected twists to my readers, and I thought having witchcraft as the supernatural element would allow me a broad palette with which to work as a storyteller.
OUaT: Which of the characters in your SW series were the easiest and hardest to write?
KF: I’m all about character, so I always know things about the characters’ back-story and that helps the characters reveal themselves to me as I write. I don’t think there were any characters that were easier or more difficult to write.
What was a challenge was maintaining the comedy through some dark adventures and themes. I wanted to strike the right chord. If things are too light, the story lacks the emotional depth to be meaningful. If the story’s too dark, there’s no place for humor. So, at times, I found it really challenging to maintain the proper balance. Occasionally, I had to take out funny lines or to put them in after scenes were originally written or to completely restructure a scene, which I don’t find fun.
OUaT: Can you talk to us about your new projects, First Light and All That Bleeds?
KF: FIRST LIGHT and ALL THAT BLEEDS are part of my upcoming “Etherlin” series (in addition to the third story in the series, ALL THAT FALLS). These stories are paranormal romantic suspense that feature descendants of the ancient muses, human-vampire half-breeds, and archangels.
Unlike the Southern Witch series, which has the same main character (Tammy Jo) for each story, the Etherlin stories are paranormal romances so each one has a new hero and heroine that we follow.
The novella, First Light, is part of a Christmas anthology called Tied With a Bow that releases in November 2011 and has stories by three other great paranormal authors, Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, and Eileen Wilks. FIRST LIGHT is sort of a supernatural Bourne Identity. The heroine is an investigative report who has ties to a man she’s never met, but has seen in premonitions that are sometimes very sexy, but others very dangerous. In the story’s opening, she finds him in the snow and thinks she’ll finally learn who he is, but unfortunately he has amnesia. And worse, the half-breed-vampire syndicate is trying to kill him for an unknown reason. Luckily, even though he’s forgotten his ancient past, he hasn’t forgotten how to wield a weapon.
The release of FIRST LIGHT will be closely followed by the release of the first novel in the series. ALL THAT BLEEDS comes out January 3, 2012. It’s a star-crossed lovers story; Alissa North, who’s the face and future of her community, should never have met Merrick, a deadly half-vampire enforcer, but once they do meet, there’s an instant attraction, and they engage in an illicit flirtation. He sends her secret gifts and she writes him secret letters. The long distance friendship is never supposed to progress, even though they’d both like it to. Then she’s kidnapped and thrown into his world, and they can’t go back to the way things were. I loved writing this story because it was so classic. They’re opposites. He’s really a hardened character, but he cares about one thing…her. She’s a very kind and good person, very altruistic, but she can’t seem to resist him, despite his dark and violent nature. Their longing for each other and the way they try to resist it…so great. At least, I think so! ;)
OUaT: Do you have any habits or quirks you do while you write?
I often play “mood music” while I’m writing. I listened to country music while working on the Southern Witch series. With the Etherlin series, I’ve listened to classical, pop, and grunge rock, depending on the scenes I’ve been working on and what the tone was supposed to be.
OUaT: What would be a question you have never been asked in an interview that you wished you had been asked? And if you can answer it for us that would be great too.
KF: I actually love your next question, and I believe this is the first time it’s been asked of me…
OUaT: If you could jump into any book and live in that world, which book would you choose?
KF: Great books are so conflict-ridden that I’m not sure I’d like to jump into any of them! LOL There are plenty of characters I’d love to have in my life though. I’d like Tammy Jo and Rollie from my Southern Witch series because they’re so funny and Rollie would make sure my accessories were always perfect for my outfits. I’d love to have Mercutio the ocelot as a companion/sidekick. If I were in trouble, I’d like any of the guys from my Etherlin series as bodyguards. Charming, good-looking, weapon-savvy warriors are always welcome.
If I were ever living in a post-apocalyptic world, I’d want Jamie from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series or Zach from the Southern Witch series because they’d be able to navigate through the woods and could hunt and fish so we wouldn’t starve to death.
If I were still a kid, I’d like to have magical powers and attend Hogwarts or to have a wardrobe that took me to an alternate universe as in the Narnia series.
As a writer, I’d like to work with one of the muses from my Etherlin series so she could inspire me to do my most amazing work.
I think it would be fun—and not too terrifying—to be a sleuth in a historical mystery. I like Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series, and the worlds written by Robin Paige, Carola Dunn, Kerry Greenwood, and Rhys Bowen (her Royal series).
I’d only want to live in an urban fantasy or high fantasy, if I could be a super powerful witch and was married to a very powerful and egalitarian wizard like Bryn Lyons (from my Southern Witch series). He’d be fun to have adventures with and I fell in love with him right along with Tammy.
OUaT: Describe yourself in 5 words.
KF: Voracious, Loyal, Optimistic, Passionate, Empathetic
OUaT: How can your readers contact you, or purchase your books?
KF: I can be reached through my website at http://frostfiction.com/ There are buy-links on my site, and readers can find my books at Barnes & Noble, Borders, and many great independent bookstores across the country, as well as on Amazon.com (Would-Be Witch is also available as an audio book for download and is therefore sold on iTunes and Audible.com)
Thank you to Kimberly for taking time out of her busy schedule and answering our questions. I love every single answer. Now here is the extra bonus, we are offering the series as a giveaway. You will be getting Would-Be Witch, Barely Bewitched and Halfway Hexed. How great is that.
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