Meet Keri Arthur…

As the next of my series featuring fantastic female fantasy authors (see disclaimer) I’ve invited the prolific and talented Keri Arthur to drop by.

Watch out for the give-away question at the end of the interview.

Q: Between 2001 and 2011 you released more than two books a year (23 in total). I’m guessing you had a backlog of books that you’d written. Or are you going to put us all to shame and say you’ve written 23 books in 10 to 12 years?

Well, if you want to get technical (and include the two I’ve written this year) its 27 books, 1 novella, and three short stories for anthologies.

I didn’t really have a backlog of already written books when I signed the contract for Dancing with the Devil. I had completed five books by then, but three of those will never see the light of day. Great ideas, but horrible writing.  So yes, I’ve basically written 25 books in ten years.

Q: You have four series that were originally published with Imajin.  Spook Squad series, the Ripple Creek Werewolf series, the Damask Circle series ( which has a release date of 2001) and the Nikki and Michael series. Which was your first series? I’m asking because I like to read author’s books in chronological order of when they were written to see how they develop as a writer. When you look back at these books are you tempted to edit them? I see Bantam are going to release these books. Will you be given a chance to go over them? (Lots of questions, sorry, but all related).

Dancing with the Devil, the first of the Nikki and Michael books, was the first book I had accepted and published, so that’s the series to start with–although I alternated between that series and the Circle books when I was writing them. The Ripple Creek series was next, then finally the Spook Squad series.

All the books will be re-edited before Bantam release them in mass market format. I’ve just completed the edits on Beneath a Rising Moon, the first of the Ripple Creek books which is being re-released in May next year. I was actually surprised how well it held up considering how much I think I’ve grown as a writer since these books were first published.

Q: I see you are one of the guests of Conflux in 2012. Have you been to other SF conventions? Will you know many of the writers and the fans?

I’ve been going to Conflux for a few years now, but tend to stick more to the romance conferences, as that’s the market Bantam have been aiming the Riley Jenson series at (even though they’re dark urban fantasy rather than romance). After the open friendliness of all the Romance conferences, it was a little intimidating going to an SF convention like Conflux, as I very much felt like an outsider.  Thankfully, it is getting better now that I’m becoming a little more known in the SF community.

Q: You blog on a group blog called Deadline Dames, (how the Deadline Dames met, LOL), with Devon Monk, Jackie Kessler, Jenna Black, Karen Mahoney, Lilith Saintcrow, Rachel Vincent, Rinda Elliot and Toni Andrews. I belong to a writing group called ROR and find the support of fellow authors invaluable. We critique each other’s books once every year or so, but I gather you and the other dames share the blog to spread the good word about your books. Would you recommend a shared blog to other writers thinking of blogging, but overwhelmed by the pressure?

I’d definitely recommend it, because the dames have been a huge source of both inspiration and support over the years (as has my crit group). It’s good to be a part of a close knit group of writers who totally understand what you’re going through at any given point in your career. It’s also brilliant to a have a ‘safe’ place—somewhere where you can let off steam and know with complete certainty it will go no further.

However, it can sometimes get overwhelming, especially if you also have your own blog (as I do) as well as twitter, facebook, google+ and whatever else they decide to come up with in the future. Getting the word out there about your books is all well and good, but in the end, it’s the books that count.

Q: When we were talking at Supanova you mentioned you’re renovating. My sympathies, we’re just reaching the end of more than 12 months of renovating. I find having well ordered surroundings helps me to think clearly. Messy room equals messy mind for me. Hopefully, your renovations will be smoother than mine. Are you the kind of person who is heavily influenced by their surroundings? I know some authors collect ‘play lists’ for each book they write, while others collect a resonance file of images. Which are you?

I write by music, and it’s always the same music–Eco Zen 2. It’s gotten to the stage where I put that cd on, and my muse instantly gets to work. I can have the TV going, the daughter in the next room playing shoot-em ups, the neighbour mowing, and none of it matters as long as the music is going.

Mind you, I’m not sure the same will be said when the builders start pulling down the house around us. Especially if they’re well built builders.

Q: In an interview on EUSA Today Books you said the idea for book one, Destiny Kills, of Myth and Magic series came to you while watching The Bourne Identity. You said:

‘Seriously. I know the two have nothing in common, but I was sitting there, watching the beginning, thinking, Why is it always a guy? Why can’t it be a woman? And then I got to thinking what I’d do with that sort of start. Which is how we ended up with a heroine washed up on a beach with no memory of how she got there or why there was a dead man beside her. How dragons got into the equation I have no idea — other than the fact I have a very twisted, very imaginative muse.’

 Dragons, Keri? Are you a fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern books? Or have you taken a totally different slant on dragons?

 I love the Pern books–well, all of Anne McCaffrey’s. I’m not so keen on the later ones she did with her son. My dragons are different–they’re dragon shifters not actual dragons, and there’s both fire breathing dragons and sea dragons in my mythology. The books are also urban fantasy rather than fantasy.

Q: Your Riley Jensen series is set in Melbourne. Was there any resistance to the Australian setting when you pitched the idea to the publishers?

We were totally expecting resistance, and I had in fact began researching places in America that I could use instead of Melbourne. But it never came up with any of the three publishers who were bidding for the book. Of course, the Melbourne I use is very Americanised, so that might have made the setting less of a problem.

 

 

US Cover

Q: With your Dark Angels series (as with all the others) I notice there are US and UK covers. The US ones look more sensual, while the UK covers play up the strength of the female character and the threat. Would say that that this is the difference between the two readerships? And how much input do you get in your covers?

 

I have no input on the covers–although if I have occasionally asked for some minor changes. The US covers aim for the huge romance market, whereas the UK/Australian covers tend to go more for the fantasy market. I don’t think there’s any difference in the readerships, I just think the covers are a result of marketing people targeting their markets differently.

UK cover

Q: I see you watch a lot of TV series. I must admit I like to get the whole series of something like Deadwood and have an orgy of TV watching. I like to be able to watch the narrative arc for the series, plus the development of the characters. I find I can’t switch off my internal editor unless the show is really gripping. Do you have any specific TV series that you watch, that are guaranteed to switch off your internal editor?

God, how much time have you got? TV has become my escape–more so than books these days. I’m also a whole lot less critical of TV shows and movies than I am of books–a show has to be really, really bad before my internal editor starts getting snarky. I love shows like Deadwood, Justified, Supernatural, Haven, Torchwood, Primeval, Being Human, NCIS, NCIS LA, Castle, Blood on the Wire.….the list goes on. And on.  lol

Q: I was prompted to start this series of interviews because there seems to be a perception in the US and the UK that fantasy is a bit of a boy’s club. Do you think there’s a difference in the way males and females write fantasy?

I think female fantasy writers approach a novel on a more emotional level than most male writers. Or at least, that’s how it used to be (and it was one of the things that drove me to write fantasy in the first place). These days, with writers like Jim Butcher, it has improved somewhat, and there’s not such a noticeable difference in emotional depth.

Q: Following on from that, does the gender of the writer change your expectations when you pick up their book?

Not really, because when I pick up a book all I’m expecting is to be entertained. If they succeed in doing that, I’m a happy reader. Hell, I read–and love–Matthew Reilly, and his books could very definitely be described as boys own adventure books for grown-ups, but they’re fantastically entertaining.

 

Q: And here’s the fun question. If you could book a trip on a time machine, where and when would you go, and why?

Weirdly, I’d love to go back to Jane Austin’s era, just to see if men like Mr Darcy really did exist. I wouldn’t want to stay there though–couldn’t stand not having a shower every day, let alone no internet access!

 

Keri has a signed copy of Darkness Unbound to give-away (or a copy of one of her books to complete your set, subject to availability). Give-away Question:

If paranormal creatures existed and humans were lowest on the pecking order, which kind of paranormal creature would you like to be?

 

Keri’s blog

Follow Keri on Twitter: @kezarthur

Catch up with Keri on GoodReads

See Keri Arthur quote on GoodReads

See Keri Arthur’s official fan page on Facebook

Keri’s extras

32 Comments

Filed under Australian Writers, Book Giveaway, Covers, creativity, Dark Urban Fantasy, Fantasy books, Female Fantasy Authors, Gender Issues, Movies & TV Shows, Music and Writers, Paranormal_Crime, Story Arc

32 Responses to Meet Keri Arthur…

  1. I’d want to have a heck of a lot of power at my disposal to survive so I’d go with a Witch/Chimera. Not only would I have magic at my fingertips, but the ability to change into a variety of beasts would certainly make my foes think twice and the chance of survival higher.
    Fantastic interview!

  2. Mary Preston

    I’d want to be a Dark Angel. Nothing fluffy about this Avenging Angel & Soldier of the Heavens.

  3. Deborah

    I’d want to be a vampire and live forever.

  4. Riley had an awesome power set but any of the races (well, not the slave race or demons naturally) in the Dark Angel would suit me fine. Proactive, powerful, and a force for good is just a great combo!

  5. Kelly Hubbard

    I would like to be shifter of some sort. Not sure what animal. I wouldn’t want the light restriction of a vampire, but I like how free shifters always seem to be.

    Brilliant interview by the way. :-)

  6. Krista

    I would want to be one with healing abilities for both physical and emotional healing. Probably something feline as well.

  7. I would be a shape shifter, but one that could hold magic and use multiple forms….Wait, is that called something else?

  8. Well Id def be a vampire !! Immortality and beauty for ever… To love for ever if you found the right mate…. speed, etc/// well they always seem to have hot sex and well that sounds kinda great forever ** grins ** and who says all Vampires have to be evill. I think i like the idea of sucking of some cuties neck for the rest of my life lol. !!! ;) love all your covers !!! its always great to meet a aussie author !!!!

    :0 )
    kat

    kittee_cat@bigpond.com

  9. I love the covers of the Dark Angels Series, I just ordered the first two from Amazon and can’t wait to read them. I would choose to be a Vampire/Angel. I guess a hybrid lol Something sexy about fangs and huge beautiful wings.

  10. Anastasia Miller

    I know that half-breeds get a lot of flack and aren’t always accepted by either genetic side, but hey, this is fantasy right and I’d want the best of both worlds! I love the freeing nature of werewolves but to combine their best aspects with the best aspects of vampirism like Riley would be awesome! No blood for me thank you, but i’ll be stronger, faster and age slower than everyone else, not to mention have the self confidece and sensual attitude of the wolf!

  11. Great interview! Loved it! I’d want to be a shifter of some type. Dragon maybe (i’m loving dragons right now) or a plain old wolf. Maybe a cat. Would love to be able to purr :)

  12. Adrianna

    I would want to a werewolf/vampire! I really think Riley is a strong woman who can take on anything!

  13. I think i would like to be werewolf.. I like the idea of changing into the wolf,I love them so i think it would be awesome!! And you still would have power and be magical…

  14. Alainala

    ohh i would love this book!!
    i think a shfter (specifically cat of some sort) would be what i would want to be

  15. dj seals

    If I could be a paranormal creature it would have to be a vampire. Power.immortality.great sex.lol.ageless.reading minds. Strength. As long as I got turned while I was still in my 20s.

  16. I think that I would like to be one of the shifters.

  17. jovialvampyre

    If I could be a hybrid like Riley so I could go out in the day, that would be cool :).
    Thank you.

  18. I think I’d want to be a Lynx… an elusive, ghost-like animal that sees without being seen. Often called “the keeper of secrets of the forest”, its magical appearance stems from the mystery that such a creature’s secrecy can also be its strength.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(mythology)
    Knowing stuff nobody else does and being able to pick and chose who I wanna help would be a bonus.

  19. I was thinking a were Meerkat or Lemur. Why is it always the predators that steel the limelight when it comes to shapeshifters.

  20. Jet

    Paranormal Creature, I would either like to be a wolf shifter or dragon shifter I think; I like the flying aspect of Dragons.

  21. Melissa May

    a beautiful Drangon that can change form into an imortal godess !
    Is that too much to ask for ? Oh with some sort of magic healing ability .
    Love your books Keri .

  22. Being a vampire would probably be what i would choose normally but like Riley i really want kids. Sooo i think being a shifter that could change into anything would just be amazing. With the freedom to change into a bird i could travel the world very easily.

  23. Dawna Preston

    A shifter would be great like dragon are a big cat.lol

  24. If paranormal creatures existed and humans were lowest on the pecking order, which kind of paranormal creature would be?
    I would like to be like Risa Half Wolf and Aedah. It is very interesting but in the long run I think it would be alright

  25. I would like to be a vampire or a wolf shifter. I’m leaning more toward a wolf shifter because I’d be able to have children. (Plus, wolves are one of my favorite animals)

  26. Kerra Weaver

    I would like to be either a dhampir, horse shifter, or a bird shifter of some sort. It would be cool to have some of the abilities of a vampire and some werewolf abilities combined. That would give me a little safety if someone(or something) was trying to attack me. Being a horse shifter would be awesome because I have loved horses since I was a little girl. Being able to turn into a horse and feel the wind through my hair as I galloped. Being a bird shifter would be cool mainly because I’m a bit of a free spirit. Birds are free to fly wherever their wings take them…I wish I could do that. I can’t really choose between those three, but I would be happy if I was any of them. Each one has it’s perks. Great interview by the way :)

  27. Hey Lemurs can be fierce.

    Perhaps I could morph into 10 -20 Meerkats, just think the of the abilities, increased awareness always alert. We’d make better guards than those wolves who are always hungry. Sorry have been reading book 2 of creature court and it’s changed my view on paranormal shape changers :)

  28. ShadowWrytr

    Wow… now that is a broad question! ^^ You’ve let my imagination run wild! To be completely honest, I’d want to be a paranormal anomaly. Something no one knows about, but it’s heard of in rumours and stories. A being like an elemental spirit that could manipulate the things around them, but also have supernatural ability like speed, invisibility, and flight. I’d be a sort of shadow that watched over their loved ones/family/friends but also appear like a normal human being when necessary… A being that could have fun, trick people, love, and yet remain mysterious. A character I’m developing for my most recent story. =)

  29. Rose Malone

    That’s a pretty hard question to answer because there are so many awesome paranormal creatures to choose from. If I had to choose, I’d probably go with a fairy/nymph or a wolf shifter. I’d choose a fairy or nymph because they are little tricksters and can be quite mischievous…just like me. I’d like to be a wolf shifter because I’m a bit of a lone wolf. I’d also want to protect my loved ones and what better protector than a wolf? I’d always want to be watching over my loved ones and I’d put my all into protecting them. Vampires are pretty cool as well. I’m just not too keen on the vampire hunters that would be following me.

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