In honor of her upcoming release of Blood Winter, author Diana Pharaoh Francis has graciously allowed me to ask her a few questions… now she had a bit of a fun time as this is the first time I have ever done this (thanks again!!!) . I think we ended up with some fun information about the series and other off-the-wall things. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did asking her to answer them.
Q: As a new reader to your Horngate Witches series, what inspired you to write these stories?
In a word . . . apocalypse. So many books that I love, like the Kate Daniels books or Sunshine, have a history of some sort of apocalypse. But usually no one ever tells the story of how that happened. That’s what I wanted to do. Add in that all these disasters were occurring all over the world, from tsunamis to hurricanes to bridge collapses, and I wondered what if they weren’t just natural disasters, but intentional. And that was the first seed of Horngate. Stir in witches, magic, romance, and a lot of action, and voila!
Q: Is there anything that you would have done differently with the series if you had a chance to start over? Any stories you wish you had been able to tell?
I don’t think so. There are other stories I want to tell and explore, but what I’m happy with what I’ve written so far.
Q: Who was your biggest supporter when you first realized you wanted to write?
My husband. He never questioned that I could or should. He’s been phenomenal. I don’t know if I could have done it without his unconditional support.
Q: What do you use to inspire you when you hit a tough spot in your writing?
A lot of times it’s music. Or other people’s stories and poetry. Just enjoying the language and the characters can go a long way toward feeding my creativity. Exercise helps too. The body and mind move together, apparently. Soemtimes jumping up and dancing helps.
Q: What writers do you love to read in your down time? Is there a particular genre or writing style you are drawn to?
I love epic fantasy and urban fantasy, but I also like romance and mystery. Well, not all romance. I have a love of regency and Victorian romance more than anything. I’ve not been able to read as much recently as I’d like, which is why my Kindle is packed full and my shelves are overflowing. I love Anne Bishop, Kristen Britain, Sharon Shinn, Ilona Andrews, Carol Berg, Roger Zelazny, Gail Carriger, Nalini Singh and so many others.
Q: If you could re-write anything.. and I mean anything.. what would it be and why? (this just interests me as I was asked that in high school & found some of the answers intriguing…)
Rewrite what other people have written? Well, if you must know, the ending of Pride and Prejudice. I know. It’s sacrilege. But really, I think too much happens off page. Austen was so brilliant with the interactions up until that point, and then she seemed to want to wrap it up without the emotional interaction. She does much better in Persuasion, which is totally satisfying in the end.
Q: Is there any question you wish someone would ask you? (yeah yeah I know… cliché….)
I don’t know about cliché. I just don’t know if I have a question. Oh! I know! I wish someone would ask me if they could make my books into movies. I’d also like it if they had the wherewithal to do it. Jon Favreau would be good . . .
Q: Besides your upcoming release what other books or projects are you working on right now?
I don’t have any books under contract right now, so I’m working on a few different things. One is an epic fantasy that’s very dark and cool. I’m loving it. I’m also considering some short stories or novellas in the Horngate world. Oh, and I’m working on another Crosspointe book.
Thanks for having me today!!! I wonder. What books are you most looking forward to? Steph – I am looking forward to a few books but one I can’t wait for since I hate cliffhangers is The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz. I am also chomping at the bit for J.R. Ward’s book – Lover at Last – where BDB fans finally get a lot of man loving… Qhuinn and Blaylock… YUM!!
Anything you’re hoping that Santa will put in your stocking? Steph – Wow… a stumper… since my TBR pile is currently out of control I really would love if Santa could provide me a time-turner like Hermoine has in the Harry Potter series. I swear it would be the most awesome thing as I really have a lot of great reads piled up.
NEW GAME. SAME RULES. SHE FIGHTS. THEY DIE.
Max always does her job, no matter how brutal and bloody. That’s how it’s been ever since she was enslaved by a witch, turned into a supernatural warrior, and assigned to protect the coven of Horngate. But her job just got harder. . . .
Waves of wild magic have returned much of the world to a time when fairy tales were real and danger now lurks behind every tree and bush. As winter descends and food, heat, and water are harder to come by, many have turned to Benjamin Sterling for protection. Leader of the Earth’s Last Stand cult, Sterling claims to be the Hand of God, but his power and charisma secretly come from a dark and terrible source. With devout followers eager to do his sadistic bidding, he has his eyes on Horngate and its magical inhabitants. To save those she loves, Max will knowingly walk into a trap. But when the cult strips Max’s soul bare for all to see, will even Alexander—her lover and her strength—remain? And if she were to lose him, what does it matter if she gains the whole world. . . .