Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Q&A Interview and Giveaway with Faith Hunter

Hello everyone!  LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are very happy to have Faith Hunter with us today!

Faith is a Fantasy writer that was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south with well over 20 books in print in 27 countries.

She is the proud creator of the SKINWALKER series featuring Jane Yellowrock which currently consists of “Skinwalker”, “Bloodcross”, “Mercy Blade”, and the brand new “Raven Cursed” which was just released today!

Her other series, ROGUE MAGE – a dark urban fantasy series – currently has 3 installments; “Bloodring”, “Seraphs” and “Host”.  The ROGUE MAGE series features Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage in a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality. These novels are the basis for Rogue Mage Role Playing Game and World Book to be kickstarted in 2012.

Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she also writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers.

Hunter fell in love with reading in fifth grade, and best loved SiFi, fantasy, and gothic. She decided to become a writer in high school, when a teacher told her she had talent. Now, she writes full-time and works full-time in a hospital lab, (for the benefits) tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their dogs to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

For those of you not yet familiar with Faith’s work, we thought we’d give you the synopses of the available books in her 2 series to peak your interests, though we suggest you check out her backlist as Gwen Hunter as well…

“Skinwalker”, SKINWALKER/JANE YELLOWROCK Series Book #1:

Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she's been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie's Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who's killing other vamps...

“Bloodcross”, SKINWALKER/JANE YELLOWROCK Series Book #2:

The vampire council has hired skinwalker Jane Yellowrock to hunt and kill one of their own who has broken sacred ancient rules — but Jane quickly realizes that in a community that is thousands of years old, loyalties run deep...

With the help of her witch best friend and local vigilantes, Jane finds herself caught between bitter rivalries — and closer than ever to the secret origin of the entire vampire race. But in a city of old grudges and dark magic, Jane will have to fight to protect both sides, even if no one will protect her.

“Mercy Blade”, SKINWALKER/JANE YELLOWROCK Series Book #3:

Jane, a shapeshifting vampire-hunter-for-hire, crosses paths with a stranger who has arrived in New Orleans, enlisted to hunt vampires who have gone insane-or so he says...

“Raven Cursed”, SKINWALKER/JANE YELLOWROCK Series Book #4:

The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: Jane Yellowrock.

But when a group of local campers are attacked by something fanged, Jane goes from escort to investigator. Unless she wants to face a very angry mast vampire, she will have to work overtime to find the killer. It's a good thing she's worth every penny.

“Bloodring”, ROGUE MAGE Series Book #1:

As humanity struggles with religious strife and seraphs and demons fight a never-ending battle, a new species has arisen. "Neomages" are human in appearance, but able to twist left-over creation energy to their will. A threat to both humans and seraphs, they are confined in luxurious Enclaves.

Thorn St. Croix is no ordinary neomage. Nearly driven insane by her powers, she is smuggled out of an Enclave and now lives among humans, channeling her gift of stone-magery into jewelry making. But when Thaddeus Bartholomew, a dangerously attractive policeman, tells her that her ex-husband has been kidnapped, Thorn risks revealing her identity to find him. And for Thorn, the punishment for revelation is death.

Seraphs”, ROGUE MAGE Series Book #2:

Living among humans in a post-apocalyptic ice age, neomage Thorn St. Croix has learned to count on her friends, but she's lost count of her enemies. She is a source of both fear and fascination for the people of Mineral City: Her powers can save them from the forces of evil, but also attract demon spawn and succubae. And fighting on her own turf nearly gets Thorn and those she holds dear killed.

But Thorn's ultimate test awaits deep under the snow-covered mountains beyond the village, where an imprisoned, fallen seraph desperately needs her help. There, hidden in the hellhole, the armies of Darkness assemble to ensure this subterranean rescue will be Thorn's final descent

“Host”, ROGUE MAGE Series Book #3:

In a post-apocalyptic ice age, neomage Thorn St. Croix was nearly driven insane by her powers. She lived as a fugitive, disguised as a human and married to a human man, channeling her gifts for war into stone-magery. When she was discovered, her friends and neighbors accepted her, but warily. Not so the mage who arrives from the Council of Seraphs, who could be her greatest ally-or her most dangerous foe. And when it's revealed that her long-gone sister, Rose, is still alive, Thorn must make a choice-and risk her own life in the process

Do we have you all on Amazon and Barnes & Noble ordering and downloading?  Good!!  Take a break for a minute though and join us as we learn a bit more about the author behind these 2 great series, and help us celebrate the release of “Raven Cursed” with Faith…

LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews:  Hi Faith!  We’re very happy to have you here today, and are excited to help you celebrate and promote “Raven Cursed”, the SKINWALKER/JANE YELLOWROCK series and the rest of your backlist.
FAITH: I am so honored to be here! This is a very cool event!
It’s been a whirlwind month getting ready to launch Raven Cursed, on top of the Cat Tales launch (a compilation of shorts set in the Skinwalker universe) and Easy Pickings, a crossover novella co-authored by CE Murphy, with her Joanne Walker and Jane Yellowrock fighting evil in a third universe. (Total bald-faced self-PR, here) I haven’t slept much, and have lived off of popcorn and black tea, and so if I suddenly go gggggg-goofy, you’ll know why. I stutter sometimes (even in print) and it’s worse when I’m living stressed, even if the stress is wicked fun!

LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews:  We like to start out by finding out a bit more about our guest author, and then we’ll dig into the book and series… 
Q1): Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that we couldn’t find out easily on the Internet?
FAITH: Hmmm. (1.) I much prefer a good dark beer to fine wine. (You might be able to find that out with a bit of digging. J )  (2.) I am a loyal friend, even when it hurts, and still maintain friendships I started when I was 8 years old.  (3.) I have to fight being a hoarder, like my mom and her sister. O.M.Gosh, you should see their houses. This past spring, I proudly threw away a pair of 25 year old shoes. (nods head) Yep. Only 25 years old. I’d have kept them longer because they were killer shoes, but the glue had dry-rotted. LOL

Q2):  Did anyone or anything special inspire you to become an author?
FAITH: My 10th grad school teacher Carol Kohler told me I should be a writer. I listened. And Anne McCaffrey. Her books set my mind on fire! I started reading them when I was in high school.

Q3):  What are 3 things that always make you smile?
FAITH: Can’t just do 3! Good dark beer. Good black tea. Good dark chocolate. A check in the day’s mail. A new pair of Lucchese boots! A beautiful clean whitewater river.

Q4):  What are some of your hobbies or things that you enjoy doing when you’re not writing or taking care of other author business outside of RVing with the DH and the pup?
FAITH: I make jewelry. It relaxes me because jewelry making means working with my hands, being creative within a prescribed set of possibilities, and with definite matrix and materials. It forces me to think outside the box, uses a different part of my brain from the writing-part, and lets my mind roam. Jewelry making is great for working on plot problems!
And then there is the whitewater kayaking. The hubby and I have 13 boats at this writing. Yeah. 13. (Hubby has a hoarder gene too.) I am a firm lower Class III paddler, and Hubby is an upper Class III paddler, verging into Class IV territory. We adore it!

Q5):  What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

FAITH: This too shall pass.
That which does not destroy us makes us stronger.
Jesus wept.
These sayings all make me remember that life is full of pain and growth and sadness and joy. It has a cycle and worrying about it all, is a waste of time.

Q6):  We know this is a hard one, but who are some of your favorite authors, and what are a few titles in your TBR pile right now?
FAITH: I just bought Rachel Caine’s two latest in the Morganville Vampires series. Kim Harrison’s Feb. 2012 release is on order for my new (Christmas gift) Kindle Fire. I am catching up on the Eileen Wilkes books, and I am about 4 behind. I am loading up my Kindle. I don’t know whether to sigh or go Whoot! It’s too easy to buy books now!

Q7):  If you were to describe yourself in 5 words, what would they be?
FAITH: Stubborn. Feisty. Independent. Prayerful. Evolving.

Q8):  With Fantasy being such a popular genre these days, what about it fascinates you personally?

FAITH: During and after WWII, the world needed superheroes. Today, fantasy offers to fulfill a similar need. Heroes. People who will do the right thing even when they get kicked in the head became of it. There are so few heroes around.
I love strong female characters who change and develop, but who always move toward the good in life. Who don’t run away. Who don’t depend on others to do what needs doing. Who take chances. And who protect the innocent no matter what. In the Jane Yellowrock Skinwalker novels, Jane is facing some pretty major inner demons – the demons of her past. And she isn’t running from them, like I’ve run from my own demons in the past. I need Jane as an example that some demons require a big gun, guts, and cajones. And she has them. And so do I. My gun may really be a pen (my PC) and my guts may turn to water, and my cajones may be figurative, but they are all pretty good in a fight against my own past.

Q9):  Was there any specific inspiration behind the creation of the SKINWALKER series and Jane Yellowrock?
FAITH:  My own inner demons. My own inner beast. Yeah, I have one. When I was kid I could literally see the beast. He was about four inches tall, dressed like jester, and had fearsome teeth and claws. Just my childhood way of understanding a painful thing. We all have them. Writers usually discover that the are fighting their own demons when they put fingers to keyboard. In my case, I wanted to imagine a Beast that would be a good thing, instead of a bad one. It’s been fun seeing that happen.

Q10):  What about the ROGUE MAGE series?  Was there anything special that led you to want to tell Thorn’s tale?
FAITH: Thorn St.Croix was the result of a Gwen novel that her publisher didn’t want. They wanted something set in a current world and they were willing to have it be a bit paranormal, but not full blown dark fantasy. I took those chapters and put them aside to write the novel that pub wanted, then, when I was finished, I wrote the novel *I* wanted! Fans who read both of my genres have commented on the similarities of the opening to Bloodstone and the second chapter of BloodRing. That was done on purpose and has b en great fun!
Also, the ROGUE MAGE Role Playing Game and World Book will be out *very* soon! It is in the middle of a Kickstarter program right now!

Q11):  What’s a typical work day like for you?  Do you have a writing routine or things you absolutely cannot go through your day without?
FAITH: Golden Monkey tea, iced, in a sippy cup. J  I get up, let out the dogs, pour my first big glass of the day, and sit down to emails and PR. Then I write for whatever word and page counts I need that day, with breaks for a fruit smoothie late breakfast, lunch, and exercise. Sometimes that work day lasts for 12 hours. Sometimes longer. On weekends I work at a hospital lab – 2, 17 hour days. Then back to writing on Monday, 8 – 14 hours a day. I do take off for paddling (when my head is about to explode) and jewelry making when I’m stumped on a plot point.

Q12):  How many books do you have planned for the SKINWALKER series?
FAITH: I can foresee ten or more, and I have plot threads in place for them. I could even go as high as 15. But if the books don’t sell, then they will stop when ROC tells me they won’t buy any more! Publishing is the one art that is totally fan-controlled. To publishing companies, the only criteria for continuing a series is numbers. If I sell books, I can keep writing them.

Q13):  What can we expect as the series progresses?
FAITH: Jane will discover much more about her long-forgotten past, and what forces shaped her and formed her. She will face her inability to commit to long term relationships, and her subconscious tendency to destroy the relationships she has. She will cross lines and boundaries to save another child from danger. Her moral compass will spin. She will find that being tied to another person isn’t such a bad thing. She will kill and fight and suffer. And she will find love. In other words she will grow up. J  Her Beast will grow up too, and I have less of a handle on how Beast will change. Beast still surprises me!

Q14):  Are you planning any other books in the ROGUE MAGE series, or will it stay a trilogy?
FAITH: As I mentioned above, The Rogue Mage Role Playing Game and World Book will be out *very* soon! It is in the middle of a Kickstarter program right now. And (drum roll) ROC included the first few chapters of BloodRing in the latest Jane Yellowrock novel, Raven Cursed. This shows a definite interest on ROC’s part to build me as a writer and to grow the RM series. Soooo. What I’m saying is, maybe. LOL

Q15):  Can you share with us anything else that you might have in the works outside of these 2 series?
FAITH: I also still write in other genres as Gwen Hunter, and a small press currently owns the rights to a historical fiction novel His Blood Like Tears. They took it back off the market after the first 100 books went out because one of my agents fell in love with it. HBLT is a project in hiatus right now. I have a short due out in an anthology with Charlaine Harris as lead. The antho is An Apple for the Creature. And of course, the recently released e-book Cat Tales and the novella Easy Pickings with CE Murphy.

Q16):  What were some of the challenges you encountered while writing about Jane and Thorn?
FAITH: Thorn required a *mountain* of research. I guess I spent a year in research on scripture and ancient writings and the various ways that different ancient religions looked at winged messengers and winged warriors. Throw in the different apocalyptic tales and prophecy and it meant a lot of time reading and taking notes.
I also had to research stones and how a lapidary worked them, then had to research how a metal-worker worked with different metals, and how a glass-maker and sculptor worked. The equipment they needed. I had to know how an ice age might start today, so there was meteorological research. Oy.
I also wanted to present a gay relationship in ways that would allow straight, scared-of-gay readers to keep reading. It was a teachable moment I wanted to use. That was a challenge indeed. My editor of the time was lesbian and she helped a great deal, pulling me back when my characters did things that were over the top. I’ve gotten positive feedback from my gay and lesbian readers, from some straight Christian readers, and from former combat soldiers, so I must have done okay, but it’s still a subject I’m careful of.
Thorn’s story line is so very deep and convoluted it was hard to keep straight and I have yet to go back and create a linear path for the plot and the characters. Yet, I just started re-reading BloodRing and I adore it! Thorn’s world was all new and never-before-done, so I could do anything I wanted with it. This made it easier to write in in many ways, because if I wanted to change something I could. There were no boundaries except the ones I made for myself as a writer. That series was the best work I’ve ever done in terms of sheer word-smithing. I am very hopeful that I’ll get the chance to write in that series again. But I admit that if a major publisher doesn’t buy another book, I may not. I am literary slut – I write for pay. LOL
Jane’s world, however, is much like our own, and the fictional context was well-used and already richly written in. I had to find a way to balance “fiction with historical literary context” and fiction that was new.
As a character, Jane presented different problems from Thorn too. I had to learn about guns and knives and Cherokee spirituality and Harleys and all sorts of other stuff. Jane is a killer. Getting inside her head was difficult, especially when I had to balance her Beast – a character who shares her head-space.
Each series and each character has challenges and each was very satisfying, but in different ways.

Q17):  What surprises have you encountered in your career thus far?
FAITH: Every day is a surprise. I think if we lose the ability to be surprised at every small occurrence, we lose the ability to write fiction. The best surprise was and has always been, that fans are so nice. I’d heard horror stories of fans being scary or unkind, and I guess that kind of “fan” is out there, but the vast majority of fans are fantastic. And the worst surprise was how quickly being a writer (sedentary so much of every day) has worn out my body. Hmmm. That reminds me. I need to yoga!

Q18):  Is there a question that you have always wanted to be asked in an interview but have never been asked?  How would you answer that question?
FAITH: Not really. I’ve been in this biz for over 20 years and I’ve been asked most everything you can imagine! My favorite questions were: (a la Barbara Walters) What kind of tree would you be, if you were a tree? And - If you could to anything other than write, what would you do?
I’d be a willow and I’d be gardener who sold her produce, and who made killer tomato sauce and sold that. I actually did used to make a killer tomato sauce, with a secret ingredient and everything. No, I’m not sharing! Except with my nephew, the chef in training. He loved it!

Q19):  A long way off in the future, when you decide to retire and stop writing, what thoughts do you hope to have when you look back on the legacy you left behind and your career in general?
FAITH: I hope I will be remembered for giving people a moment of amusement, of vindication, of joy, of hope, of a moment-out-of-time, of relaxation in the midst of difficult life.

Q20):  Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers (both new and old) while we have you here today?
FAITH: Thank you. Thank you for reading my books. Thank you for showing an interest in me. Thank you for kindness in the small things in life. Remember that being kind offers no rewards. Not a dang one. But it is what makes us better than we would be otherwise.

LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews:  Faith, thank you so much for being with us today!  We’re very happy to help you promote “Raven Cursed” and the rest of the series, as well as ROGUE MAGE and your books as Gwen Hunter.  We’d love to have you back for another future release if you’d be interested!?
FAITH:  Dang skippy! I’d love to be back!

If you'd like to learn more about Faith, you can follow her at the following sites:
CONTEST:  Faith is graciously offering up  a set of signed Skinwalker books, 1-4, and a pair of handmade/beaded earrings to a winner from Book Monster Reviews and the same for a winner at Literal Addiction (over on their site). 
To Enter: Make sure you are a member of the Book Monster Blog (by clicking on the “JOIN THIS SITE” button at the top left hand corner of blog page), and then post a comment on the interview with your email address. 
*Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing.
Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website (http://www.literaladdiction.com/) and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!



Allie said...

Great interview and giveaway! I agree with the tea and chocolate, but def. prefer lighter beer :) amotherway@aol.com


great interview !!!


Bonnie said...

I absolutely love the Jane Yellowrock series. Thanks for the interveiw and great giveaway. I can't wait to get home and start reading the 4th book Raven's Curse.

legallycaz said...

I'm loving the sound of these books and will be on the look out for them! As always a great interview and awesome giveaways!


Mary said...

Wow what an insightful interview. Love this giveaway, 4 books..that is just an awesome giveaway.


burbanette said...

I am definetly a wine girl and throwing away shoes! Couldn't they be repaired? Got your books on mt TBR list for this year! Stephanie

Barb P said...

Wow! I have wanted to try this series for quite some time. Thanks so much for the fantastic giveaway!! bpatrick64113@sbcglobal.net

Amy said...

Great interview! I'd love to read the Jane Yellowrock series because I love urban fantasy with strong female characters.

GFC follower


C D said...

I can't wait for the chat tonight!

antydragn2 said...

I have met Faith and she is just as warm in print as she is in person. I am looking forward to the interview tonight and have read the first few chapters of RAVEN CURSED. LOVE it Faith!

Barbara E. said...

I love the Jane Yellowrock series and I enjoyed the interview. What a fantastic giveaway!

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

elaing8 said...

Great interview.I've read so many great reviews for the Jane Yellowrock novels.I haven't heard of the other series.I'll have to check it out.


Proserpine said...


Nice interview! I would love to try this series, sound awesome! Thanks for this giveaway!



Gisele Alv said...

-swooooon- YAYY! This is a Epic giveaway! I love Dark Chocolate too! And 13 boats?? :O Sometimes i'm to a hoarder I cant get rid of stuff! Thanks for the chance!
I'm a follower!


donnas said...

Great interview. Ive only been able to read the first one so far but I loved it. Looking forward to reading the rest.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Jennifer Mathis said...

I hate to admit it but i understand the shoe thing . I just broke the heel of a pair of shoe I had for 15 years and I admit I bitched about shodded workmanship at the time lol . sniff and they were so my favorite pair :( Anywhos great interview :)


Jewel said...

Great interview. Another author & her books being introduced to me.

The books sound amazing & the girl on the cover looks fierce.

Thanks for the chance. :)

jewel4jay at hotmail dot com

sienny said...

the covers don't appeal me much, but when i read the synopsis.. it looks so cool.. i'll give it a shot, absolutely.

sienny (smile_1773@yahoo.com)

Michelle said...

Great interview, I have been hearing about these books for awhile and I'm happily moving them up the tbr pile. I like series with a strong female read.


SdyLion said...

The Skin walkers are great. Thanks for the interview. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Pamk said...

I had the pleasure of hearing Faith speak at Dragoncon last year and bought her frst book. I'd love to win these books.
Scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

alainala said...

holy guacamole what a prize! i LOVE the jane series.. and i cant wait to see how she evolves and changes.. and beast!! (i giggle just about every time i read Beast's status changes on facebook too)

alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

Katie said...

Oh I love the Jane Yellowrock series. I am reading Ravencursed now, and they keep getting better with each book! Great Interview. :)


antydragn2 said...

OK I was an idiot and did not leave my email with the first post. Faith was great during the online q&a. RAVEN CURSED was FABULOUS. Stayed up til 2 AM to finish it and dragged my butt through Thursday at work. Thank you Faith!


Kassandra said...

Wonderful interview and amazing give-away!! Another author that I have on my "to check out" list. Good luck to everyone!


*yadkny* said...

I've got to get my hands on the Skinwalker series! I've heard so many great things about this series and author... can't wait to read it!

*member of the Book Monster Blog

Kayla said...

Love the interview! Haven't read the Jane Yellowrock series yet but its def on my to-read list. OMG great giveaway