RH: What, you want me to admit to them? I often listen to a Top 40 music station when in the car, because I hate eighties music, and too many of the mix stations use that heavily in their mixture. Top 40 is repetitive, but if I’m in my car for longer than their usual repeat cycle, I find something else. I also watch reality TV shows. Not the heinous shouty wife-swap ones, but a few of the ones more focused on their subject matter, like Masterchef and PBS historical reenactments like Frontier House.http://www.bittenbybooks.com/53973/bitten-by-books-needs-you/I also hate going to arthouse movies. Note that I don’t hate watching them, but I hate being trapped in a theater if I happen not to like one. I reserve the right to recognize a movie I don’t like and turn it off! I’m a fan of a strong narrative and likeable characters, and while movies can be great when they experiment with ditching either or both, I don’t happen to like them. It’s like I’m an anti-geek-prejudice poster child!
BBB: What actors would you choose to play some of your characters if your book were made into a movie or a TV show?
RH: I haven’t been able to find an actress for Silver yet, but I do know the one I’d choose for Andrew: Matt Bomer. He’s a little shorter than Andrew, but he has just the right build and dark hair. If you’ve seen him in White Collar, you’ll have a sense of what I mean: Matt Bomer is lean and plenty muscled, but when you stand him next to Tim DeKay, you realize he’s definitely not a burly guy. Tim DeKay isn’t quite right for another character in the book, John, the Seattle alpha, but he’s got the right solid build.
BBB: How do you keep track of your world building?
RH: I have a computer file that’s the equivalent of old-school scribbled notes. I write down names or phrases, just enough to jog my memory, and I have a couple lists, like of alphas I’ve mentioned. The exception to the freeform note style is everyone’s wolf form colors. I have a table of those along with their human appearance details. As I go along, I’m sure I’ll start to be a little more structured for the other things.
BBB: Please tell us more about Silver and the storyline that drives it.
RH: Werewolf Andrew Dare is the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and is haunted by his past failures. He encounters a wandering Were who has been injected with silver nitrate. She can no longer shift and hallucinates, so she can’t tell him who did it to her. He has to let his failures go and work with her to figure out who injected her before Silver’s attacker visits the same torture on other Were. The two of them also embody a fundamental culture clash of the Were world: Andrew is a staunch atheist and Silver considers herself to see the spirit world, and walk with the personification of the Were Death. Chasing her attacker makes both of them face their belief in themselves and their gods.
BBB: Will there be other books in this world?
RH: I plan to keep writing books in this world as long as my publisher keeps buying them! I’ve done a lot of work to set up the werewolf culture and religion, which I feel gives me a backdrop to explore a whole variety of character types. Someday if this first series does well, I also have an idea for a shorter spin-off series in the same world.
BBB: Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters lives / lifestyles?
RH: I brushed up on my wolf behavior, of course. I also drew heavily on the principles of hunter-gatherer peoples that I learned in graduate school for anthropology. If you think about it, packs are similar to individual tribes, and I used a lot of that anthropology to figure out how the werewolf packs might relate to each other. I also did plenty of research on the setting of the novel. Part takes place in the Pacific Northwest, which I know well, but part takes place in Virginia and other places on the East Coast, so I had to make sure I got my details right and didn’t have the wrong trees or something like that.
BBB: Are you a plotser or a panster? or a Planster (a combo of both – lol)
RH: I’m a combination of both that leans more toward plotter. I don’t formally outline, but I do plan ahead. When I start writing a novel, I have a general sense of the ending and the high points on the way. I’ll sometimes type the electronic equivalent of scribbled notes to myself to make sure I don’t forget any of them. I’ve encountered a concept in articles about TV writers that I really like: at a certain point writers “break” the episode. They sit down and figure out exactly what will happen in it before they write anything. I’ll break a novel, and then break large chunks of it as I near them, and each day before I sit down to write, I’ll break a couple of scenes. In my case, breaking means doing something like driving or taking a walk to free up my mind while I run the scene start to finish through my imagination.
BBB: What types of creatures can readers expect in your world?
RH: Werewolves are the basis of my world, and I made a conscious decision to keep them that way. Vampires used to exist, but they were hunted to extinction during the Inquisition. And that’s real extinction, not fake “shows up frozen in a glacier to surprise everyone in book seven” extinction. I wanted to be able to focus on one creature’s culture and religion without getting caught up in adding more and more creatures every book. When you have a lot of creatures, I think it shows you the external dynamics among the different creatures and humans, but you don’t have as much chance to show the internal dynamics of one type of creature among themselves. That’s what interested me the most!
BBB: Why did you choose werewolves to focus on?
RH: I chose werewolves for several reasons! One is the kind of metaphors they could provide. Vampires offer metaphors about lifestyle choices and secret societies that you join as an adult. Since that’s been done, I wanted to explore something different rather than doing it again. I made my werewolves a species, so they’re only born, not turned. Given that, I knew that they’d have to deal with a different, secret culture at home than they interacted with in the rest of their lives. It provides an interesting metaphor for geek culture or immigrants dealing with the dominant culture in their new home. Werewolves also give interesting opportunities for showing pack social dynamics as interpreted by humans. Also, with werewolves as a species, I could think about a whole bunch of cool biological and social aspects of them. How might they have evolved? How do they avoid interbreeding? What kind of taboos might they have? Creating all that detail was fun, and also helps them feel more real to the readers.
BBB: What’s coming up for you in 2012 and 2013?
RH: My next book in this series, Tarnished, should be out spring or summer next year. Right now I’m revising book 3, though I might take a break and dive into the first draft of book 4 for fun. This month I’m pretty busy with signings, and I have several cons lined up for the rest of the year. I’ll definitely be at both Worldcon and World Fantasy. Next year, I’m hoping Silver will have done well enough that I can do some road trips to do signings in parts of the country I haven’t gotten to visit as much as I’d like, such as New England.
Questions for the Readers:
What’s your favorite urban fantasy creature? Why?
If you could choose to live in anyone’s urban fantasy universe, which one would it be? Would you want to be human, or something else?
What themes haven’t you seen before in urban fantasy that you’d be excited to see explored?
☸ ૐ ☮ ♥ ☼ ♉ ☸ ૐ ☮ ♥ ☼ ♉ ☸ ૐ ☮ ♥ ☼ ♉ ☸ ૐ ☮ ♥ ☼ ♉
Learn More about Rhiannon Held Below
☸ ૐ ☮ ♥ ☼ ♉ ☸ ૐ ☮ ♥ ☼ ♉ ☸ ૐ ☮ ♥ ☼ ♉ ☸ ૐ ☮ ♥ ☼ ♉
CONTEST INFO: Open to readers WORLDWIDE!
Prize: A $20.00 Electronic Amazon Gift Card
The Contest Entry rules have changed so read them carefully
The CONTEST portion of the event runs TWO DAYS until 11:59 pm Central on 6/21/12.
These are the ways you can enter to gain points towards winning the prize offered here today. The only one that is mandatory is #1. The rest are optional. The more you do, the more points you gain, the better your odds at winning the prize. Prizes are chosen using the random.org number generator. Making a purchase is NOT mandatory, it is only one way to gain additional points. There are free ways to get points. Remember to add in your RSVP points if you RSVP’d.
1. LEAVE YOUR FIRST NAME AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME AND YOUR COUNTRY in your comment/post so we can give you the proper credit for your entries. Mandatory, if you don’t leave this, your entries will NOT count. It is NOT mandatory to make a purchase to be entered into the contest.
2. Ask some questions, please no duplicates. Answer the authors questions. + 1 point per question PLEASE ASK EACH ONE IN A SEPARATE POST.
3. Spread the word about this contest and HELP OUT Rhiannon by spreading the word about her book!
Tweet AND Facebook this event: http://www.bittenbybooks.com/?p=54285 + 1 Points (max 3 times a day please not all at the same time) include @bittenbybooks in your tweet.
4. Get a NEW copy of the author’s book by using the links below
Good for 500 + points per book you purchase by using the links above. Email your receipt to the prize Goddess here bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces).
You can also use the Amazon link HERE to make your purchase of ANY kind of merchandise during the contest. NOTE ALL OTHER FREE KINDLE BOOKS DO NOT COUNT as a purchase. Good for 100 + entries to the contest for EACH item you purchase using the link above. Email your receipt to the prize Goddess here bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces).
5. Make a purchase from http://acharmingtime.com (ALL proceeds benefit Bitten by Books to keep it alive and kicking) use coupon code RIZZO for 70% off your order! Good for 200 points per purchase. Email your receipt to the prize Goddess here bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces).
6. Go here: http://www.bittenbybooks.com/53973/bitten-by-books-needs-you/ and do one of the things listed to help support Bitten by Books annual fundraiser. Good for 200 points. Email your receipt to the prize Goddess here bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces).
7. Go here: http://www.bittenbybooks.com/?p=54289 and leave a meaningful comment and and join the discussion on this week’s Screen Bites brought you by columnist Carol Malcolm good for 5 points.
8. Tally your own points total +1 point
RULES AND LEGAL DISCLAIMERS
Winner(s) will be contacted via email. You will receive your prize directly from the author. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FIRST AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME AND COUNTRY as well as a valid email where we can contact you. REMEMBER the more things you do, the more entries, the greater the chances of winning. PLEASE ALLOW THIRTY DAYS to receive your prize BEFORE EMAILING US.
1. Please note, the prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be absolutely no substitutions or changes the prize is non-transferable. If you don’t want the prize being offered, please don’t enter the contest. If you ever win an electronic copy of a book, please note that it is ILLEGAL to forward, give away or copy it in anyway once you receive it. Doing so violates copyright. If we find out that it has been done, you will no longer be eligible to win any of our contests.
2. You have THREE days from the day the we contact you to claim your prize by sending your name/mailing address to us at the contact email we provide. Failure to contact us will forfeit your prize. BBB can at that time, choose either to re-award the prize to another entrant or not.
3. The prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be no substitutions, trades or changes. No exceptions. Please do not ask. If for some reason you do not wish to claim your prize, please let me know as soon as possible. Bitten by Books has the option to re-award it or not.
4. Contest is open to readers in the USA except where noted above. The prizes are almost ALWAYS shipped directly from the publisher/author unless otherwise noted.
5. Bitten by Books is in NO way responsible for the prizes being offered in any of the contests. If for some reason a contributor does not honor their prize, there is nothing we can or will do about it. We are not worried that this will happen, but we want to be very clear that WE are not offering these prizes, the contributor is and it is their responsibility to fulfill their prize obligations not Bitten by Books.
6. These rules are subject to change or be modified without prior written notice.
7. Contest is void where prohibited.
8. By entering this contest you are agreeing to our terms of entry.