My guests today are Raven and Lain Bower, the husband and wife writing duo behind novels of supernatural suspense, fantasy and horror. Welcome to both of you.
Update: Raven is the one answering the questions, while Lain lurks in his mad scientist lab. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
What is your most recent published work?
That would be our adventure fantasy novella, Nymph’s Lair.
What is it about?
Adventure! And the pursuit of raw vengeance. It’s part of the Shrouded Isles series, a prologue of a sort. The story continues in the novel, The Shrouded Isles (release date to be determined).
Sounds very intriguing. What was it like when you found out that Hydra was going to publish your book?
We were ecstatic! I did research on Hydra before sending in our manuscript – loved their covers and the way the publisher, Frank, corresponded. Hydra is very team orientated, almost like a family; it’s a great place to be.
I agree. The Hydra author family is a huge reason why I signed with them as well. What can you tell readers about the main character?
He’s an oddball, a half-orc barbarian with a noble streak who travels with an uppity dwarf. They both enjoy their drink a little too much and I find some of their choices in food and ale…eh…questionable. *Grimace*
Meaning they eat lima beans? I don’t even think half-orc barbarians can get down a lima bean. What was your favorite part of the book for you to write? What are you most proud of?
All of it! I just adore the characters but I’m particularly fond of Tigs, the dwarf. He was the first dwarf character I ever made and wrote about but he just – came to life, a little like a Dwarfenstein zapped by the energy of imagination!
As for proud of, hm. The scene in the nymph’s lair, I won’t spoil it so I can’t say exactly why, but readers got the gist and loved it, which pleases me. Particularly when I wasn’t sure how well the magical aspect of what happens there would come across on paper.
I can’t wait to read it. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Excellent question! Let’s see. For Roch, the half-orc hero, I keep imagining Vin Diesel all green and tusky
For Tigs, the dwarf, Karl Urban because he does that dour, dead-pan humor so well (like in Star Trek!).
For the saucy sea nymph, I’d choose Charlize Theron. Can you imagine her in glistening scales and sharp fangs?
Yes I can. Yes. I. Can. What genres do you write in?
We write in what we call our Tripod of Doom! Which would be horror, fantasy and urban fantasy. We’re fascinated by creatures and things that go bump in the night.
Some writers claim that writing dark stories is easier than writing light ones. True or false for you, and why?
True. In dark stories, conflict is ripe and bursting in every corner! Beautiful discord! Characters are fraught with tough decisions that are difficult to solve and often they have to give up quite a bit to accomplish their goals – sometimes even their lives.
In a lighter story, the conflicts are more subdued and, imo, less fun to write – making them harder to see through.
When you have time to read what do you enjoy? Who’s your favorite author?
Yipes. Everything. Okay that’s a lie, I don’t read literary fiction, mysteries, YA or historical fiction, but all other genres are great fodder for me.
My favorite author often changes with my mood and they range across the board too – Dean Koontz, Rollins, Raymond Feist, RA Salvatore, Margaret Weis, Robert McCammon, Steve Alten and the list goes on forever.
I’m also fond of many small press authors like Gwen Perkins, Sasha Summers, Pete Giglio, Stephen Zimmer and Ren Garcia to name a few.
There is no doubt there are great Hydra authors waiting for people to discover their work. What is the coolest thing a reviewer ever said about your work?
I’m a character writer, my focus is on the characters and their journey, their trials, anguish and problems. So when reviewers say how alive the characters seemed or how much they loved or hated them, it’s a fantastic feeling.
Tell us a little bit about what you are working on now or next?
We’re working on several projects right now. I’m writing the rough draft of Telling Bones or maybe I’ll title it the Secret Wind – not set on the title yet. Anyway, title aside, it’s an adventure fantasy series called the Draekyn Spears that takes place in the shared- world of Andronia. At the same time, we’re also writing the Andronia Region of Turmoil World Guidebook, for gamers who wish to explore Andronia. As well as other supplements for the Andronia world.
Wow. Sounds like you guys are super busy. When will it be available?
All of those will be available in 2013, plus a few other goodies like Smoke (book 2 of the Vengeance series, Primal is book 1) and the Primal Earth World Guidebook (which is a gaming world based off Primal’s world).
When do you write? How many hours a day/week?
All the time – no rest for the wicked you know. Except when I sleep and even that time is used as my subconscious mind works its way through plot, world and issues.
How do you prepare for a project? Do you work off an outline of your book or write by gut-feel?
I do a lot of brainstorming and then write up an outline of scenes on 3×5″ cards that I stab into my plot wall. Truly, it’s not as gruesome as it sounds, they don’t bleed – much.
Using plot cards that highlight the important parts of the scene and important foreshadows allows me to have the best of both worlds – a road map of the novel so I don’t get lost on tangents and the ability to go with the gut because it’s not so hashed out that there isn’t room for new discoveries.
Very interesting way to plot your novel. Do you have any events or book signings coming up? Where? When?
Not until next year – we’ll be attending GenCon in Indianapolis IN with Hydra Games! Exciting!
How can readers connect with you? (Blog, Facebook, email, whatever)
Bonus Oddball Question: If you had to describe your main character in terms of a food, what food would it be and why?
Oh goodness, imagining a half-orc as a food brings nooothing good to mind! LOL
Thanks to Raven and Lain for stopping buy. I highly recommend people pick up their novel Primal and look forward to their upcoming work.