ADRIAN NIKOLAS PHOENIX has had stories published in several magazines and anthologies. She currently lives in Oregon (with three cats, of course), but travels to New Orleans, the city of her heart, whenever possible. She is the author of the Maker’s Song Series and the new Hoodoo Series.
It iss our extreme pleasurre o welcome a V.I.P to our website today! To LITERAL ADDICTION, that V.I.P is exactly that, a Very Important Person! Without her, I don’t believe that Jen’s and my dream could have been realized to the extent that it has been. Her material was what really brought us all together and turned several of our members (who I believe initially joined just out of curiosity, or as a favor to Jen & I) into true Fantasy & associated genre aficionados with a blossoming passion that could someday rival ours. It has been so uplifting to receive notes from members while they’re in the middle of, or after they’ve finished the assigned book for a Reading Event, and to read the ‘heart’ in those comments!
Our guest was a bestselling author that has been referred to as ‘literature’s best kept secret’ and ‘one of the best new talents in decades’. In the short time that I’ve had the privilege to read her material, and even better, make her acquaintance, I have found that she is not only incredibly talented, but is a wonderful person with a huge, generous heart and an incredible passion for life! And now, to end the suspense, our honored guest was none other than Ms. Adrian Phoenix, author of our beloved Maker’s Song series!!!!!
Adrian has been fantastic, and has agreed to do a 2 day mini guest blog-spot, 20 question Q&A [split across the 2 days], and 2 day interactive web Forum. I hope everyone enjoys…
March 14, 2011 - Day #1 Guest Blogspot, Q&A and Interactive Forum:
Adrian Phoenix: I want to thank Michelle for inviting me and letting me know all about y’all at Literal Addiction. It’s a real pleasure to be here hanging out with fellow bookworms. If you have any other questions about The Maker’s Song books or the Hoodoo books or anything, really, I’ll be popping in off and on all through the evening (and tomorrow) to answer your questions. Again, a real pleasure to be here!
Club Member 20 Questions:
LITERAL ADDICTION: Who is your favorite character to get inside of and write about in the Maker’s Song series? Why?
Adrian: Looking through the eyes of Dante and Heather and writing from their POVs would be my favorites (a tie). I also really enjoy writing from Von and Lucien’s POVs too. As for why, I don’t think about that, really. LOL. Good question. In a way, I think you become the characters when you’re writing from their viewpoint, hearing their voice, showing the world through their eyes and filtered through their emotions and experiences.
Writing from Dante’s POV is fascinating because he does and says things I wouldn’t (but might wish I could, lol), plus it really gives him a chance to show what’s going on inside of him, even if he doesn’t always understand it. Exploring his past, dealing with his loss and his pain. Plus, he’s nightkind, Fallen, a Maker. He’s a sexy guy in leather and latex and a hunger for blood; a talented musician, loyal to his friends, but tampered with—what is he capable of? How far will he go?
Same with the others. With Heather, I can explore the FBI and what it would feel like to be driven to seek justice for those who can’t seek it for themselves, I love exploring her past and family relationships, love showing Dante through her eyes, just as I love showing Heather through his.
With Von, I get to explore nomad and llygad cultures, get to show how he’s different from other vampires, get to show what Dante means to him, how he’s viewed. I get to show the guardian side of a rough and tumble character, his sense of humor and compassion.
With Lucien, I get to show the delicate dance of familial relationships, the bonds that connect us, and the world and history of the Fallen. All wonderful!!
LITERAL ADDICTION: Who are some of your favorite authors and series?
Adrian: Some of my faves are: Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress series-love it!), Jeri Smith-Ready (WVMP vampire books, her YA, her fantasy trilogy, pretty much anything by her), D.B. Reynolds (her Vampires in America series is amazing, full of great writing, compelling characters, and steamy, steamy goodness), Stephen King (anything), Jaye Wells (her Sabina Kane books), James Lee Burke (his Dave Robicheaux detective series), James Ellroy (all of his books, very noir mysteries and thrillers), C.S. Harris (historical mysteries), Jenna Black, Kelly Gay, Devon Monk, MelJean Brook, Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, Dean Koontz, C.J. Cherryh, Phaedra Weldon, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mark Henry, Jaye Wells, J.F. Lewis, Alex Bledsoe. All good and I’m sure there are plenty of great authors I left off. I’m also way behind in my reading, so I’ve yet to read Patricia Briggs, among others, a lapse I blame to make up! I LOVE to read. LOVE books. Does it show? LOL
LITERAL ADDICTION: You write about New Orleans with a lot of passion. Is it a special place for you?
Adrian: Yes, New Orleans is very special to me. I was Idaho born and bred (now live in <?Oregon), but N’awlins has always called to me, fascinated me, since I can remember. I think that if it’s possible to have a soul mate, then it’s possible to have a soul city – New Orleans is mine. I’m fascinated by the Cajun culture, the cities of the dead, the lore steeped in hoodoo and voodoo, the history of the city—the French, the Spanish, the pirates (Jean Lafitte!), the old Creole aristocrats duels back in the early days, everything. <?New Orleans is rich with a complex and varied history – often dark and violent, but always brimming with a joie de vivre that nothing could erase. I hope to have a home there one day.
LITERAL ADDICTION: What can we expect out of Book #4, Etched in Bone?
Adrian: All kinds of trouble for Dante and Heather (unfortunately). I totally to plan to give this pair some downtime together with some peace and quiet and time to really enjoy each other in the next book. Heather even mentions in Etched in Bone that she plans to keep Dante in bed for a week, two – if she survives the first week. LOL. Provided things ever quiet down.
Here’s a bit from the back cover: Determined to face the Fallen and the world on his own terms, Dante hopes to piece together his shattered past and claim his future, with FBI agent Heather Wallace at his side. But in Heather’s human family awaits an unexpected enemy. One who could rip Heather from Dante’s heart and fill the holes with bullets. One who could force Dante to choose his darkest destiny—as the Great Destroyer …
There’s more of Von and Silver and Annie, and Lucien, of course. We also see much more of Gehenna and the Fallen, and some new characters are introduced as well.
Here’s a link to the first two chapters of Etched in Bone.
Etched in Bone is also a featured read for March on BN.com’s Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Book Club – which I’m very excited about.
LITERAL ADDICTION: How did you get into writing? When did you know it was what you wanted to do for a living?
Adrian: Ever since I started reading, I wanted to write, but I think I was in junior high school when I realized it was what I wanted to do with my life. And, to be honest, for many years I was so busy with life (single mother of two sons), that I didn’t have much time to write. When my sons had grown up, I returned to my first love—writing.
LITERAL ADDICTION: You are currently writing 2 different series. What do you think is similar and different about the stories?
Adrian: Yup, two series—both fun! What’s similar about the two is that they take place in the same world (and, yes, I foresee a crossover book where Kallie and her friends wander into Club Hell and meet Dante and his friends), they both take place in Louisiana, and both deal with various aspects of their paranormal worlds. Both series deal with nomads, as well as family/friend relationships and the impact they have on us when they go wrong (or right).
As for different, the Kallie books are more humorous, lighter, even though there’s still plenty of action of all kinds and dark events. Where The Maker’s Song books deal with <?New Orleans, vampires and fallen angels and government conspiracies, the Hoodoo books deal with the bayou, hoodoo and voodoo, loa and loup-garou.
LITERAL ADDICTION: You wrote Bad Seed & its psychopaths with such vivid clarity. What did you use as reference materials, & how did you get into the mindset to make that piece of the story come alive so well?
Adrian: I’ve always been intrigued by serial killers, with trying to figure out how they think. I’ve done tons of research, reading books by former FBI star profiler (and one of profiling’s originators), John Douglas, among others. Plus, I have a very vivid imagination. Going into Elroy <?Jordan’s POV was frighteningly easy. Writing from his POV was a lot of fun, actually. I could really play with the dark side, yet (hopefully) make him a three-dimensional character. A lot of freedom in writing a character like Jordan.
LITERAL ADDICTION: Your Bio states that you are a fan of all things creepy & yearn to go on a Paranormal Investigation. Is there 1 place at the top of your list that you want to see/experience?
Adrian: Wow. Great question and a tough one! So many places I’d like to go. I’d love to visit the vaults underneath Edinburgh, Scotland, the Tower in London, the Lalaurie House in New Orleans, just to name a few. There are so many all around the world I’d love to visit.
LITERAL ADDICTION: Since you are also a big music lover, do you create playlists to get into the mood while writing? If so (or hypothetically if you don’t) what were/would be the top 3 songs on your playlist for Beneath The Skin?
Adrian: I don’t normally create playlists per se, but I *do* play music while writing, definitely. I think the top 3 songs on my playlist for Beneath the Skin would be: 1. “Vespertilio” by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard from the Batman Begins soundtrack. 2. “I Do Not Want This” by Nine Inch Nails. 3. “The Line Begins to Blur” by Nine Inch Nails and (yes, I added one) 4. “Burn for You” by Jace Everett.
LITERAL ADDICTION: If you were stranded on a deserted island, but had the ability to magically manifest 5 things to make it bearable, what would those 5 things be?
Adrian: Do you mean besides food, water, and shelter? I’m going to pretend that’s what you mean. LOL. Okay, let’s see: 1. My TBR pile (that’ll keep me stocked for a while!). 2. My magically re-charging iPod. 3. My magically re-charging laptop so I can write. 4. A Desperado era Antonio Banderas to play guitar, sing, and entertain me. 5. My best friend to chat with.
Adrian Phoenix: Thanks so much for having me! It’s been a blast. I’ll be back with the answers to the rest of your questions tomorrow and I look forward to talking with y’all again! In the meantime, you can also find me at: Website , My Blog , Facebook , Facebook Fan Page, Twitter , MySpace , GoodReads ,
Dante’s Club Hell Forum , Dante’s Club Hell Yahoo Page , Pocket After Dark .
A HUGE Thank You! to Adrian for taking time out of her incredibly busy schedule to do this for us!! I’m sure you will all agree that she has made a bunch of book worms’ day! :-)
Don’t forget, you can also head to the “Contact Us” page of this website now to leave messages and comments for Adrian via the Forum, and be sure to check back tomorrow for the next 10 Questions and Answers from Adrian!
[Archive] Day #2 Guest Blogspot, Q&A and Interactive Forum:
Okay! And now for the second half of your questions. But first, let me say that I’ve really enjoyed my time with y’all. Again, thanks to Michelle for inviting me!
Club Member 20 Questions [Part 2]:
LITERAL ADDICTION: If you could have 1 Super Power, what would you choose and why?
Adrian:When I was a kid, I used to think it’d be pretty damned cool to fly or be invisible. Since then, I’ve developed a fear of flying (every plane flight is white-knuckled tension with images from Air Emergency flashing through my mind. LOL.) and invisibility has lost it’s appeal. But if I were a cop, I’d totally want to be invisible. Think of the perps I could sneak up on.
My choice now would be the ability to teleport. I’d never have to take a plane again, I wouldn’t even have to drive to the grocery store if I didn’t want to. I could just blip myself there. I could blip myself anywhere in the world! Ah. Heaven.
LITERAL ADDICTION: I read that your favorite TV show is Supernatural. Who is your favorite character, and what is it about the show that has you hooked?
Adrian: My favorite charactter is Sam Winchester, though his brother Dean is a close second. Their hard-case mentor, Bobby would be third. It was the characters and their relationships that drew me in, along with the amazing writing and story lines, the fantastic acting. (Doesn’t hurt that the Winchester brothers as played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are drool-worthy.)
I’m all about the characters. When I write, I start with a character, then build a story around them. And the relationship between Sam and Dean, their father, Bobby, are real and riveting and heart-breaking at times. Other times, damned hilarious. These characters feel real to me. And that will hook me every time.
LITERAL ADDICTION: What was the primary driver for you wanting to create a character that could Make things from nothing and Unmake things into their most elemental natures or back into nothing?
Adrian: There really was no primary drive or desire to create a character who could Make or Unmake, that was just a part of Dante and his story, his heritage—something he didn’t even understand himself. When I realized Dante was a creawdwr, I explored what exactly those powers would entail. Some of Dante’s gifts unfolded as I wrote A Rush of Wings. That’s one of the fun things about writing, the exciting discoveries you make along the way. The things your characters keep revealing about themselves.
LITERAL ADDICTION: I always feel that a person’s favorite movies say a lot about them. What is/are your favorite movie(s)?
Adrian: Ah, I LOVE movies. I love heroes who fight against the odds. I like comedy too. Some of my faves are: The last Samurai, Gladiator, all of the Lord of the Rings movies, The last of the Mohicans, The Four Feathers, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Returns, The Mummy, Moulin Rouge, Desperado, Interview With the Vampire, Lost Boys, all of the Underworld movies, Shaun of the Dead, The Crow, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Aliens, The Thirteenth Warrior (love!), The Terminator, The Others, Big Trouble in Little China, Escape from New York, Office Space … I could go on all night. LOL.
LITERAL ADDICTION: Where do you come up with your ideas and characters for your stories?
Adrian: I get my ideas from everything and everywhere. Really. A scene that moved me on TV or in a movie or book and I think, “What if?”, things I read in the paper or in magazines, but music (as listed in yesterday’s post) is my main inspiration. For example, Nine Inch Nails provided the musical inspiration for Dante, the emotional soundscape from which he was born.
Then I think about the world that this character lives in, how it and the events in his life shaped him, think about the other characters who would be drawn to him, oppose him, think about what his friends, lovers, family would be like (Lucien, Heather, Von) and his interactions with them. Like I said above, I start with characters, then create a story around them.
LITERAL ADDICTION: How is it possible that Dante’s Nightkind mother died so easily? Shouldn’t it have been more difficult? Is there any way that we can expect a surprise return from her in a future book?
Adrian: To be honest, noone knows exactly how Genevieve died, just that she was killed. So there’s no saying how hard it was to kill her. (Elroy <?Jordan mentioned a few details about her head being removed, etc.) But given that she was a captive of humans and vamps who knew exactly how to kill nightkind … Genevieve’s spirit, heart, and will were strong, definitely. She wanted to be there for her newborn son, but she was in the hands of heartless individuals. Unfortunately.
No, I’m sorry to say that there won’t be a surprise return from Genevieve in a future book—except in flashbacks from Lucien’s POV. Dante will eventually come to his father to ask him about Genevieve, hungry to know something, anything, about his murdered mother.
I hope to write a prequel to The Maker’s Song at some point, a book about Lucien, which will include his long and mysterious past and his relationship with Genevieve. J
LITERAL ADDICTION: The characters and places in the books (names and descriptions mainly), are they from people/places that you know, or how do you come up with them?
Adrian: No, the character descriptions and names aren’t based on anyone I know. Music will inspire images or I’ll see a person in a commercial or ad or TV show that will act as muse, description-wise. As for names, I choose the one that suits the character. I’ll often research a chosen name to be sure it’s right. As for places, well, the cities are real, of course, except for Gehenna. Dante’s club is purely fictional too – all imagination and based on what he would want. The location on St. Peter Street in the French Quarter is real, even if the club isn’t. Actually, I prefer to think that it is all real, just in a parallel dimension.
LITERAL ADDICTION: How long do you generally take to do research before you actually sit down to write the story?
Adrian: Not long! I get to writing and I sometimes research as I go. I’m always reading and studying in every day life, so that carries over into my writing as well. I think it’s best to get the story down first, then do any additional research for the next draft.
LITERAL ADDICTION: The character Heather, is there more to her than what you’re telling us?
Adrian: I’m not quite sure I understand this question. Please feel free to elaborate in the forum if I get it wrong. Do you mean in her past? Her family relationships? Do you mean in what Dante did when he healed her after Johanna Moore shot her?
Dante has no idea what he did to Heather, of course. All he knows for certain is that he did what he needed to in order to save her life. Heather has noticed subtle differences—sleeping later, for one, her intense and vivid dreams about her mother’s death for another. She has a feeling Dante has changed her in ways she doesn’t know yet, has a feeling those changes will eventually reveal themselves. And she’s right about that.
Adrian Phoenix: Again, thanks so much for having me! I had a wonderful time and I hope we can do it again!
MICHELLE: Another round of ‘thanks’ from us at LITERAL ADDICTION for sharing with us! This was incredible!!
And Adrian, don’t worry, as you and I have already talked, I have a great idea for your next Guest Appearance… We’ll wait until the rest of our members get caught up with the required reading and find a time when you have another big release so we can help promote it for you though… ;-)