Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Interview with Maria Violante, Author of Hunting in Hell

Today I will be interviewing Maria Violante, author of Hunting in Hell.

What are your favorite book(s)? 

I really love the "His Dark Materials" series by Philip Pullman.  That's one that I reread every few years, and I can never get over how amazing it is.  Lately, I've also been getting into S. M. Stirling's "Emberverse" series.  Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series quite literally changed my life and was definitely one of the inspirations for the De la Roca Chronicles.

Who is your favorite author?

You realize this is an impossible question, right?  Um.  I love Chuck Palahniuk.  If I could find a way to translate his work into Urban Fantasy -- Jeez.  My head is just spinning.  I'm a really eclectic reader, though, so if you pointed out a genre, I'd have somebody that I liked.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

De La Roca and her ilk were inspired by a lot of Celtic and Norse mythology--especially Alsvior, which is one of the horses that draws the chariot of the sun across the sky, and Bluot, which is the name of a medieval festival of blood, (among some other things).  I'm half Korean, and I tend to mine my own culture for interesting tidbits (sorry mom).  I'm a pretty intrepid traveler, too, and a lot of that finds its way into my work.

Hunting the Five actually started as a short story, and the reception to it was so good that I went back and expanded it into a book--and then, of course, it needed a sequel, Honor in Hell, and now I'm working on the third book in the series, which is tentatively titled "Seven Sacrifices".

Where is your favorite place to do your writing?

Currently, I do all of my writing from the passenger seat of a 2011 International Prostar.  Our semi-truck is also our home, so I don't really have a lot of location options as far as writing goes.

What was the hardest part of writing supernatural/fantasy fiction?

You really have to plot ahead--maybe a lot more than in some other kinds of work.  When you're writing the first book of the series, decisions you make about the environment or the magic structure, etc., echo all of the way down the line to other books in the series.  I made that mistake with Hunting the Five, partially because I didn't forsee it as a series in the first place.  When I got around to writing Honor in Hell, I realized I had written myself into a corner, and I had to go back and change a lot of stuff in the first book in order to make it all fit.

I like the cover of Hunting in Hell. How you decide upon that cover?

Hunting in Hell's cover was done by Caytlin Vilbrandt, who is the artist of the Walking On Broken Glass webcomic (http://brokenglass.greyinkstudios.com/).  I actually met her at a twitter party *blush of shame* hosted by Tristan Tarwater, the author of Thieves at Heart and Self-Made Scoundrel.  I liked her work so much that I asked her to do the cover, and she accepted.  I didn't have the clearest idea of what I wanted, and Caytlin was just great.  There was a lot of back and forth until we got to that cover, but it's a real work of art--I eventually had it made into a bunch of posters as one of the kickstarter prizes.

Tell us about your new novel.

Hunting in Hell is actually a two-book volume that I created for a Kickstarter to fund the audiobook edition of Hunting the Five.  It actually contains the first two books of the De la Roca Chronicles--Hunting the Five and Honor in Hell.  After the Kickstarter funded successfully and backers got their books, I got a lot of feedback saying that the books were better together than when read separately, so I decided to keep them that way.

Basically, the books follow the struggle of the demon mercenary De la Roca.  She's spent the last three centuries as a hit-woman for an angel who then offers her the chance at freedom in exchange for a few last jobs, and while it sounds like a dream come true, it turns out that there's a lot she didn't know about hell and her angel, and none of it is good.

Buy the two book set at Amazon.

About the author. 

I just turned twenty-six (oh my god, really?).  I write full-time from the road, my driver on my left and my chihuahua on my lap (or feet, head, wherever he chooses to put himself--they're like cats, I swear).  The De La Roca chronicles is my first fantasy series; I've also got an anthology of short horror stories and a secret evil first novel that spends its time hiding on my hard drive and trying not to be remembered.  I'm the webmistress at mariaviolante.com, where I review books, discuss writing, and generally try not to be insane.   You can follow me on twitter @violanteauthor.

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