//Forged Steel is coming + an interview with Heather Titus

FSCOVER

Downtown. Coffee shop. 2 AM.

One minute, Josh is firing off sarcastic remarks at his best friend Marc – the next, they’re running from shape-shifters. Apparently, even best friends don’t share all their secrets.

Now Josh is in danger. He can see the monsters among the humans.

When Marc is kidnapped, Josh finds himself pulled into the schemes of the fae courts, and throws in his lot with Marc’s allies: the lovely Larae, a human named David, and the fighter, Eliaster. But what began as a rescue mission becomes something much more involved…

And all Josh wants to do is get out before it’s too late.

 SOUNDS AMAZING, RIGHT? MEET HEATHER.

H.A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. She first fell in love with fantasy when she was twelve and her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world, usually for some kind of adventure. When she’s not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, mountain biking, or skiing.

She can be found at hatitus.com and is active on Twitter (@HATitusWriting), and Instagram (instagram.com/hatitus), with an occasional foray into Facebook (/HATitusAuthor).

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Heather for several years. We even co-wrote a story together (completely inspired by one music video, I might add) – which, though we never finished, is still something we bring up now and then. It was pretty downright awesome, if I say so myself. When I heard Heather’s book was releasing (tomorrow!) I shot her a message and asked if I could interview her. (I like interviewing people. It’s an excuse to pick brains without an M.D.!) She said yes and here we are! Enjoy the interview, and if you have any comments for Heather, leave them in the comments!

  1. What were your biggest inspirations to write this novel?

When I first started, the books Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) and The Goblin War series (Kersten Hamilton) were huge inspirations. You can definitely see that with the Celtic influences from Hamilton and the usage of being underground like Gaiman. Lately, just the Celtic myths themselves, as well as seeing modern-day twists to the myths in shows like Supernatural and Grimm, have me dreaming up tons of stories and scenarios in this world.

2. Do you have a favorite moment in the novel?

When Eliaster first shows up. When we first see Eliaster fight. Basically any time Eliaster is “on screen”…

3. Out of your entire dramatis persona, who are your three favorite characters? I think the question above kind of answers this. ;) Eliaster Tyrone, a fae biker who is prone to being cranky, not trusting anyone, and who has mad fighting skill, is my top favorite. He’s definitely my baby–partially because I put him through a lot. (Sorry, buddy. *pats Eliaster’s head*)

The other two–well, readers won’t meet them until book 2 of the Crucible Series, Burnt Silver, but I’ll go ahead and talk a little about them anyway. They’re British twin werewolves, James and Charles, and I adore them. James is quiet and reserved, while Charles is the party animal (hehe, see what I did there? ;) ) and so far, they’ve both been a blast to write about.

4. Did you have a playlist while writing this novel, and if so, what are your most-played songs for it?

Oh yes, I had a playlist. I make playlists for all my book series. Probably the most-played songs would be “Dangerous”, by Within Temptation, “Last of the Wilds” (instrumental version) by Nightwish (which, incidentally, is Eliaster’s theme song), “Hero” by Skillet, “Dream Song” by Nordik Fire, and “Man In the Wilderness” by Styx.

5. What do you hope readers will take away from this novel?

Hmmmm…I don’t tend to write with explicit themes in mind. But I do see common threads of darkness with slivers of hope, becoming heroes, fighting against your inner problems as well as external forces, flawed people just trying to do the right thing…basically the same sort of thing I write about in a lot of my books, that are very important to me.

Mostly, I hope readers just enjoy the book, and come away with the satisfaction of a good few hours spent fighting alongside Josh and Eliaster and the gang.

 I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SHAPE-SHIFTERS. AND, ER, THE REST OF THE NOVEL. (BUT MOSTLY THE SHAPE-SHIFTERS.)

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The Modern Novel

booksToday, in participation of Joy’s literature-related blog party, I’m answering questions about the modern novel. And having a deuce of a time, I might add.

1.  Who are your most well-loved authors of the mid to late twentieth century (1930-1960)?
 If every question is going to be this difficult, I may well be here all day trying to answer them. I’m going to say Rosemary Sutcliff, Dodie Smith, and Tolkien. I could name more, but I like keeping things in threes.

2.  Who are your favourite authors of the twenty-first century?
This is going to be much harder to narrow down. Jenny Frietag (and no, she didn’t twist my arm to make me say that. She isn’t large enough), Patricia McKillip, Neil Gaiman, Maggie Stiefvater, Allison Croggon, Caitlyn Kittredge, Robin Hobb, and Stephen Lawhead. (All right; I’m going to include Katie Sabelko, Rachel Heffington, and Abigail Hartman because let’s face it; they’re also brilliant.)

3.  Which genres do you tend to read the most and enjoy from more modern fiction?
Typically, I enjoy fantasy in the modern genre, although I can safely say I’ve read every acceptable genre and enjoyed some from all of them. It’s hard to narrow my tastes down because honestly, I have favorites in every category under the sun. Fantasy tends to beat the rest, I will say that.

4.  Are you more willing to invest yourself in a fictional trilogy/series or do you prefer the stand-alone novel better?
It depends on how much time I’m willing to invest. If a book doesn’t jazz me, I won’t bother reading the rest of the series. If I like the book, I’ll read the series. Typical.

5.  While it is generally agreed that nothing beats classic fiction, there is much gold in the new too!  What are the positive qualities and styles of modern fiction?
As a rule of thumb, I enjoy modern fiction far more than classics. Classic novels are, in my experience, generally overrated. Writing will always be writing; every century will have the good and the bad. Modern novels today will be classics tomorrow, and so on. I think modern fiction is more personal and accessible, probably; less stuffy and aloof than classic novels. Then again, I’ve read good classics and bad modern fiction. It’s a diverse world.

6.  What is your greatest hope for modern fiction?
I can’t say I’ve ever considered having ‘hope for modern fiction,’ or for any kind of writing at all. I hope that people are touched in the right ways by the right kinds of books, and that goes for books of every genre and century.

7.  List five books by modern authors you have read which you either hope or predict will become “classics” in years to come.
A Wrinkle In Time, The Grand Sophy, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Plenilune, The Paradise War.

8.  In reading modern books, do you predominately read from the secular or Christian market?
To quote Jenny, “Most of the time Christian fiction is shallow, unrealistic, uninformed, and uninspiring…So yes, I tend to read secular fiction.  When the Christian authors can gird up their loins adequately (and talk of loins without colouring up and lowering their voices) I’ll probably be perfectly happy to read them too.”

9.  List three of your favourite novels written in this century.
This is ridiculous pressure. I don’t appreciate it. I simply read too much; one can’t put these kinds of limits on me. I will say that Some (capital ‘S’) of my favorites were The Thirteenth Tale, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Inkheart.
10.  Of various as-of-yet unpublished books that you know about, what are five that you most wish to read one day?
Lamblight, Maresgate, Cruxgang, Drakeshelm, Ampersand, Wordcrafter, and the next Tawny Man novel.