Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Author Q&A: Lori Handeland

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Editor's note: I have been waiting for MONTHS for this book to come out! If you haven't read Lori's werewolf series, RUN don't walk to your nearest bookstore and buy all the books in the series, lock your doors, turn off your phone, stock up the fridge and call in sick to work for the next three days, because once you start, you won't be able to stop. They are THAT good!

1) Can you tell us about your current release, CRESCENT MOON?

Crescent Moon is the first book in a trilogy set in New Orleans. It takes place in the same world as my previous werewolf books, Blue Moon, Hunter's Moon and Dark Moon. I think the back cover blurb probably tells it best:

An ancient evil hunts by the crescent moon-New Orleans is known for sinful pleasures and strange magic, but for cryptozoologist Diana Malone it offers one irresistible attraction. For over a hundred years there have been whispers of wolves around the Crescent City, and the recent discovery of bodies in the nearby swamps hints at a creature even more dangerous…one that could make Diana's career and fortune, if she lives to capture it.

And desire may be a fatal mistake…Adam Ruelle is a reclusive former Special Forces officer, the last of a mysterious Cajun family rumored to be cursed, and the only person skilled enough to guide Diana in her search. Rugged and captivating, he fills her nights with desire…but by day, Diana is plagued with doubts. Adam clearly knows more than he's telling, but is his aim to protect her or distract her? Something is stalking its prey in the Louisiana bayous, and every step towards the horrifying truth brings Diana closer to a centuries-old enemy that lives for the smell of fear and the thrill of killing, again and again…

click here to read an excerpt

2) Your werewolf series has a different take on werewolves, especially with all the real life mythical lore (Native American lore, witches, animal totems, voo doo, etc). What is your background in this area? How did you create this take on werewolves? What kind of research do you do?

I have no background in Native American mythology or voodoo, just an interest. I did extensive research through books and on the Internet, then combined what I'd learned with my imagination for some great fun.

3) This is the fourth book in your werewolf series. How do the books relate to each other?

All of the books take place in the world inhabited by the Jager-Suchers. Sooner or later, in every book, Edward (the leader) always show up.

4) Many werewolf and vampire romance authors like to make the “monsters” the good guys, but you aren’t afraid to show the really dark side of being a werewolf. Why did you choose to take this approach and buck the modern trend?

To be different. There are times in my books when the monsters aren't monsterous all the time. But I enjoy pitting dark against light, good against evil, and someone's gotta be the bad guy.

5) Do you ever freak yourself out with your books? Like, do you lock yourself in a windowless room on full moon nights and carry a gun with silver bullets?

Not that bad! Although I have gotten spooked out at times, usually when I'm reading through the book getting ready to do revisions. I'll get to a particularly scary part and think, "Wow, that worked out. I've got the shivers myself!" LOL!

6) Have you ever had a real life paranormal experience? If so, tell us about it!

The night my father passed away, I dreamed of him. It was a very comforting dream and when I woke up I felt better. I do believe he came to say goodbye. That's as close to paranormal as I've gotten.

7) The heroines in your books are total kick-ass chicks, but they are also very vulnerable inside. Is it difficult to achieve this balance? How do you do it?

I'm not sure how I do it, except to me my heroines are very real. By the time a book is done, I really feel that I know them, and when they appear in other books I can always decide easily what they'll say and do because their characters are very solid in my mind. I try to make them as real as I can. I always think when I'm writing these books that my characters are ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations. They would react the way any of us would. But they also need that little something extra--being Kick ass chicks--to survive.

8) Your werewolf books are very sexy. What kind of things do you keep in mind while writing to keep all the sexiness fresh?

This also relates to character. My heroes are hot, my heroines are into that. I've also come to believe that when you live on the edge of danger, everything is more intense. If you never know if this meal, this man, this day is your last, you have to make the most of every minute.

9) Your werewolf books are so action-packed, so tightly plotted with constant action and compelling characters and flaming emotions. You make it look so easy! Is it, or did it take you a while to achieve this level of story telling? I mean, were you mortal at one time, way back when?

The werewolf books have always come out action packed. I never really set out to make them that way, although that's a good thing! I think the first person narrative makes them more immediate. I did make a conscious decision to have shorter chapters, which in turn leads to more cliff hangers. Also, in every book there's a mystery, a paranormal element and romance which all need to be resolved before the end. That's a lot of stuff! No space for lallygagging.

10) With your werewolf books, you have broken out: RITA winner, RT nominations, USA Today best sellers. First of all, HUGE congratulations! You deserve it! Second, what does this level of success mean to you as an author?

I can continue to write what I love. It's what I've always wanted to do.

11) Can you give us a sneak peek at your next book?

Midnight Moon will be released August 1, 2006. This is Cassandra's story, whom you'll meet in Crescent Moon. Here's a preview:

Under the midnight moon, dark secrets are revealed-Cassandra thought she had the perfect life until she suffered a devastating tragedy. Now she has a new identity as Priestess Cassandra, owner of a New Orleans voodoo shop, and a new purpose. A research trip for a paranormal secret society leads Cassandra to Haiti, where rumors fly of a sinister voodoo master, Jacques Mezareau, who can resurrect the dead.

Fortune hunter Devon Murphy agrees to guide Cassandra there safely, but his sensual appeal promises danger of a different kind…and desperate hungers must be satisfied…As Cassandra and Devon make their way to the eerie jungle village, their attraction explodes into an intoxicating desire, and Cassandra begins to question her resolve to never let another man into her life. Her attempts to resist Devon become more and more impossible. But when she succeeds in learning Jacque's macabre ritual, her new powers may have come with a terrifying price. Now, haunted by violent dreams that grow more vivid as the midnight moon approaches, Cassandra must uncover the shocking truth about an ancient curse before it leads her to destroy herself-and everyone she loves…

Visit Lori on the web
CRESCENT MOON, Available now! read an excerpt

Complete list of books in the series, in order from first to last:
BLUE MOON, still available! read an excerpt
HUNTER'S MOON, still available! read an excerpt
DARK MOON, still available! read an excerpt
CRESCENT MOON, available now! read an excerpt
MIDNIGHT MOON, August 2006


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