Why Urban Fantasy?
To me fiction should be making stuff up, not some thinly-veiled autobiographical piece. But the fiction still needs to be believable, at least somewhat realistic. Thus it’s a wonder I even read urban fantasy, but obviously it’s a lot more believable than traditional fantasy, which I don’t connect with at all. Basically I started writing it because I couldn’t find in particular what I wanted to read.
Which Supernatural Beings?
My first novel, Shift, features a type of shapeshifter I’ve never come across in fiction before. My second novel, Bloodroot, is my take on vampires, the kind I’d love to read but haven’t been able to find. My current project is a futuristic YA.
First-person past-tense works the best for me. I’ve tried to do present tense, but I kept mucking it up. And with first-person, you get a better sense of the character when you’re writing, and reading other people’s first-person works.
Write what you know, so I set mine in fictional towns in suburban Victoria, Australia. That said, parts of Shift are set in Melbourne, Healesville and Nunawading, which are real places. For Bloodroot I made up a suburb because I linked a character to its made-up history. As for my futuristic YA…that’s a secret for now ;-)
Because I’m trying to appeal to the American market whilst keeping my Aussie landscape and way of life, I’ve compromised. Usually a character has been born or raised overseas, but are now living in Australia. Then I add in some international blood, because foreigners are hot ;-) For Shift, Chris and her parents moved from the US to Australia to avoid scandal, and the “lust interest” is American. For Bloodroot, Scarlet’s mum and grandparents are from England, and her adoptive dad has German ancestry. And her lust interest is Canadian. For the futuristic YA…see above ;-)
Mental illness usually shows up one way or another.
Somehow come up with a first name or surname. Usually I decide ethnicity first, which helps. I don’t check for meanings; I just choose whatever pops into my head.
Which Authors Provide Inspiration?
Found Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten in 2003 (I think), and took it from there – she’s still a favourite today. Keri Arthur proves that Australian writers and characters (Victorians at that) can break into the American market. And thanks to all the authors who’ve written supernatural beings where I’ve thought that’s not how I’d do them For my futuristic I’ve been inspired by Mary E. Pearson, Michelle Maddox and Eve Kenin.
Which Mood Music?
I need silence to write so I can hear my brain think ;-) But when I’m thinking about stories, I often have other songs in my head or on my playlist. Goldfrapp, Kasabian and Muse are the usual suspects.
A lot of writers talk of having a Muse, or characters speaking to them, but that’s never been my case.