How did you start your writing career?
I've always had stories in my head, but the catalyst for writing them down was a succession of boring jobs. I confess, for me any gainful employment falls under "boring." Anyway, while my coworkers were busy at the water cooler, gossiping and sowing workplace dissent, I was writing my first novel.
Tell us about your favorite character from your books.
It's a tie between Talis, the dark elf, and Breas, the vampire, with Talis edging slightly ahead. Talis began as a bit character who was almost deleted in early revision. But the sneaky bastard wormed his way into my head and grew a complex, angsty back story. Since my vampires have no self-esteem issues, Talis takes up the emo slack.
Breas Montrose was written as a reaction to angsty, self-pitying vampires. He's not particularly evil, and prone to doing the right thing. But he's completely, unapologetically vampire. He's lazy, obsessed with anything on ESPN, and loves beer. Because he's tactless, he's terribly fun to write.
Tell us about your current release.
The Music of Chaos is the offspring of the aforementioned workplace ennui. It's an urban fantasy. While it has its gritty bits, it owes its inspiration to Christopher Moore, A. Lee Martinez and Janet Evanovich.
Much of the story was written as a reaction to norms in fantasy. My vampires and demons aren't (necessarily) evil. Neither are my dark elves. ("I'm not an elf," protests Talis.) The story line in The Music of Chaos isn't driven by good vs. evil, but rather the consequences of one person's tragedy.
What was your first sale as an author?
My first "good" sale (>$5) was to an illustrated print anthology called Modern Magic. The story, "Salvation in a Plastic Bag," stars Talis and Breas. (One of these days I need to write a bro-mance featuring the two.)
Do you play games? What kind?
First person shooters on XBox with my husband. We play in co-op mode, because I'm competitive and can't stand to lose. (I'm good at killing; I'm also good at accidentally marching my characters off cliffs--SPLAT!) My faves are: Borderlands (steampunk-esque setting), Halo, Gears of War, and Modern Warfare (zombie level !).
What book are you reading now?
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I'm in awe of Collins's ability to put her characters through hell.
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
The Music of Chaos is technically the first book in a series. I wrote it envisioning a six-book story arc.
What are your favorite TV shows?
We don't watch much television at Chez Kirby. Our TV viewing is via DVD/Netflix. I love Firefly, Dexter, Bones and True Blood (Eric Northman, yum). And because you're never too old to learn something, Nova Science, Independent Lens, Nature and other PBS offerings, are awesome.
What songs are most played on your mp3 player?
Josh Ritter's "The Curse," a song about a mummy who falls in love with an archeologist, is on high rotation. As are songs from Abney Park's The End of Days.
Random 10 off my Today's Mood playlist:
Snuff - Slipknot
Hall Om Mig - Nanne
I Don't Know What Love Is - Leslie Nuchow
I Will Not Bow - Breaking Benjamin
A Star-Crossed Wasteland - In This Moment
Invincible - Two Steps from Hell
Heron Blue - Sun Kil Moon
She's Always a Woman - Billy Joel
I'm Not That Girl - Wicked the Musical
White Flag Warrior - Flobots
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Write the first chapter, then the next, then the next, till you get to the end. Don't futz and fiddle with early chapters. Get the whole beast on the page, then go back and revise.