Work is moving forward, back on Grace again. It has the feeling of a hand in a glove, if you will forgive the analogy. Not much to say so I’m going to drop a few more questions from that unused interview since a few of them answer questions I’ve been asked by you, the readers, from time to time.
What sort of things influence you into naming settings and characters from your books as they are named?
Naming settings and characters is one of my favorite things about being a writer, and I once told an audience that I became an author just so I could name more than my two children.
Names are important, and I put a lot of care into choosing them, often using baby-name sites, the social security’s list of names and their popularity over the decades, or simply pulling them from my favorite movies or books. The sound a name makes over my tongue is taken into consideration, or whether a name ends in a vowel (softening it) or a consonant (giving the character a no-nonsense feel. I work hard at having no two characters names beginning with the same consonant, though sometimes it’s hard to avoid.
One of my pet peeves is a name with hyphens, apostrophes, or too many syllables, and I use them only when I want to draw attention to the uniqueness of the character or point out how silly they are. My favorite names are those that are short and utterly recognizable, though my ultimate favorite name right now breaks all my rules–Ku’Sox Sha-Ku’ru, which very loosely translates to Left Hand of the Sun in Pawnee. I could not resist.
What’s your greatest comfort food?
Hands down, my favorite comfort food is pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese.
Who is your favorite cartoon character? Which cartoon character is most like you?
My favorite cartoon character is Samurai Jack because he can save an entire civilization without saying a word. He is truly a stranger in a strange land. The conception of the artwork is amazing as well. Which cartoon character is most like me? Ahhh, I’m going with Buttercup from the Powerpuff girls on this one.
Out of all the books you’ve written, what character do you most relate to?
I often do Meyer-Briggs personality workups on my main characters to help me grasp their reactions faster, and it came as no surprise to me whom I share a personality profile with. I often tell people that I swear like my pixy Jenks, plot like my vampire Ivy, and try to live my life as open and honest as Rachel, meaning full throttle and with no regrets apart from when my mouth gets in the way of common sense. I could now add that I like to wear skull shoelaces like Madison.
Who do you enjoy writing about more Rachel Morgan or Madison Avery? What makes them so special?
I like writing Rachel Morgan because she is the girl next door and totally approachable, both on the page for the reader, and for me when I write her. She’s fun, and her friends are as complex as she is.
I like writing Madison because though younger, she makes smarter decisions than Rachel and has the determination to dream big and the raw innocence and determination to expect those dreams to come true. She is ever optimistic.
A day writing Rachel Morgan is generally more interesting than Madison, but I think that’s due to her world being more evolved rather than any fault of the characters themselves. Having nine books on the shelf puts more toys in the toy box to play with when it comes to Rachel, and I’ve enjoyed being able to slow down and tell a story at the pace it needs to be told.
Will you tell your readers something about yourself that not many people know?
I’ve been fortunate to be able to keep in contact with my readers on a daily basis for a long time, and some of them know me pretty well, but it might surprise them to know that I have two dusty black belts, can successfully throw a pot on a wheel, and stuff a bird, (as in taxidermy), that I love to fish, (troll, bobber, or fly) and I can’t stand coffee.