I do not think that you can read in the Urban Fantasy/paranormal genre and not have heard of Keri Arthur. She has been one of the first authors out there that was writing in this genre way before it became popular. While her Riley Jenson series was not for me, however, her newest series, Outcast and the first book City of Light were fantastic and super creative.
Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today
If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
There’s actually two I’d nominate and both are, unfortunately, now dead. They are James Herbert, who wrote some of the creepiest horror novels I’ve ever read, and Dick Francis, who wrote edge-of-your-seat first person mysteries that I could never put down. Either one of them would have been brilliant, as they’re both masters of their craft. (And I still want to be able to write like Dick Francis when I grow up)
You were one of the authors who I would say was ahead of the craze of the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal genres becoming extremely popular, with well-known authors from other genres now deciding to write in this genre. How do you think the genre has changed since you started writing in it? What do you think you do differently to try and stay ahead of the ever growing crowd?
Yeah, I was well ahead of the trend--I was getting urban fantasy and paranormal romances rejected in the 90s because they were ‘unsellable’. For what it’s worth, the publishers are starting to say that again, even though urban fantasy has seen a huge upswing in the self-published market.
I’ve actually started stepping away from urban fantasy. While I still have the ongoing Souls of Fire series, The Outcast series is more dystopian fantasy with some common urban fantasy elements thrown in, and the new series I’m writing is straight fantasy. I’m also considering a step sideways into thriller novels, although I wouldn’t even start that novel until next year--I have the 5th Souls of Fire and the last Outcast to write before then.
You have written quite a few series now (Riley Jenson Guardians, Soul of Fire, The Spook Squad ect) and have ended some of them as well (probably most notably is your Riley Jenson series), why did you choose to end them? Was it hard to do so? (I know as a reader I become really attached to characters)
I tend to end series when I can’t think of where else to logically take the characters. I’d rather end on a high, and have people constantly asking for more than write for the sake of writing, and let the series fade into obscurity. As to it being hard--it is, but it’s also something of a relief. I love creating new worlds, and being able to torture brand new characters.
What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
All genres are hard. I get so annoyed when I hear people foul mouth romances as being easy to write. They’re not--I’ve tried it, and failed miserably! All genres have their conventions and expectations, and that’s what makes it hard to create something fresh and new, no matter what you’re writing.
Your newest series, Outcast, was released earlier this year, can you tell us a bit about the series and how many books are planned for it?
City of Light (Outcast 1) was a book of the heart, just like Full Moon Rising, the 1st Riley Jenson, was. I started that book in either 2010 or 2011 (can’t remember now) but it absolutely died on page 80. I had no idea where to take it, despite loving the characters and the world. It wasn’t until the World Fantasy Con in Brighton UK in 2013 that (after a discussion over a couple of drinks with my agent and a friend) it came to life. I finished it 6 weeks after that. :)
The series is set just over a 100 years after a race war has torn the fabric of the world apart. Shifters and humans live in vast cities lit 24 hours a day to protect them from the vampires and the “Others”. Our heroine is the last of her kind, a genetically designed super-soldier, who saves a child and unwillingly gets involved in stopping a plot to destroy the world. There’ll be 3 books in total--a short series for me :)
Your novel City of Light has some darker theme elements in it (racism and caste system ect) what appeals to you about the darker aspects of human nature and culture?
Everyone has light and shade in them. Everyone has the possibility to do good or bad. I think the characters who most appeal in fiction are the characters that reflect these shades--the ones who acknowledge both sides of their nature and attempt to do something about it. Or not, as in the case of bad guys. And fiction is also a very safe way of exploring some of the darker aspects of everyday life.
Tig has become one of my favourite new female characters, how would you say she differs from the other heroines in your other series?
I wouldn’t say she’s all that different from many of my other heroines--they’re all reasonably kick ass, take no nonsense type women. It’s the situation that’s very different for Tiger--if her presence becomes common knowledge, she dead, and that makes her involvement in the search for the missing children all the more dangerous.
The Déchet are a mix of multiple species of DNA, if you could create a DNA sequencing for yourself, what would you mix together and why?
I’d love to be taller, thinner, and be able to eat as much chocolate and cake as I wanted, without putting on damn weight!
Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Winter Halo, the 2nd Outcast book comes out in December, and Ashes Reborn, the 4th Souls of Fire novel, comes out in July 2017.
What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone?
Only one? Damn, that’s mean!! I guess I’d have to nominate the granddaddy of all fantasy--or at least he is in my eyes, given it was his books that drew me into the fantasy sphere--and that’s J R R Tolkien. I know his writing is somewhat old fashioned these days, but I still absolutely adore Lord of the Rings.
I want to thank Keri once again for taking the time to do an interview with me. Keri truly was an author that was well ahead of the curve on the urban fantasy train and I think that is why she is sought after by readers now. Though I am really interested to see how she would do a thriller novel or series. Keri has very nicely offered to do a giveaway to go along with her interview. Fill out the rafflecopter app below in order to win some awesome books.
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