Thea Harrison resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen, and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter. She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. Now she writes in a variety of genres, including sci-fi fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance.
Hi, thanks for having me today! Summing up Serpent’s Kiss in four words: surprising, passionate, spiky, and mind-bendy. (The hyphen makes that one word—right?)
Each story comes to me in a different way, and for Serpent’s Kiss, it was definitely the characters that spoke to me first.
In the beginning, it was Rune. Ever since Dragon Bound, I’ve been looking at him and asking, “What makes you tick? Clearly you thrive on challenge, and you’re at home with spiky people—you wouldn’t have occupied the position you were in for so long if you didn’t. And you are not going to fall in love or mate easily, are you?”
Then Carling came along in Storm’s Heart, and she caught my attention. I definitely started asking that character, “What makes YOU tick?” I liked the answers, and the fact that she wasn’t simple or easy-going.
Then the whole story began to snowball from those first questions.
I love a good romance, and I’ve had a lifelong passion for sci-fi/fantasy. The paranormal romance sub-genre is a perfect match for me!
I did! I can’t mention some of it, because the subject itself would be rather spoilerish. But I did do some research in ancient Egyptian history.
I found that some of the climax of the story was difficult for me to write. I just had to make some decisions and push on through. I might have cried a little when I wrote it. Some of the concepts in the story were difficult for me to grapple with, too. There were times when I definitely felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew. In the end I had to trust the fact that my editor was going to actually edit the story, and I had to let go and just tell it the way it came to me.
Often the names do have a special meaning, such as Rune’s full name (which is explained in Serpent’s Kiss). I don’t want to shy away from odd names. Very old, inhuman creatures are not necessarily going to have simple, modern names. I can see how those names might be strange, or imbued with meaning.
Of the female characters, to date, Pia has been the easiest character for me to write. Of the males, I would have to say Rune has been the easiest. Tricks and Tiago were the two hardest characters for me to write. I love both characters, but I had to work to figure out what made them tick.
That answer is an easy one for me, because it’s so close linked to paranormal romance. That would be the sci-fi/fantasy genre—although I have no interest in attempting hard science fiction. I’m not that much of a scientist. If I do write a science fiction story, it will be more of a “soft” science fiction. (Wikipedia has a definition of both terms, if you’re interested.) And I love all kinds of fantasy, not just urban fantasy.
What fun questions! I had a blast answering them and visiting with you!
For the readers, do you read science fiction or fantasy, or both? Which is your favorite? What books have you enjoyed the most?
Recently, Vampire Queen Carling’s power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee. Wyr sentinel Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help find a cure for the serpent’s kiss-the vampyric disease that’s killing her. With their desire for each other escalating they will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss…