Thursday, August 11, 2011
Interview: Thea Harrison
I'm extremely excited today to welcome author Thea Harrison to the blog! She writes the Novels of the Elder Races, a paranormal romance series that has quickly become one of my very favorite addictions. Her books are fresh and fun and feature some oh-so swoon-worthy alpha male heroes. If you're a fan of memorable characters whose romances never overshadow the plot itself, then this is a series you must try! Storm's Heart, book two in the series, released last week (you can read my review HERE) and book three, Serpent's Kiss, releases October 4th.
Do you remember the first aspect of the Elder Races books to pop into your head? Was it a single character or something specific about the world?
I love this question! The whole thing began as a collection of images floating around in the back of my mind. One of the most persistent of the images was of the Dragon Bound heroine Pia running on the beach. The passage went like this:
She glanced at the sky and paused. In the distance over the water, a patch of the sky rippled. It looked like the watery shimmer of heat waves off an asphalt highway on a hot summer day. But the May evening was cooling down, the sky just starting to darken in the east and there was no asphalt anywhere near that ripple.
She shaded her eyes. What was it? It was big and seemed to be getting bigger fast. She watched the patch grow, her stomach clenching. She’d never seen anything like it before, but she knew it was wrong.
Wait a minute. That shimmering patch of air wasn’t growing bigger. It was getting closer.
Your world introduces us to some lesser-known supernatural beings such as thunderbirds and gryphons; is there one being in particular that has been the most fun to research or write about?
You zeroed right in on the two creatures I’ve had the most fun researching to date! I got excited when I realized that I hadn’t read anything with thunderbird shifter characters in it. That doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, written by someone—I just haven’t read of them before, and this was in part how Tiago was born. I also have enjoyed what I’ve read about gryphons. Wikipedia has an enjoyable article, for anyone who might be interested at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffin.
If Tricks had to pick a favorite item of clothing or accessory, what might she choose? If Tiago had to pick a favorite weapon?
This is another awesome question! But Tricks might have fainted in my head just now. ONE favorite item of clothing or accessory? Just ONE? Sure you mean one favorite TYPE of clothing or accessory. (See, she has started the wheedling and bargaining already.) If that is what you meant, she would have to pick shoes. She has a serious shoe addiction.
Tiago feels the same way about weaponry, but if push comes to shove—and it has before—he would have to pick a battle axe. He’s got the strength to wield battle axes singlehandedly, and they can do maximum damage in a battle.
Dragos doesn’t necessarily seem like the type to welcome strangers into his territory, was it difficult for Tricks to convince him to provide her with sanctuary after she fled her home?
Dragos immediately saw the advantages to giving Tricks asylum in the Wyr demesne. He had had a peaceful rapport with Tricks’s father Rhian, and he saw nothing good coming from Urien usurping power. Dragos knows how to play a political long game. He knew if he gave Tricks shelter, he could create an almost unparalleled alliance with the Dark Fae Queen if he could keep her alive and wait for the right opportunity to see her on the throne.
If Tricks and Tiago had to sit down and interview each other as part of the promotional tour for Storm's Heart, what might be the first question out of each of their mouths?
This is another awesome question! I’m seeing them being interviewed by Bob Eubanks from The Newlywed Game. Tricks and Tiago are a great example of how opposites attract. They are completely drawn to each other and yet mystified at the same time. I actually think any interview with them would run the risk of going completely off the rails. It might go something like this:
Tiago: Why do you wear make-up?
Tricks: What do you mean—why do I wear make-up? Don’t you like me with make-up?
Tiago (cagily): I think you are beautiful no matter what.
Tricks: That’s not what I asked. I asked if you liked me with make-up.
Tiago: This is a stupid conversation.
Tricks: Did you just call me stupid?
Tiago: NO. Shut up. Come here.
Tricks (whispering): We’re still on camera. People are watching!
Tiago (to the audience): Go away. Find your own person to kiss.
What would Tiago say has been the hardest thing about adapting to the world’s changes through his extraordinarily long lifetime?
For Tiago, the hardest thing about adapting to the world’s changes has been the sweeping changes brought by modern civilization. He has a difficult time if he is cooped up too much in modern cities.
You write such wonderful romantic pairings–characters who win us over with their flaws and vulnerabilities and who make us smile with their strength and intelligence. Do you have a favorite paranormal couple outside your own books?
The first couple that came to mind was Eileen Wilks’ Lupi series, with Lily Yu and werewolf Rule Turner. I love those two, and I especially love that we get to revisit them in several books!
All of your characters have such unusual names, do you do any research to find them or do they just come to you as you develop their personalities?
Some of my characters’ names come to me, and others I have to research. For instance, Dragos’s name was one I had to research. His names, both Dragos and Cuelebre, have meaning. Dragon Bound’s heroine Pia’s first name came to me, but then I had to do research for the rest of her name. Tiago Black Eagle’s name came easily to me, and so did Niniane Lorelle. Sometimes, though, I’ve got to dig for a little extra meaning.
On the cover of both Dragon Bound and Serpent's Kiss, we get to see Dragos’s and Rune’s faces, but with Tiago we just get his torso (and what a lovely torso it is). Is there a reason he wished to keep his face to remain hidden?
As far as I know, there is no reason at all for this. The Berkley art department created all three book cover images. I provided initial input only in a general way. For example, when I was asked, I said that Storm’s Heart’s cover should have a stormy, darker aspect, and it would be wonderful if Serpent’s Kiss had the colors of a desert in it. I love how there is an urban scene in the background of each one.
If you had to describe your experience with writing the novels of the Elder Races thus far in one word, what would that word be?
What word would you use to describe how you see the future of the series?
Thank you so much for having me. I had terrific fun!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Thea! As of now, I believe there are going to be six books total in the series (here's hoping there's more beyond that!), all coming out several months apart. For more information on Thea and her books, you can find her here: