Today I'm thrilled to welcome author Lish McBride to the blog to answer a few questions about her paranormal young adult novel, Firebug. I had the chance to read and review Firebug last month and absolutely loved it, it had the perfect blend of gravity and laugh out loud humor, and I flew through it in a single sitting. I immediately emailed Lish and requested an interview, and she was nice enough to fit me into her incredibly busy schedule. I hope you all enjoy the Q+A and add Firebug to your lists!
Ava’s ability to start fires with a mere thought is not an ideal paranormal ability for those of us who are book lovers. If you had Ava’s ability, what’s one book you would make sure was completely fireproofed so you would never accidentally set it aflame?
I’m not really sure—I’m not good at these questions, really. I write books and for my day job I’m a bookseller at a local indie bookshop. I studied books in school—asking me to pick one from all the books I read? Not sure I can do that. I don’t have one favorite book. I have several favorite books for how I feel right this second…it will change in five minutes.
On second thought, maybe Farenheit 451 because that would be funny.
If Ava could temporary swap her gift with fire for the ability to see the future, would she make the trade and, if so, what’s the first thing she would hope to learn about what fate has in store for her?
I don’t think she would. For some reason I think Ava would be extremely wary of the ability to see the future. What with her past, I think she’d be too worried about what terrible, awful loss would be in her future. I think she’d stick with the devil she knew, and not some fresh hell.
There is a fairly rare type of shifter featured in Firebug. What’s another animal not often seen in stories with shifters that you would love to either read or write about?
Let’s see, in Firebug I throw in a were hares, a were fox, and a were rhino. I think it’s fair to say that I like to make people turn into weird stuff, though I’m far from the only writer to do this. But to answer your question—perhaps a were otter? I like otters.
Ezra and Lock are Ava’s closest friends, tied as they all are to the Coterie. If the three of them were to find themselves on a game show along the lines of the Newlywed Game and the two boys were asked what single word Ava would choose to describe them, what would each of them guess was her chosen word?
I think both Ezra and Lock would flip their cards over to reveal the word “Jerks.” And they would guess correctly. (She means it with love.)
There’s always an added layer of tension in romances that stem from a close friendship given both people have so much more to lose should things not work out. If you were in Ava’s position with feelings for a best friend, would you be one to take a chance and shift the dynamic, or would you work hard to keep things as they were?
Personally, I’d probably be the person to shift the dynamic. History has made this clear. I don’t like fuzzy or murky areas when it comes to relationships, so I tend to have point-blank discussions because it seems more efficient. (I am a hoot to date, let me tell you. I think my practicality kills all romance.) Since I tend to like nice, beta male types, this means that there’s little chance that they will beat me to the punch on making any change in status. That being said, at Ava’s age I probably would have reacted similarly not out of fear but out of shock that I was being asked out to begin with. I was fairly oblivious to such things…
If Ezra were to request you write a book that featured him as the protagonist rather than a secondary character, what’s the minimum number of romances you think he would ask be included in his story?
I think the discussion would go like this:
Me: How many were you thinking?
Ezra: *steeples fingers and considers* How many can I get?
Me: *sighs* I only have so many pages, Ez. Let’s keep it within reason.
Ezra: What is reasonable to some, is unreasonable to others, and I’m positive our definitions don’t match up.
What would commence after that would be an intense and lengthy negotiation that would end with me finding an ice pack for my head and writing about someone else until he chose to cooperate fully. And a fox cooperate? Only if he’s in the mood and it could take a while.
Looking forward to the second installment, what’s one small thing about the Ava of the next book that’s different from what we’ve learned of her in Firebug?
Ava’s world shifts a lot in book two—she’s maturing a little and seeing things in a different light, which means she has to reexamine how she thinks about everything. One thing you will see is more of her friend, Sylvie—a character that Ava has underestimated a little.
Thanks so much for stopping by Lish!
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Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse?
Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren't caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She's one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn't like it one bit. Not least because her mother's death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.
When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can't say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.
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Lish McBride was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. It rains a lot there, but she likes it anyway. She spent three years away while she got her MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans, and she liked that too, although the hurricane did leave much of her stuff underwater. Her main goal in going to college was to become a writer so she could wear pajamas pretty much all the time. She currently resides in Seattle, spending most of her time at her day job at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. The rest of her time is divided between writing, reading, volunteering at 826 Seattle, and Twitter, where she either discusses her desire for a nap or her love for kittens. (Occasionally ponies.)
She plays a fierce game of potato hockey, and by "fierce" she of course means that she plays dirty, not that she plays well.