Sara: How would you describe your Black Wings, for readers who haven’t heard of it before?
Christina: Maddy Black is an Agent of death. It’s an inherited job with no pay. She’s broke, she’s stressed and she’s got to rent the apartment in her building if she wants to have some income. She takes on a new tenant who winds up bringing a whole host of new supernatural problems with him. She’s also got a very mouthy gargoyle with a bad popcorn habit who loves to express his opinion on everything.
Sara: How would you describe each of your main characters in three words?
Maddy – intelligent, sarcastic, and vulnerable
Beezle – hungry, grumpy, and overweight
J.B. – cranky, handsome and cryptic
Gabriel – gorgeous, mysterious and tortured
Sara: What sets your series apart from the rest of the Urban Fantasy genre?
Christina: I really enjoy writing action. I know action is a major part of UF but some other writers emphasize more mystery or more romance in their stories. I like to have just a little bit of mystery and a little bit of romance and a LOT of action. I always want something exciting to be happening! This makes it fun for me to write and hopefully fun for you to read :)
Sara: Tell us a little about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Christina: Definitely a panster! I write chronologically, so I started from the first scene and just kind of let the story unspool from there. I’m usually not too sure about what’s going to happen more than a couple of chapters ahead. This keeps the writing fresh for me, but it also means you run the risk of writing yourself into a corner if something isn’t working. I’ve had to throw out two or three chapters at a time and go back and start over at the last working point.
Sara: Where did the idea for Black Wings come from? Did you always want to write Urban Fantasy, or did this idea sneak up on you?
Christina: I originally had an idea to write a story about the Grim Reaper. As I started writing and working out the mythology for the Agency I decided I could work in the Fallen – it seemed like a natural fit. Plus, at the time there weren’t really any fallen angel books out on the market and I wanted something to distinguish the book from all the vampires and werewolves (not that vampires and werewolves are bad – I just wanted to do something a little different).
Sara: I absolutely loved Beezle and his love for popcorn. Is the little gargoyle based on someone you know, or are his quirks straight from your imagination?
Christina: I was looking for a character that Maddy could talk to when she was at any stressful point in her life, and also a character who would be around to add humor when necessary.
Beezle is kind of like a pet, kind of like a best friend and kind of like a dad-stand in, so he fills a lot of roles for me. He's also really fun to write because he says whatever he thinks!
Sara: Can we look forward to more books in your Maddy’s world?
Christina: Yes, there will be at least two more books. The next book, Black Night, is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2011.
J.B. is definitely going to play a bigger role in the next book. You also get to meet his mother - he has a cryptic comment about his mom in Black Wings that I never expanded on. His mother is a major player in the world of Black Wings and both J.B. and his mom will be around for the foreseeable future. I can’t tell you too much more than that without giving away some of the twists in the sequel.
Sara: What are your influences both in and out of Urban Fantasy?
Christina: Richard Russo is one of my favorite writers. He writes absolutely incredible characters and Nobody’s Fool is my favorite book of all time.
Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris are my two favorite UF writers. They both have a real mastery of voice and pacing.
Sara: What are you currently reading?
Christina: I’ve been in the mood for mysteries lately, so I’ve been checking out some new (to me) mystery series. I’ve got the third book of Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mystery series in my TBR pile and I’m about halfway through Isis Crawford’s A Catered Murder.
I also just finished Ken Harmon’s The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir which was extremely funny. I read it in one afternoon.
Thanks so much for having me here today!
Thanks again to Christina for stopping by and answering some questions. She has also offered up a copy of Black Wings to one lucky reader! All you have to do is leave Christina a question or answer her question: What new authors have you discovered this year (in any genre) that you really like? I'm always looking for recommendations!
Title: Black Wings
Author: Christina Henry
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 11/30/10
As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It's a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.
Maddy's position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn't pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.
Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy's building. It's probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.
Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell...
Open to US only.
Must ask answer the question or leave a question.
Must leave a valid e-mail address.
Contest ends at midnight on Thursday 16th.
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