So in my intermittent and ongoing fashion ;) — here’s an interview with Hanna Martine, author of Liquid Lies, which just came out from Berkeley.
So tell me a little about Liquid Lies –
It’s about a race of water elementals existing in secret in modern-day America. They’ve established a massively successful company selling glamour to an elite clientele. Gwen is being groomed to be their future leader when she’s kidnapped by Reed, a human she’s already met and desperately wants, and who was hired by her enemies. I really wanted to explore the kidnapper/kidnapped dynamic and examine issues of trust and love within that.
Do you plan to go through other elemental groups as the series progresses? How many do you have total, planned?
Currently there are two full-length novels in the series, with the potential for at least two more. There are several characters (namely, hot men) I’m desperate to write about! The second book exposes more elemental races and goes into their cultures, but the world is endless.
Yay, more hot men! ;) Why did you go with water first? What drew you to using the elements?
I went with water first because I think it’s the sexiest and most lovely … and because it scares the crap out of me. Seriously. Water is my biggest fear, by far. I’m an outdoorsy person, so I’ve always been drawn to the concept of the “classic” elements–parts of nature that an ordinary human has no control over.
I love swimming — but I’m also scared of open water. The sea is just…so huge!
I know you have a (perhaps distant now!) history as a sf/f writer. Is Liquid Lies a way to tie your two interests together?
Absolutely LIQUID LIES came out of studying and writing sf/f. I was still very much in the sf/f world when I started to write it, so initially I wasn’t aware of the “rules” within the romance market. I took a lot of the world-building and techniques from the sf/f critiques and then crafted a romance around it.
Now that you’re not “fading to black” anymore – how risqué is Liquid Lies? Was that a hard change to make in your mind?
It’s not any more risque than other romance novels out now, I don’t think. I love to inject a deep sense of emotion into my hot scenes–something that digs deeper than just “I want you.” It’s the key to a great scene, in my opinion. And no, it wasn’t a hard change to make at all, because I feel that sex and love are as important to my stories as the Big Bad. My characters always learn something about themselves from these intimate encounters, and it’s not just lust. Sex scenes aren’t just filler in my books; they are an important part of plot and motivation development.
Is Liquid Lies your first book ever? How long did it take you to write it? To sell it? When is the next one due?
LIQUID LIES is the third book I wrote, the first being a very, very, very long epic fantasy. The second was a time travel with strong romantic elements.
I started LIQUID LIES in early 2009. Two years later, after several extensive rewrites and lots of rejection (yep, I paid my rejection dues), I sold it to Berkley Sensation. And then, after I signed the contract, I restructured and rewrote it again. :) The next one in the series, A TASTE OF ICE, has been delivered to my editor and it’s due to come out December 31 of this year. A novella in the same world will appear in the Berkley anthology UNBOUND in March 2013, and that’s been turned in, too.
What’s been the most surprising thing about your career so far?
That people I don’t know are actually reading my book! I know my publisher has done lots to get the word out, and I’ve done guest blogs and contests and such, but it’s still shocking as hell that readers have found my book, have taken a chance on a brand new author, and are actually turning the pages.
How scary is it to have your first book coming out? (Good scary? Scary, scary? ;))
Both! In the weeks leading up to the actual release date, it was definitely Scary Scary. But then it came out and it turned into Good Scary. And I love writing new stuff, moving forward and thinking about the future, so now I’m definitely in Good Scary territory.
Do you have any slightly superstitious writing things that you do, or totems on your desk, that sort of thing?
No superstitions, but I do have a precise way I edit. Edits are always on paper and always with a super-sharp pencil. No music during drafting or revising, but always when I type in the paper edits.
Thanks so much!
Thank you so much for having me, Cassie!
Because it’s so dang hot outside — let’s do a contest! Tell me below how hot it is where you live, even internationally, and on next Monday I’ll pick someone at random. We all deserve a hot book about water elements to cool off with ;).