2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Darklight On…Erica Hayes: Q&A

Today's Darklight On... is with Erica Hayes. Welcome, Erica!

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
I think everything I’ve ever written has had fantasy of some kind in it. That’s just the way my brain works. I would love to write thrillers or crime novels, but they’d have to be supernatural ones. I just can’t keep it straight.

Please tell us a little about your road to publication.
I started out writing high fantasy with romantic subplots, before I gravitated towards contemporary/urban fantasy with stronger romance. I didn’t know anyone or take any shortcuts. I just wrote a manuscript and queried agents. Paranormals and erotics were hot at the time, which helped, and mine was a little different (again, at the time) because it didn’t feature only vampires and werewolves. And that book (SHADOWFAE) is dirty and sparkly and a little bit insane. So I think it stood out somewhat, for good or ill. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it book. Once I found an agent, it took a couple of months to get a contract, which was for 2 books.

Your recent release is Poison Kissed (which we featured in a Magic Thursday giveaway on 16 Dec) and your upcoming release is Blood Cursed. Can you describe these books for us.
Dark urban fantasy/romance with erotic undertones. POISON KISSED is about Mina, a banshee whose song can kill you. She works as a gang enforcer, and she’s got the crush from hell on her boss, Joey, a cold-hearted snake-shifter whom she thinks doesn’t know she’s alive. He’s the only man she trusts... but when she finds out he may have been involved in her mother’s murder years ago, Mina decides she wants revenge. Does it go well for her? I think not :) You can check out the cover copy and an excerpt here.

BLOOD CURSED is about Ember, a blood fairy who gets tricked into doing a demon’s bidding. To save her soul, she must track down three of the demon’s most powerful enemies. To find them, she needs the help of Diamond, a flashy glassfairy gangster who thinks she’s just a silly girl — but is he really trying to help her? Or is he stealing her soul for himself? Here’s the cover copy:

To a vampire, nothing is sweeter than bloodfairy essence — and Ember is the most sought-after fairy on the underworld circuit. Selling her blood to the highest bidder — and robbing her clients in the process — Ember has unwittingly become a target of dark and dangerous forces. Her enemies are everywhere. And if she hopes to survive, she needs protection...
Diamond is a glassfairy who, for better or worse, knows his way around the vampire underworld. Smooth as silk and tougher than trolls, Diamond is Ember’s only chance to keep her magical blood inside her body, where it belongs. But he also poses a threat to Ember, a strange kind of danger she’s never experienced before: She’s falling in love with him... 

BTW – you have been blessed by the cover gods, or should I say cover fae ;)
Yeah. Aren’t they awesome? So colourful.

You have play lists for you books – how important is music to your writing?
Not very :) not to the actual process, anyway. I usually write in silence. The playlists are more of an after-the-fact, mood-descriptive thing. A lot of the action in my Shadowfae books takes place in a seedy magical nightclub, and I’ve tried to capture the flavour of that.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I’m a plotter all the way. I don’t understand pantsing. I don’t get why anyone would choose to do it that way, especially when they’ve got deadlines to keep. Maybe I’m just not clever enough :) Working up a plot in advance is both satisfying and reassuring. You can change your ideas without having to throw out big chunks of words — I loathe rewriting! Characters make more sense when you think them through first. And it’s fun!

Do have a favourite of your characters?
Usually the ones I’m writing at the time! But I admit to having a bit of a thing for Joey, the snake-shifter from POISON KISSED. He’s a very smart man who makes some terrible decisions because he can’t bear the world to see him the way he really is. He’s outwardly cool and calculating, but inside he’s a seething mass of tension and passion. Fascinating.

What are you currently working on?
If I told you that, I’d have to kill you.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 
All of it. The initial ideas, the outlining, the drafting and revising. It’s all fun in its own way. The drafting is the craziest part, where I do things like forget to eat, or forget to go to orchestra practice, because I’m so involved. The outlining is probably the hardest work, and the most frustrating.

What can we expect from Erica Hayes in the future?
More books, I hope! I’ve got a few new ideas I’m shopping around.

Who are your favourite authors?
I can’t really claim favourites. Depends on what I’m into at the time.

What are you currently reading?
Umm... I have a TBR pile that fills a shelf, but I haven’t read anything for a little while. The last one was FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King. I do like me some King!

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or tv series?
Oh, there are so many, old and new. Star Wars (all of them!), Farscape, Supernatural (yay! Sam), Forever Knight, Doctor Who... At the moment I’m rewatching Blakes 7, which is a classic in every sense of the word. Any show these days that involves a bunch of dysfunctional people on a spaceship? Firefly, SG:U etc... Well, B7 got there first, and in many ways better, even if it suffers from dreadful late-70s production values. I’m prepared to argue :) And it has the mother of all unresolved cliffhangers at the end. The first time I saw That Scene, I think it scarred me for life...

Do you have advice for emerging writers?
Write. Don’t make excuses. Time is finite, and you can only use it for one thing at any given moment — so if you want to write, something else has to give. Accept that, and make your choice.

You can visit Erica at her website, on her blog, or Twitter.
Blood Cursed, the next book in The Shadowfae Chronicles
will be released in August.


  1. LOL about your pantster comment, E. Our (writers') brains are all wired differently and never the twain shall meet, eh?

    When you write is it the hero or heroine you tend to know first? Do you have one character whose story it tends to be or is it both? Or does it depend on each book?

  2. I love your description of Shadowfae, Erica - dirty, sparkly, and a little insane. I really enjoyed reading it.


  3. Hey Erica, I can appreciate your love *cough,obsession,cough* with plotting. A part of me wishes I could do it more thoroughly (though in that way true madness lies). I'll have to stick to mud maps.

    I live with someone who would tell you that That Scene in B7 is worth watching the ENTIRE series for. I've yet to watch much of it - Sam,who I'll share with you ;)(if Cas is around Sam's yours) must have airtime in the house.

  4. Okay - I loved B7 but can't remember the end - I feel a marathon coming when I have finsihed this book.

    I also loved your description of Shadowfae - it's perfect. Good luck for your the release of Blood Bound.

  5. Hi everyone :) thanks for coming by! And thanks to Eleni for inviting me.

    Kylie: I think it's mostly the heroine's story I start out wanting to tell. But because I'm writing a strong romance thread, the hero has to be an equally strong and interesting character. So I have to invent him to match her. A relationship where one character is clearly superior, or in every way more powerful, doesn't interest me as much. I like them to discombobulate each other equally :)

    Eleni: thanks! glad you enjoyed it. And it is a bit insane... but insane is good, right?

    Nicky: oh, yes. I'd forgotten your other half was a B7 fan :) and he's totally right. The build-up is slow, but fascinating. And nerve-wrenching. I still watch it yelling 'no! Don't go there! Don't say that! Don't do that!'

    Tracey: Thanks! I'm all in favour of marathons. Especially when I'm meant to be doing something else...