Posted in: Author interviews, Azteclady Speaks
Tags:Through the Veil
Through the Veil, your newest release, has a crossover appeal—romance and a mix of science fiction/urban fantasy/paranormal flavor. You have said that you have a hard time labeling this novel, and that it was very difficult for you to write it. If you had to describe, in ten words or less, the ideal reader/target audience for this book, what would those words be?
(You gave me a word count-that’s cheating… and words in parenthesis don’t count) Probably paranormal romance readers and maybe urban fantasy readers.
You’ve said that your husband inspired this story, could you share what you mean by this?
Okay, so I bruise easy. Always have. There is no medical reason for it… I just bruise easy. And I’m a klutz, so I pick up new bruises all the time.
One morning, I woke up and my husband noticed this huge bruise on my hip. He sighs, shakes his head and says, “People are going to think I beat you.”
A little while later, he comes up and tells me, “You need to write a book about this woman who wakes up with all these bruises and she can’t figure out why. Turns out she’s being sucked into another world while she’s sleeping and she’s fighting a war there.”
I think… hmmmm… I can do that. And I did. It just took a few years.
Why was this novel so hard to write for you? Was it the world building, i.e. keeping the internal consistency of this universe’s rules while allowing for plot twists, etc.?
It’s more complex. I don’t know if it was so much the world building, although that takes time. I think since I have to do some world building my paranormals, I work that it almost automatically, but this book had layers, shades of gray, shades of right and wrong. And a couple of extra stubborn characters.
Being as I am spoiler-phobic, I find it quite difficult to ask questions about the plot and the characters that, from my perspective, wouldn’t reveal too much too early, so the following questions are perhaps a bit too general—please do feel free to be more specific if and when it suits you.
Your world building in Through the Veil is really good and very complex—which is for me is as essential as good characterization, for me, when reading any alternative universe/fantasy story. Did you have to keep some sort of chart or such like for tracking different beings, their abilities, habitats, etc.?
When I first started the book, no. But I started it originally maybe three years ago and then set it aside. Just wasn’t ready to work on it yet.
At that point, the ‘main’ bad guy in the story wasn’t people, but the demon races.
When I got back to it, I decided it would be a good idea to make notes of the demon races just to keep them straight in my head, physical descriptions, their strengths, weaknesses, etc. Once the story got rolling, I didn’t need the notes much, but I left them in there in case my editor thought it would be useful. Ended up being the glossary found at the beginning of the book.
Charts are too organized for me… even the word makes me break out in hives. Got any Benadryl? (A: I’m not the only one! *happy dancing*)
The history and the changing politics in Anqar have major influence on the events in Through the Veil. Did you keep a timeline for both Ishtan and Anqar?
No. That I kept straight in my head.
Kalen is both reluctant to lead and very effective at it—how do you feel about this dichotomy in his personality?
You remember those extra stubborn characters I mentioned? Surprise, surprise… he was one of them.
He’s a soldier—he wants to be on the front line. He doesn’t want to be commanding anybody, because he knows some of his people won’t come back when they leave to fight. He’d rather spill his own blood than anybody else’s, but he also knows they look to him for leadership. Giving up just isn’t in his makeup. He doesn’t understand it, so even when he feels he should be leading on the battlefield instead of doing it from afar, he does what he knows is best of the men and women who follow him.
But personally, I loved the fact that he wanted to be on the front line, yet knew he best served his people elsewhere. I think the very best leaders are the ones who’ve done all the grunt work they ask of others, because they know how hard it can be. As he rose up through the ranks, he did all that grunt work—which made him a wise leader, and a compassionate one.
Lee’s abilities, and her understanding of them, change through the story; they grow you might say. Was this evolution dictated by the character or the plot, or was it organic to both?
I’d say both. She had to come to grips with who she was, and that progressed as certain events in the story forced her to do that, bit by bit.
Your characters always are very real, tangible to me, but so far Lee is the one with whom I empathize the most. Did you realize from the beginning how alone she is, and how unaware of it, or is that something that revealed itself to you as the characters grew?
I guess I’d have to say I suspected from the beginning that she’d be very much alone. Just because of who she was in my mind, even before I put her down on paper. Lee’s been in my head for four years, and it wasn’t until a year after my husband inspired the idea behind her story that I even tried to write it down. And it took several years after that to get her story done—I finished it a year ago, but Lee’s been in my head for what seems like ages. Even before I started her story, I knew her.
She’s full of doubt, nerves, fear, disbelief. Living two lives, one unaware of the other and even when her conscious self is forced into awareness, she’s stuck in this alien world where nothing feels right, where nothing makes sense. And she really misses coffee. (A: Who can blame her? :shuddering at the thought of no coffee) You gotta love somebody that has the same human cravings so many others do.
Do you have any more stories to tell in this universe? (*cough* Morne *cough*)
Oh, that was subtle… (A: that’s me little Ms Subtle)
I can’t say yet for sure. It’s entirely possible, but part of it depends on how well this book is received and part of it depends on whether or not he cooperates.
Shiloh, thank you so very much for your answers to all these nosy questions.
There are still a few more :evil : Quickly, without thinking too much, please tell us:
Would you rather be published and poor, or unpublished and rich?
LOL. Okay. The DH saw this question before I do and asked me and I was like… what….?
In all honesty, I don’t know. I’ve been published, I’ve been poor, I’ve been unpublished. Haven’t been rich. Wouldn’t mind trying that one.
But here’s the thing… writing for the purpose of publication is a time-consuming thing. If I was poor, chances are I’d be out busting my tail working so I could help take care of my kids. Meaning I wouldn’t have much time to pursue publication, and very little time to write. I know I certainly wouldn’t have the time I now devote to it.
So I don’t know if I would have the opportunity to have ‘been’ published and poor. It was a near-miss thing, being published, anyway. Circumstances were going to force me back to college right before I signed my first contract. As much as I love writing, if I had to put it on the backburner to take care of my family, I would… and finances are definitely the sort of thing to force it to the backburner. I’d probably still write…but I doubt I’d focus so much on publication.
I don’t know if I answered your question or not… (A: Indeed, and gave me lots of food for thought in the bargain!)
Do you read reviews of your books as a matter of course (say, by Googling yourself routinely), or only when someone sends you links?
I have been known to Google myself on occasion. Insatiable curiosity, more than anything else. (A: And yet, miracle of miracles, you never behave like an asshat )
Good speller/bad speller?
I’d say better than average. But when I’m in a rush, or if I’m lost in the story… I make my share of typos.
Typos are … (fill in the blank) Evil, but they are gonna happen.
If I could only afford one book on a trip to the bookstore, why should I grab Through the Veil instead of anything else in the bookshelves? :innocence:
Hmmmm…. I dunno. I’d say Through the Veil is probably one of the more different books out there right now. I have hopes that it has high cross-genre appeal, something that maybe SF readers or fantasy readers might enjoy if they’d give it a chance, but it’s also got the romance, the tension and the HEA that romance readers need.
It doesn’t have the ‘typical’ bad guy, either. I mentioned shades of gray and this book is full of them.
If I say, Pretty please go buy it, will that help? (A: Perhaps, but I think that saying, “Folks, this is a really good book with top notch world building and great characterization” would work better. Jest sayin’)
There you have it, guys—go forth and get your very own copy of Through the Veil, asap. You know you want to!
And do not forget to visit Shiloh Walker’s website for information on a really cool scavenger hunt she’s holding to celebrate the release of Through the Veil–look at these prizes! Three lucky winners, three prizes:
- One $50 GC to Barnes & Noble
- One $15 GC to Barnes & Noble
- One $10 GC to Mybookstoreandmore.com