Q: When is your next Dark Ones book?
A: November of 2010, title: IN THE COMPANY OF VAMPIRES. Yes, there will be more vamp books.
Q: Dragons! What about the dragons?
A: The next dragon book, The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons, is out in May 2011. Yes, there will be more dragon books after that.
Q: When is the next Aisling Grey book coming out? I don’t like the ones where she’s just a secondary character.
A: I have no idea if/when I will return to Aisling as narrator, although it’s something I’m letting simmer on the back burners of my brain. I’m afraid until that mulling is done, you’re going to have to make do with Aisling (and May, for that matter) being an integral part of subsequent dragon books.
Q: I noticed mistakes in one of your books.
A: I’m sure there are lots of mistakes in my books, despite the several pairs of eyes that go over the content before it gets printed up and smooshed onto bookshelves. However, not all of what you might perceive of as a mistake is actually one…sometimes it’s me being funny with a bit of intentional word play. I’m a firm believer that English is fluid, and feel comfortable taking license with it now and again. But then, I’m a language renegade! A rogue! A dashing and daring adventurer…oh, wait, that was the dream. Moving on…
Q: How long does it take to get the freebies?
A: Usually a couple of months. Why so long? I get a lot of freebie requests each month, sometimes so many that they have to be shipped to me in a large box (I still remember with horror the day Michelle the Agent sent me a huge box of mail. I thought it was a big present or something!), so it takes me a while to work through all the requests.
I could dump it on an assistant to deal with, and then they would go out pretty quickly, but I like to read the little notes that folks send with their freebie requests, and to personalize the signed book plates, to pick out freebies I think they would enjoy, etc., so I do it myself. That’s why it takes so long for me to get through the requests. Right now I have a big stack that I’m trying to do a few on each day. I’m into the ones postmarked March 2010 now, and should be getting to April letters by the end of June 2010.
Q: You seem to have stopped the Fran Ghetti series. When will the next one be out?
A: Yeah, I know, I’ve answered this a number of times. I’m going to write up a FAQ entry for it and hope that people check there before e-mailing me about it. But in case you missed it, Ben and Fran are moving to the adult world with the release of IN THE COMPANY OF VAMPIRES. (Nov. 2010). The first two B&F books are being re-released in an omnibus edition at the same time (CONFESSIONS OF A VAMPIRE’S GIRLFRIEND).
Q: I wrote to you on Myspace/Facebook/via E-mail. Why haven’t you answered me?
A: See the entry above about freebies. I get a ton of e-mail, and answer them all, but it takes time for me to do that. If you have something urgent you need to get to my attention, like a time-sensitive interview request, speaking request, etc. it’s best if you go through my publicist at NAL, or my assistant Jennifer. Contact info for both can be found on my website. Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of my inbox, at which even I cringe when seeing. Patience is definitely a virtue in this case.
Katie’s Big Wad o’ Questions
The questions below are general questions asked by readers and people who visit my online journal and message forum.
Q: Do you have a printable list of all your books?
A: Yup. A printable list is available (link opens in a new window). Basically, you can expect to see books from me every April/May and October/November, with possibly a book scattered at other times of the year.
Q: Have you ever based one of your heroes on your husband and if so which one?
A: I have never consciously based a hero on my husband, although many of the traits I find attractive in him (sense of humor, loves animals, technogeeky) have appeared in my heroes. But I haven’t ever modelled a hero after him. I tend to like my romance heroes very alpha, but I think I’d run screaming from an alpha male in person.
Q: How do you answer people when they make derogatory remarks about romances? What do you say when they ask you when you’re going to write a real book?
A: I point out that romances comprise over half of the mass market paperback market, and that what’s good enough for authors like Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovitch is good enough for me. And then I smile. Knowingly.
Q: Does it matter to you if I buy your books used instead of new?
A: Used books are a topic that many authors flinch at—on the one hand, I completely understand how hard it is to find money to buy books period, but then to pay full price? Ack. However, there’s a reason why it’s important to buy new books whenever you can, and it’s not just so you can keep your favorite author in bon-bons.
When someone buys a book used, no record of that sale is sent to the publisher. The only sales they know about are the original purchase, and they base their decision to buy future books on those sales figures, so if the bulk of that author’s books are sold used, the publisher is absolutely out of the loop. They might well see lackluster sales, and figure the author isn’t a good enough risk to continue with, and thus will pass on buying more books from him/her.
So what’s a person on a tight budget to do if she wants to support an author, but can’t swing the price of a new book? Go to your local library and request they buy a copy (if they don’t have one available). Not only does the publisher see library sales, but libraries keep close tabs on book circulation, and will often order more copies of popular books, making them available to more readers, so it’s a win-win situation for the publisher, author, and reader!
Q: Are you always going to write romances?
A: Yes. Even my non-romance books have romantic elements in them. I’m just a romantic at heart, and believe that the world can do with a little more romance and love.
Q: If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you do?
A: Be a professional reader. Seriously, I’d probably be a librarian or bookseller. I just love books that much!
Q: How can readers chat with you?
A: I do a limited number of chats, usually one or two during the months when I have books out. When a chat is upcoming, I post a notice about it on the message forum, and mention in the newsletter.
Q: I e-mailed you a question yesterday, but you haven’t answered. What gives?
A: I answer every e-mail I receive, although sometimes it takes a while. I do visit my message board daily, so if you have an urgent question, you may want to post it there.
Q: I want to give a signed copy of your book. Will you do that?
A: I’m always happy to sign books for people, but given the length of time it takes to get mail from my agent (usually about a month) you either have to email me your request well in advance (and please put something in the subject line saying it’s a gift, so your e-mail doesn’t get stuck in the queue with other reader e-mail), or send me the book three months in advance (which will give enough time for my agent to forward the book to me), or use the third option—a personalized book plate, which can be popped in the mail immediately.
Q: I sent you a snail mail letter, and you haven’t answered it!
A: My snail mail queue is even longer than the e-mail queue (partially because it requires me to hunt down stamps, which I never seem to have). The best I can do is advise patience—I do answer every snail mail letter sent, but it does take me a bit of time.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I have no free time, and none is scheduled until the middle of 2011, so once I’m a little closer to that point, I’ll let you know what my plans are. [My hobbies include reading, needlework, tormenting my husband, playing with my dogs, and amusing myself for hours on end with The World of Warcraft online game, to which I'm sadly addicted.
Q: What is your daily schedule like, and how do you write so many books so quickly?
A: I usually arise at noon or so, wakened by Raoul the pool boy (who also serves as my masseuse) with a glass of fresh squeezed juice topped with a gardenia specially flown in from Belize. After my massage, manicure, pedicure, facial, sugar scrub, hair, and dip into the milk bath, I saunter to the garden and spend much time thinking of what words I like best. Then I take those words, toss them into a (hand-crafted purple velvet) bag, and pull them out one by one. Those I dictate to Julio (Raoul’s twin). I have a strict word count I must meet—ten words per day, come rain or shine!—before I’m allowed to stop for the day. After a late lunch at poolside where I watch Raoul and Julio model itsy bitsy swimsuits, I have yet another massage, then take some me time to recharge my mental batteries.
As you can see, the rumors that my schedule consists of me rising before the lark at 4am, spending five hours hacking away at the keyboard, not to mention afternoons and evenings working on editing, reading galleys, or revising, are totally untrue. Totally. [We really do get up at 4am, although I don't start writing until closer to 8 am.] I write books quickly because that’s how I write. It’s just what I know. It does help that I don’t have a day job, or children (although my dogs are of the opinion they are hairy little children and should be treated accordingly), but in truth, I’m just a fast writer. I do need a recovery time after each book, though, so the time I take to write a book isn’t quite as impressive when you factor in the month I need to recover.
Q: How do you keep yourself motivated?
A: Originally it was a love of storytelling, and a love of romances that kept me writing before I had contracts for books. Now my motivation is the calendar. Fortunately, I still love telling stories and dreaming up romances, so it all works out well in the end. I am careful to take down time between books, and am very protective of my muse, which usually is the excuse I make when people ask why I loll around doing nothing but reading, watching movies, and playing WOW.
Q: Do you plot ahead of time? Do you use character sketches?
A: When I first started writing, I was a dedicated plotter. I wrote out two or three page detailed plot synopses, and although I often veered far afield from the synopses, I needed to have that framework in place to keep me writing. Now I fly much more by the seat of my pants, although I will often stop in the middle of a book and make a page or two of notes on what’s going to happen in the second half of the book. I have never made character sketches, or conducted character interviews. My characters aren’t at all shy about telling me who they are and what motivates them.
Q: How do you handle negative reviews or comments on your books?
A: What negative reviews? What comments? WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD??? I handle them the way every other author handles them, and no, that’s not with a box of Kleenex and a bag of Dove chocolates. I write humor, and humor is very subjective, so I understand that what I think is uproariously funny is not going to strike another person the same way. My goal is to entertain as many people as I can while staying true to my voice. Not every reader is right for my books, and although I regret that I can’t amuse the world, I’m resigned to just pleasing those people who share my rather warped sense of humor.
Q: I’m in the middle of writing my own book, and I hope you don’t mind me using your vampire world…
A: Um…yes, actually I do mind. It’s called copyright infringement, and it’s illegal. The beauty of writing paranormals is that you can make up your own worlds and set whatever rules, laws, and mythology you like, rather than having to do something “realistic.” That also means that you can take elements that you like from existing mythology, and make it your own by giving it a unique twist. While I’m flattered someone might want to write books based on the worlds or characters I create, it’s far better to write things that pop out of your own mind. Honest. Trust me on this.
Q: I have just finished writing a book, and I have called several agencies and a few of the publishers. No one seems to want anything from an unpublished author. How did you get around this to get published?
A: I know how frustrating the agent/publisher hunt can be, but there really is no secret way to get the attention of an editor or agent. Anyone can sell out of the slush pile (I did). While some publishers won’t take unsolicited submissions, there are others that will, so my advice is to focus on those. The same goes for agents. But the big key to a successful editor/agent hunt is to have a work that is so polished it dazzles the eye. That means also having a proposal (query letter, synopsis, and sample chapters) that will stand out from the rest of the slush pile. If you haven’t had your book and/or proposal critiqued by a critique partner or group, that may be one way to get the polish your book needs.
Q: I’m a writer and I think I write a lot like you. Could you read my query and synopsis and recommend it to your agent?
A: I regret that I don’t have the time or ability (due to legal issues with reading unpublished works) to read and recommend books to my editors or agent. But you know, you really don’t need me to recommend you in order to succeed. I think over the years I’ve recommended just three people, and thousands more were published without any help from me at all. My advice is to write a killer book, and start sending it out to applicable agents and/or editors.
Q: I’ve just spent the last twenty years writing the book of my heart. Please help me see my dream accomplished by getting it published.
A: I wish I had the power to help people get published, but I’m not an editor or agent. Your best bet is to consult one of the writers’ market books that list publishers and agents who are acquiring, and querying them. You may also want to join a writers’ organization like the Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Science Fiction Writers of America, etc. to get industry information and learn more about writing for your particular genre.
Q: Could you please make your books available in e-book/large print/audio format?
A: Alas, that decision is not mine to make. My publishers decide whether or not they want the books to be published in electronic, large print, and audio versions. Recently, they’ve started releasing new books in electronic versions, but that’s completely out of my control. But if you feel strongly about the subject, feel free to write to them and let them know what you want.
Q: I just bought your book, but I can’t finish it because part of the book is missing. When I got to page 88 it skips foward to page 217, then back to 121, and my copy doesn’t have pages 89-120.
A: If you ever get a book where the pages are out of whack or missing, take it back to the bookseller and ask for a new one (or contact the publisher and ask for a replacement copy). Sometimes copies get glitched like that. No bookseller or publisher would refuse to exchange it for a book that can be read.
Q: I’d like to review your next book for my website. Can you send me a review copy?
A: Review copies come from my publisher. To inquire about being added to the review list, feel free to contact my publicist at NAL, Jodi Rosoff.
Q: Hi Katie. It feels strange to call you Katie, but that is your name. Do you mind if I call you Katie?
A: No, I don’t mind. You can call me Katie, Kate, Kat, and even just K if you are really in a lazy mood and don’t want to spring for the extra syllable. I don’t mind informality at all.
Q: How many words a day do you write?
A: It really depends on the book, and what’s going on at the time, but my normal working rate is anywhere between 2-3,000 words a day. Some books I write a bit slower at 2K a day, others have written themselves at blistering rates of anywhere up to 12K a day (those are very, very rare and usually wipe me out for a long time afterward). But for the most part, between 2 and 3K a day is a comfortable pace for me.
Q: Why are you also writing books under the name Kate Marsh?
A: I wanted a different name so it was easy for readers to distinguish between the mysteries and romances. I made sure that the Katie Mac name was on the cover of the Karma Marx books, though, so people would know it was one of my books.
Q: How many books are there in the Noble series?
Q: What happened to Noble Pursuits?
A: Noble Pursuits was renamed THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY when I rewrote the book. My editor asked for a title change, and since I had been calling the book by that informal title, I suggested it. She liked it, so we went with that rather than a Noble title.
Q: Are you going to write a book featuring Nick as a hero?
A: Probably. I haven’t written it yet, but I like the way Nick turned out in THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, and think he might have an interesting story to tell. If I do write it, it probably wouldn’t be published until after 2010.
Q: Will you write other historicals other than the Noble books?
A: It’s quite likely I may write a time travel historical sometime soon, but that depends on several factors too boring to go into here. If I do write the time travel, it would probably be out in 2010 or 2011 (yes, my publishing schedule really is already booked up to the 2011 point).
Q: What order do the Noble books go in?
A: I don’t have any plans to do so, but it’s not out of the question.
A: This is another “I’m thinking about it” situation. I do have a rough sequel already written, but if I do end up writing a sequel, it will probably focus on Archie rather than Kathie and Iain. I hadn’t thought of writing Archie’s story until I started getting questions about him from readers, but he’s such a poop, I’m intrigued by the possibility of writing him a story just to watch him turn into a human being. Then again, there’s Ewan…
Q: Why do you set so many of your books in England or Scotland?
A: I’m a die-hard Anglophile, and I love fish-out-of-water stories. Put them together, and you have Katie books with American heroines set in the UK or Europe.
A: I have no plans on doing another novella, but I’m not ruling it out.
A: Yes. Originally, Emily in THEY WEAR WHAT UNDER THEIR KILTS? was Kathie’s niece, but because the two books were published by different publishers, I had to change names so neither publisher got upset. But the similarities between Kathie and Iain and Aunt Tim and Alec are pretty darn close.
Dark Ones FAQ
Q: Are you going to write Christian’s story?
A: Christian’s book, SEX AND THE SINGLE VAMPIRE, came out March 2004.
Q: I don’t understand how Joy could be Christian’s Beloved, and yet she didn’t want him.
A: It’s pretty much what Joy says in the book—there were two women who got their cosmic wires crossed. Joy was born to be Christian’s Beloved, but didn’t grow into the role. Following that reasoning, it means there is a woman who was not born to be his Beloved, but who will end up taking on the job.
Q: But that would mean there are two Beloveds! How can that be?
A: A lot of the elements I use in my paranormals have their basis in quantum psychics, believe it or not. My reasoning for allowing there to be two women who could potentially be a Beloved for the same man has its roots in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (in very simple terms, the uncertainty principle says that you can’t know with absolute certainty what the position and momentum of an elementary particle will be at any given time). If you apply that idea of uncertainty to something so delicate as a woman being born a Beloved, you have a rather round-about explanation of why both Joy and Allegra both were technically Christian’s Beloved. And if you think that’s confusing, just wait until you read SEX, LIES AND VAMPIRES—a good part of the basis for the “magic” used in that book comes from quarks.
Q: How many vampire books are you going to write?
A: I’ve written seven so far, and more are contracted. I don’t have an end in mind for the vamp books, so I should have one published per year.
A: No, although Roxy does make an appearance in SEX AND THE SINGLE VAMPIRE.
Q: Are you going to write a book for Sebastian and Noelle?
A: I had intended their story to be the third book, but Sebastian refused to speak to me when it came time to write that book, so another Dark One—the man who betrayed Sebastian, as a matter of fact—stepped forward and demanded his story be told instead. Sebastian, Allie, and Christian all make an appearance in SEX, LIES AND VAMPIRES, however. Sebastian’s story is told in the novella “Bring Out Your Dead” in the JUST ONE SIP anthology, which was published October 2006.
Q: Is Noelle getting her own story?
A: I keep trying to pin her down for a story, but thus far, she has eluded my best attempts. I am not giving up on her, however. I fully intend for her to have a happily ever after.
Q: Are there any female Dark Ones?
A: Yes and no. Females born to Dark Ones are referred to as simply Moravians—they are immortal and sometimes drink blood, but unlike their male counterparts, they can exist without consuming blood. The nature of the male Dark Ones has to do with redeeming their souls, something the females usually don’t need to worry about.
Q: What’s the story with Raphael and his weird reaction whenever werewolves are mentioned? He has yellow eyes—is he a werewolf?
A: Raphael’s reaction will become more understandable after reading his short story in the MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL HONEYMOON anthology, published December 2007.
A: It’s not clear because they haven’t yet worked things out. It may take them a few books before their situation is resolved.
Q: What order do the vampire books go in?
A: A GIRL’S GUIDE TO VAMPIRES, SEX AND THE SINGLE VAMPIRE, SEX, LIES AND VAMPIRES, Even Vampires Get the Blues, the “Bring Out Your Dead” novella in the JUST ONE SIP anthology, THE LAST OF THE RED-HOT VAMPIRES, ZEN AND THE ART OF VAMPIRES, and CROUCHING VAMPIRE, HIDDEN FANG.
Aisling Grey FAQ
Spoiler Warning! Please note that the following questions and answers may reveal some plot points from the various Aisling Grey books. If you haven’t read the books and don’t wish to know what happens in them, you may want to skip the FAQs.
A: Without question this is the most frequently asked question. The answer is that while I don’t envision any more books with Aisling as the narrator, they still have a very large role to play, so they will continue to be included in subsequent dragon books. And yes, there are a lot of things that were not wrapped up in HOLY SMOKES—the fate of Fiat and Bastian, Chuan Ren, as well as Kostya. All of that will be dealt with in subsequent books. So those of you who are worried that you won’t be able to get your Aisling, Jim, and Drake fix can relax secure in the knowledge that although there will be different narrators for other dragon sept books, they will continue to be involved in the storylines.
Q: Are these books romances?
A: Not strictly so by definition, although they are sexy, and they’re being marketed as romances. The Aisling Grey series follows the exploits of Aisling, her pet demon Jim, and Drake, a handsome dragon in human form. I plan for there to be other series featuring different wyverns, as well.
Q: When is the next Aisling book going to be published?
A: At this time, I have no more books with Aisling as narrator scheduled. That doesn’t mean I won’t write one at a later date, but since she has such a great part to play in other sept stories, I’m contenting myself with including her that way.
Q: What is the timeline of the Aisling books? Will the characters evolve over the series, and will there be a resolution at some point?
A: The timelines will be pretty tight, generally about a month or six weeks between books.
A: Yes, she deals with that in Fire Me Up.
Q: Is being a dragon mate any similar to Christine Feehan’s lifemates?
A: Not really, no. Aisling is the only mate for Drake…but it doesn’t necessarily follow that she will end up with him. FWIW, she can refuse to be his mate.
Q: Why didn’t Aisling know she was a Guardian? Is there a limit to the number of Guardians there can be at any one time?
A: Guardians grow into the position—when the time was right for Aisling to know about the Otherworld, it presented itself to her. There is no specific limit to the number of Guardians, although one has to assume there’s a cosmic balance somewhere.
Q: What exactly does being the mate to a wyvern entail?
A: The role of a mate is going to become clearer with each book. Basically, it’s a social/political role within the dragon world, as well as one of a personal nature to the wyvern.
A: Aisling was just having her eyes opened to the denizens of the Otherworld in YSM. She was not yet picking up on the subtle cues that an experienced Guardian would have seen. As she learns more, she’ll start to see more.
Q: Did Jim take the form of a dog because of the way Aisling summoned him or did he choose that form?
A: Demons chose the form they want to appear when summoned. Most demons appear as humans, because those are the most powerful forms. Jim however…well, Jim clearly has issues.
Q: I want Aisling and Drake to have a happily ever after ending! Are you ever going to get them together?
A: One of the reasons I wanted to write this series is because I could explore the evolving relationship between Aisling and Drake over a number of books, rather than resolving it in the space of one book. Both Aisling and Drake have some issues, and both have a way to go before they can be together happily all the time. However, I intend to keep pushing them in that direction.
Q: Who was your inspiration for Drake?
A: Drake pretty much popped out of my brain fully formed. I knew he had to be sexy, arrogant, and bossy, and I really wanted him to be an anti-hero…posessing heroic qualities, but not necessarily acting in a heroic manner. I especially did not want him rushing in to save Aisling, and knew he wouldn’t always be acting in her best interests. Once I had those ideas, he wrote himself.
Q: I would love to see your dragon books as a movie. Would you ever consider allowing any them to be made into a movie?
A: Currently, the Femme Fatale Films production company has optioned the first two Aisling books. I will certainly let people know if the books get put into production for film or TV.
Q: What’s the deal with Rene? Are we going to find out more about him in the next book?
A: Rene’s role in Aisling’s life is revealed in LIGHT MY FIRE.
Q: Has Drake ever had a mate before? If so, how many and who were they?
A: No, dragons mate only once in their life. They can, however, have sexual and/or romantic relationships—and most do.
Q: Does Aisling have any other family aside from her uncle? If so, are any of them “magical”?
A: Yes, she does have other family members. They make an appearance in Holy Smokes.
Q: Is a wyvern’s mate specific to any one dragon? How did Drake know that Aisling was his mate and not Fiat Blu’s?
A: Wyvern’s mates are different from a normal dragon’s mate in that although they are born to be a specific wyvern’s mate, they can, by means of lusus naturae, be challenged for by another wyvern. If the second wyvern wins, the mate is transferred over to that wyvern.
Q: Are dragons born human or lizardy?
A: Dragons are born human. Female dragons do not lay eggs—they give birth as a mortal woman would, with the exception of scorching the drapes during labor.
A: Yes, she does. She dealt with the result of the challenge in FIRE ME UP—assumedly, she’s going to have to work on issues with the dragon sept as a whole in subsequent books.
Q: Does Drake have family: parents, siblings, etc?
Q: What is the hierarchy of the dragon septs? Did Drake inherit the post or did he challenge someone and win?
A: Wyverns are chosen by a means similar to tanistry. This means that the tanist (heir apparent) was picked from the eldest members of the same bloodline as reigning wyvern. It was not a primogeniture system in that the eldest son (or daughter) was automatically deemed to be the heir. Preference was given to the senior members of the family, with an emphasis on whoever had the strength to control the sept. This naturally leads to some battling within the sept when it comes to successions. Drake’s particular history is likely to be explored in further books.
Q: Does Fiat Blu have a mate?
A: Wart was simply someone who saw Aisling at G&T, and was smitten. He doesn’t play a major role in that book, although you never know if he’ll appear in other ones.
Q: What’s all this about a new dragon sept, the black dragons?
Q: In Light My Fire, Aisling is proscribed for using a dark power. What exactly is this dark power?
A: Dark power represents the darkness that exists in everyone, manifested in a form of energy. “Good” beings in the Otherworld can and have used it for good purposes, but it poses an enormous temptation to people, and a very real risk, which is why the Otherworld organizations prohibit its use except under special circumstances.
Q: Is Aisling pregnant?
A: The possibility of a pregnancy is dealt with in HOLY SMOKES (Nov. 2007).
Q: If Aisling is pregnant, will her baby be affected by the fact that she’s a prince of Abaddon?
A: Assuming she was pregnant—and the possibility of a pregnancy won’t be resolved until HOLY SMOKES—her baby would not be affected by her use of the dark power, or beings in Abaddon unless her physical form was destroyed (and quite frankly, I’m not likely to let that happen).
Q: If Drake’s father was a black dragon, can Drake break the curse on the silver dragons?
A: No. According to the terms of the curse, “no mate shall be born to any of its members until a black dragon was accepted as wyvern.” That means a black dragon must be made wyvern of the silver dragon sept in order to break the curse.
Q: What is the gestation period of a dragon?
A: The same as for a human. Dragon women give birth in human form, and yes, the baby is born in human form as well. They learn to shift into dragon form sometime in the first five years.
Q: If Drake’s father was a black dragon, what sept is his mother in?
A: She was a black dragon’s mate. She has nothing to do with the green sept.
Q: I don’t understand how Drake’s father can be a black dragon, and he can be a green one. Can you explain how that happened?
A: Drake’s fraternal grandmother was a green dragon who married a black dragon. Their union produced Drake’s father, a black dragon, wanted his child to be the wyvern of his sept. But Drake’s fraternal grandfather was beheaded, and since his grandmother was a reeve, and there were no green dragon descendants in her family, she married again, this time to a green dragon. That marriage produced a child who was Dmitri’s parent.
Here’s where it gets interesting—at the time Drake was born, Drake’s grandmother was still the last of her (green dragon) family. Because Drake’s father was a bit of a psychopath—and because Catalina offed him when Drake was relatively young—his grandmother invoked the right to claim Drake as a green dragon. She did this shortly after Catalina killed Drake’s father, the sept recognized Drake as a green dragon, and eventually through the right of tannistry, he took over as wyvern.
So long story short: Drake was born to the black dragons, but claimed as a green dragon. Why the black wyvern was willing to let go a member, and what others thought about that is a tale for another book.
Q: Are there any Guardians in America?
A: Yes. They are located pretty much everywhere (although I suspect there isn’t one in Antartica).
Q: Will Aisling’s ex-husband show up?
A: At this time, there are no plans for him to be included in a book, although that might change.
Q: Are you planning on making anything happen between Aisling and a guy that isn’t Drake in any of the books…romantically speaking, that is?
A: No. One of the traits all my heroines (and heroes, for that matter) share with me is a strong belief in fidelity. Aisling is in love with Drake, and will not have a romantic relationship with anyone else but him.
Q: How did you come up with the Aisling Grey character? Is it recreation of someone you know, or did she just come to you one day?
A: Both Aisling and Drake sprang pretty fully formed from my imagination one day. She’s not based on anyone in particular, although she does share some traits that unfortunately, people associate with me (foot in mouth problems, clumsiness, etc.).
Q: I’m sure I read somewhere on your site once how to pronounce “Aisling” but I can’t remember where (or how..) so would you be so kind as to give the correct pronunciation please?
A: It’s pronounced ash-ling.
Q: Will Kostya find a mate?
A: Kostyaâ€™s future isnâ€™t very clear to me at the present time. I have some ideas of what sort of things might be affecting his storyline, but as yet, I havenâ€™t made a decision one way or another.
Q: If May is a wyvernâ€™s mate, does that mean Cyrene is a mate as well?
A: Not necessarily. Cyrene and May are not biological twins, so it doesnâ€™t necessarily follow that Cy would be a mate as well. On the other hand, she did spawn May, so you never know.
Q: What happened to Chuan Ren?
A: Chuan Ren will be seen in Abaddon in UP IN SMOKE.
Q: Who is the blue sept wyvern, Bastian or Fiat?
A: At the present time, both claim wyvernship over the sept, which pretty much means the sept is divided into camps of followers of each wyvern. Technically, Bastian is the wyvern recognized by the weyr, but I doubt if Fiat will accept that without some sort of a fight.
Q: Exactly what rules govern the mate of a wyvern?
A: Mates are bound by basically the same rules of the sept. That is, they must put the good of the sept before their own needs.
Q: What separated the four dragons septs in the first place?
A: The origins of the dragons are shrouded, but five septs were established pretty early on. Political differences between the septs have meant there have been occasional wars involving all five groups, most notably the Endless War of the fourteenth century, in which the dragons engaged in an all-out battle for supremacy that resulted in the Black Plague. The fifth dragon sept, the black dragons, disappeared in the middle of the nineteenth century under mysterious circumstances. The whereabouts of remaining black dragons are known only to Kostya.
Q: Does the strength of the dragon diminish when in human form?
A: Yes. A dragon in his or her natural form is much stronger, and has more abilities, than one in human form. Certain traits, however, are carried over, including the ability to smell gold.
Q: How is their power connected to the form that they take when they are human?
A: Their power comes from the fact that they are dragon, no matter what form they take.
Q: What traits are shared amongst all dragons?
A: Love of treasure, aggression, determination, fidelity…and believe it or not, a fondness for mortals (they taste so good with whipped cream!).
Q: If the Blue Dragons don’t like water, how do they wash (ha-ha-ha)?
A: They take a lot of spit baths (ew!).
Q: What other elements cause the other septs to cringe?
A: Pretty much anything that isn’t their element is something they don’t like, with the exception of fire. So, for instance, the silver dragons like going to earth, but don’t like to fly. That doesn’t mean they won’t ever use another element – it just means they will go to extreme lengths to avoid being in the position where they have to.
Q: If the blue dragons are psychic or telepathic (or something like that), do the other dragon septs have any other special abilities?
A: The blue dragons tend to be telepaths, although not all of them are. Some of the green dragons can shape shift. The red dragons are warriors, and as such, have an ability to alter small quantities of time. The silver dragons as healers have the ability to heal injuries, and some have empathic traits.
Q: What’s the Otherworld?
A: The paranormal society featured in some of my books.
Q: When is the next dragon book going to be published?
A: I intend to have one dragon book out per year, but sometimes public demand is so great my publisher allows two published each year. But generally speaking, there will only be one a year.
Q: I’m having a hard time visualizing Gabriel. What does he look like?
A: There’s an actor named Jason Momoa who went a long way to being the inspiration for Gabriel. You can see his picture here.
Q: Do all wyverns have the eye color of their sept?
A: Yes, with the exception of the red dragon wyvern (who has brown eyes with red highlights).
Q: I want to know more about the dragons. How many septs are there? What are their powers? Elements?
A: There are four dragon septs: the green dragons (thieves; element is water) whose wyvern is Drake Vireo, the blue dragons (trackers; element is air) whose wyvern is Fiat Blu, the red dragons (warriors; element is fire) whose wyvern is Chuan Ren, and the silver dragons (healers; element is earth) whose wyvern is Gabriel Tauhau. More information about the dragons can be found on dragonsepts.com.
Q: Are the Dark Ones from your vampire romances going to make an appearance in these books?
A: No. The two series are very different, and I don’t want to cross them. There will not be any Dark Ones in the Aisling Grey books, nor will there be any dragons in the vampire romances. However, other types of characters (Guardians, Diviners, etc.) may be found in both.
Q: Will you write any books based on any of the other individuals and septs seen in the Aisling Gray series?
Q: So you’re going to write books for all the other septs, as well?
A: Yes, including some septs that havenâ€™t been mentioned yet.
Q: Why is there no history on the black dragons in the dragon handbook?
A: The sept no longer technically exists, so their members are not recognized by the weyr, and thus not formally included in the dragonsepts.com site. If that situation changes, they will be accorded space on the website.
Q: What happened to the black dragons?
A: The sept was destroyed from within by the dread wyvern Baltic.
Q: Is there anything in your books that’s based on true facts or did you make up the whole dragon septs?
A: Everything in my Otherworld has its origins in my own fertile—albeit warped—imagination. I do a lot of research on various mythologies to find out how various cultures have treated subjects in which I’m interested, and often use little bits and pieces from a variety of sources. But on the whole, it all comes from my imagination.
Q: Will the black dragons appear?
A: The black dragon sept no longer exists as such. Whether or not Kostya will reform it will be dealt with in future books.
Q: If the red dragon’s element is fire, why do the other septs all breathe fire?
A: Fire is one common element in all dragons, whether or not it’s their element. It can be assumed, however, that the red dragons can do more with their fire than the other septs.
Q: Why are all of the wyverns born on January 1st?
A: It’s a bit like thoroughbred horses all being assigned the date regardless of what day they were actually born. Whether or not they were actually born on that day (and most are), that is the date which is given as their birthday.
Young Adult FAQ
Q: Will you write more Ben and Fran books?
A: Yes, but as adult books, not the same Young Adult books as GOT FANGS and CIRCUS OF THE DARNED. Ben and Fran are going to be a part of a new series that will involve them and a new narrator, possibly someone related to Fran, who is involved in a hitherto unseen aspect of the Otherworld. This will be a new paranormal series that will have some vampires in it, although it wonâ€™t be a straight Dark Ones novel.
Q: So, wait â€“ Ben and Fran will be adults in the new books?
A: Yes, adults, complete with adult issues, complexities, and relationships. They will have the same sensuality level of my other adult paranormal romances, so they will not be suitable for younger readers.
Q: How many teen book series are there?
A: Right now there are two series, and a stand-alone (a book that’s not connected with a series)—Emily’s series, the Goth series, which debuted with GOT FANGS in January 2005, and EYELINER OF THE GODS (the stand-alone).
Q: I want to be a writer and I have a great story idea. Will you read my story?
A: I’m afraid that for legal reasons I can’t read unpublished works from anyone.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to be a writer?
A: Keep writing even when it stops being fun. Writing may look like a breeze, but it’s a lot of hard work. However, the more you write, the easier it gets, so it’s important not to give up and keep writing.
Q: Will you autograph my book for me?
A: I will, although that involves sending me your book and postage for its return (check the bio page for the mailing address). If you’d just like a signed bookplate that you can stick into your book, I will be happy to send that instead.
Q: If I write you an e-mail, will you answer it?
A: I answer all the e-mails I get from readers, although sometimes it takes me a few months to get to them. You can e-mail me at ka…@katiemacalister.com.
Q: Are you going to write more Karma Marx books?
A: Yes. I intend to have one out per year, although that schedule is subject to the whims of my publisher.
Q: Is Sergei gone for good?
A: Karma will not be happy to let his fate remain undiscovered. I’m sure if she can possibly bring him back, she will.