A big welcome to A. J. Larrieu who is here to telling us about Interview with A. J. Larrieu and celebrating the release of Twisted Miracles, The Shadowminds #1 (published on April 7, 2014 by Carina Press). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.
Interview with A. J. Larrieu
A. J. Larrieu
A. J.: First, I want to say thanks for having me on All Things Urban Fantasy today! It’s great to spend release day with you. 🙂
ATUF: I almost have to ask about the bad poetry mentioned in your Goodreads profile….
I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned my bad poetry phase in that bio! 😉 I don’t know—doesn’t everyone go through a period of intense, self-pitying angst? Mine hit in my early twenties. I fell in love with mildly unsuitable guys and wrote a bunch of *deeply* emotional poems about my unique and terrible pain. I even did slams for a while. I was awful—really. No one should be subjected to reading (or hearing) any of it. But I will say this—writing and studying poetry taught me a lot about language.
According to your bio, you work as a biochemist for your day job and write at night – is it hard sometimes, balancing left- and right-brain stuff?
It’s actually not a big switch for me, brain-wise. In my day job, I’m often studying complex biological systems, and they can be very mysterious. We only understand fragments of how things work at the molecular level, and part of my job is expanding that understanding in a very small way. I start out with this little piece of information: molecule X interacts with molecule Y. And I have to dive in and figure out how, and why, and what other molecules in the body are involved in this interaction? It ends up being very much like discovering a story. Every book I write begins with a fragment of a scene, a constricted window into a little piece of my heroine’s life. As I write, I’m learning more about my characters and their world and what’s going to happen to them. They’re both processes of discovery, just with a different set of tools and questions.
Speaking of balance – how do you juggle writing with a small child?
Oh, I don’t have anything resembling balance. It sounds lovely. Maybe one day.
What about the paranormal/urban fantasy genre drew you, since your blog bio states that you always thought you’d write a sweeping southern drama?
Paranormal fiction chose me, really. It kind of happened to me. None of my attempts at sweeping Southern dramas were ever any good, but mostly, they never caught fire for me. Paranormal fiction did, so I stopped fighting it.
Was it hard making the transition from novella to full length novel?
It was actually a challenge to go the other way around! I wrote Twisted Miracles before I wrote my novella (Anchored). Susannah (Anchored’s heroine) cropped up while I was writing Twisted, and I found her so much fun to write, I couldn’t resist giving her a story of her own. So, while my agent was shopping Twisted, I wrote Susannah’s story and decided to self-publish it just for fun.
I have to admit, I squeaked a little when I got to see Susannah and Jason in Twisted Miracles, can I hope for more crossover as the series continues?
Eee! I’m so glad you liked them! They definitely show up again in future books. Originally, I planned to have their story end with the novella, but they were so much fun to write, and I have gotten this question so many times :), I’m also planning to give them another book all their own.
How about Sebastian and his very cool black wings?
Oh, thanks for this question! I LOVE Sebastian, and he will definitely have his own story down the line. I actually started playing around with his book while I was editing Twisted, and he wormed his way into the story. Sneaky angel.
I loved the diversity in Cass’ family, but I mostly loved that you didn’t dwell on it. Lionel and Bruce, even Shane – they were a gay couple and a black leading man, and it was only mentioned as an afterthought. A no big deal thing. No real question there, just massive kudos.
Thanks for this comment! It thought my book should have a cast that was representative of the city where it’s set, and it was important to me to portray that cast authentically. I tried to show some the prejudices and intolerance gay characters and characters of color would face in our society without implying that those are the only challenges they face, or that their race or sexual orientation is somehow the only thing that defines them.
There are a lot of romance and urban fantasy authors who I think do this better than I do. Personally, I really admire Nicki Salcedo, Holley Trent, Jeannie Lin, Delaney Diamond, Alexis Hall and Marta Acosta. I think they’re phenomenal storytellers who portray cultural diversity really well, each in a unique way.
Thanks for these awesome questions, and for letting me spend my release day on ATUF!
A.J. Larrieu grew up in small-town Louisiana, where she spent her summers working in her family’s bakery, exploring the swamps around her home and reading science fiction and fantasy novels under the covers. She attended Louisiana State University, where she majored in biochemistry and wrote bad poetry on the side. Despite going to graduate school in biology, she couldn’t kick the writing habit, and by the time she graduated, she had an addiction to writing sexy urban fantasy and paranormal romance. A.J. lives in San Francisco with her family, where she works as a biochemist by day and writes sexy supernatural stories by night. Twisted Miracles, the first book in her Shadowminds series, was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart ® competition in 2012.
Prize pack plus a ebook of TWISTED MIRACLES
Prize pack includes:
–A coffee mug “advertising” the fictional B&B where the book is set
–A lavender sachet
–A handmade bookmark made from reclaimed Louisiana old-growth cypress.
Twisted Miracles by A. J. Larrieu
Available on April 7, 2014 by Carina Press
Cass Weatherfield’s powers come with a deadly price.
Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her…and the one she left without saying goodbye.
When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina—Cass’s childhood friend—is missing, Cass vows to help, which means returning to New Orleans to use her dangerous skills in the search. But finding Mina only leads to darker questions. As Cass and Shane race to learn who is targeting shadowminds, they find themselves drawn to each other, body and soul. Just as their powerful intimacy reignites, events take a terrifying turn, and Cass realizes that to save the people she loves, she must embrace the powers that ruined her life.
Read an excerpt
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