Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Amelia Faulkner – Amelia Faulkner was born in Thame, Oxfordshire, and sprouted upward in short order. The ground around Thame is reasonably mucky, especially in the winter, and she can’t be blamed for wanting to get away from it.
“Please provide author photo:” No such thing exists. Please enjoy this picture of my dog:
Thanks so much, Amelia, for joining me!
Amelia is giving away a copy of the Jack of Thorns ebook with this post – comment below for a chance to win.
J. Scott Coatsworth: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Amelia Faulkner: A writer. Funny how things turn out!
JSC: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
AF: For as long as I remember. I used to torment my parents with stories I’d bashed out on the typewriter when I was around five or so. Of course, at that age, a “story” was an entire paragraph, and I was very proud of it.
JSC: If I were a Hollywood producer about to put your book on the big screen, who would you want me to cast as the leads? Why? And can we have pictures to drool over?
AF: I’ve had these images of Laurence and Quentin in my head for years now, but alas those images weren’t actors, they were models. In my head, Laurence looks like Max Motta, and Quentin looks like Sean O’Pry. If only I’d picked actors instead, I could have been in with a chance!
Still, here are the pictures:
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
AF: M/M Urban Fantasy with emotionally complex characters intermingled with high octane action!
JSC: Were you a voracious reader as a child?
AF: Yes. I’d pick up whatever books my dad had got from the library that week and have to finish them before he took them back if I wanted to finish them at all. As a consequence, I was reading books like Dune and The Stainless Steel Rat at around the age of eight. I had to sit with a dictionary, too, because there was no interrupting once he’d disappeared into a book – you could talk to him and he wouldn’t notice – so if I needed help with a word I had to look it up myself.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
AF: My first was Wolf in Geek’s Clothing, which is a novella about a city-dwelling werewolf who knows nothing about his heritage. He meets up with a feral werewolf, who discovers what he is, and they live happily ever after. It’s set in the same universe as all my books, so these werewolves function the same way as Randall from Tooth & Claw.
JSC: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
AF: I made Ed Davies drink salty tea.
I mean, made is a strong word. He volunteered, and don’t let him tell you any differently.
For a chain of events in Page of Tricks I required a drug which had a specific action, a particular timeframe, and an exact method of dosing the target. After some research I settled on GHB, but there’s the caveat that GHB has a slight salt taste to it, and while this can go unnoticed in alcoholic drinks, the scene I was about to write required tea.
The question arose: just how much saltiness can be tolerated in a cup of tea? And as we were musing this very question, Ed decided to straight up go make himself a cup of salty tea. We figured out how much salt would replicate various doses of GHB and he made a variety of cups to each measure.
Our answer was that salt in tea stands out every bit as much as you might think, no matter how little the dose.
Thankfully in the end I ran the question past Kelly, who is a pharmacist, and she came up with a drug that did exactly what I wanted without making tea taste like salt! Thanks, Kelly!
Editor: Poor Ed. He seemed like such a sweet guy when we met last year at GRL. I bet you could get him to do just about anything.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AF: I sit and I think. If it’s a new story or series, I work out what kind of people I want to write about, and if it’s an established series I figure out what kind of story I want to tell next within that series. Then I start outlining.
Sometimes I finish the outline, sometimes I get ten chapters in then just start writing the book. Either way I know where I’m going.
Chapter by chapter I pass it over to my beta readers so that they can pick up anything I’m going awry on before I go too far off-piste, and once they’re happy it goes to the editor.
JSC: What fictional speculative fiction character would you like to spend an evening with, and why?
AF: It’d have to be Kvothe, from Patrick Rothfuss’ superlative Kingkiller Chronicles. Regardless of whether you believe what Kvothe is saying even half the time, his mastery as a storyteller would make for an excellent evening of chit-chat. Just so long as he doesn’t expect me to write it all down!
JSC: Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
AF: Both. Can I choose both?
I’d love to visit the past to find the knowledge we’ve lost. I’d love to know who the Picts were and what they believe in, for example. I’d love to know how Stonehenge was built, or who created the vast stone heads on Easter Island and how they did it. I think it’d be amazing to go back and find out how and why the Nasca lines were made.
But on the other hand I’d like to visit the future – not that there is any such singular thing. I’d like to know we as a species survive the 21st Century and grow better for it. The world has stepped backward into a pit of hate lately, and I think it would be reassuring to see futures in which humanity views this time as the last great bastion of bigotry and hatred. I’d like to know that we get better, even if I’m not around long enough to see it.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
AF: Now that my arm is (kind of) working again, I’m working on book 5 in the Tooth & Claw series: Mirror Flower, Water Moon. It should be available in April 2018.
And now for Amelia’s new book: Jack of Thorns [Audio]:
Florist. Psychic. Addict.
Laurence Riley coasts by on good looks and natural charm, but underneath lies a dark chasm that neither heroin nor lovers can fill. Sobriety is a pipe dream which his stalker ex-boyfriend is pushing him away from. Luckily, Laurence has powers most can only dream of. If only he could control them.
Aristocrat. Psychic. Survivor.
Quentin d’Arcy is the product of centuries of wealth, privilege, and breeding, and is on the run from all three. A chance encounter with an arresting young florist with a winning smile could make him stop. Laurence is kind, warm, and oddly intriguing, but Quentin’s wild telekinesis and his fear of sex make dating a dangerous game.
When opposites attract, they collide.
Desperate to fix his rotting life, Laurence prays for aid and accidentally summons a fertility god who prefers to be called Jack. Jack is willing to help out for a price, and it’s one Laurence just can’t pay: he must keep Jack fed with regular offerings of sex, and the florist has fallen for the one man in San Diego who doesn’t want any.
If they’re to survive Jack’s wrath, Laurence and Quentin must master their blossoming feelings and gifts, but even then, the cost of Laurence’s mistake could well overwhelm them both. How exactly are mere mortals supposed to defeat a god?
Jack of Thorns is the first book in the Inheritance series and contains mature themes and events which may be distressing to some listeners. It has a low heat rating and an HFN ending.
Amelia Faulkner was born in Thame, Oxfordshire, and sprouted upward in short order. The ground around Thame is reasonably mucky, especially in the winter, and she can’t be blamed for wanting to get away from it.
Raised on a steady diet of Star Trek and Doctor Who, Amelia stood no chance in not becoming a grade-A geek. She has sat on the board of the British Fantasy Society, contributed fiction and fluff to various published roleplaying games, and written non-fiction for SciFiNow and SFX Magazines. For every positive there is an equal and opposite negative, and Amelia is forced to admit that she loves Wild Wild West.
In her spare time she enjoys travel, photography, walking her Corgi, and trying to convince her friends to replay the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game with all the Goblins decks.
Visit her website at http://ameliafaulkner.com!