While I was at RomCon, I was super lucky enough to sit down with the amazing Gena Showalter and talk to her about all of her books. Yeah, even though the new Lords of the Underworld, The Darkest Craving, was just released, I was in so much fangirl heaven that I couldn’t just talk about one series. I had to ask about ALL of them!
Having endured weeks of torture in the bowels of hell, Kane wants nothing to do with his beautiful rescuer, Josephina Aisling. The half-Fae female threatens to awaken the demon of Disaster inside him—a beast he’s determined to kill, no matter the price.
Josephina is hunted by a brutal enemy—her royal family—and Kane is her only source of protection. He’s also the only male to ever set her aflame, and even he succumbs to the heat. But as they navigate the treacherous world of the Fae, they are forced to make a choice: live apart…or die together.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away one ebook from Gena Showalter’s back list, winner’s choice.
Literary Escapism: To start off with the Alien Huntress series; I’ve never been a fan of aliens (like, at all). Yet, I love love love your Alien Huntress series. How did you create likeable aliens?
Gena Showalter: Well, to explain the creation of the aliens in the Alien Huntress series, I have to first mention The Stone Prince and The Pleasure Slave — my first two published books (which are not part of AH). When I wrote them, I downplayed the otherworld aspects because I thought that type of story wasn’t popular, wouldn’t be popular, and no one would want to read it. But I loved it, so I couldn’t not write it (if that makes any sense.) I sent The Pleasure Slave to Deidre Knight, who wasn’t my agent at the time, and she read it and said something like, “Is the hero an alien…is the hero not an alien…I can’t decide, but I know I really wanted him to be!” I realized then that other people might just love sexy aliens as much as I did, and I had to stop writing what I thought people would like and write what I loved.
So, when I sat down to pen Awaken Me Darkly, I knew the hero was from another planet and living on earth. I gave him the same qualities I would have given any other (non-alien) hero. A fierce personality. Protectiveness. Bad attitude (what?), a smart mouth, smoldering sex appeal, courage, skills needed to kick major butt. And once he saw the heroine, obsession. No other woman could ever compare. Then, I gave him powers beyond imagining. And because he was from a planet of my own creation, I had room to play. A lot of room.
LE: Why did the Alien Huntress series change from first person point of view to third with Savor Me Slowly?
GS: The first two books were more about the world, the action, the heroines, and what these strong, butt-kicking women were doing case-wise. But…in the world of fiction, romance was—and is—my true love. To change the focus of the entire series, I had to ensure there was some type of dividing line. The switch from first person to third provided that line.
LE: When is Dallas’s book coming? I’ve been waiting for years!
GS: Dallas shows up in Black and Blue and he made me laugh so hard. I loved writing his scenes. I really do want to tell his story/give him a happily ever after. And I will. Whatever publishing route I have to take. I have plans. His book simply isn’t in the schedule officially yet.
And just as a hint, I don’t think he’s going to end up with the woman everyone assumes.
LE: Apart from Dallas, will there be any other Alien Huntress books?
GS: I think Dallas will be the last Alien Huntress. There is one more Otherworld Assassin book I want to tell and that’s John. (It isn’t officially in the schedule either). With those two books, I think I could tie every loose thread in both series.
LE: Is it easy for you to switch between the genres?
GS: Yes. And maybe that’s because every book I write is, at heart, a romance. Paranormal, young adult, contemporary. No matter the genre, I tend to hone in on the relationships.
LE: You mentioned contemporaries, why haven’t you written any in a long time?
GS: When the Lords of the Underworld first released, readers embraced them whole-heartedly. It was such a fantastic surprise, but also what was asked for most. The contemporaries were set aside. But…you can expect more contemporaries from me.
GS: I want to say more, but I can’t. Hopefully soon!
LE: Not even off air? *grinning*
GS: ~whispers a few juicy tidbits~
LE: Jumping to the Lords, how did you come up with that idea?
GS: It started with the grain of an idea. An immortal warrior is killed every night only to awaken the next morning knowing he has to die again. After that, it was just a matter of sitting down and figuring out why he’s killed and how he recovers. I began to put the pieces together. I knew death would have to be involved. And since an immortal is being murdered, I figured he would have to be stabbed. Pain would be involved. Death, Pain… evil things. And evil things were in Pandora’s box. I read stories about Pandora’s box, and more pieces fell into place. It’s all a game of connect the dots.
LE: Do you know where the series is headed?
GS: No. To be honest, I still don’t know where the box is. It’s as much a mystery to me as it is to the readers. We’ll find out together! But I can tell you this: Torin is next in line!
GS: The title is The Darkest Touch. I’m really excited. You can see the first threads of his story in The Darkest Craving. But…maybe I should warn you. It’s not what you think. Although, with in the LotU world, it never is, is it?
LE: How many other Lords books will there be?
GS: Right now, I have two more under contract. Torin and…William, maybe.
LE: Yes! William needs his happily ever after!
GS: I agree. After him, I could do Baden…or Galen…or Red, Green, Black. Or Neeka. Or Tayliah. So many options. In my mind, Cameo is the end. When I’ve told her story, it’s time to walk away.
LE: Who is your favorite character?
GS: William. Hands down. No question. I love the naughty things that come out of his mouth. I love the way he tortures his enemies. I love that he (literally) stabs his friends and thinks it’s hilarious. I love that he sleeps with everything that breathes and some things that don’t. I love that he’s so secretive. I love that he will mislead but never lie. It’s his one point of honor. He’s a total he-slut and he owns it, he’s proud of it. He doesn’t think he’ll ever change. I’m so looking forward to him being dropped to his knees by a woman.
LE: Yay! What about your favorite heroine?
GS: That’s a little tougher. I prefer the snarkier heroines, like Ava and Noelle. Kaia and Anya. Josephina/Tink. Ali from Through the Zombie Glass. Evie from the upcoming Black and Blue. Oh, man, does Evie have a mouth on her! Those ladies were a blast to write. Characters like Vika from Last Kiss Goodnight are tougher for me. They are soft and vulnerable, which isn’t always my natural inclination to write. But I still adore them.
LE: How about your favorite couple?
GS: It’s usually who I’m working on at the time because I’m so immersed in their story. So right now, it’s probably Blue and Evie from Black and Blue. And I’m so in love with this couple. In fact, every time I work on the book, I have a really hard time moving on to another project when I finish. Forgetting them or pushing them to the back of my mind to concentrate on someone else has been really difficult. I just love their banter. It’s hate at first sight and they let each other know it. But it’s such a fun hate smoldering with sexual tension.
LE: What have you and your editor disagreed over?
GS: Not a lot, and rarely over anything big. And I’ve had several different editors. But there was one instance… I turned in The Darkest Kiss, and my (amazing) editor at the time said she wasn’t a fan of Anya. She wanted the goddess to be sophisticated. I disagreed. We spent a couple months trying to convince each other we were right. Ultimately, though, we went with the Anya I originally wrote. To me, she was chaos and that had to come across in every aspect of her life.
And I have to add that when we do have disagreements, it’s never anything heated, it’s never anything sharp. It’s just a this-is-what-I-feel kind of thing. A lot of times, my editor is right. Most of the time, actually. We’ll compromise or find a balance and go from there.
LE: Have any of your characters ever made you mad?
GS: Paris infuriated me. I wanted to beat the crap out of him! I didn’t want him with Sienna. And, actually, when I sat down to write the first 100 pages of his story, Sienna wasn’t the heroine. But of course, I couldn’t go further. I met with major writer’s block, something I’ve never experienced before. I’ve always found a way out of every corner I wrote myself into. Especially with the paranormals. But this time, I could not go further. So, I ditched those pages and tried again. And I struggled all over again. At the third attempt, I was finally, like, fine, whatever, you suck, Paris. You can have Sienna! The story flowed. (But I still would love to rewrite it with some other heroine and compare the two stories. Who knows, maybe I will one day.)
LE: Don’t hate me, but I haven’t read their story yet. But I just can’t see him with anyone else. He’s been so obsessed with her through all the books.
GS: I think that’s why I was so blocked with him, because I couldn’t get him to focus on anyone else. Originally, I tried to write him with Viola. (That was the first set of pages to be trashed.) Now, I wouldn’t put him with Viola either, but I’d put him with someone new.
LE: How were Lysander and Bianka able to get a happily ever after without Lysander becoming a fallen angel?
GS: He never broke a heavenly law. She was his temptation, and she could definitely lead him to break one, but he never went that far.
LE: Even though the Greek and the Titans are the gods in that world, why did you bring in the One True Deity?
GS: Well, you have the Lords and they are possessed by demons and they serve and look up to these Greek and Titan gods. Then, you have the angels—the Sent Ones–who were raised a different place, in a different way. They would not serve the same people. Their likes and dislikes are different. Their tastes are different. Their…everything is different. I had to give them a new hierarchy, a new belief system, something that worked for them. And, to be honest, it was nice to pull a bit from my own spiritual /Christian journey.
LE: What inspired the spiritual zombies in Alice in Zombieland?
GS: When I first wrote it, they were “real” zombies. You had to cut off their heads to kill them. But only certain people could see them and I couldn’t work out how that was possible. So, I had to come up with a reason why only certain people could see them. The solution seemed easy: zombies are invisible to the ungifted eye. Then I had to figure out why were they invisible. The solution to that? They are evil spirits. It was another game of connect the dots.
LE: Was it therapeutic for you?
GS: A little, yeah. I wrote the first draft before I got sick. Then I spent two months in bed, in terrible pain, and didn’t have any work to do at the time, which was a miracle all its own because I’ve never had two months without something coming in. Once I was on the mend, copyedits came in. By that point, I was a different person—the gal who crawled into that sick bed wasn’t the one that jumped out of it—and the new spin to the story just hit me.
Meet Gena Showalter!
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of the White Rabbit Chronicles, Otherworld Assassins, Angels of the Dark, and Lords of the Underworld series. She has written over forty novels and novellas. Her books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.
Lords of the Underworld
- The Darkest Fire
- The Darkest Night
- The Darkest Kiss
- The Darkest Pleasure
- The Darkest Whisper
- The Darkest Passion
- The Darkest Lie
- The Darkest Secret
- The Darkest Surrender
- The Darkest Seduction
- The Darkest Craving
Angels of the Dark
White Rabbit Chronicles
Thank you Gena for taking the time to talk with Literary Escapism!
I am giving away one ebook from Gena Showalter’s back list, winner’s choice. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: Who is your favorite Showalter couple? If you’re new to Showalter’s works, which series would you want to start with? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until September 15th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from this snazzy plug-in that Jackie has.