Interview with urban fantasy author, Lori Handeland

Author of: Any Given Doomsday, The Nightcreature Novels

Favorite Candy: Peanut M & Ms

Favorite Cartoon Character: Scooby Do

Super Power Most Covets: Shape shifting

Lori Handeland, urban fantasy and paranormal romance author Q.) First can you tell us about your new release and series , Any Given Doomsday?

LH.) Any Given Doomsday begins in Milwaukee my hometown and travels to many urban cities New York, New Mexico, Detroit, Los Angeles. You see, the world is coming to an end and there are demons all over the place.

Elizabeth Phoenix discovers that the Grigori, the fallen angels of Biblical Legend mated with humans and produced a legion of supernatural creatures known as the Nephilim. They ve been here since the beginning of time, wearing human faces but beneath they are all the monsters of legend vampires, shape shifters and more.

There s a secret society that fights them and she s just been put in charge of everyone.

Q.) Your take on the fallen angels and their offspring adds a new twist to all things beastie. Which came first the idea to use the nephilim or to show a wide variety of legends and myths?

LH.) The concept for Any Given Doomsday came to me several years ago when I was researching another book and came across the legend of the Grigori.

It fascinated me. I bought a bunch of books on prophesy, Revelation, angels, demons and read them whenever I had the chance and an idea started to nag at me one of those ideas that captures an author and won t let go. So using the Nephilim came first and how came after.

Q.) For Any Given Doomsday s world, do you have a mythology built that explains where each monster comes from? Is one fallen angel responsible for starting each type of beast? When the beasts reproduce do they make more of the same or something entirely new?

LH.) The fallen angels made all sorts of monsters. One angel may have mated with several humans and produced different things. Then when these beasts spread over the globe they became the legends of every culture.

For instance, every culture has a shape shifter myth. Most have vampire myths. When the Nephilim mate with each other, or with humans they produce all sorts of strange things. Usually something similar to them, but not necessarily. It just depends. There are also a lot of creatures that have become witches over the centuries and can do just about anything.

Q.) One major character in Any Given Doomsday is a dhamphir.
Can you tell us a bit about dhamphirs? Why did you choose a dhamphir instead of a full out vampire?

LH.) A dhampir is the offspring of a human and a vampire. To me it was much more interesting to have a character tormented by the evil within him rather than being owned by it. Dhampirs are half human, half vampire–what a conflict.

Q.) What kind of research did you do on all of these creatures? Can we expect any new ones to appear in future books? Any you would particularly like to investigate more?

LH.) As always I did a lot of research into the legends of different cultures. In future installments of The Phoenix Chronicles there will be more creatures to meet as well as some off the old favorites to revisit.

Q.) You also have your Nightcreatures series. What is going on with it? Are there more books to come?

LH.) I have no more Nightcreature Novels scheduled at this time.

Q.) In your Nightcreatures series, you chose to make the werewolves the bad guys. Why?

LH.) They aren’t all bad–there are a few good guy and gal werewolves, which only adds to the tension. Who’s good, who’s bad, who knows? The majority of the shapeshifters in the Nightcreature Novels had to be bad guys to fit into the set up of the werewolf army created by Hitler and his pals and the secret society charged with finding them.

Q.) In both your Nightcreatures series and your new urban fantasy Any Given Doomsday you have shapeshifers. The main shifter in Any Given Doomsday uses an object of sorts to shift. Can you tell us more about that? How does he differ from the shifters in your Nightcreatures series?

LH.) Sawyer is a skinwalker, a Navajo shapeshifting witch. Skinwalkers use a robe made of their spirit animal to become that animal. Sawyer has the likenesses of every animal he wishes to become tattooed on his skin. For Sawyer, his skin is his robe. He’s always got it with him.

Sawyer is hard to explain. The reader never knows if he’s good or bad. I’m not sure myself.

Any Given Doomsday, urban fantasy

Q.) What if anything do your books have in common across series and even genres? How about just between the Doomsday books and the Nightcreature series?

LH.) I believe all my books are written with the same fast paced action and sarcastic humor, be they paranormal, historical or contemporary.

Q.) You have written historical, paranormals, contemporaries and won a Rita for your book The Mommy Quest a Superromance. Do you plan to write more Supers, or in any of the other subgenres? Or are you focusing totally on the paranormal for now?

LH.) I would like to write more Supers definitely, but haven’t been able to
fit one into my schedule yet.

Q.) Are you a plotter or a pantser? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?

LH.) Pantser. Character driven. I’ve tried to plot and end up so bored I
can’t write the book because I already know what happens. The fun is in the discovery.

When I begin a book I usually read several general non-fiction books on the setting and the legends I’ll be using. Then I brainstorm on a yellow legal pad, everything I can think of about the characters and
the plot. Then I start writing.

Q.) What is the smartest thing you ve done so far as advancing either your writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?

LH.) The best thing I’ve done is to keep writing through ups and downs.
Never giving up and doing my best not to get discouraged. I recently received 17 rejections on a new proposal. Been there, done that, don’t care. Moving on.

I wish I hadn’t stayed with agents or publishers who didn’t believe in me long past the time when I should have left.

Q.) Can you name three things you keep in your writing area that tell us something about you?

LH.) A photo of my husband and I at a Packer party, framed covers of every one of my published books, the dog.

Q.) Finally, do you have any appearances coming up, what books are on the schedule for the next year and is there anything else you d like to share?

LH.) No appearances at this time, but I will have a calendar on my website that will list any that come up.

I have a gorgeous new website up at lorihandeland.com There you can join The Full Moon Club, which has a monthly e-newsletter filled with moon facts, supernatural lore, recipes and more.

Any Given Doomsday, the first book in The Phoenix Chronicles will be in
the stores on November 4. You can download a free prequel short story titled “In the Beginning” by clicking on the link on my homepage.

Doomsday Can Wait-Book 2-will be released April 28, 2009

Apocalypse Happens-Book 3-should be out in late 2009

2 Responsesto “Interview with urban fantasy author, Lori Handeland”

  1. Patricia says:

    A few months ago I read Any Given Doomsday and was completely captivated. Can hardly wait for the next one.

    Thanks to you both for this very interesting interview.

  2. Jill James says:

    Great interview! Lori, I love all your books. I’ll have to go find Any Given Doomsday now, way cool sounding book.