Today, I have Robin Roseau over for an interview. Defore we delve into the world Lara and Michaela, I just want to remind you that the Authors Care blog hop for Suicide Prevention Week is still going on until the 14th. Please take a moment to check it out.
Robin's Wednesday Women come with a giveaway of their own: You can enter by leaving a comment on this post until next Tuesday, 8 PM for the chance to win an ebook (The title is winner's choice!).
Tell us about the inspiration behind the Madison Wolves series. How did you come up with the concept of the werewolf and were-fox?
I had recently read Radclyffe's wolf series and was still remembering Patricia Briggs' series (where the main character is a coyote shifter). They were in my head.
At the same time, I had a glimmer of a scene -- just a glimmer. The scene itself didn't actually make it into Fox Run, but it became the start of a series of in-my-head conversations. In the scene, there were two women, one much physically bigger and stronger than the other, but the smaller one quite scrappy. And in the scene the bigger woman is being physically heavy-handed. I didn't know why. It was only a glimmer.
Those all went around and around a few times, and then I lost the taller woman (although awakened in the morning by wolves on her doorstep. Lara, as she eventually became, didn't yet exist, and I personally didn't realize she was there until Michaela ran into her legs. I didn't even know who she was until Michaela identified her as the alpha of the Madison wolves.
Everything else followed from there.
The psychology behind the characters is intriguing: The independent fox dealing with a character that’s her total opposite, a wolf who’s running with a pack, in an established hierarchy. How does this reflect in the human side of their lives?
Lara is not so opposite. They are both strong-willed and accustomed to getting their own way. How they are different is the way they have traditionally gone about it.
To both Michaela and Lara, there isn't much separation between their human and furry sides.
But you're right: Lara is accustomed to being in a pack, and Michaela is accustomed to being all alone, with no one to count on but also no one to whom she must answer. This leads to continual conflict, as the wolves all feel Michaela should toe the line while Michaela refuses to acknowledge a line even exists.
This leads to difficulties for Lara, and a great deal of emotional stress for Michaela, which comes to a peak in Fox Dish. Whether this issue is resolved in future books, well, I guess we'll see.
The recently released book in the series, Fox Mate, seems to have a darker tone than the others that surprised some readers. Did you always plan to go there, or did that development happen while writing the others?
No, I hadn't planned to go there at all. When I sat down to write Fox Mate, what I really sat down to write was Fox Afield. I was going to go from the proposal at the end of Fox Play all the way to the honeymoon in about a single paragraph. Instead, one of my fans, who has since become a friend, told me I was about to cheat her: she'd wanted the ceremony. Well, she really wanted a bachelorette party! And, well, she got one, but it wasn't what anyone expected.
Michaela's PTSD came about over the course of the stories, as well. It wasn't an attribute I assigned to her when I sat down to write, but she told me about it about the same way she told the rest of you.
My characters rarely do what I tell them to do, and they frequently turn out to be far more complicated than I would have guessed when they began to whisper their stories to me.
Are you a fan of the paranormal? Can we expect more in this vein from you in the future?
I have read my share of it. I don't know if I'd say I was a fan. I am a fan of a well-told story with engaging characters. I love Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
But I seem to be writing a lot of paranormal, starting with Stark's Dell and then the Fox stories and Familiar. I suspect that will continue; Elisabeth hasn't told us her story yet, and I believe Scarlett and Angel will be having adventures. Also, I have the beginning of a really good Succubus novel if I can ever move forward with it.
Right now, I am trying to get Fox Dish out for all of you, but Privateer has monopolized my attention. I love this story; it is very different from what I have done before, but in some ways similar to Familiar. Those who hated Familiar will probably have difficulties with Privateer ,as well. But I love the story, and I hope many of you will, also.
Who would play Michaela and Lara in the movie/TV show?
I love this question, but to be fair, I don't have a clue. I love Ksenia Solo from Lost Girl. She would be a kick ass Michaela. I would love to get Charlize Theron involved, and Jodie Foster would rock as Vivian. I'm not sure where we'd find Lara and Elisabeth.
How many installments did you plan for the Madison Wolves series?
Plan? You're kidding, right?
Do you often work with music, and if yes, which has worked for the series?
I both work and write with headphones and music. It was a habit I picked up years and years ago in order to help drown out the office sounds around me. I don't know what it is; I can listen to music and it doesn't (usually) distract me, but the sounds of people moving around me or having conversations is a significant distraction. Music should be, too. You would think I would do best with the sounds of a rain storm or something. (I do need to acquire some of those, too.)
Sometimes the music I am playing affects what I am writing. Sometimes the music tells me, "You should use that as an inspiration for a story". Other than a few shorts in college, I never have let that get too carried away.
I listen to an eclectic list of music. As I work on these questions, The Doobie Brothers are singing to me. I am heavily invested in the Lilith Faire women. I have music stretching back into the 60s and 70s, but not a lot of new music. I show my age.
What is your current project/release about?
I've got two big things going on. I'm trying to get Fox Dish out the door. It will wrap up the story arc begun in Fox Revenge. When I originally wrote Fox Revenge, it ended differently--no cliffhanger. But I just wasn't satisfied, not at all. So instead y'all got a different ending. That is taken up in Fox Dish: Michaela has a rocky ride and going after the Iowa wolves becomes the least of her concerns. It is a difficult book for me to work on, so it's not going out the door as quickly as I would like. It is written and fairly polished, but I need to make it through one more time before asking my beta readers to take a look.
My other big new project is Privateer. I don't have a blurb to share with you yet; I am very poor at writing blurbs, and I don't want to share the hokey one I wrote. This story is a fantasy novel (swords and magic), set almost entirely on a privateer warship. It begins with the kidnapping of the main character, who is held for ransom. You can imagine how she feels about that.
I am excited about this: the characters are deeply intriguing for me, complicated and flawed, and it is these flaws that give them character. I envision several novels set in this universe over the next several months.
Can you tell us about the trip you recently took to Glacier National Park? Was it inspiring for your writing?
Glacier was great. It would have been even better if I had managed to go the week previously or waited until September. I need to go back and spend more time.
GNP itself wasn't the source of inspiration for me, but the drive was. It's a long drive, as you can imagine; North Dakota and Montana are big states! I envisioned Familiar during the drive, having recently read a Patricia Briggs, involving a witch who was enslaving some of the wolves. This witch was doing evil things, very evil, but to her, she was only looking to be safe and loved, and she thought this was the only way she could do it. Well, take that and mix it with a long enough drive, and out the other end we had Familiar.
I also wrote In Custody, which right now is a 25,000 word novella in dire need of editing. I'm not sure when I'll push it out the door.
Thanks for the interview! Do you have a message for your readers?
Thank you for having me! It's been fun. I love these questions.
To the readers, said simply: thank you. Thank you for supporting my writing addiction. If you weren't buying my books, I couldn't justify the time I spend absorbed in them. Thank you for giving the dream of being a full time writer real merit. And thank you for giving life to my stories; until they are read, they are just words in a file.
Where can we find you on the social networks?
I have a new blog on my website (robin-roseau.com) and you’ll find me on facebook – both links are above. I don’t tweet. Frankly, I can’t confine my thoughts to 140 characters.
Thank you, Robin, for bringing your ladies!
Have a great week, everyone! I hope to see you here on Sunday for my own cover reveal. There'll be prizes!