Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
Hello, everyone, and thanks so much for having me here, Melliane. I’m Suzanne McLeod, a UK author who writes the Spellcrackers.com urban fantasy series set in London and featuring Genny Taylor, a sidhe fae. Genny’s stories are full of magic, mayhem and murder – liberally spiced with hot guys, kick-ass chicks and super-cool supes!
How many books do you intend to write for this series?
The Shifting Price of Prey #4 comes out August 30 (which isn’t long! *excitedly bites knuckles*, and I’m writing #5 just now then I’ll be on to #6 – which is the last book I’m currently contracted to write. After that, well I have plans! I could tell you about but then I’d have to kill you! *evil cackle*
Was it difficult to write the first book? How long did it take? Did it become easier with the following books?
It was difficult as it was the first book I’d ever written so I was learning all the time – still am – and it took me around two years from when I first came up with the idea of Genny. Writing the following books was, and is easier, in that I now know my characters and their world a lot more, but I’m always trying to improve and make the books better, which makes writing them harder. :- )
How do you find your titles? Did you imagine them all when you started the series or do you brainstorm each time?
The title of book #1 was Spellcrackers.com but when my publishers bought it, and the next two, they wanted to have that as the series title. So I had a massive brainstorming session with a couple of writer friends and we came up with about six different sets of titles. I gave them to my publishers and they chose the ones they liked best. The titles for books 4, 5 & 6 came into being after another brainstorm once I’d worked out where exactly Genny’s story was going next. 🙂
How did you end up writing Urban Fantasy books? Is there any other genre that appeal to you?
I write urban fantasy because that’s what I love reading the most, and I think you should always write what you love. As for any other genres that might appeal – maybe something dystopian, or steampunk’ish, or science fiction.
Does the inspiration for the characters come from people you know?
Not usually. Unless it’s by special request. There are three characters in The Shifting Price of Prey who are tuckerisations: my fab publicist and his partner, and a wonderful reader who won an auction to be a baddie in the book. Though, to be honest, it’s only their names that I’ve used, not their personalities. My usual character inspiration comes from finding out what makes my characters tick by imagining their backstory and life, either before they arrive on the page, or after. It’s what makes writing characters fun for me. 🙂
Is there a character more difficult than the others to write?
Hah, yes! Malik and Finn have both been extremely difficult in the past! It’s not always been easy knowing what they really want and then getting only so much as the current story needs of that on the page, especially as the reader only sees them through Genny’s eyes. 😀
If you had to choose between Malik and Finn, who would it be?
Lol! I’m their creator – I get to have both! *g*
Was it difficult to have so many creatures in the same book?
Not really. Part of the two years it took to write the first book was working out the history of Genny’s world, and where all the different creatures fit in to that history, and what sort of interactions they all have between each other. Which is why the vamps only became celebrities once the goblins agreed to work with them; humans trust the goblins to make sure the vamps stick to the ‘vamp licensing laws’ and keep them safe. Of course, the vamps know how to get round the laws, if they want too. *g*
Who is your favorite character in the series?
I don’t have an overall favourite but I always love the ‘gift’ characters. They’re the ones who appear from nowhere (a.k.a my subconscious) and they’re always fun to write. Ricou, a naiad, and Sylvia, a dryad, who are now friends of Genny’s, started out as ‘gift’ characters. And like them, ‘gift’ characters often insist on getting bigger parts as the stories move forward. 🙂
What is your favorite book in the series?
The Cold Kiss of Death for three reasons: it has my favourite scene (the one where Genny is running away from some baddies in Southwark, which is a fun scene but also sums up the whole theme of the book); it was the quickest to write (so far); and Mr Mac and I spent a fabulous few days in London doing a lot of the research, so it brings back some fantastic memories. (Of course, we didn’t have to deal with ghosts stalking us, or being on the run from the police, or evading baddies like Genny does). *g*
Have you already other plans for future series? Or is it top secret?
I do have plans! And like I said before, I could tell you but . . . yes, they’re still top secret 🙂
Can you tell us a little something about the fourth book?
Well, with the events at the end of book 3, Genny believed that she could get on with her life without worrying about the fae, or anybody else. But when Tavish asks for her help with a problem, which a mysterious vamp called the Emperor has to answer to, if Genny can find him, she turns to Malik for help. Only she discovers Malik is wrestling with his own demons . . . and that he might need Genny’s help more than she needs his!
Did you need to do a lot of researches for your books?
I tend to do research as it’s needed, either at the plotting stage, or when I’m writing. A good bit of the research is visiting London and the places where the books are set so that I can get the descriptions right. I also find visiting the places can spark new ideas, which is why Covent Garden is witch central and home to the Witches’ Market, and why Spellcrackers has their office there; that idea came from one of my early research trips. Other times I know I want to write about say, oh, eels (there is an eel ‘character’ in book 3, and in book 4, too! *teases*) so I’ll research the internet and books until I feel I have enough information for what I’m writing about.
Do you have a favorite author? Or a favorite book?
I have a ton of favourite authors, way too many to mention here, though I will pick on two – Jaye Wells and Ann Aguirre. Not only do I love all their books but I’ve been privileged to read their works in progress (and so get lots of sneaky early looks! Yes, I’ve read Ann’s Outpost and Endgame! And the start of Jaye’s new series! *makes everyone jealous* ;p). I’ve also been very privileged that Jaye and Ann have given me input on my books. Oh, and if you’re a fan of Jaye’s awesome Sabina Kane series then look out for the Giguhl easter eggs in The Shifting Price of Prey. *g*
Where is your favorite place to write?
Somewhere quiet with no interruptions and plenty of cups of tea – which usually, but not always, means home. 🙂
Have you ever been in France?
I have! Mr Mac and I LOVE it and have spent many holidays there. We’ve been to a few places in Brittany, around the Loire Valley and quite a few trips to Paris, which is my favourite city after London. :-). And now I want to visit Paris again!
Thanks again for having me, Melliane, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading!