Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say . . .
As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself—who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans—nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around . . .
To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something—though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex—but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life . . . and her soul.
- How long does it usually take you to write a novel?
The act of sitting down and pounding out the words for the first draft doesn't take long, maybe seven or eight weeks when I'm pressed. But before I ever start writing, I spend a lot of time plotting and working on the characters, and I do very heavy revisions after the first draft is finished. All in all, it probably takes me six to seven months before I'm happy with a book. Then I send it to my editor and revise more based on her suggestions.
- Some authors don't read the same genre they write. Do you?
Definitely! I'm a huge fan of the genre. I'm a reader before a writer, and my goal is to write books I'd want to read. Some of my favorite urban fantasy writers include Chloe Neill, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, and Karen Chance (and that's just the short list, I could go on. There is a ton of talent writing in this genre.)
- Is it difficult to write 2 different series?
I was a little worried when I first decided to write two series in the same genre, but thus far, I haven't had any issues with confusing the worlds or the character's voices. Kita (from the Novels of Haven) and Alex (from the Alex Craft novels) are very different and live in wildly different worlds, so thus far things have worked out. Juggling my time has been my biggest difficulty.
- What are you working on right now?
Presently I'm in different stages with a book in both series. Like I said, it's a juggling act.
- What can you tell us about Alex, the lead character of your book?
Alex is a struggling business owner--her business just happens to be speaking with the dead. She raises shades--the memories of the dead given form by magic--talks to ghosts, and even flirts with Death himself. She's a private investigator who uses her abilities for the benefit of private clients and to help the police with murder cases. She's not out to save the world, she’s just trying to carve out a living so she can pay her rent and feed her dog. Like most people, if she can do some good, she will make the effort, but she's not about to go chasing bad guys unless she's pushed, hard. She's a fun character to write because while she lives in a magical world and experiences extraordinary circumstances, she still has very normal concerns like family and finances.
- What kind of supernatural beings can we expect in Grave Witch?
Witches are a given, I guess, as are ghosts and shades. One of the major characters is a grim reaper, so you'll see some soul collecting. Also, the world is one in which a magical awakening occurred after the fae "came out of the mushroom ring" so you can expect an appearance from several beings from folklore.
- Can you tell us a little about the world in which Grave Witch is set in?
As I mentioned, the fae revealed their existence to the world and a magical awakening occurred prior to the opening of the book. (About 70 years before the opening, to be more exact.) The world Alex lives in is inundated with magic. Cosmetic and convenience charms are extremely common. Hairline retreating? Have a bad case of acne? Want to repel dust bunnies from the corners of your room? There are charms for that. Magic is well acknowledged, but it is not always well accepted.
- I think this is the first time I've heard of Death as a character. What made you write about him?
Death is one of those characters I can’t imagine the series without, and he’s been around since very early on in my planning stage. With Alex having the ability to speak to the dead, it made sense that she'd encounter some sort of grim reaper type character. Once I figured out her and Death's first meeting (which I distilled down into the first line of the book) their relationship just sort of took off. By the time I got to the stage of actually writing the book, Alex and Death had amazing chemistry on the page and I couldn't imagine writing him any other way.
- Thanks so much for being here today and good luck with Grave Witch!
Thanks so much for having me, Arantza!
You can learn more about the author on her website.