Monday, April 26, 2010

Interview with Lara Adrian & Giveaway of KISS OF MIDNIGHT

I had the pleasure of being able to interview author Lara Adrian. She is super busy writing Taken by Midnight, but she did take a moment to answer a few questions.

Q: Which book in the series is your favorite? If you could keep a Breed Warrior for yourself, who would you pick?
A: I can’t choose! Actually, I consciously try not to play favorites with my characters or my books. From a writer's standpoint, each character and story presents its own unique challenges and delights. I'm deeply curious about all of my characters, and I love peeling away their layers to see what's underneath their skin, or secreted deep within their hearts. If I lavish my attention (or my adoration) too exclusively on one or two characters out of a group, I might miss something truly special about another. Naturally, since each of my books centers on the romance taking place between a featured couple, my focus is primarily on them when I'm writing their story. But from a more global, series level, my hope is that all of the main characters of the series are interesting in their own rights and capable of becoming reader favorites. I'm not sure I could accomplish that if I allow myself to fixate creatively on one or two scene-stealing "stars".

Q: What made you decide your vampires should be descended from aliens rather than sticking with the "norm" of undead, coffins, holy water, etc?
A: The idea for the Breed came out of my long-time fascination with vampires--the only "monster" that ever truly frightened me as a kid. Later on, once I was old enough to understand that vampires were also incredibly seductive (thank you, Anne Rice!) I developed a whole new fascination with the fanged creatures of the night. But it always kind of creeped me out that vampires were essentially walking corpses. All that cold, pasty white skin and no heartbeat? Not exactly a turn-on. And let's not forget the prospect of sleeping in a coffin or under six-plus feet of raw topsoil every day from now to eternity. As much as I loved all the neck biting and lethal, preternatural charm of Lestat and Company, when it came to romantic fantasy, traditional vampirism left a bit to be desired.
I wanted to put my own spin on the mythology with the Midnight Breed series--for starters, get rid of the "undead" and "damned" parts of the traditional folklore. My husband actually suggested aliens as the forefathers of the Breed. He meant it as a joke, but I really liked the idea of a science fiction type origin for my vampires and it was that kernel of an idea that really made my entire story world come together in my mind. So I started with a violent, otherworldly species that lived on blood, had immense physical and psychic power, whose skin was hypersensitive to ultraviolet light, and I thought, what if a small group of those alien conquerors crash-landed on Earth thousands of years ago? What if they bred with uniquely gifted human women—women with their own special powers and rare DNA traits? Those matings resulted in the first generation of a hybrid human/alien species, which I’ve termed the Breed. I think of my vampire spin as something along the lines of Predator meets Blade.

Q: When you create side characters (for example Andreas Reichen), do you know immediately that they will have their own book? Or do they "speak" to you, demanding their own story later on?
A: It depends on the character, I think. With German Darkhaven leader Andreas Reichen, I hadn’t intended him to be such an integral part of the series, but as I began fleshing him out and creating his history, he quickly became too interesting for me to let go. I had hoped to weave him into the series as a featured hero at some point, and I began making plans for his story not long after his initial appearance in MIDNIGHT AWAKENING (Book 3). That said, however, it’s never a given that just because a writer plans a book for a secondary character that it actually comes to fruition. Without reader support of a series and publisher commitment, nothing is certain. It’s a luxury for a writer to be able to create a secondary character with the confidence that if they prove intriguing, there is likely room for them to have their own book down the line.
This wasn’t something I learned until a few years ago, when I was writing medieval romances under the name Tina St. John. Back then, I’d planned a four-book series of paranormal medievals, fully intending that the final book would feature the bad-boy villain of the whole story arc. Unfortunately, I was only contracted for three books. My publisher at that time declined to renew me for the last one and now that storyline remains unfinished. It’s only because of the amazing reader response to the Midnight Breed series that I have been able to expand the story landscape—from the original contract for three books to a current total of ten—and to bring in more characters along the way. Having been at the bottom of what is termed “the midlist” in publishing, I am fully aware and appreciative of how lucky I am now that I can take my imagination pretty much anywhere it wants to roam. So, thank you, readers!!

Q: Going with #2, do you plan out the whole series, or just go along with whatever sounds good. There are so many intricate threads woven throughout the series, it's hard to imagine you not planning it out beforehand.
A: I’m a plotter by nature, so I try to map out a story—or, in this case, the entire series—as much as I can upfront. Now, when I pitched KISS OF MIDNIGHT (Book 1) to my agent in the summer of 2005, it was as a standalone novel. She liked it so much, she asked me to expand it out to three books before she began to shop it around to the various publishing houses. My first contract was for those three initial books, so in my mind, I was writing a trilogy. But something wonderful happened after I turned in KISS OF CRIMSON (Book 2). My publisher wanted to sign me up for another three books, bringing the series to six total!
I was ecstatic, but the plotter in me realized I had to do some more thinking about how to keep the overarching plot and cast of characters compelling enough to carry those additional books. So, at the end of MIDNIGHT AWAKENING (Book 3) I worked in a twist that opened up a whole new set of problems—much bigger, far-reaching problems—for the Order. As things progressed, I decided to take a leap of faith that the series might continue past six books. I sketched out storylines for a total of ten books, which will culminate with the resolution of the current overarching plot . . . although that’s not to say it’s the end of the series entirely. I’m still having a blast playing in the Midnight Breed world, and as long as readers are enjoying the ride too, I hope to stay here for a while longer.

Q: Now with the Breed, why no female vamps? Why go with Breedmates?
A:The idea of an all-male Breed population was one of those things that just *was* as I began developing the series, and then, from a storytelling perspective, I needed to understand why. Referring back to the alien origins of the Breed, remember that the race began with male otherworlders (Ancients, as they’re referred to in the series) being stranded on Earth and reproducing with specially gifted human women. Those alien genes were dominant and resulted in solely male offspring bearing vampire-like strengths and weaknesses, such as UV-hypersensitivity, reliance on blood for sustenance, etc. The Breed—the generations of hybrid offspring spawned from the Ancients—have their Breedmate mothers to thank for their unique ESP abilities, but also for their humanity, and for their capacity to love and form familial and community bonds. There is a power balance to the relationship between the Breed and their Breedmates, a sort of yin-and-yang that appeals to me personally.

Q: How many books will be in the Breed series? And after that is there still a possibility for more? or do you see that being a natural end in the series in your eyes?
A: As covered in a previous reply, right now the series is contracted for a total of ten books. Several things will come to a climax and resolution by the time we get to that tenth book, but there will also be new questions raised and lots of intriguing story possibilities that I would love to explore in future Midnight Breed books. I’m really enjoying writing this series, and I’m excited about where I’d like to take it.

Q: I'd ask her if her books could be either made into a movie or TV series, which would she prefer?
A: Are you kidding? Either one would be incredible! Ideally, though, I think the series would be best suited for a TV series, just based on the number of books and the complexities of the storylines and settings. And I’d have to take that one step further and say cable TV over network, because of the blood-drinking and strong sexual content of the books. It would be a pity to cut out any of the vampy steam, wouldn’t it? 

Q: Did you have your breedmate tattoo done yet?
A: LOL! I don’t have any tattoos, but if I were to get one, it would definitely have to be a Breedmate mark. Every time I see a reader photo of their Breedmate tattoo, it makes me want to run out and get one of my own. Maybe I’ll get mine done in celebration of the release of Book 10 in the series? Of course, the question then becomes, where to place the tattoo . . . ?

Q: I found out that you write medieval historicals under the name Tina St.John, The last was published in ’07-’08. Has your focus been on the Breed series, or will we see more of the historicals soon?
A: My final historical romance came out December 2005. While I enjoyed writing medieval romances, I was also dying to write something with more edge. You can see that particularly in the final three books I wrote under the name Tina St. John, which each contained strong paranormal elements (shapeshifters and dark magic). Although history fascinates me, personally I’ve always been into gritty, contemporary action-y types of entertainment, whether we’re talking books or movies. I’m having an absolute blast with my writing now, and my creativity has surged as a result. I have more story ideas than I will ever find the time to write!

Q: Do you have an essential item you MUST have when you sit down to write? (pen, music, food, etc…) Do you write w/paper & pen or directly onto the computer?
A: At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, I have to say that my one essential item for writing is the software application that my computer genius husband created for me. It’s called WriteWay (www.WriteWayPro.com) and I have written all of the Midnight Breed books with this program. It’s basically my do-it-all app, from maintaining my series bible and individual book notes, to housing character profiles, plot ideas and actual composition . . . you name it. And WriteWay even charts my daily word/page counts, so I can stay on track with delivery deadlines and daily productivity goals. This product is the realization of literally pages of my writerly wish list items, all rolled into one application. Have I mentioned my husband is a genius?

Please tell use 5 things about yourself, that not everyone knows?
1. I’m a Leo (the level-headed, contemplative type, not the attention-grabbing extrovert type)
2. I’m a cat-person who married a dog-person (and successfully converted him!)
3. I much prefer chocolate over flowers
4. I was a majorette (baton twirler) all through high school, and I can probably still twirl a fire baton without scorching anything vital
5. I dropped out of college after one year and I have no formal education in writing (I mention this because I think it’s important to remind people that dreams have no limits. Defy expectations, and don’t be afraid to live the life you imagine. Don’t let excuses become obstacles.)

Q: If you had the chance to live in another time & place, where would it be? (year/Country) and why?
A: Wow, tough question! I’ve always been a firm believer in living for the here and now, and I have to say that politics and climate concerns aside, things are pretty damned interesting right where we are. I definitely wouldn’t want to be stuck for any length of time in the pre-plumbing/electricity past, but it would be fun to check in and have a conversation with some of my ancestors (especially John Leland, Royal Antiquary to King Henry VIII, or Mayflower passenger William Bradford). For contrast, flashing forward from 2010, I’d be curious to know if and when humankind will ever see true peace and brotherhood across all borders and racial/religious lines. How long do you think that might take? Until then, I suppose I’ll have to be content to live in hope right here in the present.

Lara's next book TAKEN BY MIDNIGHT releases on September 28th. You can find out more about her books and the Breed series at Lara's official website.

If you haven't yet discovered the Breed series, here's your perfect chance. Lara Adrian is giving a signed copy of her 1st book in the series, Kiss of Midnight.

Just fill in the form below to enter and leave a comment below on why you'd like a copy.
Contest ends on May 10th, open to U.S. residents only.

GOODLUCK!

45 comments:

Trish ( Picky) said...

WOOT!! You Know I just adore Lara! Great interview Kelly! Can't wait for Brock's book!! I love all of the breed too, no faves.. well, one but I am not telling!

Stephanie G said...

I've been waiting for this interview! I love this series. I too am a Leo. All the great ones are :-D

HighlandHussy said...

Oh Kelly it turned out sooo great! Fabulous!!! I absolutely LOVED the interview!
Stephanie G-I'm a Leo too!! go leos!

Deana H. said...

Lara, I love your books. I can't wait for the next one! Interesing interview.

Deana H. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sherry said...

I loved this interview. I am really
into Lara's books.I have Taken
on per-order.
I hope that Lara can continue to keep the series going.
Keep up the good work~~

angie said...

Great interview! I would love to read this book especially since it is the first in the series. I am always looking for new authors to read!
Thanks!
bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

Kdoris said...

Love this series! Very addictive. I can hardly put them down once I start reading. Great stories! Great interview.

throuthehaze said...

Great interview! I really would love to read this series since I have heard it is awesome :)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

I was desperate in finding a paranormal series to read. I have bad anxiety and reading is my way of controling it. The minute I started the first chapter in the first book I made my husband run out and buy every other book in the series. I read all 7 books in 4 days. The story you created, along with the characters is something I know I will want to read over and over again. I am so thankful your parents fell in love and made you and I am so thankful that you made the choice to sit down and share this story with us. My life would be so much less entertaining without these stories to indulge myself in. Midnight Breed is my personal brand of herion and is far better then chocolate or ice cream. If I have a bad day, I just wanna curl up with one of your books and be taken to a place that only Lara Adrian can make. Thank you!

EDWARDismyHERION!!! said...

Wonderful Interview!!

I just love your books.You are one awesome writer and you always leave us hungry for more and i couldn't even beginning to tell you how many people i have turn on to your books.

I think it would be cool to win a signed copy of a book from a author.I have never won anything this cool before and would love to show it off.(LOL LOOKIE WHAT I WON FROM A AWESOME WRITER) That would be just too cool.

Keep up the great work.
Mrs. Joey Corr

Genoa said...

I am an utter bookworm, love this series. I would love a copy of the book, as I currently only own it on my kindle. I want to start picking up the physical copies of the book, and what better place to start than with a signed copy of the first book!

Derna4u said...

Ive found I love reading :) Ive always loved it I guess but with the kids being little, well didnt get much reading done lol. Now they're grown and I have the time. Im building my library slowly and would love to add an actual signed book, especially one by Lara Adrian. Shes a great author! Thanks for the interview :)

Donna said...

I am an ADRIANATIC!!!!!!! Love the series, Love Lara, Love it when she visits her forum on Friday nights. Can hardly wait for Brock's book. Already have it on pre-order. PLEASE keep writing!!

Adrianne said...

OMG!!! I'm such a big fan of yours. I love the breed series!! I so glad yougave this interview. You just inspired me to not give up on my dreams. Thank you so much!! Can't wait to get your next book. =D

Marianne said...

Great interview Lara! And what a great strategy it was to release Kiss of Midnight free on Kindle! That one act has made me a fan for LIFE! All of the Breed exist on my Kindle in digital form, unless I win an actual tangible book-hint hint! Lara's spin on vampires is nothing short of pure genius-I guess it takes one to marry one eh? Please tell hubby to hurry with the Mac version of WriteWay Pro! I am really intrigued with a Breed spin off series-and my heart be still if it is made into a cable series-yikes! True Blood who??? LOL!

Misfit said...

I am such a huge fan of Lara Adrian! Not only is her Midnight Breed series absolutely riveting, but she has inspired me to keep the faith in pursuing my own literary dreams. When I get my first book published, I will dedicate it to her. I would be honored to receive an autographed copy of her novel. I hope I win! :)

donnas said...

I have really been wanting to start this series.

Thanks for the chance!!

Mina Burrows said...

Killer interview Kelly! I just blogged about it too. I'm personally dying for Chase's story. Love, love, love Lara Adrian. Thank you Demon Lover.

Mina B.

Julie said...

This book sounds really good. I'd like to read it. juliecookies(at)gmail.com

Lara said...

Hi, everyone!!

WOW -- thank you so much for all the great comments and kind words. It's my pleasure, totally! I'm having a blast writing the Midnight Breed series, and I'm absolutely thrilled to know that you all are enjoying the books!!

Big hugs from a grateful author,

Lara :)

Lara said...

p.s. Um, about that man-candy photo slide at the top of the blog? The black and white picture of the military-looking guy in jeans and dogtag is OMG HOTT! Well, to be fair, they all are, but he's particularly yummy. Would make a great Hunter, I think! :)

Marianne said...

Good eye Lara! I think he would make a great Hunter-but does he have to loose his hair to do it? :( As someone who draws blood professionally (Yes-I'm a certified vampire-lol!) I can appreciate those veiny arms-lol! It means low body fat! Mmmm...more room for "important muscles"- ha!

Bookie said...

I've wanted to read this series for a while now.

dawnpnr(at)aol(dot)com

Michelle said...

Haha! YES!! He would be the perfect Hunter :)Totally HOT, HOT, HOT!! I Love and own the entire Breed series. They are my absolute favorite books on my bookshelf!! Thank you for writing these amazing books Laura and for keeping us all on the edge of our seats waiting for more! Love you and loved the interview!!

DemonLover said...

Thanks Lara for stopping by to check out the man candy.
That picture you mentioned would make an awesome book cover or back!
Hmmm military man candy...

As you can see, you have lots of adoring fans, me included.

My tattoo is healing nicely BTW, do need to get the red touched up though. Gotta maintain the Breedmark!

Hugs to you and all the followers

DL

Mandy Capen said...

Hi Lara!! Loved your comments! And just the thought that maybe you might be able to stretch the Breed series past 10 books has me all giddy!! I've been following the Midnight Breed since the first book came out and I've loved them all and recommend them to all my friends. ((Hugs!)) and have a great time in Boston this August!!

Thanks so much Demonlover!!

Victoria said...

I'd love to win this because I absolutely love the series. I can't seem to get enough of these guys!

Trish said...

I love this series and only became a fan last year, thanks to a wonderful friend! I would really love to win a signed copy because that would be the icing on the cake. The interview was wonderful, so much I didn't know.

Thanks so much for the chance to win!

http://www.facebook.com/Tanya.wires said...

Thanks for interviewing Lara...she's great. love her books and very much look forward to september for her next book.

sam said...

Would love a signed copy....

Variety said...

I would LOVE to win the signed copy, because I've been following the series since the beginning and love them all and can't wait to find out what happens next.

Kristen said...

I enjoyed your interview!
As most others have stated, I am hooked! I recently had my first daughter and named her Bella, from Stephanie Meyer's Twilight. If she had been a boy, his name would have been Tegan (guess you know who my favorite vampire is). I would love to add a signed copy of the first book of your series to the collection that I am saving for Bella.
Thanks for the chance!

SoBella Creations said...

I have really enjoyed reading this series. Teagan and Rio are my faves.

nel said...

Great interview! I would love to read this book especially since it is the first in the series. I am always looking for new authors to read!
Thank You for a chance to win a copy!!!


dsublady at aol dot com

nel said...

tweet 5/6

http://twitter.com/nelricky/status/13471847687

kmt1976 said...

I enjoyed the interview. I also like the idea that vampires are aliens rather than the undead. Easier for me to believe :>)

hotcha12 said...

STARS LARA! I'VE BEEN TRYING TO WIN SINCE FOREVER!! DEMONLOVER SOUNDS HOT!!

Cristina said...

I love the Midnight breed series. I stared with book #2 and have ready the rest of the already published books. Can't wait for the next installments. Lara Adrian is awesome.

Deb830 said...

Midnight breed series ROCKS!!! This is one of the several paranormal romance series I read and I love it!!! Thanks for posting this great interview. I look forward to reading Brocks story. Happy reading to everyone.

deb ;0)

Raonaid Luckwell said...

The breed books are just awesome. I still have my Midnight Breeds bookthong I won from the forum couple years back! It has a special place of honor around my comp

Dot S. said...

Fantastic interview! I'd love to win this book. It is the only one I don't have. I started with book 2 and read from there.
salvagin@verizon.net

Connie Black said...

I would love to win because I have never read one of Lara's books. Would love to try this one!
epblack at zoominternet dot net

ReadingRainbow said...

I want to win because I've never read one of her books before and it sounds interesting as heck!

carlocheerleader@hotmail.com

Carol L. said...

Lara is a new to me Author and makes me wonder where I've been that I'm just now hearing about the The Breed.
I definitely want to read these books. Love the idea and anything Vampire. Good luck everyone.Winning this book will start me on the first :)
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

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