1. I absolutely loved the world that you created for Lanore and her friends, which made me wonder what modern inspiration did you have for this story?
Originally I wanted a world that was similar to your average American city, but my Ipod playlists changed the original concept as I wrote. Music is a huge inspiration for my writing. I listen to a lot of different types of music, from Thom Yorke to Jay-z, or Postal Service to Mozart. A lot of the time when I began my world building process I would listen to really dark freaky music like “How it Ends” by DeVotchka. All of a sudden this gritty world just pours out of my mind.
2. There’s several mentions to Lanore’s family history and species ties, can you tell us if this information will play a role in any upcoming books?
Definitely! Lanore’s family history and species ties will be further discussed in the sequel , The Burning Bush which will be released in May 2012. It won’t be a part of the main plot, but readers will learn a lot more about Lanore and her powers.
3. Also, why Florida? Of all the potential settings for Santeria’s habitat what was special about the Florida location.
I actually live in Miami which is my novel’s setting. This city is such a vibrant and colorful place, rich in Afro-Cuban culture and history. I really wanted to write a fantasy novel that incorporated the spirit of Miami. Additionally, I wanted to base my magic system on the Santeria religion and Miami really has a large Afro-Cuban population that follows Santeria, so it was the perfect background.
4. What research did you find yourself immersed in as you crafted this story?
I did a lot of research on world building and real societies. I studied how actual countries worked, like import/export systems, government, and the things that are necessary to help the place function. Once I gathered all of that data, I imagined how these functions would be different if supernaturals existed. For example, supernatural blood products are a major export in my world.
5. The book was given from a first person point of view, you see everything through Lanora’s eyes. Is this something you plan on continuing or will there be some head hopping in your writing future?
For the habitat series, it will always be in Lanore’s eyes; however, I’m publishing in March 2012 a short story collection called Caged View. There will be a short story in MeShack’s and Zulu’s POV. These short stories will serve as a prequel to Fire Baptized and it won’t be necessary for a person to have read Fire Baptized to understand what’s happening. I’ll be offering this short story collection for free on any ebook purchasing site.
Thanks, ladies!!! I always love finding out more about a book, espcially how its author came up with the world.
Another reason to love Kenya? She’s giving away a $10 Amazon gift card! All you have to do is Tweet about either why you read Fire Baptized or why you want to read it, and post the tweet link in the comments. We’ll let Ranom.org pick a winner on Friday!
Fire Baptized is available: