Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Interview with fantasy author Debra Dunbar

Today is an interview with fantasy author Debra Dunbar about her novel Elven Blood.

Debra will be awarding an e-book copy of A Demon Bound (book 1 in the Imp Series) to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and a grand prize of a Kindle Fire with an Elven Blood book cover skin to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY). To be entered for a chance to win any of the prizes, leave an e-mail address with a comment below. And to increase your chances of winning something, visit other tour stops and leave more comments.

Welcome, Debra. Please tell us about your current release.
Elven Blood is the third novel in my Imp series. Samantha Martin is an imp, a lesser demon from Hel. She has been living under the radar, posing as a human for the last 40 years, but now that she’s bound to an angel and is the Iblis (a rather meaningless title that signifies the leader of the demons) her life is. . .complicated. In Elven Blood, she’s found herself buried in angelic bureaucracy, saddled with a succubus houseguest, and fighting off a never-ending slew of demon hit-men.

When an elven lord offers to take care of the bounty on her head in return for tracking down and killing a demon half-breed, Sam thinks she’s found the solution to her most pressing problem. But as Sam searches for this “abomination,” she begins to have second thoughts.

Yep. An imp with moral misgivings. What is the world coming to!

What inspired you to write this book?
The series as a whole came from my children. As they grow, I see my sons developing empathy for others, and I wondered how much of “good” is a socially learned response. Maybe a demon could become good if she lived long enough with humans, if she had to modify her behavior to blend in. Maybe acting good would result in a true moral shift.

For this particular book, I was inspired by close friends who struggled with fertility issues. How far is an individual willing to go to conceive a child? Would they be able to violate their cultural taboos? What if they knew they’d never be able to raise the child themselves, that they’d need to hide it away with foster parents for its own protection?

It all sounds so dark and philosophical, but the books are really humorous. I love writing comedy, and promise I don’t beat readers over the head with my moral compass!

I heaved the decapitated demon head through the gate to Hel and turned to look at the guardian.  The way her shoulders slumped and she kicked at the floor, gave me the impression she was not happy to be supervising.    

“Third one this week,” I told her, as if she didn’t know.

I had a bounty on my head, but the demons Haagenti was sending after me were the dregs of the hierarchy, desperate beings looking to get lucky and boost their fame by taking me down.  Idiots.  I kept killing them and tossing their heads through the gate that connected the realm of the humans with Hel.   I wasn’t sure if the powerful demon, Haagenti, was more pissed at the fact that I’d shielded my foster brother, Dar, from his wrath this fall, or that I’d kept the Iblis sword instead of turning it over to him. 

Not that I really wanted the thing.  I was stuck with it, and all the paperwork and responsibility that seemed to come with holding the empty title of leader of the demons.  Iblis.  Ha-Satan.  The Devil.  No one had held that title since our split with the angels two and a half million years ago.  Why had this sword, this artifact that came with the title, chosen me?  I was nothing but an imp.  I wasn’t qualified to be the Iblis.

What exciting story are you working on next?
In addition to the next book in the IMP series, I’m writing a novel that I joke is a zombie-cop thriller. In Dead Shift, the heroine is a Baltimore City police officer. She’s dead. And once she realizes it, she needs to find her killer or possibly be trapped forever inside a decaying body.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Birth? It sure felt that way!

I wrote my first story at six in one of those black and white composition notebooks. My teacher liked it so much she nominated me for a county award. I still remember feeling overwhelmed at the presentation ceremony with adult strangers asking me about my “book.” All throughout my childhood, I was either reading or writing. Or watching Scooby Doo.

After college, I did some freelance writing, but eventually took a different fork in the road and went into corporate life. Roads tend to circle back though, and here I am.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I still have the corporate job. My day is really flexible, so I squeeze in writing when I can. Even though the bulk of my word count comes in the evenings or on weekends, I’m always jotting down notes and scene ideas during the day. It’s all very disorganized, but it works for me.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hubby says I make weird faces when I write. I can’t help it – I’m imagining the scene in my head, hearing the dialogue, and I think in a way I’m acting out what’s going on. I must be a terrible actress though, because my family says it’s hysterical!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A dog. Seriously. Furry, four legs, cold wet nose. A dog. I’m still disappointed that didn’t work out for me.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I think there is a bit of imp inside every one of us. I hope that as people read Elven Blood, they discover their own imp and let her out to play.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

MomJane said...

sounds like a fun, yet tense story.

Unknown said...

Thanks for having me as your guest, Lisa!

MomJane - it actually has a lot of humor, although there's plenty of action!

Merry said...

I LOVE your books, Deb! They are so much fun. I can't wait to start on Elven Blood. It's up next on my e-reader! Good luck with your tour!

Unknown said...

Thanks Merry. Hope you enjoy it!

gecko-artist said...

I think that is why I like the series so much - because there is a little Imp in all of us. Mine, of course, runs by in my head, screaming and laughing, while wearing a gold tu-tu.

Unknown said...

LOL - I like the idea of a gold tutu. Everyone should own at least one in the color of their choice.

bn100 said...

Nice inspiration for the book

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Andra Lyn said...

Thanks for the interview! I love the sounds of Dead Shift! Glad to have found you as a "new-to-me" author!!

andralynn7 At

Emily said...

I loved your inspirations Debra. It was nice getting to learn about you, thanks for the interview!