Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Interview with urban fantasy author JW Troemner

Author JW Troemner is chatting with me today about her new urban fantasy, Mark of the Dragon.

During her virtual book tour, JW will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to one lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

JW Troemner was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States, where she lives with her partner in a house full of pets. Most days she can be found gazing longingly at sinkholes and abandoned buildings.
Welcome, JW. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Mark of the Dragon is the first book of an experimental serial. It was originally written for the now defunct Cliffhanger Press to imitate the style of modern TV shows, with each book acting like a bite-sized and self-contained “episode” within a larger series.

It’s an urban fantasy story featuring a homeless woman named Rosario and a dragon named Arkay who has gotten it in her head that Rosario is her princess. It goes about as well as you’d expect.

What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always loved monster-hunting stories like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Dresden Files, and Supernatural. But with longer-running works especially, I find more and more cases where I sympathize more with the monsters than the heroes who are hunting them. Inevitably there’s a monster who’s getting by without hurting anybody, pretending to be human and running a yoga studio or whatever, just minding its business. Next thing they know, a bunch of weirdos are shouting Latin at them and trying to light them on fire.

Arkay is my answer to that.

Excerpt from Mark of the Dragon:
“Kay?” I called, following her into the second room. “I found a way to get these things off me.”
“Good,” she said. “I think I found something, too.”
Oh, yes she did.
The room was lined with dozens, maybe hundreds, of unlit candles in shades of white and red and black. The line of candles only stopped at a bookshelf full of old, leather-bound tomes and even older-looking brass weapons. An iron circle had been pounded into the concrete floor, which had been liberally smeared with rust-brown stains. The far wall was shiny and steel with a big door that looked like a walk-in refrigerator, the kind you’d find in a restaurant kitchen.
Arkay had apparently ignored Occult ‘R’ Us entirely, except to stack the old books under a window and try to pry open the glass with a rune-covered dagger. “Think you can fit?”
“I’ll suck it in,” I said.
“Then give me just a minute. I’ve almost got it.”
So, during that minute, I did The Thing. You know, that one thing you usually see people in horror movies doing. The one that makes you facepalm and shake your head at the sheer stupidity.
Because Arkay was busy with the window, and Matheson and his goons were scratching at the door with what sounded like a screwdriver, and I had nothing else occupying my time or my mind.
Nothing but that giant freakin’ door in the shiny metal wall, just begging to be opened.
Three guesses what I did.
The door was vacuum sealed, and it sucked at the wall when I yanked it open. A wave of stale, cold air flooded out, along with a sterile white light.
“Oh my God!” I yelped, slamming it shut.
Arkay was on the floor in an instant, ducking under my arm to get in front of me.
“What is it?” she demanded. Curling forward for an attack, she wrapped her hand around the handle and pulled open the massive door. The dagger in her other hand was out and ready to kill.
But the people inside were already dead.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on a joint project with another writer. We’ll be divulging more details on that one when we’re closer to the finish line.

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’m incredibly lucky that my partner’s job gives me the opportunity to write full-time. As such, there’s not a set schedule to my writing. While I was working on the Urban Dragon series, I was trying to write about 2,000 words a day (some days failing dramatically), and I’d spend pretty much every waking hour either outlining, researching, or editing whatever I’d already written. Now that it’s out, I’m trying to juggle my next project with the minutia of publishing.

Beyond that, what the work day looks like is up for grabs. I suffer from a sleep disorder where my sleeping patterns shift by a couple of hours each night. My day might start at eight in the morning one week, and three in the afternoon the next. It makes for an interesting time trying to plan anything.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

When I worked at Nuvo Magazine, most of my job involved taking full-length articles and condensing them into 100-word blurbs for the website and annual city guides, and I’d often be pulled in to creatively cut articles when they ran over the allotted length. When Urban Dragon got picked up by Cliffhanger Press, my biggest stipulation was that it had to be exactly nine books long, and each of those books had to be no more than 25,000 words, so I had to get ruthless about what to keep and what to cut. I’ve gotten a chance to expand on the finished books a little bit since then, but they’re still laconic.

Some of my readers love the fact that you can read any one of the books in a couple of hours, but other readers can’t stand it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A knight. Sword, shield, damsel-saving--- the whole shebang.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday season.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
Thank you for having me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for having me here today!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Lisa. It's good to see you again.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great interview! I love that you compared this book to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, gives me an idea of what to look forward to :D

Bernie Wallace said...

What is the best book that you read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Ally Swanson said...

Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the interview, thank you.

Ally Swanson said...

Excellent interview! This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read!

Ally Swanson said...

I enjoyed reading the excerpt and look forward to checking out this book!

Nikolina said...

Shared on G+ to help spread the word, have a great day! :)

CapeFearLibn said...

I like the same kind of stories--Buffy, Dresden Files, Supernatural. They're right up my reading alley.