Hey everybody!

So today, is THE day! My first interview with an author :D and not any author, but one of my favorite, Kelley Armstrong! If you've come to this blog in the past few weeks and read my entries, then you must know about the interview - yeah, I can be really annoying LOL :) But it was such an interesting experience, plus Ms. Kelley Armstrong is a great person and I really enjoyed her answers!

In case you need some introduction, Ms. Kelley Armstrong is a Canadian author who has written the Women of the Otherworld series. One of the best thing of this series is the new world Kelley has created and the originality she was able to incorporate. She used some clichés, shot down others and add a lot of herself and ideas. You can read a bit more in my Author of the Month post as well as her guest post on last Friday.

So onto the interview now!

TK: What is your favourite colour?
KA: Green.
TK: What is your favourite food?
KA: Cheesecake.

TK: Do you have any pets?
KA: Too many. Two dogs--a Siberian husky and a beagle. Three cats. We had two cats, and were perfectly happy not to have any more, but another one moved in this winter and we still aren't quite sure how it happened. He's a young cat who appears to have been a barn cat (we live in the country) and one cold night he found our house and wouldn't leave--meowing at whichever window I was near until I let him in. Barn cats don't usually like to come into a house, but he came right in, made himself at home and hasn't left.

TK: What is your favourite author/book?
KA: I don't really have a favourite book, but I guess one of my favourites would be Richard Adams's Watership Down

TK: What other fantasy/romance authors do you read?
KA: I hate naming names in my own genre(s), because I'll leave someone out! Let me go with my most favourite in those two genres. For fantasy, Guy Gavriel Kay. For romance...does Jane Austen count? Sure, let's go with Jane Austen.

TK: Any of them close friends?
KA: Never met GGK, though I've sat in on readings of his. And, sadly, never met Jane Austen.
TK: Do you find it hard to break into the international market as a Canadian author? Do you have to modify the language in the books to exclude colloquialisms from your native tongue?
KA: I didn't, but I chalk that up to having an amazing agent who sold me separately in the US, UK and Canada. That's more complicated than selling world rights to one publisher, but it really works well for me. My Canadian publisher is wonderful and promotes me here as a Canadian author, which helps. Having separate US/UK publishers means they can each tailor marketing strategies to suit their market.
I do have to be careful of colloquialisms. And it isn't easy, because I'm not always even sure which words are uniquely Canadian or regional--I just use them naturally. My US editor or copyeditor usually catches them, but not always. In Industrial Magic, an American character says "hydro" instead of "electricity" and it didn't take long for an American reader to email me and say "huh?"

TK: Do you feel like there is pressure to speak to the Canadian culture, or do you simply write what you feel?
KA: No, I don't feel any pressure at all--either to speak to the Canadian culture or to avoid speaking to it (so as to not alienate non-Canadian readers) That's one of the beauties of writing genre fiction. It doesn't have the same expectations that CanLit would.

Meardaba: Part of your series is set in Toronto, and is one of the few mainstream novels that actually develop in a Canadian city. Why then, did you move your characters to the woods of the US and not go to northern Ontario or the wilds of BC? Did you think it would give you a bigger reader audience if you based your books in the US?
KA: With the Otherworld series, my decision to base it in the US was entirely a matter of logistics. I wanted to make my supernatural world as realistic as possible. Given the difference in population densities between the US and Canada, it was more believable to me that this large community could exist, undetected, in the US.
Marg/TK: Are there any personality traits that you share with the main characters? Are your characters modeled after anyone?
KA: All my characters have a trait or two in common with me. That just makes them easier to write. With Elena, she's my age, from my geographic area, with my education level, etc, which made it easy for me to get into her head as my first narrator. Paige and I share a common interest in computers (I was a programmer) so I could easily write that part of her life and personality. Eve and I both have daughters around the same age, so that part of her character came naturally. But no character (primary or secondary) is actually modelled after myself or anyone I know. They're all a collection of traits from many sources.

Marg/TK: Which "paranormal" species is her favourite? Which of the paranormal creature is easiest to write? Why?
KA: I've always been partial to werewolves, and I've done them the most, so they're the easiest to write and my favourite.

TK: What is your favourite book in the series?
KA: The next one I can't help it--I'm currently editing book 8 and I really enjoyed writing it, so naturally that's foremost in my mind. But looking back at the series, it's kind of like picking my favourite child--I like them all for different reasons. If I had to choose, I'd say Stolen and Industrial Magic.

TK: Which cover is your favourite?
KA: Hmm. I like my UK covers. I really do. The UK for Haunted was great and I have that in my office, along with the Swedish cover for Bitten, which is probably my overall favourite. Of the North American covers, I liked Dime Store Magic and the one for No Humans Involved.

TK: You are currently contracted to write 10 books in the series. Any chance that it will be extended? Would you wish to write more? Do you have an ending in your mind yet?
KA: I don't have an ending in mind. As for whether the series will go beyond 10, that depends on readers and my publishers. I'm hoping it does!

TK: We know that the next narrators are scheduled to be Hope, Cassandra and Savannah. Who are you looking forward the most to write their story?
KA: Well, I wouldn't count on Savannah, I'm afraid. I had a better idea for book 9, which will bump Cassandra back to 10. That's what happens. I can plan on so-and-so narrating, but if a better idea comes up, I take it. Hope's story is done (that's book 8, which I'm doing final edits on now) I'm looking forward to starting the next one, but it's an entirely new character, so a name wouldn't help!

TK: Is there something you're not looking forward to write about, but will eventually have to write? (eg. Someone's death, character aging…)
KA: Hard to answer without giving away spoilers. I know of one death I have to do, and another one I'll probably do, and that will be tough because I really hate killing off characters. I even have a hard time killing villains if I enjoy writing them! But neither of these would come as a big shock, so I'm not worried about reader reactions. I just won't like doing it.

TK: If you were given the chance of going back and re-write a scene or a character, what would it be?
KA: I couldn't even begin to count the number of scenes I'd re-write! With characters, not so much. There are plenty of times when I think I missed an opportunity--had character x been different, I could have done y with them--but for me, characters are personalities, and I couldn't got back and change them to better suit a plot point. I'd have to write an entirely new character in their place.

TK: If you got offered the chance to make a movie or television series of your books, would you do it? Why or why not? And if you would, who would you like to see playing the lead roles?
KA: Before I was published, I told myself I'd never sell movie rights to a book. I'm a huge movie buff--enough to know that the book-to-movie transition rarely goes smoothly and that the author has little to no input into the final product. But then Bitten sold and I was almost immediately offered a movie contract for it, and I realized what a huge boost of publicity that would be, even to just be able to say "Hollywood wants to make my book into a movie," I needed all the help I could get with that first book, because I wanted to write more and that wouldn't happen if the first didn't sell well enough! So, very quickly, "never" became "where do I sign?" LOL. The movie never happened, but you wouldn't believe how much mileage and attention Bitten got from being "a book that might be turned into a movie starring Angelina Jolie."
So movies, I'd definitely consider. TV series? That's tougher because it would almost certainly mean having strangers write entirely new stories for my characters, taking them in directions I never intended, and I'm too protective of my work to be comfortable with that.
TK: Finally, you have a new series "Nadia Stafford" coming out this summer, which is more mainstream genre. How hard was the transition of style? Did you have any difficulty or all went smoothly?
KA: No real problems because there's a crime/mystery/thriller backbone to all my novels. For Exit Strategy, I just had to bump up that aspect and remove all the supernatural elements. The big question will be how it's received by others!

So I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did! If you want to know more about Ms. Kelley Armstrong, you can always go to her website (very good website, by the way). Kailana has already completed her challenge and posted review for Bitten and Stolen. She liked the series so much that she's reading the rest :D Ames is currently reading Dime Store Magic and I've finished No Humans Involved (released today!). All these reviews will be posted before May 15th :D

Now onto the interesting stuff: THE CONTEST! Yes, Kelley has generously offered a "2007 Prize Pack" to be drawn! This prize pack contains a signed copy of No Humans Involved, a Exit Strategy knapsack and the usual goodies such as bookmarks, etc. So what do you have to do to win this wonderful prize? You simply have to comment on this interview! You have till this Friday (May 4th) midnight! The winner name will be posted on Saturday! So good luck everyone and I hope you enjoyed this interview!


I've been eyeing off the Bitten and Stolen novels for a while now, Amazon keeps urgently recommending them to me ;) This interview was excellent and I'm definitely going to have to go out and grab my own copies now, it's always great to get an inside spin on the authors thoughts surrounding a series.

Cheers :)

Awesome interview!!! I had recently picked up Broken for a different read, and have since read two more books, with all the others on the To Be Read stack. I loved hearing your thoughts on the series.

I've loved Kelley Armstrong's books since I stumbled upon them in the Canadian fiction section of a local bookstore. Thanks for asking her my question!

I've loved all her books since I first stumbled across them in the library. I think my two favourite are Bitten and Industrial Magic. It is kind of nice to have a Canadian author writing more genre fiction then purely 'canadian fiction.'

Great interview Nath! And I love that marg and meardaba had questions as well. :P

Cheesecake is my fave dessert as well. And we had an abandoned cat join our family of 1 dog and 2 cats this winter as well. She had frostbite on the tip of her tail, and she was just a tiny baby.

Great interview. I have not read any of your books. :blush: They sound great. I will be looking for them in the bookstore.

Fun interview! (Btw, I hate cheesecake. hee!)

I'm a newb to Ms. Armstrong's books and I so want to read one of her books, but have no clue where to start? Any suggestions?

Zeek - starts with Bitten, which is the first of the series :D If you really can't wait, then I'd go to her website and start with her online novella "Savage" :)

I've seen Bitten around and thought that was the one to probably pick up, but wasn't sure if it was first- I hate reading a series out of order!

Hey Zeek :D

well the reading order is written up in another post, the one of Author of the Month... so you can go back. Of course, it is availabe on her website... As for her novellas, if you go in chronological order, then it starts with Savage, Ascension and Beginnings which are the novellas available on her website.... but I think they were meant to be read after Bitten and Stolen... but chronologically, the novellas should come earlier

Great interview! I must get into this contest, because I WANT that prize pack. I already have my copy of No Humans Involved on its way from Amazon, but it won't be signed. :(

Also, I'm feeling stupid because I don't know who Hope is. I've read the entire series except for Haunted, so is she in that story or am I having a brain fart?

Thanks for doing this Nath!

Great interview and some really interesting answers. Kelley sounds like a super nice person. I have Bitten on the TBR pile and I know it is going to get bumped up towards the top now.

Great interview! Exit Strategy sounds good - will keep an eye for it.

Also - Cassandra as a narrator? That should be interesting...

And I'm with Jennie - I can't quite remember who Hope is. She sounds familiar, but I'm not quite placing her.

Hey girls :D just for those who wondered who Hope is... She's a half-demon and first appeared in Chaotic, which is a part of the anthology book Dates from Hell. Hope (LOL) it helps :D

Jennie - I'm with you for the pack prize... I just saw some NHI pre-signed copies at Indigo earlier today! But I already have mine... then, I'd rather have a personalized authograph anyway, so I didn't buy it... but I was really tempted!

I think Hope was in Stolen if I remember correctly but maybe not!

Favourite food - cheesecake - a woman after my own heart!

Good interview!

Fabulous interview!
Interesting to know what parts of yourself you put into your story.

Great interview!

I wish a kitty would come to my house - my hubby says the two I have are enough but if one was to show up at the door I know he wouldn't turn it away. Hmmm, if I were an evil person I could work something out.

Guy Gavriel Kay - I opened one of his books and was crying at the end of the prologue - I put the book down. Bad Cindy. (It was the one where they were going to fight in a battle the following day and they knew they were going to die but that their people would always remember them - but they didn't - I read that prologue years ago and I can still remember all the feelings. My friend was mad because she told me the story was how they remembered. Sorry, too busy crying!)

I'm Canadian and half the time I can't figure out if hydro is water or electricity an I have no clue how I got them confused in the first place.

I'm betting Mailyn is wishing she hadn't reminded me to come on over now.


Okay, I gave up trying to find my old Blogger account name and signed up fresh!

Yep, you can start with Bitten. But if you aren't keen on werewolves, you can start with book 3, Dime Store Magic. A lot of people do. It's a new narrator, so it's a good second point to jump in. And I recently finally got around to making a downloadable/printable page of all the books. You'll find that here:

re: Hope. My fault for not putting in my "standard explanation" LOL. Every time I mention that "Hope" narrates the next one, I get "Who is Hope?" Not surpringly as she hasn't been in the main series yet! As Nath said, I introduced her in a novella. But I know many readers won't have read that, so she's fully "re-introduced" in No Humans Involved, where she plays a major role.

Ohhhh I LOVE werewolf paranormal! SOLD!

Oh oh pick me pick me!!! I always wait until the paperback comes out so will be waiting ages to read No Humans Involved and Exit Strategy...

Really enjoyed the interview, it would be cool to see a film adaptation to see how they relate it to the big screen. Although I see your point about the control (or lack of) that authors generally get over the screenplay and story. You could always write though like Anne Rice did for Interview with the Vampire then you get a lot more control.

Great interview with one of my *most* favorite authors!

Have to admit, I bought Bitten & Stolen when they first came out in hardcover, solely based on the DELICOUS book covers! Was *more* than pleasantly surprised to find out the stuff between the covers was just as yummy. And I've been a fan ever since ...

— Bonz

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About Me

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Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.