When I first ‘met’ Lara, she wasn’t yet Lara. She was Tina St. John, historical romance writer.
Now she writes vampires, my absolute favorite amongst the myriad paranormal creatures. I don’t know about you, but I know I’m one person who’s glad she made the switch.
1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
As I write this, there are less than three weeks before Kiss of Midnight goes on sale, then a mere four weeks later, Kiss of Crimson follows. As if that would not induce enough insanity on its own, I also have a book due at the end of May. Strangely enough, I’m not ready to have myself committed yet, so I guess I’d have to say I’m only mildly insane at the moment. On your scale, I’m about a 4.
2. Please tell me that you were kidding when you told me Happy Monday. Because, you know, normal people don’t like Mondays. *g*
Hah! You assume I’m normal! Actually, since my writing is my full-time (way more than full-time!) in-home business, I don’t keep regular hours or workdays. For me, every day is Monday . . . or Friday. It all depends on your perspective.
3. From Tina St. John… Historicals. Some say it’s a dead subgenre. Others say it’s going to the the next big thing, again. What drew you to writing historicals, rather than books with contemporary settings?
When I was first toying with the idea of writing a book–way back in the dark ages of 1995–I had just discovered romance novels, and historical romance in particular. I loved the pageantry and mystique of historicals, and as it happened the idea I had for my first novel was a medieval. That manuscript sold out of the slush pile at Ballantine as part of a two-book contract and to my astonishment, I was suddenly on my way to becoming a medieval romance author. J
I really enjoyed writing all seven of my medievals, and I certainly gave them my all, but as a reader, I love thrillers, romantic suspense, and dark paranormals more than any other genres. I grew up reading Stephen King, John Saul, Dean Koontz, etc., and Anne Rice definitely helped fuel my love for vampires. So when Ballantine declined to renew me for the last book in my medieval paranormal series due to soft sales, I was very happy to be able to try my hand at something dark and contemporary.
4. …to Lara Adrian, and paranormals. Do you think you can go back to having to research instead of making up rules as you go along?
Oh, make no mistake, there is still a lot of research that goes into my paranormals! Now, instead of learning the ins and outs of destriers, chain mail, and broadswords, I’m researching expensive cars and gadgets, explosives, narcotics, and 9mm handguns. The FBI would find my Google search history quite interesting, I’m sure!
What I do love about a contemporary setting is that my characters are not restricted in terms of social class, occupation, or ethnic background. It’s a big wide world out there, and finally I have the chance to make my characters a part of it. I also love being able to write in a voice that comes naturally to me. Can I just say how liberating it is to not have to stop and reword every line so that it has an historical cadence?! And of course the fact that I’m writing paranormals is all kinds of creative fun.
5. It’s a little different for you, since your last few books were paranormal/fantasy historicals. But do you think there will be reader backlash anyway?
I’m not sure I had enough readers for there to be much of a backlash! I hope that some–if not all–of my medieval readers will follow me on this new creative path, but I expect I’ll lose some along the way. I’d be lying if I said reader backlash was no concern at all, because I truly hate disappointing people and I’ve made a lot of wonderful reader friends through my medievals. But creatively–as well as professionally–this was a change I needed to make, and I’ve never been happier.
6. Your pseudonym’s got a very hip feel that absolutely fits with the Midnight Breed series. How did you pick it?
I’m glad you like my new name–thanks! I wanted something that felt contemporary, and Adrian was my first choice as a surname because I read somewhere that it means “dark one.” Originally I’d chosen Mia as my first name–sort of a wink to myself that my new pen name would roughly mean, “Me, the dark one.”
Both my publisher and my agent thought Mia was too perky for my writing style, so after a bit of brainstorming with my husband, we settled on Lara. Oddly enough, and I’d forgotten this until well after the fact, there is a background character named Lara in one of my medieval paranormals. Unfortunately for her, she touched something she shouldn’t have and perished in a dark magic ball of flames. I hope I have a better future ahead of me than that!
Lara Adrian blogs and MySpaces. Kiss Of Midnight is her current release, and Kiss of Crimson follows in just four weeks. Midnight Awakening is her current work-in-progress and will be released in December.