Sep 21, 2011

Posted by in Interviews | 6 Comments

Interview with Sierra Dean

A little while back, I received an email from an author asking if I would be interested in reviewing her book.  I did what I usually do when that happens.  I pulled out my reading/blogging schedule and checked to see if I had an opening.  I did.  Next I went to Goodreads to check out the author and her book.  I like it when some of my friends have read it and I read reviews written by them and by others.  I, of course, also read the blurb of the book I was emailed about.  It all looked good to me, so I accepted.  I am SO glad that I did, because not only is this author really sweet, but she writes an awesome Urban Fantasy series that I am very much enjoying.  And she’s here today to answer some of my questions about her newest book, A Bloody Good Secret, about her characters and whatever else that popped up into my head.

Hi Sierra!  Thank you so much for stopping by today. 

My pleasure! Thanks for having me.

First off, can you tell us a little about your Secret McQueen series and especially about your latest release in the series, A Bloody Good Secret?

The Secret McQueen series is about a half-vampire/half-werewolf bounty hunter who works with the vampire council of New York to hunt down rogues. In her spare time she also works with a paranormal PI named Keaty helping him solve supernatural problems.

In the first book, Something Secret This Way Comes, Secret had a whole new world of problems added to her plate when she discovered she was soul-bonded to two werewolves, one of whom was king of the Eastern Packs. Poor girl has a lot to deal with.

With A Bloody Good Secret we fast forward from the crazy ending of the first book a few months. Secret is still having trouble dealing with her next assignment and has run from New York. When she gets back home, she finds herself in the middle of a mystery, and if she doesn’t solve it, people she cares about are going to die.

Secret is half vampire/half werewolf and therefore she interacts with both species.  In the world that you’ve created, do you find one species harder to write than the other?

Both groups have such specific cultural structures in my series I have to be careful when writing either. The vampires have their tiers of power so I’m always remembering that wardens are lowest, then sentries, and so on, so I know who can interact with the others appropriately.

The werewolves are less political since they have a king, and their own levels of power beneath him, but I definitely find the werewolf interactions trickier to write because of all the metaphysical elements that go into their world.

In A Bloody Good Secret, you introduce some pretty disgusting creatures in that abandoned Fun Park.  *shudders* Do you envision your monsters before writing them or do they just come to life as you write?

My monsters start with a basic form and then I layer on the really nasty details as the scene unfolds. The creatures in A Bloody Good Secret even gave ME the willies when I re-read those scenes. They are pretty nasty.

You are from the Canadian Prairies, yet your series takes place in New York.  You’ve written about Secret’s childhood in Southern Manitoba, but why didn’t you keep her there as an adult?  Why does she not live in Moosehorn Manitoba or Nut Mountain Saskatchewan?

Haha, I was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and let me tell you, there isn’t a heck of a lot of excitement here. The reason Secret bolts is sort of explained in book 2. She was raised by her grandmere, and kept relatively confined. She had to be home schooled and didn’t get to interact with others too much as a child, which left her with a sense of wanting to know what was in the outside world. Running away to New York was an act of rebellion, and as a 16 year old vampire/werewolf hybrid, she decided she might as well stir up some trouble along the way. That’s how she ended up in NYC, and she stayed because that’s where her real life began.

Why did you pick December 6th as Secret’s birth date?  I have to ask that because it’s my birthday too!

Oh man, that’s awesome! It just sort of came to me that that should be her birthday. There’s no deeper meaning to it, but I’m glad she shares it with someone so great! *blush*

Your books have amazing endings!  Do you know how a book is going to end before you start it?

Always. I plot the full book before I start writing. My endings are usually the only thing set in stone. For Something Secret This Way Comes is a wham-bang cliffhanger, but that was the only way I knew for that book to end. With A Bloody Good Secret, I knew the final line before I started chapter one.

You have a Christmas novella planned for Secret and the gang (Secret Santa) and the third book in the series, Deep Dark Secret, is due out Spring 2012.  Can you tell us a little about what to expect from those?

Secret Santa is a lot darker than the title lets on. It takes place between books 2 and 3, and involves a monster that is killing people around New York right before Christmas. Secret gets enlisted by Mercedes and none other than Detective Tyler from The Secret Guide to Dating Monsters to help solve the crime. There’s also some of the romance and steam you’d expect, and some humor to keep it from getting too spooky. But if you thought the creatures in A Bloody Good Secret were creepy, wait until you meet the villain in Secret Santa.

Deep Dark Secret takes Secret’s already busy life and just throws it for even more of a loop. I just finished writing it and I definitely love how it steers the series. It’s a turning point book, and I think people are going to really enjoy it.

Okay, Flash Four time.

Flash Four questions about books and writing ~
How long, from start to end, did it take you to write “A Bloody Good Secret”?
About 5 months.

Did you see yourself being a writer as you were growing up?
Yes. It’s the only job I’ve never wavered on. Take that marine biology.

In what room of your house do you write from?
I have an office, but the internet often gets too distracting. 80% of my writing is done either at coffee shops or out in the country where I have no internet.

Do you tend to come up with the title for your book before you start writing it, while you’re writing it or when it’s all done?
My editor actually started the whole Secret-themed names, which is obviously the best way to title my books, so I loved her for embracing Secret’s crazy name. I have some picked beforehand (like Secret Santa) and some I come up with mid-book (like A Bloody Good Secret). Most of the time I have the titles picked before I begin.

Flash four questions about random things ~
Sweet or salty snacks?
Sweet, usually.

What color is your toothbrush?

Your high school experience:  good or bad?

What do you like on your pizza?
Feta, pineapple and bacon.

Thanks Sierra for taking the time to answer some questions and for creating such a great character with Secret.  Fans of Urban Fantasy books that feature seriously kick ass chicks really have to check this series out.

And be sure to check out my reviews for Something Secret This Way Comes and Guide to Dating Monsters and A Bloody Good Secret in case you need more convincing to try these books out. 😉

Here’s where you can find Sierra –

  1. Great interview! I can’t wait to see where Secret goes next, though you know I’m not the biggest fan of love issues :cheeky grin:

    I still like the world, and all the characters 🙂

  2. Lol, I am loving the secret santa cover. She looks so bad ass

  3. Fabulous interview Julie! 😀 I know I need to read this damn series. It’s going to have to wait for now. Hopefully I can read a TON during Christmas break AFTER I graduate. LOL. Hopefully! I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying this series so much!

  4. Erika – The characters are great. You are very right about that. 🙂

    blodeuedd – She really does! *g*

    Deanna – I know you’ll read this eventually. I’ll make sure you do… 😉

  5. Thanks for the nice interview Julie and Sierra! 😀 I can’t wait to read A Bloody Good Secret (will be able to start reading it once I finish my current book),as I’ve LOVED all the previous Secret stories I am so excited! And so great to know Sierra is such a prolific writer and we don’t have to wait too long between books! *big hugs* 🙂

  6. After I read your review of Something Secret This Way Comes I added it to my TBR but I haven’t read it yet, I guess I need to move it up and read it soon.
    Great interview.

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