Q&A with Miranda Grant
Once I had finished reading Elemental Claim and before publishing my review I contacted the author Miranda Grant to let her know what I thought. She then very kindly gave up some of her time to answer some questions so we could see what made her tick!! It makes for a great and interesting read, hope you enjoy this as much as I have!
Here is what I found out…..
- What inspired you to write a book series on the mythical?
When most children were reading fairytales, I was reading Greek mythology. I absolutely loved these stories of adventure, especially since the women in them weren’t weak damsels in distress. Athena and Artemis could kick serious butt and the sirens were just wickedly awesome, able to lure sailors over with just their voice. These tales opened an entirely new world to me. It wasn’t just full of mythical creatures, but it was also steeped in the historical cultures of the ancient world, and that blew my mind as a child. Obviously still does.
- When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?Writing each character is a different process. Emma and Rogan I had nailed before I even started. Charlie was a delightful surprise. Hunter and Jack just flowed off the pages. Xeno’s backstory came out of thin air (if you read between the lines in Elemental Claim, you can find out what happened to her; though, this will be spelled out in a later book). Matakyli (the MC in book two) turned out completely different than what I had originally planned. She was supposed to be this damsel in distress who had never experienced the outside world due to a chronic illness. She is not that anymore. Not at all. She is a powerful woman and kicks some serious butt. Galvanor (Matakyli’s lifemate) is by far, the hardest to write. He has such a troubled past; it was really hard for me to get inside his head. He’s so complicated that I would write ten thousand words from his POV and then have to redo it. More than once. For example, a quarter of the way through the book, Galvanor cuts off his hands. And I’m like, seriously!? But that’s just who he is; he hates being imprisoned due to his past. So I had to rewrite the entire thing because I couldn’t change who he was. I had to change the storyline so he wouldn’t end up in that situation. Now, he doesn’t cut his hands off until the end and that’s okay. As weird as it sounds, the characters write themselves. I’m just a median for their stories to flow through.
- What did you edit out of Elemental Claim? And will it appear in later on in the series?
I originally mentioned what deal Xeno had made with Gabriel, but decided to take it out until I got around to writing her story. I had also planned on saving Elizabeth at the end and having her be the MC in book two, but obviously that didn’t happen either. Rogan was going to knock her into a coma by pushing on the water in her brain. Then, they were going to get someone to rewrite her memories and hopefully erase Sebastian’s control over her. This is not going to happen at all now; she is to walk a much different path.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
I never name my characters until I get a feel for them and sometimes their names will change more than once. For instance, Delentia started out as Trixie. If you had an earlier version of Elemental Claim, you’ll notice this as I failed to change one of the Trixie’s into Delentia (Ooops). Rogan’s original name was Kane; then I changed into Hunter; then Rogan. Hunter (the actual Hunter in EC) was named after the character on Marvel’s Agents of Shield, as I felt they were fairly similar. Xeno is named in the same way all of the angels will be (minus the archangels). Because they were created at the start of time, I decided to name them after extinct animals, effectively making the creatures named after them. So like, Xeno’s full name is Xenosmilus, which is a type of sabertooth cat. For some names, I look to name them after certain characteristics. For example, Rogan’s middle name is ‘Ketea.’ This is an alternative spelling to Cetea, which are the sea monsters in Greek mythology. Coventina (the name of Rogan’s clan) is a Roman British goddess of wells and springs. This doesn’t have anything to do with the original question, but for the books, each title will have something to do with the main character. For instance, Elemental Claim hints to Rogan being an elementalist. Think of Me Demon is about a telepath and a demon. So with that in mind, can you guess who stars in the third book: Tricked Into It?
- What was the hardest chapter to finish and why?
Definitely the last chapter. Trying to wrap everything up, while leaving enough open for the series to carry on, was pretty hard. As weird as it sounds given my genre, I actually hate writing lovey dovey stuff. I feared my reluctance and awkwardness with the whole ‘I love you’ thing would came through, so I had to rewrite that a lot. I’m pretty sure Emma doesn’t even say it and Galvanor sure as heck isn’t in book two. He has way too much baggage to fall in love in two weeks. So when I wrap up Think of Me Demon, that’s going to be the hardest chapter to write as well.
- Who is your favourite character in the series and why?
Matakali is my favourite so far. She’s just so confident in herself and doesn’t even let fate control her. She grabs life by the horns and when she falls down, she gets right back up again, as pumped as ever. Patience is not her friend, but despite this she still tries to be so with Galvanor. Her attempt to work around his problems is very touching for me and gives her a great depth to her normal childish behaviour. However, this might change when I get around to introducing SPOILER as he is the lifemate to Liz. Now THAT is going to be a challenging relationship. Not just for them, but for me as a writer, and I’m probably going to fall in love with the two of them as I have a huge soft spot for hurting souls.
- If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Oooh, I love this question. Though I like Matakyli the most, if I spent a day with her I would probably be dead by the end of it. If I had the strength to kill him, I would choose Sebastian because that bastard needs to die. Then again, if he dies right now Liz doesn’t get a nice ending… So probably Hunter. He can show me all the cool gadgets and worlds without making me feel like I’m just in the way.
- Do you find it easier or harder writing about your favourite character?
WAY easier as they pretty much write themselves. Though Matakyli started off differently in my head, as soon as her character was introduced, she took off in a focused direction. She knew who she wanted to be and I just have to take that and put it on paper. Galvanor is probably my least favourite character and he’s an absolute nightmare to write (sorry, dude, but it’s true). To be fair though, he’s pretty tortured, so that’s hard for me to visualise. Probably not going to like writing about Xeno either when she’s the MC. When they’re side characters, it’s so much easier.
- Who are your favourite authors?
I have absolute tons. RA Salvatore his Drizzt series are amazing, as is his Cleric Quintet. AJ Butcher; the first part of his Spy High series are great; the second half where everyone dies, makes me want to cry. Though I love an author that can pull at my heartstrings, I’m still pissed at him. Haha. Julia Quinn; her writing style is just so laid back and easy to read, but also tinged with a bit of wit. I buy all of hers. Lisa Kleypas has a wonderful Ravenhal series. Though I like Kresley Cole’s Immortal After Dark Series, I couldn’t get into her other works. Same with Christine Feehan. Love her Ghostwalker Series; her others not so much.
- What is your writing Kryptonite?
Having a character I can’t connect with at all. Makes it really hard to write, so I avoid doing so.
- What’s your schedule like as a writer? Do you work 9 to 5, or fit it in where you can around other things like a job or running a household?
I wake up writing most days and this usually carries on, in one form or another (writing, editing, planning, marketing, etc), until I go to work in the evening. I then come back home, crash, and then force myself to dream of any bits in the story I’m stuck on. I can’t control my dreams when I’m in them, but I can influence them at the start. Unfortunately, I forget more than I remember. Haha.
- Where is your favorite place to write?
The shower. Any time I’m stuck on a piece that’s where I go. I’m really tempted to get one of those waterproof notebooks so I can write for longer in there. For now, I have to keep it short as the water washes all my notes away. But once I get the first line or two sorted, the rest of it flows quickly, so it’s still very helpful.
- What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer it?
My political stance. I don’t think politics should only ever be talked about the few days before election or behind closed doors. Laws impact our lives every day. It tells us who we can marry, what we can do, how we are perceived by the people that make those laws. It needs constant attention. Otherwise the lawmakers get away with crap like privatizing the NHS, victim blaming, especially in rape cases,, and writing in deliberate tax loopholes for the rich. It’s our lives that they are playing with and we should be concerned. We should be able to talk about it. As for how I would answer a question about my political affiliation: I don’t see myself as a liberal, though friends and family might. I don’t see myself as a right wing nut, though I agree with some of their viewpoints. I defend both sides when needed and I get on to both sides when needed. I think every party should be held accountable and not be bloody hypocrites. My views don’t fit in a box and I’m proud of that. It allows me to call BS when needed and I will never vote for someone simply because they’re a member of PARTY A. I research their opinions and vote history, and decide based on that. The last election, I voted green. The next one, who knows.
- What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on Think of Me Demon, the second book in my War of the Myth Series. It starts at the same time of Elemental Claim, but follows the storyline of Galvanor, the telepath that went missing in book one. It turns out, he was kidnapped by a family of demons due to a prophecy told by Delentia. Their younger sister would die without the power of her lifemate, so they grab him in order to steal his powers. Safe to say, it makes their relationship a bit rocky. I’ve also started writing Sebastian’s story, but this one will be a full fantasy series and take place thousands of years before Elemental Claim. He was originally called Sebastian the KindHearted, so I’m looking forward to flushing out his fall from grace; it’ll also give me more insight into his character for when writing the War of the Myth Series.
More about Miranda Grant……
Miranda Grant has cycled three thousand miles up the rocky mountains on a tandem bike, launced herself off a cliff to soar under a piece of thin fabric, and stared down a mamma grizzly and her cub without losing a single limb. She is now tackling the challenge of becoming a successful write of paranormal/fantasy romance.
She dreams of not just creating characters in which to fall in love with, but entire worlds in which you can fall into….
First book is out now BUY IT NOW! You will not regret it!!!!!!