By Vikki Perry
Tell us about your book, Once Bitten.
Once Bitten is my first book and the beginning of a series following Kita Nekai, a calico cat shifter stranded in a city full of hunters--hunters who are after her. A rogue shapeshifter has been littering the city, Haven, with bodies, and Kita has a serious case of wrong place, wrong time. Accused of creating the rogue, her life is forfeited if she doesn’t find and stop him in two days. Helping her in her search is a vampire with a little too much curiosity, particularly about her, a mage who thinks she is guilty, and her ex-lover who is determined to drag her back home.
I know you write urban fantasy. What is urban fantasy?
My favorite genre. Oh, you want a technical answer. Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy because it deals with fantastical elements (like elves, werewolves, vampires, magic, etc.) but unlike, say, high fantasy, UF places these fantasy elements in a contemporary (typically city) setting. Usually UF is told from first person and includes a healthy dose of mystery and a helping of romance. Some of the superstars of the genre include Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, and Karen Chance.
You're being published by Bellebridge Books in Atlanta, how did that happen and what do they publish?
Bellebridge Books is the new fantasy imprint of Belle Books. The parent line specializes in Southern fiction, but the new line, which launched this past August at Dragon*Con, is focusing primarily on Urban Fantasy and YA. I’m biased, but I think the line has a lot of attitude, and I can’t wait to see the spring line up. If you’d like to check out BelleBridge Books, you can find out more information at www.bellebooks.com.
Your book was a product of Nanowrimo 2005. How did Nanowrimo help you finish your book? Does the book resemble that first draft?
I’ll answer the last half of that first. No, the first draft and the published draft look nothing alike. I think at this point, my scrap file of what has been cut out of the book or completely rewritten is longer than the actual book, and the book is 100k words. That said, if I hadn’t written that (awful) first draft during NaNo, I would probably still be sitting around with another story that puttered out after a couple thousand words. After all, that is what I did for years. I wrote for over ten years without finishing anything. Mostly because I suffered from two problems: I only wrote when ‘struck by the muse’ (which was typically only once or twice a month), and I always edited and fretted over every word, every sentence. So, I never finished. NaNo forced me to sit down every day and write. I put the internal editor in her box and dragged myself to the computer day after day even if I didn’t have a clue what to say, and lo and behold, at the end of thirty days, I had a first draft completed. “Butt in Chair, Write” is now my writing philosophy whenever I am working on a new draft, and I really do owe that to NaNoWriMo.
What do you have planned next?
Well, the next book in the Haven series will probably be out in late 2009 or early 2010, but I don’t have a firm date on that yet. I also have another series I am just starting to shop around. I’ve received a couple requests so far, so we will see. Hopefully I’ll have good news to report on that front soon.
Visit Kalayna at www.kalayna.com.