Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dive Into A Good Time With Virginia Kantra!!

Well, ship ahoy, me harties!

We've got a morsel more tempting than a bottle o' rum after a long day o' climbin' the riggin'! All ye landlubbers beware for we're setting sail into the mysterious waters of the Children of The Sea.

Pull up a crate and join me in welcoming VIRGINIA KANTRA to the TLN Hot Seat. Her new release IMMORTAL SEA rode the waves to a bookstore near you earlier this month.

If yarns of merfolk, selkies, and finfolk be your grog of choice, then let's weigh anchor and let Virginia take the helm!

1)If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Writer Virginia Kantra has everything she ever wanted: a career she loves, a husband she’s crazy about, and three kids who are (finally, mostly) out of the house.
Now all she needs is to figure out how to meet her deadlines in a house where the phone never stops ringing and the cats throw up on everything that doesn’t move.

2)Using three words, describe your voice.

Suz Brockmann, Alyssa Day, and Nalini Singh have all described my voice as “haunting,” which I totally adore, unless of course that makes you think I wander around with chains and a bed sheet.

“Emotional” shows up a lot in reviews. And either “lush” or “lyric,” but I don’t know if that’s because of the sex or because I love to borrow the language of fairy tale in my stories.

3)What has been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in your writing/career?

Time management. It takes me too long to write each book.

4)Novice Writer to Multi-Pubbed Author: How has your outlook on writing changed? Any changes to your writing style?

When I started writing, I knew it was the writing itself, what I had to say and how passionately I felt about saying it, that was the best and most important part of this job. And that's something I try to hold on to.

My style hasn’t changed much, but I understand it better now. Practice may not “make perfect,” but it has given me more confidence and consistency

5)If you had to start all over again, what would be the one tidbit of experience you'd want to take with you?

Write from the heart.

6)What's up next for you? Any news you'd like to share?

Well, in October I’m teaching my “Deep POV” workshop for WriterU (http://www.writeruniv.com/ ).

I’m scrambling to finish the next Children of the Sea novel, FORGOTTEN SEA, which spins my world of warring elementals in a slightly different direction.

Here’s a little teaser:

The man on the boat stripped half naked, exposing a lean golden chest and muscled arms.

In the parking lot across the street from the dock, Lara Rho sucked in her breath. Held it as he dropped his shirt to the deck and began to climb.

The top of the mast swayed, stark against the bold blue sky. Her stomach fluttered. Nerves? she wondered. Recognition? Or simple female appreciation?

The sun beat down, forging the water of the bay to a sheet of hammered gold. The air inside the car heated like an oven.

Beside her in the driver’s seat, Gideon stirred, chafing in the heat. His corn silk hair was pulled into a pony tail, his blue eyes narrowed against the glare. “Is he the one?”

Lara leaned forward to peer through the windshield of their nondescript gray car, testing the pull of the internal compass that had woken her at dawn. They’d driven all morning from the rolling hills of Pennsylvania through the flat Virginia tidewater, wasting precious minutes in the traffic around Norfolk before they found this place. This man.

Are you the one?

She exhaled slowly, willing herself to focus on the climber. He certainly looked like an angel, hanging in the rigging against the bold blue sky, his bronze hair tipped with gold like a halo.

“I think so.” She bit her lip. She should know. “Yes.”

“He’s too old,” Gideon said.

Lara swallowed her own misgivings. She was the designated Seeker on this mission. Gideon was along merely to support and defend. She wanted her instincts to be right, wanted to justify their masters’ faith in her. “Late twenties,” she said. “Not much older than you.”

“He should have been found before this.”

“Maybe he wasn’t meant to be found before.” Her heartbeat quickened. Maybe she was the one meant to find him.

“Then he should be dead,” Gideon said.

The brutal truth made her shiver despite the heat. Survival depended on banding together under the Rule. She was only eleven when they brought her to Rockhaven, but she remembered being alone. Hunted. If Simon Axton had not found her...

She pushed the memories away to study her subject. He must be forty feet above the gleaming white deck. Snagging a rope at the top of the mast, he fed it to the two men waiting below, one old, one young, both wearing faded navy polo shirts. Some kind of uniform?

“He’s been at sea,” she murmured. “The water could have protected him.”

It could do that, couldn’t it? Protect against fire. Even if the water wasn’t blessed.

“I don’t like it.” Gideon said bluntly. “You’re sure he’s one of us?”

She had felt him more with every mile, a tug on her attention, a prickle in her fingertips. Now that she could actually see him, the hum in her blood had become a buzz. But it was all vibration, like listening to a vacuum cleaner in the dark, without shape or color. Not only human, not wholly elemental...

“What else could he be?” she asked.

“He could be possessed.”


She would know, she would feel that. She was attracted, not repelled, by his energy. And yet...Uncertainty ate at her. She had not been a Seeker very long. The gift was rough and raw inside her, despite Miriam’s careful teaching. What if she were wrong? What if he wasn’t one of them? At best she and Gideon would have a wasted trip and she’d look like a fool. At worst, she could betray them to their enemy.

She watched the man begin his descent, his long limbs fluid in the sun, sheened with sweat and sunlight.

And if she were right, his life depended on her.

She shook her head in frustration. “We’re too far away. If I could touch him...”

“What are you going to do?” Gideon asked dryly. “Walk up and ask to feel his muscles?”

There was an idea. She gave a small, decisive nod. “If I have to.”

She opened her door. Gideon opened his.

“No,” she said again. She needed to assert herself. Gideon was five years older, in the cohort ahead of hers, but she was technically in charge. “I can get closer if you’re not standing next to me.”

A frown formed between his straight blond brows. “It could be dangerous.”

She had chosen their watch post. They both had scanned the area. It was safe. For now. “There’s no taint.”

“That’s not the kind of danger I’m talking about,” Gideon muttered.

She disregarded him. For twelve years, she had trained to handle herself. She could handle this.

She swung out of the car, lowering her sunglasses onto her nose like a knight adjusting his helm, considering her strategy. Her usual approach was unlikely to work here. This subject was no confused and frightened child or even a dazed, distrustful adolescent.

After a moment’s thought, she undid another button on her blouse. Ignoring Gideon’s scowl—after all, he was not the one responsible for the success of their mission—she crossed the street to the marina.

It was a long, uneven walk along sun bleached boards to the end of the dock.

The man descending the mast had stopped halfway down, balanced on some sort of narrow crossbeam, staring out at the open sea on the other side of the boat.

She tipped back her head. Her nerves jittered. Surely he wasn’t going to...

He jumped. Dived, rather, a blinding arc of grace and danger, sending up a plume of white water and a shout from the younger man on deck.

She must have cried out, too. The two men on the boat turned to look at her, the young one with a nudge and the old one with a nod.

The one in the water surfaced with an explosion of breath, tossing his wet hair back from his face.

Cooling off? Or showing off? It didn’t matter.

He stroked cleanly through the water, making for the swimming platform at the back of the boat.

Show time, she thought.

Pasting a smile on her face, she walked to the edge of the dock. “Eight point six.”

He angled his head, meeting her gaze. She felt the jolt clear to her stomach, threatening her detachment. His eyes were the same hammered gold as the water, with shadows beneath the surface.


She pushed her sunglasses up on her head. “I deducted a point for recklessness. You shouldn’t dive this close to the dock.”

He grinned and grabbed the ladder. “I wasn’t talking about my dive.”

WOWZA! I'm thinking a trip to the coast is the perfect mid-week pick-me-up! If sexy selkies and naughty finfolk are ripe for the picking, well, hand me a net and stand back. ;)

I'd like to thank Virgina for taking time out deadline crunch to let me interview her. If you'd like to know more about Virginia Kantra and her CHILDREN OF THE SEA series, swim on over to her website.

THANK YOU, TLN'ers! Here's hoping your week is nothing but clear skies and calm waters. How about we let
JIMMY BUFFET and FINS put the wind back in our sails!! Get those fins up, me harties! See you on Friday!!


Diana Cosby said...

Hi Virginia,
Always fabulous to see you and huge CONGRATULATIONS on making the NYTimes Best-Seller list! Truly deserving. Over the years you've been an amazing inspiration, teacher and if I'm not overstepping my bounds, friend. I'm truly blessed to know you, and I wish you continued success. *Hugs*


Micole Black said...

Hi Virginia,

Can't wait to pick this one up!!! Sorry it has been so long since I have made it your way Sarah, but I sure am glad that I did tonight.



Sherry Gloag said...

Fabulous interview and if the rest of the book travels at the same pace as this excerpt then it's going to be a 'wow' read. I was pulled in immediately.
Thanks for sharing.

Virginia Kantra said...

Diana, you're making me blush. We both can say "I knew er when."

Micole and Sherry, at the moment this is the Book That Will Not Die, but I think it's going to be worth it. Thanks for the kind words!

And Sarah, thanks for having me!

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Diana!!

How lovely you stopped by! You know I could say the very same thing about you. ;) You've been nothing but a blessing to me.

Sarah Simas said...

Micole! Wah-hoo!

I know how busy you are, lady, so I'm very thrilled to have you visit. Hope we can get together soon. Happy writing, my friend!

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Sherry!

I agree with you 100%! I loved this excerpt, too. Gotta love a hunk in the water. ;) Thanks for swinging by. Hope to see you again!

Sarah Simas said...

It was my pleasure to interview you, Virginia!

Best wishes for a smooth sailing deadline crunch and thanks again! :)

Rula Sinara said...

Hi Sarah and Virginia. I loved that excerpt and the last part made me grin. I'll definitely be adding Immortal Sea to my TBR pile. Best wishes!