I’m so thrilled to have the amazing USA Today Bestselling author and six-time Rita Award finalist Virginia Kantra as our guest blogger today. She has a string of other credit to her name, but I’m trying to get you to hit up her website for the details. Anyway, she takes the seas by storm with her first full-length venture into paranormal romance with Sea Witch. Come August, she’ll churn up hurricane force winds with book two in her Children of the Sea Series, Sea Fever. This is my first interview (because I’ve always wanted to do one), so give a warm welcome to the lovely Ms. Kantra.
1. I’ve read Sea Crossing from the Shifter anthology and loved the story between Emma and Griffith. How does that story tie into the rest of your Children of the Sea Series?
“Sea Crossing” is a prequel-sort of Anne of Green Gables sails on the Titanic, but with hot sex. There are some cross-over characters-one of the advantages of dealing with immortals!-but the stories are standalone. I can’t say more because I don’t want to reveal any spoilers.
2. Margred and Caleb are the couple of hour in Sea Witch. Will we see them again or get a short glimpse into their lives with Sea Fever (book 2)?
Oh, absolutely you’ll see them again. Caleb and Dylan are brothers, after all, and Margred wouldn’t let herself be left out of anything. But Sea Fever belongs to Dylan and Regina.
3. I know you get this a lot, but why seals? Why not a jellyfish or a sea urchin?
Yeah, yeah, I know. Other writers are doing alpha wolves, sleek black panthers, sexy beasts prowling through the jungle at night, and I’m deep in . . . Sea World.
But that’s our limited modern mind set. The tales of the selkie-mythical creatures who shed their seal skins and come ashore as beautiful men and women-come from a more mythic place and a more basic time. In the old tales, you can feel the characters’longing: the lonely sailor, the woman who loses her love to the sea, the farmer searching for a wife beyond the local girls he knows, the unmarried village girl who can’t or won’t name the father of her baby. There’s a palpable, poignant conflict between their day-to-day experience and their yearning for something more.
It was that juxtaposition, that tension between land and sea, between the contemporary, pragmatic, police procedural world of my hero and the timeless, sensual, magical world of my heroine, that totally hooked me into the first story and into the series.
4. You put a lot of research into Sea Witch, though I didn’t realize how much you put into Caleb’s character to make his time in Iraq so real. Tell us the lengths you went to, including the very cool discoveries you made along the way. Don’t leave anything out, including that rumor I heard about you streaking across the beach in an attempt to get a feel for Margred.
Hey, if I went skinny dipping, I’m not telling you. She’s lying. I’ve got pictures to prove it. Just let me get my iStock photos together. 😉
On a more serious note . . . I knew it would take quite a man to capture Margred’s attention. Caleb is a true hero. I wanted to do justice to his character, his sacrifice, and the service of our troops in the Guard. I was fortunate enough to become friends with First Lieutenant Sarah Frantz of the North Carolina National Guard at a Suz Brockmann reader event in Atlanta two years ago. I read a lot of journals and letters by soldiers serving in Iraq. The attack on Caleb is actually based on video I found on-line.
5. There’s not much on your website about Sea Lord, but I’ll survive. Can you give us a tiny glimpse into that book or is it still in the plotting, hammering, beat-to-a-freakin’-pulp stage?
Hmmm… How’s this?
Conn ap Llyr walked the broken shore of the crescent island, just out of reach of the seductive curl of the water, ignoring the siren call of the waves and the lap of the surge like the tempo of his blood. Pervasive. Tantalizing. Addictive. He needed the sea like he needed a woman.
But he could control his needs. He must. Let his father, Llyr, wallow in the pleasures of the land beneath the waves. Conn seldom gave himself up to the sea’s embrace anymore.
Yet sometimes in the evening, he left his tower to walk with his hound along the rocks and tide pools at the water’s edge. To refresh his mind, renew his gift and cool the hot impatience of his body.
Which is why the vision burning in the tide pool at his feet almost tripped him up.
-Sea Lord, Berkley Sensation, May 2009
6. How many books are in your series? Inquiring–desperate–minds want to know because if we have to petition someone to get more books in this series, count me in.
This trilogy (Sea Witch, Sea Fever, and Sea Lord) is tied together by the three Hunter siblings, Caleb, Dylan, and Lucy. But the world has grown in the writing, and there are definitely other people and situations I’d be interested in exploring. My writing process is pretty organic, so I have to build everything off the characters.
7. Does this mean you’ll be doing paranormal romance from now on or will you continue to peck romantic suspense on the keyboard, too? Careful with your answer. Remember what blog you’re on. Not that I have anything against romantic suspense, of course.
You know, I originally thought Sea Witch was another straightforward contemporary romantic suspense: police chief on a remote island off the coast of Maine discovers a naked woman who’s been attacked on the beach.
Then I thought . . . What if she wasn’t human?
You couldn’t take the paranormal elements out of the books without the storyline falling apart. But you couldn’t take the suspense out, either. They’re both there to test the characters, and the characters have to live in both worlds. So I’m hoping I’ll continue to write about both worlds.
Definitely Sea Lord! I’m very excited to be writing Lucy’s story. This is a girl abandoned by her mother and raised by her alcoholic father and ten-year-old brother. The series logo, the triskelion, is not only a sign of the domains of earth, sea, and sky, but a symbol of the triple goddess (maiden, matron, and wise woman). You could say Margred, the sea witch, is my wise woman. Regina, the single mom in Sea Fever, is the matron. And motherless Lucy is the girl/woman just coming into her strength and knowledge.
Of course, Lucy not only has to contend with the ongoing threat of the children of fire, she also has to deal with Conn ap Llyr, the selkie prince. So she has to find her feet fast!
Thank you, Virginia, for putting up with me. It wasn’t like you had a choice since I’m holding the Kantra family pet hostage. But I thought I’d throw it out there. 😉 Check out her website at www.virginiakantra.net. Better yet, just go buy the book!