Monday, February 28, 2011
Interview and Giveaway: Allison Pang
I must confess my secret shame. Somewhere, in my parents' basement, there is a box of unicorn figurines that I collected from age 10 to 15. It started with a Secret Santa gift from my fifth grade "boyfriend" Mark Hobbs and somehow morphed into an army of one-horned equine ceramic nightmares. I can't bear to part with them, but I don't want them in my house, either. So for now, my parents are stuck with them.
When I needed an idea for the main character in my 'Nice Girls' vampire series to have an embarrassing collection from childhood, I naturally leaned toward unicorns. I'd lived through the creepy horse obsession all girls go through, and I needed to channel it constructively. So Jane ended up with unicorn lamps, unicorn music boxes, and various sweatshirts she prays will never see the outside of her closet.
When I heard my agent sibling, Allison Pang, featured a foul-mouthed unicorn in her book, A BRUSH OF DARKNESS, I thought she'd be a natural fit here at NICE GIRLS DON'T WRITE NAUGHTY BOOKS.
A BRUSH OF DARKNESS features Abby Sinclair, who wields an enchanted iPod, has a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.
A former marine biologist, Allison turned to a life of crime to finance her wild spending habits and need to collect Faberge eggs. A cat thief of notable repute, she spends her days sleeping and nights scaling walls and wooing dancing boys....Well, at least the marine biology part is true. But she was taloned by a hawk once. She also loves Hello Kitty, sparkly shoes, and gorgeous violinists. She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids and cats, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes
Please welcome Allison to the blog and see details below to enter for a free copy of A BRUSH OF DARKNESS.
MH: OK, I have to ask. Why a dirty unicorn? Were you traumatized by a snarky unicorn as a child?
AP: Heh. Many of the unicorn’s behaviors were directly inspired by several of my cats (I have a particularly pervy one who drags my bathrobe around and humps it. Whee.) But honestly, I adored unicorns growing up – so I knew I always wanted to have one in a story I wrote. In this case, I thought a pervy unicorn would be more fun than the standard straight man, so to speak. He gets to do and say things I could never get away with writing for the hero/heroine.
MH: Bonus question, what's your favorite unicorn quip? Also, it takes some stones to make a hentai joke in a romance novel, nicely done!
AP: *bows* Yeah. Hentai. Sadly I was exposed to far more of it than I would have liked in college. I do adore anime as a whole though. Favorite quip… (to Abby)
“The Faery Queen’s daughter is missing and *you* were likely the last person to see her. Just answer their questions and be honest. Unless, of course, you really did do something to her,” he amended hastily. “In which case, lie your f--ing ass off.”
MH: The urban fantasy tends to be pretty serious. Is it difficult for you to balance the humor/badassery required of you?
AP: Sometimes – but I think it depends on the scene – but that’s also part of the reason I have Phin (the unicorn). He brings levity to a number of places that might not otherwise have them. As far as badassery goes, I’m not sure Abby is really all that badass, honestly. I tried to make her more normal than anything else (although she’s obviously got some funky powers here and there).
MH: You chose a couple of different mythologies to blend for BRUSH OF DARKNESS, can you tell us a little bit about your world-building process?
AP: Eh. It’s a Kitchen Sink world, I guess. Anything and everything could potentially show up, but the overall flavor of the world building is decidedly Celtic, since I based the original concept of the CrossRoads off of the True Thomas poem Thomas the Rhymer. I knew I wanted to expand on it – the three paths he could have taken essentially equal the three mythological Paths that many of the OtherFolk fall on – Heaven, Hell and Faerie.
MH: There are a veritible crapload of supernatural creatures in BRUSH OF DARKNESS, do you have a favorite?
AP: They’re all fun. Many of the creatures from the Midnight Marketplace scenes are actually cameos of characters I or my friends have run in online RPGs. Sort of inside jokes, I guess.
MH: What's next for you?
AP: The sequel to A Brush of Darkness has been turned in and I’ll have revisions for that soon, as well as the writing of Book 3, so those two things will probably consume most of my time for the next several months. After that, I’ve got a sort of Steampunk fantasy thing I’d like to work on.
OK, everybody, leave a comment below indicating that you've tweeted, Facebooked or mentioned A BRUSH OF DARKNESS on your blog, and your name will be entered to win a copy! The winner will be randomly selected after 5 p.m. Central time Wednesday, March 2. Thanks for stopping by, Allison!