What can we expect from the AURA series?
Angel: AURA has three books scheduled for the series right now, but we’ve set the world up in such a way that the possibilities are endless. Readers will always get to visit with Val and Quinn, but we have other characters who will get major screen time in the next two books.
Bellora: Yes, at least three books. We will have to take a look at the possibility for more when we finish book three.
Did you enjoy the freedom associated with building an alternate reality?
Angel: Always. Though at first, a new world is always daunting – so many little details involved in playing minor god. When you build an alternate reality, though, the world is an extra character and the nature of that character becomes clearer the longer you work on it. It’s an amazing rush, being allowed to conceive of anything your heart desires.
Bellora: It’s so much fun to take our reality and tweak it a little, or sometimes a lot. I think the best part for me is figuring out how people will react when confronted with a world where it’s no longer strange to see a herd of centaurs in Central Park.
Was there a lot of research involved in writing about mages, and magical creatures?
Angel: You know, I was going to answer “no” to this question. My whole life has been steeped and saturated in myth, legend and folklore. It’s what I do. But that’s not to say there wasn’t research for this novel, especially in the realm of setting.
Bellora: Angel makes me research. Really though, a lot of the elements in this book that would have required research were things that I had already spent time learning about. So, like Angel said, it was more of a long process than an intense session of learning new things.
What is the process of co-authoring a book like?
Bellora: Like mixing chocolate and peanut butter. I think if you have a really good writing partner it is the absolute best way to write. I love having a sounding board for ideas and someone to share the whole process of creating with.
Angel: Two great tastes… lol. I think every writing team approaches it in their own way. Bellora and I are both somewhat introverted and doing this remotely is probably better for us. We both need time to think out responses, to consider and process sometimes. There are some things that we’ve done instinctively. We each create characters and while we help in each other’s character growth, we do our best not to step on each other’s toes. Bellora’s characters are hers, mine are mine. (It’s sometimes fun to show our work to friends and ask them to guess who wrote which ones.) There’s a lot of back and forth – we impel each other through scenes but we do a lot of discussing, too. Mostly in written correspondence, but we’ve had to have some Skype sessions for complicated edits. Technology is sometimes a cool thing. Could I do this with just anyone? No. Co-writing has to be done with someone you trust and respect and someone who is different enough from you that you can inspire and fill in the gaps for each other. And sometimes freak each other out.
What is your favourite part of Quinn’s Gambit?
Bellora: Not to sound cliche but there are so many scenes I enjoyed writing it’s really hard to pick just one. I think rather than any particular scene my favourite part would be the humour that’s threaded through the book. There is drama and romance and action but the little bits of funny are the parts the make me happiest. Okay, it’s Groof. Groof is my favourite.
Angel: Groof is one of the most original characters I’ve seen in a long time, and he’s hilarious. I think if I had to pick a favorite scene it would be where Kai is trying to find his way through the suppression. He’s a sneaky little guy, but he wants to do something noble and good. He wants Tenzin to be proud of him. His unholy glee over the whole thing is just too much fun.
Bellora: Yeah, I love Kai too. His level of snark is just perfect.
Why did you choose to set this story in New York?
Angel: I probably bullied Bellora into New York. It’s a compact microcosm of everything, the possibilities are endless. We wanted a big city and one where it would make sense to headquarter a quasi-government agency. I wanted a city I was familiar with, one I could visualize, and though I don’t live in New York, it holds a lot of good memories for me.
Bellora: I don’t think it took that much arm twisting on Angel’s part to convince me. I think I waffled for all of ten minutes on where our ‘home base’ would be, but really New York City made the most sense. It had all the elements we needed.
What can we expect from you next with Totally Bound?
Bellora: Right now AURA book two, Flax’s Pursuit, is in the final stages of editing and will be coming out this summer.
Angel: We’re very excited about Flax’s book. Yeah. You guys don’t know him yet. After that, we have started on the third AURA book which may, possibly, get a title some day.