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Hey, it’s great to be back on PVN! I want to thank Patricia for inviting me again. I always enjoy hanging out with y’all.
PVN: Book 4 of the Maker's Song, Etched in Bone, was released on Feb. 22. Without giving anything away what can readers expect in this novel?
Adrian: Dante faces his destiny and searches for a way to accept it on his own terms. To make his life, his own, at long last, and with Heather at his side. The former FBI agent is more than his partner and lover, she is also his anchor, his beacon, guiding him back from the edge of madness when his shattered past rises up and swallows him. But in Heather’s human family awaits an unexpected enemy. One who could force Dante to choose his darkest destiny—as the Great Destroyer.
So, basically, readers can expect more of what they loved in the previous books: the deepening relationship between Dante and Heather, the enemy faction splintering into many and turning against each other, more of Von, and more of Lucien and the Fallen. We also see more of the vampire society in New Orleans.
Adrian: You bet. In The Maker’s Song world, vampires (nightkind) are a separate species, not undead. They have heartbeats, warmth—though this generally fades when they don’t feed—and beauty. Oh. And sexy. They have many powers and abilities (some of which only manifest with age) such as telepathy, heightened senses, enhanced speed and strength, grace and reflexes, the ability to fly, work illusion and suggestion, immortal—but capable of being killed (in the proper manner, of course). LOL.
There are two kinds of vampires—born vampires, known as True Bloods, and turned vampires. True Bloods have become few and far between during the last few centuries, giving rise to the fear (among nightkind elders) that the sacred Bloodline is dying out, diluted over the course of time by all the turned vampires (including themselves).
A True Blood is regarded as nightkind royalty and viewed as a force of nature, a night elemental, by the human nomad clans—a being they respect. Their abilities—telepathy, enhanced strength, speed, etc. are magnified a hundred-fold. A born vampire’s blood brims with power and magic—power and magic they can bestow (temporarily) upon anyone who takes a taste of their blood.
Never having been human, True Bloods tend to isolate themselves from mortals (except to feed and play) and view the world in a very different light.
Nightkind are sensitive to light and need to avoid the sun. True Bloods need to avoid the sun at all costs and usually that’s easy because nightkind—turned or born—are subject to Sleep during daylight hours. Wherever they are, whatever they are doing, Sleep steals over them in a dark and narcotic tide and down they go—helpless until dusk.
Dante was born nightkind—but since he’s Lucien’s son, he’s also part Fallen. And more.
Adrian: The Shadow Branch is a branch of the government that doesn’t officially exist, whose members are composed of DOD (Department of Defense), FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security agents. They run a lot of black ops in their “defense” of the country, including twisted projects like Bad Seed—an experiment in sociopathology they and the FBI conducted as “research.”
From Beneath the Skin, a conversation between Caterina Cortini (a wetwork operative for the SB and now, unknown by her handlers, a defender of the True Blood prince, Dante Baptiste) and her immediate superior, Brian Epstein.
Caterina: With each life we end, we alter the future, end possibilities; we become agents of destiny.
Epstein: Severing some, fulfilling others. A hard and honorable duty. And that’s why the SB exists. To do the hard and honorable things that everyone else is either too lazy, too corrupt, or too afraid to do.
The truly frightening part is that Epstein (and the majority of those recruited into the SB) believes those words, believes he fights on the side of good, the side of the righteous.
As for how the SB impacts Dante’s life, he was one of the subjects of Project Bad Seed, stolen from his nightkind mother at birth and given to the worst in the foster home system to be raised—a nightkind child among human monsters, a study in a developing sociopath. The project heads never counted on his compassionate heart and strong will, that he would find friendship, would care for others.
He was brutalized, tortured, and stripped of everyone he ever cared about. His memory was torn apart and fragmented over and over as he was programmed, turned into a cold killer who could be triggered with a code word. When he escaped as a teenager (struggling with an adolescent True Blood’s need to hunt, to prowl), the SB and the FBI behavioral science minds were content to let him go and study his progress.
Adrian: Honestly, I think unknowns would have to play the parts. I can’t think of anyone currently acting who would fit the bill, but I’m open to suggestions!
PVN: How many books do you envision for this series?
Adrian: Right now, I don’t see an end in sight. I hope to continue with this series for as long as there is a compelling story to tell. I love these characters and their world. Pocket has picked up books five and six. (Book Five is titled On Midnight Wings.) And I have my fingers crossed that sales will encourage them to keep picking up Maker’s Song books.
Adrian: Club Hell is Dante’s music club in the French Quarter (on St. Peter Street), and it’s a very hip club frequented by those into Goth/industrial/punk music. Or vampires. A lot of nightkind wannabes and admirers hang out.
Dante never lies and he never hides the fact that he’s vampire. I wouldn’t say he advertises it either, but since nightkind is what he’s always been, he’s himself. We don’t advertise being human, but we don’t hide it either.
He has a cheesetacular stone bat-winged throne on a dais where he can sprawl and watch the action on the dance floor and at the bar whenever he’s not in the Cage with his band, Inferno.
Adrian: The second book, Black Heart Loa, will be out the end of June. In this book, Kallie searches for her missing bayou pirate cousin and finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris-gris, which means that magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. She also learns that the wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as the deadliest storm in a century is born.
As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the randomness, only to learn that the culprit might be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Valin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart—literally.
PVN: What other projects are you working on?
Adrian: I have several steampunk proposals in with my editor, a Supernatural/ghost based proposal, an urban fantasy noir that takes place in Portland, and I’m still working on my paranormal historical fantasy about the Romantic poet John Keats. I also hope to get short stories posted online along with a short, humorous urban fantasy novel.
PVN: You have some very exciting news concerning your writing career. Would you care to share it with PVN readers?
Adrian: I would love to! I am finally writing full-time. I decided to take the leap when my day job started having major difficulties when the economy tanked. Instead of looking for another job, I realized the universe was telling me it was time to move on to the next phase of my career—one I’ve longed dreamed of. I felt deep in my gut that it was the right decision, too. It’s scary, but exciting.
PVN: Will you be doing any city book tours or attending any conferences in 2011? Details please!
Adrian: No city book tours—not yet anyway. But I will be attending the RT Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles April 6-10. I’ll be participating in a signing there as well on Saturday the 9th (and a person can buy a day pass just for that, I believe). That’s all I have scheduled for this year. So far. I’m still adjusting to my new budget now that I don’t have a regular paycheck. I’m erring on the side of caution.
PVN: Anything else you would like to add?
Adrian: Yes, thanks. One thing: Etched in Bone is also a featured read for March on BN.com’s Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Book Club
You can read a chapter from the book that started it all. Here’s a
And a link to the first chapter of
Thanks so much for having me! It’s always a pleasure to hang out here with you and your readers. I look forward to the next time!
You can also find me at:
Goodreads Dante's Club Hell Forum Dante's Club Hell Yahoo Group Pocket After Dark
*Adrian is offering prizes to THREE lucky readers.
First prize one signed set of all 4 Maker's Song books
Second and Third prize a signed book of your choice (including Black Dust Mambo)
*Leave a comment OR ask Adrian a question
*Be sure to include your contact information.
*Contest ends March 31 at 11:59 pm EST
*Contest is INTERNATIONAL!