Mar 17, 2011

Adrian Phoenix Interview & Contest

What a thrill for PVN to welcome back Adrian Phoenix recently described by Barnes & Noble reviewer Paul Goat Allen as Urban Fantasy's Hottest and Most Underrated Writer. I can only say amen to that! Recently Etched in Bone was released. Today Adrian talks about her new book and many other exciting subjects. She is also offering one lucky reader a copy of the book. The contest is international
[see details at end of post]

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.

PVN: Dante is a vampire (and much more). Please describe the characteristics of the vampires you have created.

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.

PVN: What is the Shadow Branch and how does it impact Dante's life?

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.

PVN: If a TV series or film were made about the Maker's Song who would you like to see in the roles of Dante and Heather?

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.

PVN: Tell us about Club Hell.

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.

PVN: Book one of the Hoodoo series Black Dust Mambo was released last June. What's next for this series?

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’s Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Book Club – which I’m very excited about.

You can read a chapter from the book that started it all. Here’s a 
link to a sample chapter of  A Rush of Wings.

Here’s a 
link to the first two chapters of  Etched in Bone.

And a link to the first chapter of 
Black Dust Mambo.

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


Maria V""V said...

In the middle of reading it. I can't put it down. You're lucky I'm even typing. I love, love, love this series! Keep 'em coming!
Maria Vazquez

Adrian said...

Wow, thank you so much! I totally plan to keep 'em coming. Thanks tons for your support!

kimikimi said...

I hope Pocket picks up all your books.

Will there be spin-offs of other characters?

Aik said...

Hi Adrian, have you ever considered writing books for young adults?

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Mandy1023 said... that was awesome and I would love to get the books! If I can I would like to post a question... how did you come about naming your characters? For all authors there are different ways of writing their compositions and its always fascinating how different it can be for each individual writer. I love the characters and I always strive to be omniscient, even though its quite an impossibility. Thank you for your fangtastic writing!!/profile.php?id=100001926889852

Adrian said...

Thanks so much, kimikimi! I'd love to do a book about Lucien and one about Von featuring their adventure before Dante.

Adrian said...

Hi Aik,
Thanks for joining us! I *have* considered writing a YA, and I've bounced some ideas around, but I haven't found one yet that I loved enough to pour my time into.

It's all about the characters. When I come up with a YA character I love, I'll totally write their story.

Adrian said...

Thanks for your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

I choose a name that I feel suits the character and then research the name to make sure its qualities fit.

I love to write from several different points of view. And you're right - every writer has their own way of approaching their craft, which is what makes it so fascinating.

Adrian said...

All right, I'm heading off to bed, but I'll be make to answer your questions in the morning.

Bonne nuit!

Sandy Jay said...

I haven't read this series but I have the books on my wishlist. This is a great giveaway.

forwhlz at gmail dot com

Katy said...

This sounds amazing! I have been wanting to try your books for a while now, so I hope I get a chance to win them! If not, eh I will probs go out and buy them anyways lol

Julie S said...

I've heard great things about this series and I would love to read it!


Bethany C. said...

That's very exciting that you get to write full time- congratulations! The Makers Song series is great. I haven't started your other series yet, but I know I need to!


Daelith said...

Congratulations on taking that leap of faith to go into writing full time.
This series sounds great. I look forward to getting my hands on the first book.

Thank you for the interview and giveaway.
cheleooc at yahoo dot com

Kulsuma said...

This series looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

Adrian said...

Sandy and Katy,
Thanks so much for joining us! I appreciate the support.

Adrian said...

Julie, Bethany, Daelith,& Kulsuma, thanks so much for your comments and congrats. Glad you enjoyed the interview!

Anonymous said...

Will we be seeing more Von in the future! I just love him?

Adrian said...

Hi Anonymous,
Oh, we'll always see more of Von in the books! ;)

Ina said...

oh my, I wanted to read book #1 since seeing it the first time, but *shameonme* I haven't read it yet - I really hope to catch up soon...
wish you all the best, Ina

inale87 at gmx dot at

Adrian said...

Hi Ina,
I hear you - so many books, so little time! LOL. Thanks for joining us and I wish you luck!

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I love the sound of this series. My type of vamps. Off to add to my wishlist.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Adrian said...

Thanks so much, Lisa!

Robin K said...

I cannot wait to start your books Adrian. I have been collecting to go on a reading spree with them :) Keep em coming!

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Adrian said...

Thanks so much, Robin! I'll keep 'em coming. Enjoy your spree. ;)

LilFrig said...

Thanks again for another interview and giveaway. Was wondering if they extend your contract on the series do you have plans to further continue it, or have you thought of a spin off series?

Adrian said...

Hi Lilfrig!
I would love to keep the series going for as long as there's a compelling story to tell (which would be a long time). :)

I'd love to some Maker's Song prequels, a book about Lucien and one about Von, but I don't have a spin-off series planned.

Lincoln Air Conditioner Compressor said...

It was very interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks the author for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

Pam S (pams00) said...

Great interview thanks so much for sharing!

Would be awesome to see any of the books as movies or TV series, though not entirely sure on who the cast should be.

Black Heart Loa's cover looks awesome! - ofcourse all of the covers do.

The new projects sound interesting as well -haven't read to much steampunk though I did enjoy The Iron Duke. Would love to read the ghost story. Do you have any ideas on when you'll finish any of them up?

Pam S
pams00 @

Adrian said...

Glad you enjoyed the interview, Pam!

I thought the cover was just gorgeous too!

I don't have any idea at this point when any of those new projects might be done. It depends on whether or not my editor makes an offer or not. If she doesn't, I'll shop them around. In the meantime, I'm focusing on The Maker's Song and the Hoodoo books.

But I'll get to those projects eventually!


Tori said...

Hi Adrian, I have two questions for you. Sorry if this one was asked and I missed it. Will your books be released in audio? The most important of all do you have a date set for the release of On Midnight Wings?

Adrian said...

Hi Tori,
Thanks for dropping by!
No, my books aren't coming out in audio yet. I've had my agent check with the major audio publishers and we were told that my sales numbers weren't big enough yet to warrant interest. So some day, just not yet. :)

Nope, no pub date for On Midnight Wings yet. I'm hoping for the end of the year.

Debbie said...

Yeah a book all about Von! I would be first in line for that one! I love all of the characters but he just curls my toes! His sense of humor and his love for his family are awesome qualities.

Adrian said...

Hi Debbie,
Thanks so much for your comments and I agree, a book about Von would be awesome. In the meantime, I might see about writing some short stories about Von and posting them online.

Diana said...

I haven't read this series but sounds very interesting!
I realy want to read it.
Thanks for the giveaway!

artgiote at gmail dot com

mbreakfield said...

Congrats on writing full time. The series sounds great. I really hope the steampunk series comes to fruition. I enjoy a good steampunk read.

blackroze37 AT said...


donnas said...

Great interview.

Do you have input on your covers? And are these your titles or do they get changed from what you use when writing the story?

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Vivien said...

I've really been wanting to get my hands on these!! Congrats!!

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I've been planning to read something from you, Adrian, for a long time, I just haven't had a chance to yet :)
I would like to ask you why you chose New Orleans as the location? I've read some book with vampires in New Orleans, and always wondered what is so appealing in this city? Or was it just by accidecnt? :)

Thanks for the interview (I really enjoyed it) and the giveaway,

Tanya said...

I read Black Dust Mambo, I loved it..
There were so many things going on "in a good way" that left me in suspense. I can't wait to read the 2nd book..

meggerfly said...

Great interview! I've been seeing this book everywhere recently and it's gotten really great reviews! I'd love to read it!

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I've have as the next series to read. These books sound so like the vamps I know and love.

Any idea ho many will be in this series?


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

blackroze37 AT said...

WAIT! First prize one signed set of all 4 Maker's Song
booksSecond and
Third prize a signed book of your choice (including Black Dust Mambo)

Amy said...

I'm really enjoying your Maker's Song series. I love books about angels, and it is very interesting how we can see the story from Dante's point of view and learn more about him. Usually the story is told from the heroine's side and that's all we see.


IvaliceAlliance said...

Wow. I haven't read anything from the series and I would LOVE to!

buddyt said...

Makers is on my wishlisr and I have entered a giveaway to win your Black Dust Mambo (Hoodoo series book 1)
So would be really great to get all 4 of the Maker;s series.


Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

I am a Follower via GFC

Adrian said...

Donna S,
Thanks for joining us! I had virtually no say in my covers for the first couple of books, now my editor asks me for ideas on the background, etc. Which is great. But other than that, I don't have a say. If there's something I really don't like about the cover, my editor listens and does what she can to fix the problem. Something I truly appreciate.

The titles are mine. A Rush of Wings was originally The Fallen, but my editor asked me to change it, which I did and I'm glad she did. LOL.

Thanks for your comments and questions!

Adrian said...

Thanks so much, Vivien and Tami!

Adrian said...

Hi Mikki-Mano,
It's no accident that writers place vampires in New Orleans. The city brims with mystery and magic, ghosts and voodoo queens, and is the perfect home - with it's blend of cultures, old and new world vibe and buildings - for vampires.

I LOVE New Orleans. :)

Glad you enjoyed the interview!

Adrian said...

Thanks, Tanya, so glad you enjoyed Black Dust Mambo! and Meggerfly, thanks so much!

Adrian said...

Hi LisaR,

I don't have a set number of books for The Maker's Song. I hope to continue with it as long as there is a compelling story to tell (and that should be a long time)!

Adrian said...

Thanks so much, Amy! I love showing Dante's POV and I'm glad you enjoy seeing the world through his eyes too.

I appreciate your support!

Adrian said...

IvaliceAlliance and BuddyT,
Thanks TONS for your comments!

Darlyn said...

I recently just found about the series and so excited to know more. And so excited when the main character is girl!girls rock!

darlyn225 at gmail dot com

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