The latest novel in the Soulwood series, Circle of the Moon, is available on February 26 from Ace Mass Market Original. The Soulwood series details the adventures of PsyLED Agent Nell Ingram, a bewitching woman who draws power from deep within the Earth. In advance of the novel’s release, I had a chance to ask author Faith Hunter some questions. I couldn’t resist asking her about gardening and her inspiration for a character as unique as Nell!
Chatting with Faith Hunter
What are your top 5 Geek Loves?
Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Chloe Neill, Shannon Mayer, Jim Butcher
What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Do you have a favorite author, series, book?
I read a little of everything, but I am addicted to Ilona Andrews. I’ll read anything she writes, even her shopping list. Pssst. Does anyone have her shopping list? Send it to me!!!
What’s your favorite thing about writing? Is there a “best” part of the process?
It’s when I’ve been struggling though a scene or a transition between scenes and suddenly it’s all just there and my fingers start typing and electricity runs through my whole body and the story comes ALIVE! It’s like riding a fast horse down a hill and across a freezing river. Exhilarating.
What was the turning point that allowed you to feel comfortable leaving your day job?
When the US finally provided insurance options for people with preexisting conditions. Until then I had to keep a day job. The day the ACA came alive I quit my job.
Where do you store 36 kayaks?!?
LOL We used to have a double car garage. Now we have kayak storage.
What inspired you to create a character who is almost a tree? What about the vampire tree?
Nell Ingram … Isn’t she … different? Strange? Weird? Kinda oak-y? (laughing softly) I adore this character. Where did she come from? I was a tree hugger when I was a child. I’d leave the house when I was sad and hug a tree. After a while, I’d feel this sense of peace seep into me. I’d be able to go on. In many ways, I wanted to be a tree—tall, stalwart, strong, surviving everything nature throws my way. So when It came time to be really creative in a spinoff series, and not fall back on tropes of the genre, I instantly decided TREE! The vampire tree came from getting stuck by thorns growing from a tree when I was a kid playing in the woods. I have no idea what kind of tree it was but it stuck me and drew blood. That stayed with me. It hurt!
Has writing Nell helped you learn any helpful gardening tips or tricks for those of us with black thumbs? What’s the best plant to start with for a newb?
It all depends on light. That is one thing that is hard to determine. To begin, one needs to determine where north is. Once you have that location, then you know where the sun will rise and set and what parts of the yard get light, or know which windows get light. Hint – south! The south windows and the south yard will have the best light. Then I’d go to a specialist in your area and tell them about your windows or yard, and let them help you pick two plants that are complementary for that light. Follow the directions for upkeep, no more and no less of anything, whether water or fertilizer. Talk to your plants. They love that!
Will we see Jane’s and Nell’s worlds collide again in an upcoming book? Will Nell go work for Clan Yellowrock?
I am not planning a collision of Jane Yellowrock’s universe and the Soulwood universe. Nell is firmly situated on Soulwood, and is not free to move around the way that Jane is. Nell is tied to her land, her trees, her garden, her family.
If you could dream cast either the Soulwood or the Jane Yellowrock books into a screen adaptation, who are your ideal actors for Nell? Rick? Occam? Jane?
Honestly? I never ever do this. I see the characters in my mind, and they are so far from perfect that Hollywood would cringe at their flaws! I leave that up to the fans. Who would YOU chose?
What’s next for you? Anything outside of the world of Nell and/or Jane that you can tell us about? Or when is the next Jane Yellowrock book? Soulwood book?
I have a new shiny! It’s a total departure for me, dropping into a high tech, no-magic, post WWIII world. And yet, my character is anything but human. Shining Smith is a hard-bitten warrior hiding from the human world—not because she fears them, but because the temptation is too great and she would harm them. Stay tuned! Jane Yellowrock #13 SHATTERED BONDS will be out at the end of October 2019. Nell #5 (untitled) will be out in late spring or early summer of 2020. A short story compilation will be out sometime this year. Thank you so much for having me! I had a blast!
About Circle of the Moon
Nell Ingram has recently been using her mystical abilities to help the government division that solves crimes against paranormals. Joining the team at PsyLED has allowed her to learn more about her powers and the world she always shunned—and to find true friends.
Head agent Rick LaFleur shifts into a panther when the moon calls him, but this time, something has gone wrong. Rick calls Nell from a riverbank—he’s naked, with no memory of how he came to be there, and there’s a dead panther, killed by black magic, lying next to him. When another cat turns up dead at a different site the next day, and the same magic user seems to be behind it, Nell begins investigating—but the bonds that hold her team together are threatened when their leader becomes the case.
Circle of the Moon is available now!
About Faith Hunter
Photos by Kimberly Hunter at http://www.kimhunterstudio.com/
Faith Hunter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series, the Soulwood series, and the Rogue Mage series. Her first book of the Soulwood series, Blood of the Earth, appeared on the USA Today bestsellers list.