Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Guest Blog: Diana Pharaoh Francis

*Thank you so much for joining us here today Diana. I love the Horngate Witches series and cant wait to read more. Here are my reviews for BITTER NIGHT as well as CRIMSON WIND*

 Thank you for having me here, Stacy! I’m so happy to visit and so glad you liked Crimson Wind!

Crimson Wind is the second in my Horngate Witches series. I love writing these books and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that readers like them too. I’d been stirring the cauldron of the stories, the settings, the magic and the characters for awhile in my head, but they finally jelled a couple of years ago.

I had started with this idea of the world as we know it vanishing into a world of magic. That hooked into this question of—if the world used to be super magical, why wasn’t it anymore? We have legends of all sorts of magical creatures and events, but nothing recent. Why is that?

Once I figured out what was happening there, the characters who’d been floating around looking for their stories suddenly jumped up and demanded stage time. The first was Max, who’d been forced into a life she didn’t want. She was bitter and angry, but also loyal, strong, and funny. I found her hugely likeable, even though she has a lot of rough issues. The witch who’d bound her wasn’t just an evil villain. Giselle was driven by things that I could relate to and even Max could, much as she hated to admit it. I surrounded them with a cast of characters of people that came from bits of people I’d met over the years.

Enter Alexander. I originally thought that Max would have something going on with Oz (I picture him as Brendan Frasier from the Mummy. Yummo!) Anyhow, I thought Oz and Max would have something going on. And then Alexander wanders in. (I pictured him as a younger Cliff Simon).

I loved Alexander right away. I wanted him to be as strong as Max, but I didn’t want their relationship to be all about posturing and one-upmanship and competition for who was stronger or who was smarter or who was in charge. I wanted them to develop a real relationship, but it would be complex and difficult because of who they are and their situations. I wanted them both to have to make hard choices—Max to get past her bitterness, and Alexander to give up his witch and old life, and then find a new role in Horngate

Crimson Wind is all about them dealing with each other as the world around them is in total upheaval. We find out more about Alexander’s history, and we see the two of them trying to figure out who they are, who they want to be, and what they want from each other. The path is not easy. But I think the book really works and with any luck, you’ll be eager for more. crosses fingers

Shadow City is the next book in the series and I can’t say much about it without spoiling it. It explains a lot more about Scooter and brings us back to Horngate to see how things play out with the changes from Crimson Wind.  I’m finishing it up now and it should be out sometime around this time next year. I’ll post the date on my website as soon as I know anything for sure. In the meantime, watch my blog for snippets. There will be a fourth as well, but while I’m pretty sure I know what happens, telling you will spoil a lot. So my lips are sealed.

But if you’re super eager, here’s a little snippet from Shadow City:

Got any questions for me? I’m happy to answer.

Twitter: @dianapfrancis

October 27, 2009
December 28, 2010