UFI welcomes Regan Summers Author of Don't Bite the Messenger. Thanks for Joining us!!
The History of Adventure
Thanks so much for letting me drop by UFI, Stacy.
Don’t Bite the Messenger is an urban fantasy novella with a strong romantic focus. The heroine, Sydney Kildare, lives on fast-forward. She’s daring, comfortable with a certain amount of danger so long as it’s attached to a substantial amount of money, and when she decides she wants something – or someone – she throws herself into it.
I have been asked if Sydney is based on me. The short answer is “ahaahaahaa, dear God, no”. The real answer is…complicated.
I’m a bookworm with an analytical day job. I grew up in an itty-bitty town in Alaska, reading pre-Romantic poetry (we didn’t have a TV) and learning Greek (not my idea – I thought all the kids were doing it). In college I went wild, immersing myself in Victorian literature and Gothic art history. Because nothing says “kickass” like subtle glimpses into an oppressive society and overdressed human forms stylized to praise the divine, am I right!?
Actually (bear with me) maybe I am.
Without the love of reading – and research – I wouldn’t write what I do. In between the Spencer and Giotto, I devoured every book I could get my hands on. Reading and analyzing the classics gave me a solid appreciation for the dynamic and the irreverent. Girl books, boy books, kid books, adult books, I didn’t know the difference. If it was written in a language I understood (I never did master Greek), it was there to be read.
Most of my favorite stories growing up were adventures:
- The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (I was tickled to discover these are now available as e-books)
- My Side of the Mountain – Rest in Peace, Jean Craighead George
- Last of the Breed by Louis L’Amour – Being from Alaska, I loved that this book – a departure from his Westerns – involved cold weather survival. And yes, I may have spent an entire winter digging snow caves and setting traps for evil Russians (a/k/a the dog) pursuing me across Siberia (a/k/a the yard).
- The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley – this remains on my nightstand, and I probably reread it twice a year.
Basically, I fell for any scenario where the protagonist(s) left her/his comfortable world and had to find a way to survive. When I discovered urban fantasy a decade ago, I felt like I’d come home. Strong, innovative characters pushed to the brink in strange new worlds? Sign. Me. Up.
Don’t Bite the Messenger blurb:
The vampire population may have created an economic boom in Alaska, but their altered energy field fries most technology. They rely on hard-living—and short-lived—couriers to get business done…couriers like Sydney Kildare.
Sydney has survived to the ripe old age of twenty-six by being careful. She’s careful when navigating her tempestuous clients, outrunning hijackers and avoiding anyone who might distract her from her plan of retiring young to a tropical, vampire-free island.
Her attitude—and immunity to vampires’ allure—have made her the target of a faction of vampires trying to reclaim their territory. Her only ally is Malcolm Kelly, a secretive charmer with the uncanny habit of showing up whenever she’s in trouble. Caught in the middle of a vampire turf war, Sydney has to count on Malcolm to help her survive, or the only place she’ll retire is her grave…
Sensing a theme here? So what am I reading, now that I’m writing the stories I find most fascinating? Series that manage to astound, book after book. New authors by the dozen. And more non-fiction than ever.
- Ilona Andrews – the Kate Daniels series – amazing worldbuilding and humor
- Stacia Kane – the Downside series – a dark series that rains gut-punches
- Raymond Chandler – his prose makes me want to pinch myself, in a good way
- Alex Adams – White Horse
- Cat Hellisen – When the Sea is Rising Red, and short fiction
- D.P. Lyle – Howdunit Forensics – this should have been titled “give Regan nightmares about death by poisoning in four pages or less”
- Richard Tarnas – The Passion of the Western Mind
- Top Gear – I know it’s technically a television program, but it’s hella educational and hilarious
What are your very favorites? What draws you to urban fantasy that you just can’t get from anything else?
Regan Summers was born in Alaska and lives in Anchorage with her husband and alien-monkey hybrid of a child. Raised on a steady diet of classic British literature and comic books, she can suspend disbelief in the space of a heartbeat, and believes that hard work leads to happiness. After all that awful work business.
Her Sydney Kildare prequel novella, Don’t Bite the Messenger, is available now wherever e-books are sold. Running in the Dark is coming from Carina Press in October, 2012.
Don't Bite the Messenger
Sydney Kildare #0.5
The vampire population may have created an economic boom in Alaska, but their altered energy field fries most technology. They rely on hard-living--and short-lived--couriers to get business done...couriers like Sydney Kildare.
Sydney has survived to the ripe old age of twenty-six by being careful. She's careful when navigating her tempestuous clients, outrunning hijackers and avoiding anyone who might distract her from her plan of retiring young to a tropical, vampire-free island.
Her attitude--and immunity to vampires' allure--have made her the target of a faction of vampires trying to reclaim their territory. Her only ally is Malcolm Kelly, a secretive charmer with the uncanny habit of showing up whenever she's in trouble. Caught in the middle of a vampire turf war, Sydney has to count on Malcolm to help her survive, or the only place she'll retire is her grave...