We are so pleased to have Jory Strong here today to talk about her latest release, Inked Magic. Jory also writes the Ghostland World series, which includes Ghostland, Spider-Touched, and Healer’s Choice. We are also featuring Inked Magic in our UF/PNR Reading Challenge 2012.
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about Inked Magic?
Jory: Etaín is a changeling elf but unaware of it. Her father is a high-ranking policeman and her brother an FBI agent on a taskforce hunting a rapist who has been terrorizing the San Francisco Bay area for months. With the touch of her palms to the skin of a crime victim, she can see the faces of the guilty and draw them. It’s this ability that brings Cathal into her life and puts her in danger on several different fronts.
He’s the son of a mob boss and has been given a choice: Approach Etaín and convince her to help his family in their quest for execution-style justice on behalf of his sixteen-year-old cousin, or live with his conscience when it comes to the likely “collateral damage” if his father and uncle connect with Etaín themselves.
In trying to accomplish this, Cathal inadvertently brings her to the attention of Eamon, an Elven lord and part of a world unseen by humans. Eamon knows exactly what Etaín is and her aura tells him she’s close to the transition to full elf. One look, coupled with the feel of Etaín’s magic when she passed through Eamon’s wards, is all it takes for Eamon to decide that he’s going to make her his wife-consort and magic-bond mate.
He’s willing to share her. Cathal isn’t. Etaín wants them both—in fact she needs them if she is going to survive the challenges ahead.
DFT: Could you tell us about your main characters in Inked Magic?
Jory: Aside from what’s already included in the story summary, the things that “pop” for me are that both Cathal and Etaín have chosen to live life on their own terms, and have at their core a sense of honor. Eamon is a law unto himself. He’s had little contact with humans other than those who call him Lord.
Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
It has to be Etaín. She’s a heroine I’d definitely trade places with in a heartbeat! What’s not to like? She’s gorgeous, talented, and possesses magical abilities, and she gets both Cathal and Eamon (who are mouthwatering)—though on a more serious note: her abilities make her capable of helping bring those who have done terrible things to justice. Wouldn’t we all like to have that particular super-hero power if we couldn’t prevent the bad things from happening in the first place?
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line in Inked Magic?
Jory: I have so many it’d be hard to choose an absolute favorite. I catch myself replaying them in my mind as I’m out riding horses.
You have written books about Ménage a Trois relationships. Is it more of a challenge or is it more fun to write that kind of relationship, than the more traditional relationship?
It’s actually easier and more fun to write, at least for me. Though Inked Magic is quite different than any of my other ménages in that it’s more of a love triangle at first, which is why there’s a sequel! The three of them are together by the end of the book, but there are still issues to be worked out.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or ritual?
Jory: Getting an early start is probably the most important part of my process. I try to get thirty minutes of writing done before I start my morning animal chores (feeding dogs and horses, medicating as needed, then taking the dogs for a walk), then I usually write until noon. On nice days I ride one of the horses as a mental break then resume writing until late afternoon chores kick in. There are times when the afternoon writing feels turbo-charged, but not as often as the morning does. I try to reserve evenings for reading, which I consider essential to feeding the muse.
DFT: What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) do you draw from while writing?
Jory: I don’t consciously draw from anything, though I do consciously try to feed the muse by reading and listening to music, by being a total people watcher and an unashamed eavesdropper when I’m out and about
DFT: Which genre do you prefer to read? Do you have any favorite authors or series?
Jory: I’m eclectic in my tastes. I read everything from middle-grade and young adult stories to fantasy, mystery, and of course romance of all flavors. Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series is a definite favorite, as is the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. JD Robb’s In Death series is a must read. Robert Crais (mystery/crime—he’s a master storyteller) is an automatic buy for me, as is Michelle Sagara’s Cast In series and her House War series, written as Michelle West.
DFT: If you weren’t a writer, what would your dream job be?
Jory: This is one of those great ironies. For years and years and years… (I could keep going) I kept getting rejection after rejection, many of them form letters. (An aside here for aspiring authors, rejection letters where an editor has taken the time to give feedback or make suggestions are GOLD. It was such a letter that led to my getting published.) Anyway, I was going to horseshoeing school when “the call” finally came. I finished school, kept working, building my practice and loving being a farrier, but ultimately, as more and more stories got published, it just didn’t make sense to be gone all day, shoeing other people’s horses when I could stay home, write fulltime, and ride my own horses more than just on weekends. So if I weren’t a writer, and could go back in time, to when I was in my teens, I’d start shoeing horses early. I came to it late, after a lot of other jobs, including being a certified public accountant. I didn’t even take up riding until I was almost thirty.
DFT: Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?
Jory: I’m writing the sequel to Inked Magic. I call it Inked Destiny but names are subject to change by publishers. It continues Etaín, Eamon and Cathal’s story.
DFT: What is your favorite paranormal creature?
Jory: Currently, I’d have to say Elves, of the tall, masterful, wickedly sensual kind
DFT: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Jory: Thanks for asking me!
Available on February 7, 2012 from Penguin/Berkley
About the Book:
Skin didn’t lie to her. It was her gift, sometimes her curse. To feel what others felt. To see the things held in their memories…
With the touch of her palms to the skin of a crime victim, San Francisco tattoo artist Etaín can see the faces of the guilty and draw them. Changeling elf but unaware of it, at odds with her police captain father and FBI brother, magic and gift have put her on the path of two compelling men.
Cathal Dunne, the son of an Irish mob boss, needs Etaín’s help finding the rapists who left his cousin for dead. Eamon, a powerful elf lord, is determined to make her his consort-wife.
Her gift once made permanence impossible when it came to a lover. Now as she approaches the transition to fully Elven, her survival depends on keeping two. One of the men is willing to share her. The other isn’t—until the search for a sexual predator turns deadly—and only by paying magic’s price will there be any future at all.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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