It's time for another installment of Author Answers (cue chamber music and the guy with the smoking jacket in the wing chair... oh wait.. that's Masterpiece Theatre...)
Rachel Caine is this week's featured author. Caine is the author of the Weather Warden series (Ill Wind, Heat Stoke, Chill Factor, Windfall and the forthcoming Firestorm, in November and Thin Air, for summer 2007) Devil's Bargain, Devil's Due, and Glass Houses, the first book of the Morganville Vampires series due out this fall). For more on Caine, check out Stormwatch, her website or The Weather Report, her blog.
1. Place you do most of your writing:
Coffee shop! America's Best Coffee in Arlington, Texas, specifically. Y'all come on down. Free internet and everything.
2. While you write, do you do anything else (munch on carrots or drink tea or listen to heavy metal, for example?)
I'm addicted to iTunes. I can't write (or at least, I don't write nearly as easily!) if I don't have headphones on and a healthy-sized playlist of music to keep me in the zone. Oh, and the playlist changes from one project to another. In between writing, I'm always searching for new (or old) music to add. As for drinks and snacks, I find a Caramel Mocha very inspirational. (And if you have one of those, you'd better skip the snack ...)
3. Why did you decide to be a writer?
I don't think I did, exactly. I really thought I was going to be a professional musician -- that was my real goal. But I started writing stories when I was 14, and it wasn't until I was close to 30 that I discovered that I really wanted to do that even more than music -- so I gave up the music career for the writing to give myself more time. I guess that was my decision point, but I don't think I started thinking of myself as a "real" writer until the mid-1990s. (Several years after I started publishing, in fact!)
4. What author(s) inspire you?
Oh, lordy. Too many to list, but I think Barbara Hambly is a huge inspiration to me. Every book I've ever read by Barbara is a perfect jewel, a facehugger of a read. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, together or separately. Man, those guys know how to write a cracking good story. (Try THE ICE LIMIT. Wow.) Jim Butcher, a fabulous writer. Lois McMaster Bujold, who writes the purest character-driven plots I've ever seen that don't *look* like they're character-driven. I could babble on for paragraphs ...
5. How long did you have to work on writing before your first book was accepted for publication? I'm the story everybody hates, because I didn't. I actually was hired to write my first book, STORMRIDERS, as a work for hire on the basis of some sample stories I'd written (and not finished). So essentially, although I spent 15 years writing before that book sale, I wasn't exactly working *toward* the book. But what's the saying? Luck is where opportunity meets preparation?
6. What made you keep working until it was done?
Well, I had a contract. :) That's my major driver for almost everything these days, but I still write for fun, and mostly when I do it's because I simply have to get the story out of my head. 7. How did you feel when you first saw your name on the cover of a book?
That was a complete out-of-body experience. When I saw the cover come out of the fax machine (this was in the days before emailing images easily) I just couldn't believe it. I was shaking all over. Heck, I still shake all over!
8. If you had to actually live the life of one of the characters in your book(s) who would you want to be and why?
Hmmmm, well, I certainly wouldn't want to be Joanne -- talk about a magnet for trouble! I think if I had to choose, it would be Claire in my Morganville Vampires series (coming out in October). But as a second choice, hey. I'd be a Djinn.
Thank you so much for letting me play!