I’ve got the fabulous Jill Archer on my blog today! She has an AWESOME fantasy series that you all have to check out, SRSLY. Read on to find out more about her latest novel, POCKET FULL OF TINDER, and of course, Jill herself!
Welcome, Jill! Tell us about your latest release!
In Pocket Full of Tinder, Noon heads north to Rockthorn Gorge, a bustling mountain town where so many demons live, it’s often referred to as a “demonic anthill.” Once there, she’ll have to deal with bunyips, argopelters, and hidebehinds; snallygasters, skunk apes, and splintercats; a giant lizard, rare swan, and Ari, the drakon who broke her heart… not to mention the enigmatic bomber who threatens them all. Noon’s magic continues to evolve in unexpected ways. New characters are introduced and old characters return. It’s a story of love, impermanence, sacrifice, and survival.
Sounds amazing! I’d love to see a demonic anthill. 😉 What was the hardest thing about writing this book? The easiest?
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that readers who’ve read Noon’s latest installment know which chapters were the hardest to write. With every book, I try to push things past the point where they were before. But there were some unexpected things that happened in book #4 even for me – the writer!
With each book, I start with a fairly detailed outline, but somewhere around the midpoint, the story gets a mind of its own. I think it’s because I need structure and a plan to start a story, but once I’m in it, I want to embrace unscripted moments so that they feel more organic and natural. Of course, that usually means I’m panicked by the ¾ mark with no idea how to end the story.
As for the easiest? Is there anything easy about writing or publishing?! You know what they say – if it was easy, everyone would do it…
I will say though, having a team of people to help you makes things easier. Editor Betsy Mitchell, cover illustrator/designer Rebecca Frank, publicist Roxanne Rhoads, manuscript formatter Meredith Bond, and Latin tutor Joan Havens were all part of my publishing team for Pocket Full of Tinder.
Looks like you have quite the team! And I feel you about the panic, I’m a total pantser at heart. If you could bring one of your characters (villain or hero) to life, who would you chose? Why?
Tough question! I’d love to see what a real barghest looks like, so maybe Nova. And it would be fun to meet all the main characters: roguish Rafe, alpha Ari, reluctant-yet-headstrong Noon… glamour-loving Fara and her loyal tiger Virtus…
But I’m going to pick Sartabella, a Fairy Godmother-type character… because who wouldn’t want someone like that in their life? 🙂
I know I would, haha! Paramount Pictures wants to make a movie about your latest novel. Who plays the main characters?
Noon Onyx (Maegester-in-Training): I’m torn!
Amrita Acharia (Irri in Game of Thrones)?
Isabelle Fuhrman (Clove from Hunger Games)?
Adelaide Kane (Queen Mary Stuart from Reign)?
Fara Vanderlin (Noon’s Guardian Angel): Allie Marie Evans
Ari Carmine/Lord Aristos (Noon’s new employer/ex-boyfriend): Luke Pasqualino??
Raphael “Rafe” Sinclair (Noon’s ex-Guardian Angel): Douglas Booth
That’s one sexy cast right there! 😉 So tell us a little about yourself.
I love SweeTARTS and coffee. I hate laundry, pesto, and anything smoked. And I can list every linking verb in less than four seconds thanks to my seventh grade English teacher, Miss Savage, who was awesome.
I love SweeTARTS and coffee too, haha! But I also like pesto and smoked foods. 😛 Tell us one thing about yourself your readers may not know about you.
Eight months ago, I started working as a part-time librarian at my local library. I love it! Writing can be lonely and publishing frustrating. The job allows me to reconnect with what drew me to fiction writing in the first place – books! Librarians are the ultimate matchmakers. There’s nothing more satisfying than pairing someone with a book I think they’ll enjoy.
That’s fantastic! As long as you enjoy it, that’s what counts. 😉 So what are you working on now?
Noon Onyx #5. I’m also developing a new series, but that will likely take a while and I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll pitch it to New York or indie publish it once the first novel is complete.
I can totally understand that dilemma. You’ll have to keep us posted! 😀 Thanks so much for stopping by, Jill! It was a pleasure. ❤ Where else can we find you?
I have a blog where I chat about books, movies, TV shows, interesting places I visit, as well as writing and publishing. Occasionally, I host other writers. It’s fun to see what everyone else is up to and how our writing processes differ.
Awesome! I do really enjoy your blogs. 😀 Don’t go away yet, Dear Reader! Here’s more about POCKET FULL OF TINDER:
Noon Onyx is back! In this long-awaited fourth installment, Jill Archer returns readers to the dangerous world of Halja, where demons, angels, and humans coexist in an uneasy state of détente.
Maegester-in-Training Noon Onyx feels like she’s done it all – mastered fiery magic, become an adept fighter, learned the law, killed countless demons, and survived having her heart broken by both love and an arrow, but now she’ll face her greatest challenge yet…
Far to the north lies an outpost famous for its unrest – Rockthorn Gorge. The town’s patron has specifically requested Noon’s help. Her assignment? Help the neophyte demon lord build his fiefdom and keep what’s his. The problem? Lord Aristos – Noon’s new employer – is her erstwhile lover, Ari Carmine, the aforementioned heartbreaker. And the number one thing he wants is her.
When Rockthorn Gorge’s viaduct is destroyed by Displodo, an enigmatic bomber, killing a dozen settlers and wounding scores more, Noon sets off early to aid in the search and rescue. Ari is listed among the missing and the suspects are legion. But Noon’s search is just the beginning. Her journey forces Noon to confront not only those she loves, but also enemies hell-bent on destroying them.
The claw-and-ball had been chewed clean off. It lay on a patch of sunny parquet floor, just to the right of an antique, aubergine wool rug now covered with the splintered remnants of an eleventh century pedestal table and one very large, ghastly looking, somewhat repentant barghest.
Nova’s head rested on her front paws as her gaze shifted warily from me to Miss Bister, Megiddo’s dormater, or house mother.
“Megiddo’s lobby is not a kennel, Miss Onyx. That”—she motioned dismissively toward Nova—“beast can no longer be housed here.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but Miss Bister continued speaking, her tone rising only infinitesimally, her back as stiff as Luck’s lance must have been, and her expression just as hard. She pointed toward the previously priceless, three-footed piece of furniture that was now a worthless, two-footed pile of kindling.
“No amount of money – or magic – can fix that, Nouiomo. It’s beyond repair. I warned you. I made an exception to my ‘no pets’ rule because you never cause trouble. You never forget your key; you promptly pick up your deliveries; you change your own light bulbs; you double bag your trash. You leave nothing behind in the bathroom; you don’t monopolize the washing machines; you are exceedingly polite to the lift operator; you don’t sing in the shower.”
I suppressed a sigh. After a year and a half of painstaking efforts, harrowing experiences, and endless hours of education, my worth had just been measured by the fact that I could change a light bulb. I’d mastered fiery magic, become an adept fighter, learned the law, killed countless demons (one regrettably, the others much less so), freed myriad immortals from an accursed, tortured bondage, and survived having my heart nearly destroyed by both love and an arrow, yet none of that meant bupkis next to the fact that I double bagged my trash. And yet…
I couldn’t really argue with Miss Bister either. Everything she’d said was true. And who was I to tell her what she should deem important? I respected that she valued domestic order and antiques. I did too, if not nearly as much as I valued the thing that now threatened our continued access to such. I glared at Nova, who swept one paw over her eyes as if she could hide from me and the evidence of what she’d done.
Barghests are giant hellhounds. They’re bigger than bears, fiercer than rabid raccoons, and uglier than naked mole rats. Their teeth are the size of railroad spikes, their claws as sharp as a sickle, their breath as foul as sewage gas. But they are also affectionate, brave, and loyal. What barghests lack in magic, they make up for in devotion. And even though I was plenty mad at Nova for chewing up Miss Bister’s table, I also knew it wasn’t Nova’s fault.
It was mine – for thinking the lobby of a demon law school dormitory would be a good place to keep her.
“Miss Bister, please,” I said. “I’m truly sorry. I know I can’t replace that exact table. But if you would just allow me to—”
“No,” Miss Bister said simply. “Either the beast goes… Or you do.”
I stared at the small, frail, magicless woman in front of me, trying desperately to think of some way to fix this problem. Wasn’t there something I could do, or say, or offer her that would make amends and convince her not to kick us out?
But all I could think of was how useless some of the things our society valued most were. As Miss Bister had pointed out, neither magic nor money would help. If I was going to repair the table, I’d need to find another way. Which would take time. And that meant I’d need to find somewhere else for us to sleep tonight. Because if the beast was going… I was too.
“Yes, Miss Bister,” I said. “I understand.”
She narrowed her eyes, slightly suspicious of my now gracious defeat since I’d just spent the last half-hour trying to persuade her to accept various forms of reparation. But then she nodded, handed me a couple of paper bin bags, and left.
I slid one bag inside the other and stooped down to pick up the slobbery remains of Nova’s mangled chew toy. When I finished, she came over to me and nudged my arm with her head. She let out a woofy whine.
Was she sorry? She darn well better be!
I gave her a scratch behind the ears.
“Now that you’ve sharpened your teeth on my former dormater’s furniture, are you ready to eat some real food for breakfast?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, White Heart of Justice, and Pocket Full of Tinder. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.