Begun in 2008 with the release of Phoenix’s debut novel, A Rush of Wings, and continued with In the Blood, Beneath the Skin, and the recently released Etched in Bone, the storyline revolves around the sensually super-charged relationship between former FBI special agent Heather Wallace and vampire goth rock star Dante Baptiste, who is so much more than he seems…

 

Baptiste isn’t only one of the sexiest characters in all of genre fiction – he is aptly described in Etched in Bone as “badass and beautiful” – he is one of the most complex characters as well.

 

Sexy male bloodsuckers are nothing new to fantasy fiction. There’s Jean-Claude, the master vampire from LKH’s Anita Blake saga, Anne Rice’s Lestat de Lioncourt, Eric Northman from Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire saga, Kim Harrison’s Kisten, etc. But Dante Baptiste…. he’s a rock star, the hypnotically beautiful front man for the industrial/goth band Inferno. Dante is portrayed in In the Blood as: “…this preternatural beauty, this Medusa of heart-stopping loveliness…”

 

 

In her latest, Etched in Bone, Phoenix flexes her storytelling muscles with an intriguingly structured novel. Although the story begins and ends on the same day – and features some heart-stopping plot twists – she goes back in time and chronicles the events that lead up to the, ahem, jaw-dropping event. Without giving anything away, Dante and Heather – on the run from the Shadow Bureau and holed up in Club Hell in New Orleans – come face to face with a worst-case scenario… A word to the wise: the cliffhanger at novel’s end will have you pulling out your hair. (Thank God I shave my head.)

 

 

If you consider yourself an urban fantasy fan and you’ve yet to discover this immensely entertaining saga, I suggest you, well, rush out and pick up A Rush of Wings. The Maker’s Song isn’t just a great series – it’s arguably the very best urban fantasy series on the shelves right now...

 

I recently had the pleasure of talking with urban fantasy’s hottest

– and most underrated –

writer, the incomparable Adrian Phoenix.

 

PGA: When did you realize that your destiny was to be a writer?


PGA: How hard (or easy) was it to get A Rush of Wings published?

AP: Actually, it was easy! I feel very fortunate, especially since A Rush of Wings was my first novel. It took a year of sending out queries to agent and editors before landing a top New York agent. He absolutely loved the book and he sold A Rush of Wings in a two-book contract to Pocket. I know I’m lucky, that I was in the right place at the right time – especially when I hear from gifted writers who can’t get an agent or editor to give them a second look.

PGA: No luck involved – you’re an amazing writer. You know how much I love you and your novels – The Maker’s Song is arguably the best paranormal fantasy saga I’ve ever read – but your novels are soooo under-rated. I’ve been spreading the good word for years – and I have seen you and The Maker’s Song mentioned more and more in discussions concerning elite paranormal fantasy writers and series – but with the pop culture success of comparable sagas (Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire saga turned into an HBO show, etc.) do you sometimes feel like Cinderella before the glass slipper?

AP: I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support and the love you give the books, Paul. And I’m thrilled that more and more people are becoming aware of The Maker’s Song – with a lot of help from you and my devoted readers. (Thanks to all of you!) Sometimes I *do* feel like Cinderella before the glass slipper. I know the glass slipper is out there and I’m hoping it’ll find its way to my foot. Of course, I try not to think about that too much. It’s possible the glass slipper will never find its way to me. As long as I can keep writing and keep getting the books published and out there, I can live with that. But I’ve got my foot extended, toes pointed, just in case!

PGA: What would the glass slipper be for you? Seeing The Maker’s Song saga being made into major motion pictures? Winning a Nebula or Hugo? Seeing new works released in hardcover?

AP: How about all three? I’d love to see The Maker’s Song saga on the big screen as long as the writing was good (and I’d hope to participate in that process). That’d be pretty damned awesome. Seeing new works released in hardcover would be pretty sweet too. But I think the biggest thing would be knowing that even more readers were delving into Dante and Heather’s world and falling in love with it. That would be the biggest cookie of all.

PGA: I’ve recommended your novels to countless friends, neighbors and of course all of the regulars on BN.com’s Paranormal Fantasy forum and every single one of them have become obsessed with the story of Heather and Dante. I’m not exaggerating here – every single person I know that picks up these books inevitably becomes a rabid, “can’t-wait-‘til-the-next-book-is-released” fan. Do you have any crazy stories about “super fans”? Have any expecting women named their sons Dante, anyone tattooed themselves with fallen angels, or camped out in front of your house waiting for an autograph?

AP: Paul, you totally rock! I don’t really have any crazy stories about “super fans.” One gal in England asked if she could get a jpg of the INFERNO logo for a tat. So I sent it to her. I thought that was damned cool. I have had fans who knew I would be going into a bookstore to sign stock (they’d been informed by the store owner) and wait for me – a pleasant experience! I had an amazing experience at a motel in California when I was driving home from Comic Con (18 hour drive). Turned out that the desk clerk’s brother was a big fan, so she asked me if I’d sign an autograph for him. I had an extra copy of Black Dust Mambo with me, so I signed that and gave it to her for her brother. That was the first time anything like that had happened before! Kinda intoxicating, actually!

PGA: The character of Dante Baptiste has been called the sexiest male in paranormal fantasy – and that is saying something! Did you base this character from an amalgam of real life people (and if so, who?) or is he entirely imagined?

AP: Wow! I’m really honored! With all the sexy male paranormal characters out there—again, wow! I find that pretty damned exciting. (Dante on the other hand would snort.) Music was more of an inspiration for Dante than anything else – The Downward Spiral by NIN in particular. Listening, I couldn’t help but imagine a character singing those songs, imagining who he was, what had shaped him. I see Dante’s body being like Brandon Lee’s in The Crow, but as for Dante’s looks – imagined.

PGA: Etched in Bone is the fourth book in the saga – how many more are you projecting?

AP: The saga is open-ended at this point. I hope to continue with it as long as there’s a compelling story to tell. I love theses characters!

PGA: Do you have an overall ending in mind?

AP: A generalized one, but one that has been changing with each book. I can’t wait to see which direction it will go.

PGA: How hard is it to write two different series (the Maker’s Song and Hoodoo) at the same time?

AP: I have to be careful not to toss in too many sub-plots into the Hoodoo books. I start delving into character histories and branching out in several directions, then I need to rein myself in and remind myself that Kallie’s books are lighter, less complicated. Once I get the rhythm—no problem. I usually re-read the previous book in each series to catch the flow again.


AP: Yup, it is. I’m having fun with it and I hope to keep these stories and adventures going – again – as long as there are stories to tell.

PGA: Music plays a hugely significant element in these novels. What are some of your favorite bands and/or songs? And what are you listening to right now?

AP: Nine Inch Nails (obvious to anyone who reads the books and is familiar with the band), Muse, Rammstein, C.C. Adcock, Queens of the Stone Age, How to Destroy Angels, Saints of Ruin, are some of my favorite bands. “And All That Could’ve Been” by Nine Inch Nails is a song that gets me every time, twists a knife in my heart, along with “The Great Below” also by NIN. Right now, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack from The Social Network.

PGA: Yeah, "And All That Could've Been" is a great tune... Hey, thanks for taking the time to talk with me, Adrian. Don’t take this the wrong way – but I love you.

AP: Dude, I totally love you back.

 

 

 

Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for almost the last two decades and has written more than 6,000 reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, and BarnesandNoble.com. In his free time, he reads.

 

Comments
by LordRuthven on ‎03-03-2011 07:53 PM

What is really surprising is that A Rush of Wings got a great review in Entertainment Weekly, and even that mainstream coverage didn't raise her profile. I never understand how these things work.

by on ‎03-03-2011 08:29 PM

I adore the Makers' Song series, and I'm very glad it's open-ended.:smileyhappy:

 

Dante is the edgiest, coolest, most complicated vamp ever invented. Each book in this  series reads like a thriller with intricate supernatural, romantic and conspiracy elements. This latest one, Etched In Bone, is no exception. I loved it.

 

I also thoroughly enjoyed the first book Adrian's lighter-toned Hoodoo series, and I'm looking forward to the second book in that series entitled Black Heart Loa.

by Chomp on ‎03-03-2011 09:12 PM

This is one of my favorite series, and I am fortunate enough to get to review it. These book stay with long after the last page is turned, for sure.

 

Carol

by on ‎03-03-2011 09:45 PM

I am having a hard time believeing that the whole book took place in just one day.  I am glad that it is open-ended but I wish the next book was coming out next month instead of next year.

 

Toni

by connery on ‎03-03-2011 10:56 PM

*applauds wildly* paul, thank you so much for saying what we've known for a while now! adrian, you definitely deserve all the kudos! congrats, hon...congrats big time!!

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎03-04-2011 10:31 AM

Okay, so tonight I'll walk into my local B&N and as usual they'll just smile and ask which moderator recommended which novel and then they just say cha-ching :smileyhappy:

 

Thanks Paul, see she's underrated and under the radar too cause she's new to this great lover of the genre.

Great interview too Paul, thanks for singing her praises

 

Deb

by JDeg on ‎03-04-2011 07:23 PM

I love this series, too.  I just read the first three a few months ago, and am planning on diving into Etched in Bone as soon as I finish Harrison's Pale Demon. 

 

The novels are top notch.  I think it's wonderful that Adrian Phoenix can make a character that I wouldn't normally see as "sexy" into something as wonderful as Dante has become. 

by on ‎03-04-2011 09:02 PM

Nelsmom:

 

The book doesn't all occur in one day. The beginning starts with a shocking sequence of events on March 30. Then, the narrative, composed of multiple plot threads, goes back two days to March 28. The experiences of various character on March 28 and March 29 are recounted, before the book returns to March 30 and the immediately succeeding events. It all ends in another cliffhanger that just makes you yearn for the next book. While reading the book, I desperately wanted to know what was going to happen after that shocker beginning, but another part of me couldn't help but be pulled into the narrative of intervening events.

by on ‎03-06-2011 02:27 PM

Though I like her second series much much better. This is still a have to read series.

 

Great interview Paul!

by Tess75 on ‎03-10-2011 12:23 AM

       It seems everywhere I look everyone is talking about Makers Song,by Adrian Phoenix.

 

       Since I got paved today I went and bought so far the first three!! Who knows I might just have to buy book four , Etched in Bone :smileyhappy:

 

       I just love the fact that now I know people who read the same themed books as myself. I learn new authors, their series, and opinions about the book. When I use to go to the B&N store it was a chore. Yes the others I knew I could buy, and some series I happened to get lucky :smileyhappy: 

       example The Riley Jenson series, or Laurell K Hamiltons series along with Keri Arthur!

     Buying books was a hit or miss, now thanks to all of you  I know longer feel alone and I'll never have to spend money I don't have!!!

    As soon as I finish, River Marked I'm not sure which series to start. I'm torn between, The Maker's, or Dragon Heat!! Anyone out there who can give me kook advice?

  Both look/sound goodbye since I can only read one at a time I need a tip ! Besides it's not my fault I can't decide It wasn't me blogging on and on and on about how good there series are! (LOL)!!!! Really I'm not sure.

         Looking for friendly advice, and the most points win:smileyhappy:  Sorry no prizes! Well maybe I'll give each one of the winners a Laurel!!!  That should give some incentive to respond.

       Must hurry I have a little less than hundred pages left.

 

Looking forward to my friendly game of  " Which series ranks top" , There doesn't have to be one winner. Depending on the book I chose those that convince me win  :smileyhappy:!!!!!!!!!!

 

Have fun! I'll be back to check who's ahead. You only have until midnight March10th(Thursday).

 

 

 

by on ‎03-10-2011 01:28 AM

Ok skip on over to the paranormal board. Lots of suggestion there. I have a thread titled "Paranormal Fantasy Primer for Newbies and Everyone". Look for my most resent list, not a single non-wonderful series there!

 

 

by pdubz on ‎03-10-2011 12:34 PM

Bravo!!!!

Adrian Phoenix is a brilliant writer.

- Spaz

by Moderator paulgoatallen on ‎03-10-2011 12:35 PM

Spaz is in the house – thanks for the post!  :smileyhappy:

by Tess75 on ‎03-10-2011 01:50 PM

I'm so sorry paulgoatallen. I'm one of your favorite followers although I can't figure out how to list you as people I'm following. How my post showed up here I've no idea. I'm posting a new and revised version. Hopefully on the right thread this time:smileyhappy: ! This is all new and confusing to me. So much to remember. Is there any way to delete this one? I am so embarrassed!!! I have bought several books after reading your reviews. They are very inspiring! Thanks for the smile!

by Tess75 on ‎03-15-2011 02:35 PM

I just started her first book " A Rush of Wings". Looking forward to getting further into the book. I've heard so much praise about her writing along with (Makers Song) that as soon as my paycheck came I bought at least the first three in the series. That's how much I respect your reviews on books. You know how to draw a person in, and set the tone for the books you are writing about! Thank you Paul for your exceptional input and taking the time to write a pre-view of what the book is about. Saves us a lot of money buying a book that sounded good to find out it wasn't. Now all I have to do is read your review. If it sounds like my kind of reading than I'll buy it. Thank you  :smileyhappy:

Tess

by MADIS on ‎03-23-2011 05:37 PM

Congrats Paul on the shout out in the beginning of Etched in Bone!

by Moderator paulgoatallen on ‎03-23-2011 05:39 PM

Yeah, MADIS – wow. Talk about being blown away... I love Adrian.  :smileyhappy:

by lkpj on ‎05-18-2011 08:15 PM
Again Paul, you knock it out of the park! Adrian Phoenix' series is one of my all time favorites! And I am behind on it so I am hoping the next one will be coming out later this year and I won't have to wait so long with it. Keep reading Paul, cause you keep me posted!

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