Today we are super lucky to have one of the rising stars in paranormal romance with us, Thea Harrison. Thea released her first paranormal romance novel Dragon Bound in May of this year to glowing reviews all around. The second book in her Elder Races Series, Storm’s Heart released August 2nd and we can tell you, it’s pretty fabulous! (See our mega joint review here.) For paranormal romance fans – the Elder Races Series is one you do NOT want to miss.
Thea, welcome to The Book Pushers!
Thea: Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be here today.
The Book Pushers: Tell us a little more about Storm’s Heart.
Thea: Storm’s Heart picks up where Dragon Bound left off, and it follows what happens to the faerie Tricks when she reveals her real identity and travels to Chicago to claim the Dark Fae throne. The two main characters, Tricks and Tiago, fall in love with each other while fighting to survive in a setting filled with intrigue, murder, old grudges, and ambitions. It also digs deeper into the Elder Races universe and reveals more of the world both politically and historically.
The Book Pushers: Where did the idea behind the Elder Races come from?
Thea: I think it really started when I asked myself a question: what would an alternative universe be like if other races weren’t kept secret from humanity, or weren’t recently revealed? I wanted to try to build something different from what I had been reading, to get beyond the discussions and world-building I read in other stories, and hopefully I managed to do that!
The Book Pushers: How many books do you have planned for the series?
Thea: At this moment the series is open-ended. I’m contracted for six books, and I’m currently working on finishing book four, Oracle’s Moon. I’m very interested in seeing how far the readership and the publisher will ask me to take this. I have a lot of stories percolating in the back of my mind!
The Book Pushers: You’ve introduced some great mythical beings that aren’t always seen in paranormal romance. What else do you have in store for readers?
Thea: I don’t want to shy away from familiar tropes or mythical creatures just because they are familiar. I also don’t want to fixate too much on the new and different. Mostly I want to tell the stories that I’m interested in, which will probably end up being a mix of both the familiar and the new.
The books won’t always focus just on the Wyr. In Storm’s Heart, we do have a Wyr hero but we also have a Dark Fae heroine. This pattern continues in Serpent’s Kiss. In book four, I tell the first story without any Wyr as main characters. There’s so much to explore in the Elder Races universe. I would actually love the chance to dig into each demesne in the U.S., and even take some of the stories international, to explore Other lands and other demesnes there. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to see a larger part of this world!
Thea: Very surprised and delighted. When I wrote Dragon Bound, I had hoped someone might be interested in a series, but I didn’t have time to think too much about it. When Berkley offered me the first three-book deal, I was over the moon. Now those first three stories are reaching the international market. It’s been wonderful to witness.
The Book Pushers: Dragos is one of our favorite paranormal heroes for all times. Will you be going back to him and Pia at all for an additional book?
Thea: Yes! After I finish book four, I will be focusing on Dragos and Pia again for book five. Because of the sequence of events through the previous stories, they will have quite a lot to deal with when I get back to them!
The Book Pushers: So far we’ve met Dragos and crew, the vampires and the Dark Fae. Will you be giving readers a more inside look into the Light Fae and Elves? Any hidden Races we don’t know about yet?
Thea: Definitely. To all of that. So you see, I really am planning for beyond book six. The world canvas is a large one. The more I work on world building for each story, the more possibilities there are for future stories!
The Book Pushers: If Dragos had to host a dinner party with the heads of all the Elder Races, what would he serve and who would he put at his table?
Thea: Well, to be quite honest, Dragos wouldn’t care what they all got for dinner. He would tell his catering staff to serve the kind of food that the other Elder Races would like to eat, and to make it fancy, and then he would forget about it.
If we’re talking about the seven demesnes in the U.S., that would be seven heads and potentially their consorts/escorts, so they would all fit around one large table. And Dragos has a limited interest in diplomacy. I think that probably means he would want to have people he liked sitting nearest to him. That would mean Tricks sitting nearby, and the Elves would be at the other end…
The Book Pushers: If Tricks went out for a night on the town with her girls, where would they go, what would they do, and most importantly, what would she drink?
Thea: Tricks has a fondness for Hard Rock Café. She also likes things I would never dream of putting in my mouth, like bubblegum flavored vodka. Did you know there really is such a thing as bubblegum flavored vodka? I didn’t until I researched for one of the scenes in Storm’s Heart. And she likes jello shots. (Gak.)
The Book Pushers: Will you be introducing human characters as potential protagonists in future books?
Thea: Yes, human characters are definitely in the works. I am currently in the middle of a novella based in the Elder Races series that has a human protagonist, and in Oracle’s Moon, the heroine is human. Mostly. I’m also developing another story idea with a human. Wow, I’ve got a lot to do!
The Book Pushers: Will you be able to tell us a little info about Rune’s book, and what can we expect from his heroine?
Thea: Rune is quite different from Dragos and Tiago, and Carling is very different from Pia and Tricks. Both Pia and Tricks are young women—because even though Tricks is 200 years old, she is young for a faerie, and I deliberately brought that in to her character so that she would have plenty of room to grow.
Carling is not only an old Vampyre, but she came to power from humble beginnings. I thought a lot about what that would mean. The result is, Carling is a darker and spikier character than either Pia or Tricks, and Rune and Carling have a different dynamic than the previous couples. I really loved getting the chance to explore how their relationship might work.
The Book Pushers: Would Pia give birth to a dragon egg? If so, would they have to wait for the egg to hatch?
Thea: That would be telling. *smile* Book five will not only have more of Dragos and Pia, but we also get to revisit the Peanut.
The Book Pushers: Will Dragos have to worry about replacing all of his key personnel as the Elder Races series continues?
Thea: In book five, Dragos is going to have to face the challenge of being short staffed. One of the questions I’m asking myself about that story is, what happens to a dragon when his situation becomes uncomfortable? I think he might get pretty cranky. That story is going to be an interesting one to tell!
Thanks again for having me on your blog today! I really enjoyed answering your questions!