Monday, April 16, 2012

Interview With Author Hailey Edwards

Today I'm interviewing Hailey Edwards, author of today's freshly available 'A Hint Of Frost.' Don't miss your chance to win a copy!
(According to the Name Draw app for Android, the winner of the e-copy of 'Hint Of Frost' is... RUBY! Congratulations, and please contact Hailey through the information listed at the end of this post.)

Hope dangles by a silken thread.
Araneae Nation, Book 1
Summary: When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.
Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.
Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

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Author Bio: Hailey is a wife turned mother turned writer, who loves her husband, her daughter and alone time with her computer. Whenever southern living strikes her as too ordinary, she can be found squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after or with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen. Wings and/or cupcakes are usually involved…

Hello Hailey, and welcome to the blog. :) I'd like to wish you a very happy release day!
To start out, could you tell us a little bit about your journey toward publication?
"I started writing in January of 2009. I woke up one day and said, “I feel like writing a book today!” I had never written as much as a short story, so I had much more enthusiasm than skill at that point.
After about six months, I sold my first story. Six months after that, I sold my first novel. The acceptance letter for that novel made me cry. Samhain Publishing was my dream publisher, so to hear that they wanted Everlong was such a great feeling. I now have two series with Samhain, Daughters of Askara and Araneae Nation.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I’ve picked up an agent, Amy Boggs at Donald Maass, and a second publisher, Forever Yours. One thing has remained constant, and that is my love of writing and my dedication to better my craft with every book."
That's a fascinating and encouraging road you've traveled. Looking back at all you've undergone up to this point in your career as an author, what would you have done differently?
"Several things come to mind, but I don’t think I would change them if I could. They’re part of who I am and how I got to this point. So I don’t regret the mistakes I have made.
I will say that the best way to avoid making mistakes is to do your research. Two of the best resources out there are Absolute Write and Romance Divas. Use them."
What does your writing process look like?
"My process may look like a mess from the outside, but inside…okay. It’s still a mess. I like to think of it as organized chaos. I’m a pantser, so I start books with a wisp of an idea. For A Hint of Frost, I had been thinking how much I love vampires. But I wanted something different, a concept that would stand out in readers’ minds. So I thought—spiders!"
And I, personally, couldn't be more grateful to see someone diverge so uniquely from that well-traveled Vampire highway. ^_^ On that note, I'd like to break and give readers a little taste of your story.
Fear kept my steps nimble. All my life, sentries had guarded these underground tunnels beneath the city of Erania. There was no one now. My clansmen hid in their nests, on my orders.
Darkness warped my sense of direction as cold shriveled the marrow in my bones.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
I froze. Were those…footsteps? Pressing my back against the chilled earth of the tunnel walls, I waited for the intruder to pass. No one materialized from whence I’d come. Yet the pounding stuffed my ears. Slumping, I realized my heart was to blame.
Another time, I would have laughed at how I leapt at shadows in my own clan home, but not this night. No doubt the one shadow I failed to outmaneuver would belong to an invader, the one footstep I ignored would be the one to crush me, and the one breath I held would be my last.
The people of my clan, the Araneidae, were gentle silk spinners, artisans without armaments.
I was one of the few Araneidae who favored weapons. Ironic I was unarmed now. Habit made my fingers creep down my thigh, but my quiver was absent and my bow leaned forgotten in a corner of my room. I’d been dressed for bed, not battle, when I witnessed first blood spilled.
Those who had been our guardians when my head sank into my pillow, the Theridiidae clan, had attacked during the night. The murderous bastards had betrayed us. Casualties littered the city above. Wounded huddled in the tunnel behind me, lives I had but this chance to save. I’d sent a plea for aid to the one clan cruel enough to stave off the Theridiidae invasion and, I hoped, merciful enough I hadn’t signed my death warrant by exposing my soft underbelly to them.
Gods, I hoped the Mimetidae weren’t hungry.
Light burned ahead, marking the tunnel’s end. Creeping to the edge where dark tunnel met lit square, I scanned the cobbled roads for intruders. I saw none. No shadows danced. No sound carried. All was quiet in this forgotten sector where stone statuary stood as silent sentinels to the night.
Swallowing a bitter lump, I stepped from protection onto the uneven pavers.
Frigid winds sliced my cheeks raw, and my breath hung in clouds suspended before me.
Between one frantic beat of my heart and the next, darkness coalesced and Theridiidae warriors bled from the shadows I’d just deemed safe. Their faces were familiar. They’d been employed by my father. Sightless eyes…blackened skin…the stink of rotten flesh…both dead…
I squeezed my eyes shut, stomach roiling, ready to spill.
“You’re out past your curfew, aren’t you, Lourdes?” The guard’s concern rang genuine until my eyes opened and I caught the eager gleam in his. “Your father will worry.” He presented his arm to me. This morning I would have accepted it without hesitation. “I’ll take you home.”
His companions smirked, confirming my suspicions. They were conspirators as well.
“Thank you.” Winter’s chill kissed my bare shoulders, and I shivered. “I know my way.”
“Do you now?” He stared where my nipples pebbled so hard they burned. “The city at night is a dangerous place.” He rubbed his jaw. “You’re wearing but a scrap of silk.”
“I forgot my coat.” I forced an embarrassed smile and poised to turn. “I’ll go fetch it.”
He nodded. “I’ll go with you.”
No.” My voice rang brittle with the cold and my fear. “I mean, I can do it myself.”
“Is there something the matter?” His name came to me. Tyrone. He and his men were Theridiidae and guardians of the wall. They had once been trustworthy. Now they would die.
A bulky male at Tyrone’s right lumbered forward. “Enough. Look at her eyes. They’re all white. Barely a pinprick of blue is left.” He leered at me, leaning closer. “This one—she knows.”
“I’d hoped this could be done humanely.” Tyrone sighed. “Forgive me, child, but this battle must be won.” He dipped his chin at Bulky. “Calum, she’s yours. Keep her quiet.”
My next move would dictate how my life ended. Here and now, or at a more distant hour.
“I’ve something to occupy her mouth nicely.” Calum reached a meaty hand toward me. I darted aside and he stumbled. A smile tempted my lips. I’m faster. I can wear him down. I can…
I gasped as thick arms circled my waist from behind. Another of Tyrone’s guards had sneaked behind me. I couldn’t breathe. Dots swarmed my vision. No. I would not die this way.
“You’ll like this,” he murmured by my ear. “Or not.”
I struggled in his hold. “I will not speak with traitors.”
“Don’t worry your pretty head.” He licked my pulse. “Calum’s not much for talking.”
This night, neither was I. I was not a warrior born, but perhaps a warrior made.
Icy adrenaline trickled through my veins. I was half Theridiidae, trained by one of their best strategists, my father. The short stature and delicate build I’d inherited from Mother’s clan meant no one suspected the tricks he’d taught me. Araneidae spun silk ten times the strength of the strongest metals, and my fingertips tingled where my spinnerets loosed a single silken thread.

And a worthy sampling that was! Thank you. ^_^
Did you work with critique partners?
"Yes. I have two primary critique partners and several beta readers."

You sound exceptionally well prepared in the polishing department. And speaking from experience, it does show in the quality of your work.
What book or movie would you claim as your favorite source of inspiration?
"Hmm. That’s a tough one. I don’t think I have a favorite source, but it wasn’t until I read Darkfever by Karen Moning that I discovered the romance genre. Once I read that book, I devoured her backlist. So I credit that novel for sparking my love of UF and romance."
What do you have in mind for your next project?
"My next project is book one in a new series. I can't go into detail yet, but I'm excited to get started."
Irrelevant, nonsensical questions:

If you could have any Disney sidekick animal as a manifestation of your muse, which one would you pick and why?
"Meeko from Pocahontas. I raised a raccoon when I was a kid. I love the sounds they make and how their hands are always moving. It’s like they don’t see anything until they’ve touched it."
Ah yes, those rascally raccoons. I know I could easily see my muse embodied by such a persistently tactile and ADD-addled critter. >.>
Paper, plastic, or BYOB (bring your own bag)?
"Paper. (I’m a crafter and I hoard them!)"
Sounds like a practical recycling program. And, last but not least...
If you were left stranded on an island infested by zombies, what two items would you want to have with you?
"As long as I had a machete and fire, I think I’d be okay."
I think we can all admire your hands-on approach to zombie management. >.> Thank you for your time, Hailey! It's been a pleasure getting to know you better, and giving potential readers a feel for your new series.

Hailey loves to hear from readers. You can drop her a line here.
You can also swing by her blog or subscribe to her newsletter for all her latest news.

Additional links for Hailey Edwards:


  1. Great interview and can't wait to read Frost. I love all your other stories. (I know what I want to be the next series... hehehe)

    1. I hope you enjoy Frost! And yeah, I know exactly what you mean. ;)

  2. Replies
    1. I know, right?! I totally had cover envy.

      And fortunately, it's one of the rare books where judging it by it's cover won't land you far off the mark. ;)

    2. The cover art for Frost was designed by Kanaxa ( It's my favorite cover so far. :)

  3. Great interview! I can't wait to devour this book.

  4. I really want to read this book! And you gave me GREAT inspiration about writing.

    I agree with Heather, this is a great interview! :)

    1. Yay! I really -want- you to read this book! ;D Lets face it, I think she had us at cannibalism. >.>

    2. I agree...and spiders...I like that reference. ;)

  5. Great excerpt! I'd love to read this book.

  6. Thanks for hosting me, Angela!

    And thanks to everyone who commented.

    Fangs, venom and swords--what's not to love? ;)