Author Anida Adler has taken some time out of her busy schedule to drop by and tell us a little about herself and her current work.
What's the one thing, word, element, etc. that readers won't see in any of your books?
Wow. This is a really difficult question to answer. I don’t want to preclude any life situations I might throw my characters into. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to never say never.
One term you won’t find me using, or which I’d be aghast to discover I slipped up with, is the term ‘continue on’. To my mind, the only context in which those two words go together is ‘he continued on his way’. To say ‘he continued on to the castle’ is something I’d only do if I’ve lost my marbles completely. Continue means ‘go on’, so if you say ‘continue on’ you are saying ‘go on on’.
However, language is a living, changing entity, and as what I consider to be incorrect use of ‘continue’ is ever more widespread these days, I think it will inevitably be accepted as correct, if in fact it isn’t already.
What comes after The Ancient? Any new series in the works?
I’m usually a very prolific writer (I wrote eight novels in 2008), though this year has been a very rough one for me and I haven’t been as productive as I usually am. That said, this year did see the release of the first Irish mythology-inspired novel I wrote, The Pebble, through Amira Press. Tadhg and Morrigán appear briefly in this tale. I became intrigued by their story, so I had to write it. The Pebble is published under the name Nadia Williams, as it is a much different novel in terms of heat level and story development. Both stories stand alone, of course, I dislike series where you have no clue what’s happening if you haven’t read all of them. Anida is my naughtier side, and will bear responsibility for all my steamier stories. The Ancient is, I personally think, steamy enough to sauna in.
At present, there are several stories queueing in my head. I’ve started work on Nuada’s story and am quite far into it, but hit a snag with story development and laid it aside for a few months. In the meantime, I’m working on a story tentatively entitled Soul Binder. It involves characters from the hidden world, the third realm of the Tuatha De Dannan. Right in the middle of that I realised where I'd gone wrong with Nuada's story, so now I'm racing to finish Soul Binder so I can get back to Nuada.
What's your favorite holiday and why?
I love cycling, and have been neglecting it far too much this year. I have a blog dedicated to my cycling adventures - http://nadiacycles.blogspot.com - where those so inclined can read more.
Would you ever consider mentoring an aspiring author?
I would not only consider it, I’m doing it already. Every Thursday, I lead a writers’ workshop for teenagers through a local organisation, the Apple Tree Foundation http://www.appletreefoundation.ie/ It’s an absolute joy to encourage young talent to bloom.
How did you come up with the name of your current series?
The series hasn’t been named yet, but the name of this book was easy. Story ideas come to me when I ponder how someone facing either a specific situation or specific personality traits would achieve a certain goal. When I ‘met’ Morrigán and Tadhg, I became ever more intrigued by how on earth these two got together. They were perfect for each other, but not at first glance. The central question was, how could Morrigán, being an Ancient, ever love anyone? Ah, I'm getting all excited even writing that.
Finish the thought: If I didn't make one cent off anything I've written, __________ …I would still write. I have a blog reserved for private writing thoughts shared with fellow slaves of words, though I seldom post there any more. Some time ago, I posted something which probably answers this question in detail: http://racingboo.livejournal.com/116589.html
Have you attended any book conventions or signings?
I’ve only attended one conference, the Phoenix Convention, in Dublin earlier this year. It was great fun and I learned a lot. One niggle I picked up from there was a kind of looking down on the fact that my first book had been published electronically. I would love to be a raging success as an e-published author, just for the joy of going back there and speaking to a certain author who had dissed the industry most severely.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I love Ireland, and will not move away from here. So physically, I’ll still live in my adopted country.
In terms of goals, I hope over the coming years to delight others with my stories. I don’t have dreams of bestsellerdom and fame, but it would be awesome to find enough readers who will be delighted and entertained to justify to my poor long suffering husband the massive amount of work I put into writing.
What's your one guilty pleasure?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
I would not smoke.
What makes you happy?
My whole life makes me happy. Having seen the misery so many people live in firsthand, I am very aware every day of what a privileged life I lead.
What are you wearing right now?
Haaa… this question is more loaded than you’d think. I’m wearing black jeans, a purple long sleeved tee shirt and hiking boots. However, clothes are very important to me, not in terms of being dressy, but in terms of expressing who I am.
Before we moved to Ireland, I wore dungarees. Short ones in summer, longs in winter. I so seldom wore anything else that I remember it being weird to feel something tight around my waist when I went out anywhere I could not wear dungarees, in which case I'd wear jeans. I left my beloved dungarees behind, and I’ve regretted it since. Dungarees very much express precisely who I am. They’re comfortable, practical, durable, and they don’t flaunt what you’ve got. However, they’re more sexy than you’d think.
What do you do to get into the writing mode?
I exist. The trick is to get out of writing mode and rejoin reality long enough to remember to do the dishes. That’s a secret I have yet to discover.
What would you do if you fell in love with the goddess of death?
June 1945 - Tadhg Daniels sees a woman clad in strange clothes and a feathered cloak, but she’s invisible to everyone else. He’s convinced his mind has been unhinged by the horrors of the D-day landings four days before, but when she appears to him again, the woman proves she is real. She is Morrigan, goddess of death, come to warn him his life is about to end.
Morrigan is disturbed by the man she meets. He looks in her eyes unflinching, while all others avoid her gaze. She’s never found such a strong will to survive in any of her charges before. He refuses to accept he’s going to die.
There is a way for Tadhg to cheat death, a secret Morrigan has guarded for millennia. Morrigan can save him if she takes him as her lover, but sex with the goddess of death will change him. He needs time to decide if he’s prepared to give up his humanity in order to be with her forever.
But Tadhg is not the only one who knows Morrigan’s secret. Someone else wants to take by force the gift she can bestow. And he’ll stop at nothing to get it.
He hadn’t expected her to laugh. What he had expected he didn’t know, but not laughter. “What’s so funny?”
“You love me? You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Annoyance flared in his breast. “Enlighten me, then.”
She regarded him with a hard stare. “I’m a cynical, world-weary, chronically depressed goddess. Do you know what I feel when people blubber over farewells to loved ones?”
He shook his head.
“Irritation, Tadhg. I have no sympathy for humans’ emotions. When I discern the utter stupidity they allowed to rule their lives, all I want to do is throttle them, help them into the afterlife even faster than they’re due to enter it. It is no less than they deserve for wasting such a precious gift as life.”
“Oh.” He snapped his fingers. “That must be why you sat in the dark for hours feeling so depressed, you’d have killed yourself if you could.”
She turned from him, yanked a curtain away from a shelf, dropped it, and moved on to the next. “Ha!” She grabbed a bottle of wine. The cork sprang from the neck as if it was champagne. He didn’t miss the tremor of her fingers as she poured. “You think what you feel is love. How can that be? We’ve known each other no more than days, poet. Love is something that grows over years, like a strong oak.”
“And I know what I feel for you is the healthy sapling that will grow to a mighty tree.”
She swallowed half the glass and slammed it down on the table. “What you feel, human, is lust. No more, no less.”
“That is not true.”
“Oh?” She smiled. No trace of warmth in the gesture, she turned to him and put a hand on his shoulder. A tingle of awareness shivered over his skin. Slowly, she traced a trail over his chest, down to his navel. Warm, sweet sexual energy flooded his muscles, suffused his blood, and pooled in his groin. “What do you feel when I touch you, then? A warm sensation in your heart?”
Tadhg grabbed her wrist, pulled her body close, and brought his mouth down on hers. She stiffened in his grasp, but he put a hand on the nape of her neck and held her to him. He teased the seam of her lips with his tongue, nipped at her bottom lip until she opened for him. He plunged his tongue into her warm mouth, tasted the mellow redness of wine in an erotic sense deluge that added taste and fragrance to a mimic of the full possession of her body, which he truly desired. Morrigán moaned, and a flash of white heat exploded in Tadhg’s brain. He put his hands on her firm behind and lifted her from the floor, ground her pelvis into his taut sex. “That too,” he answered her question, stifling her no doubt snarky reply with a renewed onslaught against her defences.