I haven’t had an interview on my blog for a while. It is too much like interacting with real people for me. On the other hand I usually enjoy author interviews. My curiosity won out. Joan De La Haye is a really interesting writer. I love the slight cultural differences that I pick up reading her books but most importantly I really enjoy her storytelling. Requiem in E Sharp in particular is well worth a read. I hope you enjoy Joan’s answers as much as I did.
Q. How would you describe your writing and who does it appeal to (other than me)?
A. I guess I would describe it as being dark and a bit twisted. I tackle difficult subject matters and my books don’t tend to be for the faint of heart. So I think my books would probably appeal to people who like to be pushed out of their comfort zones.
Q. I was surprised to see a South African writer using Wicca in a story. I’d assumed it was mainly a British and American thing (shows what I know). You commented on my review that there is Wicca in South Africa. How does it fit in with more traditional South African tribal culture?
A. South Africa has so many different cultures. We have eleven official languages. And, surprisingly, Wicca has a few similarities with traditional African witchcraft. And some wicca covens do incorporate some of those traditions, while others stick to more Gardnarian traditions. You’d be surprised by how many wicca covens you’d find here in South Africa. While I was in my early twenties I spent a couple years with one in Johannesburg. Was an interesting time for me.
Q. Cover Art. I love wrap-around covers and I think the Tarot cards on Burning work really well. The cover to Requiem in E Sharp was a perfect Kindle screensaver and I had it on mine for a while. How much input do you have in to the cover art and what do you like to see in a cover?
A. I’m so glad you like my covers! Adele Wearing, my awesome publisher, actually gives me quite a lot of say in my covers. Dave Johnson, who did the cover for Burning and Shadows, actually reads my books and comes up with a whole bunch of concepts which Adele and I get to choose from. Adele and I have a discussion on what we’re both looking for and what we prefer, then whittle it down to one or two cover ideas. If we have trouble choosing between them we get Dave to wade into the discussion. He then does the final cover, which always manages to blow our minds.
Q. It is shameless plug time. Why should we read your latest book Burning?
A. Because it’s awesome!
And there’s sex and witches …
And things on fire literally and figuratively …
What more could you ask for?
Q. What goodies do you have in the wings for the near future?
A. I’m busy working on a novel called Fury. A young girl is brutally murdered and comes back to take revenge on those responsible. Should be fun to write.
And there’s Tales of the Mouse and Minotaur and The Monster Book coming out soonish … I think … from Fox Spirit Books with short stories from me in them. I’m rather looking forward to those being out and about.
I’ve also got a story in 221 Baker Streets which is being released by Abaddon in October.
Q. If you could put on a skin mask and be somebody for a day who would you choose and why?
A. To be honest I’m quite attached to my own skin and don’t feel the need to try anybody else’s on for size. Other people’s lives may look good from the outside, but I think the moment you put their skin on, you realise that everybody has their own crap to deal with and I’d rather deal with mine than somebody else’s.
Q. You’re stuck on a desert island and you only have five books to read. Which five would you choose and why?
A. This is a tough one. There are so many amazing books out there, but that being said …
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Misery by Stephen King
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A Games of Thrones by George R R Martin (I’d probably sneak the rest of the books in the series onto the island when you weren’t looking)
These are probably my favourite books and I think everybody should read them at least once in their lives.
Thanks for answering my questions Joan and good luck with Burning.