Nine from agents, and then 35 from publishers after I had an agent. My agent held on to all of the letters until after the book was sold and then sent me the lot in a package so I could laugh at the silly people who didn't think it was good enough or salable or made sense. I still thank my agent for that.
Have you ever thrown away a book that you just couldn't make work?
Alas, no. I'm a horrible pack rat and if it's not working I just put it aside and hope I'll get a chance to fix it or at the least mine it for good bits some other time.
Is it still exciting to publish a new book even after all this time?
Yes! Although it's also still anxiety-producing. I want every book to do better than the last and each to be more interesting and challenging for me as a writer. Sometimes that's not successful, but I keep trying and I hope--every time--that the readers will "get" it and love the new book as much as I do.
Do you get ideas for new books all the time and you keep them written down, or does one come to mind when you need one?
Yep! I usual think about them a bit and if they are still looking interesting hours or days later, I take notes. Usually. Once in a while I forget to write things down and then I kick myself later.
Do you have entire story arcs mapped out when you begin a trilogy or a series of related books?
I had a five-book arc in mind for the initial series of Greywalker, but now that it's a lot longer than 5 books I've had to start mapping new arcs. My agent and editor have been a lot of help with seeing patterns I'm sometimes unaware of and helping me bring those forward as arcs or elements of a larger sub-plot. My "brilliance" is artificially enhanced by my very clever editor and agent. They make me seem a LOT smarter than I really am.
Did you know how the series is going to end when you began it?
Well I did... but now I've passed the original ending and I'm going to have to come up with something new. I have an idea of what must happen, but the how and when... those are still in the air.
Have you thought about being published under another name, or are you planning on sticking with this name?
Right now I am, but I admit, I have some ideas I think would be better served in the market without having to fight against the Urban Fantasy assumptions. We'll see....
Do you have to enter a different mind-set to write different stories for different names/characters?
Unfortunately, yes. I have to work pretty hard to writer from a new or different POV and keep the characters from all sounding like Harper Blaine or one another.
Is there any kind of book you would like to write but haven't?
I'd love to write a really chewy police detective novel without any "woo woo" factor. But probably not right away.
If you could change anything about your writing career, what would it be?
I'd like to have started sooner, but if I had, I wouldn't be the same writer I am so... maybe not....
What’s the most interesting question you’ve ever been asked about your writings, and what was your answer?
So far my favorite odd question was "During the zombie apocalypse, which fictional character would you like to have at your back?" And my answer was: Iron Man! Because he has all the nifty toys...." but a friend of mine said "Sherlock Holmes, because you know he's going to come up with a really amazing solution, based on science." And I wish I'd said that too.