KC: The Magician's Children is a sequel to a previous book. What are the challenges in writing a sequel? Did you learn things about the characters you wished you'd known when you wrote the first one?
AG: The most challenging thing was to give enough story summary from the first book for readers who hadn't read it to fill them in but not give away any spoilers. There were some issues in Quinn's background that might have been helpful to have known all of the details about, instead of just having a general idea about them.
KC: Many of your characters are shape shifters or at least appear in different forms throughout the story. Is it hard keeping track of who's who (and who's what)?
AG: That's one of the easier parts! Although I have taken some dramatic license with them, they are based on actual mythological creatures/characters. For example, Valkyries can only take the form of human females, ravens, or swans; Loki can take any shape he likes.
KC: There's a bit of a potential romantic triangle developing in this book. Do you like writing romance scenes?
AG: That triangle is going to take on a stronger role in the next book (tentatively titled either "The Devil's Advocate" or "The Heirophant's Daughter"). I find writing romance difficult. It is very easy to make it melodramatic and sappy, but not so easy to make it both believable and complex. The character Marti struggles with her desire for a romantic partner vs. protecting her child. She's also just beginning to be able to let go of her husband after he was killed in the line of duty. So as much as she wants Quinn, she has to weigh that against the potential harm that dating a non-human brings with it, against her daughter's welfare, as well as the guilt she feels about being interested in another man. I also want her to be able to stand on her own two feet, without feeling she needs to be "completed" by a lover.
KC: Your main character has a small child. Is it difficult to plot around a main character dealing with childcare issues? Are you writing these scenes from your own experience?
AG: Definitely! Even in the most ideal of situations, there can be a strong conflict between self as adult woman and self as mother. It has been said that you can have it all…just not all at once. There are times when parents have to sacrifice what they want for what their children need, and it's not always an easy sacrifice.
KC: You've obviously done a lot of research into classics, fantasy and mythology. Are these general interests of yours? What made you interested in these things?
AG: I have read myths and fairytales for as long as I can remember. It probably started with my mother reading "Baba Yaga" stories to me when I was little. One of my favorite TV shows when I was growing up was "Mission Impossible." I always liked the idea of clandestine groups secretly working to save the world, and you probably aren't going to get more clandestine than ghosts and fae folk.
KC: What's your next project?
AG: I have a book called "Exit Point," about a teen who falls into a swimming pool and drowns; while this is happening, she goes on a quest on the Astral Plane, and whether or not she succeeds determines whether she lives or dies in the material world. It's about one chapter away from being done. I have been working on the outline for the next book in the Marti Keller Mysteries series, where, during a huge literary conference,one romance writer after another dies in a fatal "accident." Marti has to figure out what's really going on, because Belinda might be next. I also owe Belinda the second book in her Dragonfire series (Dragon by Knight is the first).