Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ann Aguirre - Blue Diablo Blog Book Tour

Ann Aguirre is the author of the fabulous Grimspace, plus its sequels Wanderlust and Doubleblind. Now she ventures into Urban Fantasy with Blue Diablo. She is a very amiable author. Her publicist approached me about her Blue Diablo Blog Book Tour way back in January. When I received her post, I very unreasonably asked her to add a paragraph or two to go along with my One Year Later theme. And she very graciously wrote three.


Last year, I fulfilled the dream of being published in science fiction. This year, I conquer fantasy and romance. (The romance title is coming in December.) But I´m here to talk about the former. The publication of BLUE DIABLO is truly a dream come true for me. Ever since I can remember, I´ve read and admired fantasy authors for their creativity, action-packed plots, worldbuilding and fabulous originality.

Some of my favorite fantasy authors include: Patricia Briggs, Robin McKinley, Sharon Shinn, Patricia McKillip, George RR Martin, Neil Gaiman, CS Friedman, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jim Butcher, Pauline J. Alama, Patricia Wrede, and Terri Windling.

They all share the ability to tell a riveting story, sometimes in astonishingly lyrical language. Now, I can call myself a fantasy author, too. Urban fantasy is often more accessible to non-readers of epic fantasy because it doesn´t offer the same disconnect from our reality. There is generally no need of maps or a special lexicon. Urban fantasy is our world, plus: what the plus entails is up to the author.

In my case, it´s our world, plus magic. Rachel Caine, an author who lives in Texas, called Blue Diablo, “An authentic Southwestern-flavored feast, filled with magic, revenge and romance, spiced with memorable characters and page-turning action. ¡Muy caliente!”

Over the past year, I have had some amazing experiences, some of which still leave me pinching myself. For starters, Grimspace landed on a number of bestseller lists, which surprised the heck out of me. Then, last March, I attended my first SF&F convention, where I signed books next to Sherrilyn Kenyon. That was amazing, and I actually sold out of Grimspace at the con. The booksellers at BAMM were so kind, and they actually told me that Grimspace was the most requested book. By the time I had my official signing, there were only three books left on the shelves.

My next big thrill came in April 2008 when I attended my first RT. Signing at at the big book fair on Saturday was such an amazing experience, and I sold out of Grimspace there as well. I had been worried about the reception I would receive at a romance convention, but it was just lovely.

Spring turned into summer, and then I had a whirlwind of appearances. On my own, I put together a tour that lasted something like three weeks. I had never done anything remotely like that, but I went first to Comic-Con in July, where I sat on a panel with a bunch of SF giants (all men), and then I felt like a rockstar when I had dinner with my two editors and my agent. Talk about a rush. From there, I went on a driving tour up the California coast with the wonderful Chris Marie Green. We signed in Santa Barbara, stayed the night in Solvang, and then went on to RWA in San Francisco. RWA was all-new and wonderful for me too. For the first time, I gave a workshop on writing and selling crossover fiction, along with Robin D. Owens, Catherine Asaro, and Cindy Hwang, my amazing editor. I also had lunch with the executive editor at Penguin, which was utterly exciting. It was overwhelming too, so I was very relieved to get home and get back to business.

At heart, I am much the same as I ever was. I love to write. I love to read. I take my work ethic from Nora Roberts, and I do my best to write the best book each time, regardless of what else is going on. I make my deadlines, and I work hard. But there are diamonds strewn along this path, and I savor every one.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about my writing, and I´ll stop by to answer them. It doesn´t have to be related to the Corine series. You can ask about the Jax series or my forthcoming romances as well. I´m also happy to discuss your thoughts on my favorite authors, as I´m all about the books! A random commenter will win a copy of Blue Diablo.


Tia Nevitt said...

I already have my greedy hands on a copy of Blue Diablo, and regular readers know that I'm not a usual fan of Urban Fantasy. I love that it opens in Mexico City; right away you know it's something different.

Thank you for your post, Ann!

SciFiGuy said...

Hi Ann as Tia knows I AM a big fan of urban fantasy and my question is do you have plans to write more urban fantasy?

Ann Aguirre said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear what you think, Tia!

SciFiGuy (will you be changing your name to SyfyGy to be more like TV?), I am committed to the Corine Solomon series. We sold three books to start with, and unlike the Jax series, which will most definitely wrap up in six books, the Corine series is a bit more open-ended. In other words, I intend to write the Corine books for a long time, so yes, I do intend to write more. Lots and lots more!

I have some other ideas kicking around too, of course, but I am already writing three series.

KT Grant said...

How are you able to write 3 series as the same time! I have a hard time trying to concentrate writing one book let alone three.
Blue Diablo rocked my socks off as you already know :D

Ann Aguirre said...

Most simply, I don't do it all at once. I am not great at multitasking, so generally, I write one book at a time. Which means I build time into my schedule to stop thinking about Jax and get into Corine's head.

The time I spend between projects, reading other people's books, is more than just rest and rejuvenation for me, although it is certainly that as well. It's also a brain reset, which puts me where I need to be to write the next book.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann!

I've only read Grimspace so far, but I loved it and can't wait to read more of your work. As for my question, what would you say are the pros and cons of writing in first person perspective of a single protagonist?


Tia Nevitt said...

Katiebabs, I read your review. I'm hoping to start on Ann's book next week and have my review up close to the release date.

flip said...

loved Blue Diablo. I love the Mexico City setting and would like to see it in future books.

Ann Aguirre said...

The pros:

You're in that person's head, so it makes for a more intimate writing / reading experience.

The cons:

You're in that person's head, so anything that happens elsewhere, you must find a clever way to reveal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,

Already read Blue Diablo, which I really liked. Could you talk a bit more about the border setting (Laredo) and how this may have impacted your characters (all of whom were somewhat hybrid).


Ann Aguirre said...

Laura, thank you so much for the kind words.

That's a great question. I guess I just wanted to write a more multicultural book. I can't honestly say it was Laredo that made me go, Gee, why don't I make the cast of characters diverse? I just gravitate toward multi-ethnic characters, given that my own kids are chock full of hybrid vigor.

Mariee said...

Blue Diablo sounds great, I'd love to win a copy!

How did you get started in writing?

donnas said...

Thanks for the post. Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres and I cant wait to read Blue Diablo. You sound like you have a winning work ethic which can be hard for many to come by, Congrats!!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Ann Aguirre said...

Marie, I've been writing since I was a kid, so it's not a question of starting. :)

And now I'll pick a winner!

DonnaS, email azteclady1 at to get your book!

Tia Nevitt said...

Thanks, Ann, for the post and for the contest!