Thursday 15 October 2015

Author Interview & Giveaway: A Fistful of Fire by Rebecca Chastain

A Fistful of Fire
by Rebecca Chastain
Urban Fantasy
Amazon (UK) | Amazon (Everywhere Else)


Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, defending her region against imps, vervet, hounds, and one lascivious demon. If her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.

But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.

As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.

Sizzling with adventure and sparking with magic, A FISTFUL OF FIRE is fused with Madison Fox’s trademark blend of humor and ass-kicking action.


Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

Most of the organic story flow moments happen for me before I start writing. I outline extensively (okay, obsessively), but there’s always a time before I lock down the story where I let the ideas meander wherever they want. Sometimes this happens completely in my head, but most of the time, I schedule free write sessions into my day to allow my creativity to play, unfettered by rules. Later, I collect the bits and pieces of the story that resonate, and I place those into a separate bullet-point document that’ll later become my outline. I adore the organization and structure of an outline—without one, I’d probably never finish a novel—but I think those free, creative hours where I don’t worry about world rules are vital.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 

I’ve yet to have that magical moment where a character dictates a new, better plot, but I’ve learned that every time a scene or dialog is giving me a real problem, I’m trying to force a character to react to a situation in a way that’s untrue to them. Sometimes this is an easy fix, and sometimes it means going back to the outline and re-outlining chunks of the plot, or in the case of A Fistful of Fire, the entire third act. Twice.

What is your favourite food?

Avocado. I eat it as a meal all by itself or on pretty much anything else, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and (since I’m vegan, and it works as a good supplement in many creamy chocolate dishes) desserts.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?


Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

Tenochtitlan, around 1490 (if there’s a time machine involved) or now to see the ruins, because I’ve got future plans to resurrect the Aztec empire in a novel.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Quite the opposite. A Fistful of Evil and A Fistful of Fire are both set in my backyard, almost literally. The main character, Madison, protects my home town of Roseville, CA, lives in my old apartment, and works in an office building I used to. You can’t get much nearer than that!

Do you listen to music while writing?

Yes. It took a few years to graduate from classical music to music with lyrics, but I’ve always found it easier to focus when there’s a little sound to block out other random noises in the house. Right now, I listen to a lot of Florence + the Machine, Lorde, Paramore, Selena Gomez, Sia, and Ellie Goulding.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

Outlines save so much time! I tried writing a book without a plan, and it ended up being over 1,000 pages long and a mess. So now, I outline. But it’s more than that. I outline each novel, then run it through a whole slew of checklists. My goal is to ferret out all the big-picture problems, plot holes, motivation gaps, and everything that causes massive rewrites later. I think it makes my novels stronger from the beginning (though it hasn’t saved me from rewrites completely), and it gives me a much better understanding of my story and my characters before I start writing.

Is there anything you would do differently?

When I published my debut novel A Fistful of Evil over a year ago, I had no mailing list, a very small Facebook following, and no experience marketing. I always knew reviews were important, but it wasn’t until I started getting a steady stream of bloggers reviewing my novels that my sales took off. If I could go back and do something differently, I would have sent ARCs of A Fistful of Evil to reviewers to help build buzz before its release.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

My love of magic has been the strongest influence in my writing. I have yet to come up with a story without first coming up with a character and her magical ability first. If I were a wizard or dragon rider or could speak telepathically with animals, I’d be using those skills to earn a living, but since the closest I can come to magic is in my imagination, I’m a writer.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Your writing is going to suck for a while. I know that doesn’t sound very encouraging, but it’s where everyone starts. There are so many elements to writing a novel, and it takes time to learn them. Stick with it, read a lot of novels and a lot of books on craft, get critiques and give others feedback on their work, take classes, and write. Write a lot. Don’t stop until you’re proud of what you’ve written, and don’t publish until at least a few non–loved ones agree with you. Then don’t ever stop, because your fans are counting on you to keep giving them books they want to read.

What are three words that describe you?

Resilient, optimistic, focused

List of previous books:

A Fistful of Evil (Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer Book 1)
Amazon UK:
Amazon US:
Amazon everywhere else:

Magic of the Gargoyles
Amazon UK:
Amazon US:
Amazon everywhere else:

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

Twitter: @Author_Rebecca or



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