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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Christmas With… Diana Pharaoh Francis


At the end of the month, Diana will be celebrating the release of Shadow City, the third book in the Horngate Witches series, and to do so she stopped on the blog for an interview! Keep on reading to discover more about other projects she’s also working on!


1- Max has come a long way since book 1, Bitter Night, was it all planned from the very beginning?

Not really. For me, she's grown as I've written about her and learned about her.  And of course, the world has changed around her in huge ways. She's had to react to a lot of things and reevaluate who she is and who she wants to be. I'd like to say I knew where I was going when I wrote, but so many times I discover as I go. It can be nerve racking though.

2- When writing, do you write the book in order and scenes here and there and than fill it in?

Never! The very idea gives me the screaming willies. I know writers who can do this, but I have to write from the beginning forward. A lot of that has to do with discovering the story as I write. I can't write ahead because so often I don't entirely know where I"m going.

3- Is Shadow City the last book in the series? If not, how many are planned?

I'm working on the fourth right now: Blood Winter. I'd tell you more about it, but it would have to have huge spoilers from Shadow City. I want to write at least a couple more, and I'd love to write about Valery and Holt too, but a lot depends on whether my publisher is interested, which depends entirely on sales. The good news is that Max has been nominated by Romantic Times for the best urban fantasy hero, and Shadow City has been named a Romantic Times Top Pick and earned their highest review. I *can* tell you that it's huge fun and I think everyone is going to love it.

4- Do you have any other projects in the works?

I do! I've got so many ideas and so little time. One is a young adult story I'm playing with. One is a very dark epic fantasy that I can't wait to shop around. And another is a kind of noir urban fantasy that is making the rounds now. I just turned a story about a succubus for a new anthology that should be out pretty soon. I'm really excited about it.

Now onto some Xmas-y Questions:

5- What's your favorite Christmas song?

Carol of the Bells. There's something about it that just makes me happy. Joyful.

6- What is Christmas like in Shadow City?

It's eclectic. All the worlds and centuries meet in the same place at the same time and everyone celebrates uniquely. But it's less likely to be Christmas than Winter Solstice. Not a ton of Christians in Shadow Cities.

7- What could we offer Max for Christmas?

A night without fighting where everyone gathers and celebrates. She's not a gift girl, but I think that's more because she's not been ready to celebrate. But now--I think she'd love some fun tee-shirts with fun sayings. or some great music.

8- If you could wish for anything for Christmas, what would it be?

Right now--to sell my house. But other than that, to be healthy. I remember thinking I was fat and decrepit when I was younger. I would love to have my old body back. if only I knew then what I knew now, right?


If it got you curious, here’s a bit more about Shadow City

The world is falling apart. The magical apocalypse has come. Now is the time to guard the covenstead against both raiders and refugees. But Max has been stolen by a powerful demi-god who is determined to force her to find a way to use a magical power she never knew she had—even if it kills her. Meanwhile, back in Horngate, a Fury is birthing. When the creature breaks free of the fragile bonds that enclose her, her rage will scour the covenstead from the earth.

Max finds herself in the Shadow City, a place of mysteries and magic, where she must battle for her freedom or become a slave to creatures of dreadful greed and power. Back in Horngate, Alexander must swallow his anger and pride if he hopes to defeat the Fury, a creature that no one has ever successfully fought before.

In the end, it will be courage, friendship, faith and loyalty that win the day. Or else so one will live to see tomorrow.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository


Diana would like to offer a copy of Bitter Night and a cover flat of Shadow City, like it wasn’t enough, Simon & Schuster is offering 10 copies (!!) of Shadow City!

Open to US only

Giveaway Ends January 4th, 2012.

All you have to do is fill the Rafflecopter form below.

The only mandatory entry is to provide your name and email addy =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Diana Pharaoh Francis“I was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern California (outside a town called Lincoln which is now part of an enormous sprawl). I taught myself to ride a horse at the age of six, as no one had the time to teach me—they were all busy learning how to irrigate, how to cajole an angry bull into another field, how to pull a calf… Afraid of heights, and absolutely sure I was going to die, I managed to scramble up on the back of a very patient and lazy strawberry roan destrier, and plod off into the sunset.

Thereafter, I spent much of my early life on horseback, or so far buried into a book that the rest of the world ceased to exist (much to the annoyance of my family—it took several attempts to get my attention). We all had very specific jobs on the ranch and mine was horses and cattle—out rounding up at dawn. And since I rode bareback, my standing request was to wake me up 5 minutes before everyone else headed for the barn—time enough to dress and eat my Wheaties, and no sleep time wasted on saddling.

After high school, I attended college after college, racking up a BA and MA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in literature and theory. My very patient and supportive husband traipsed across the Midwest and back to Montana for me (though my husband insists that he’s been running and hiding and I just keep finding him), where I now teach at the University of Montana-Western. We also a son Q-ball, who in our humbly unbiased opinions, is the most wonderful son ever produced, and a daughter, Princess Caesar, who is the most wonderful daughter ever produced.

I have a fascination for the Victorians, weather, geology, horses, plants and mythology, I like spicy food, chocolate and cheesecake, and I have an odd sense of humor. (Or so I’ve been told. Often.) Incidentally, the Pharaoh is in fact my real name, and oddly enough, is of British origin.”

You can visit Diana here.

More of Diana‘s books:

Bitter Night (Horngate Witches...Crimson Wind (Horngate Witches...Path of Fate (Path, #1)Path of Honor (Path, #2)Path of Blood (Path, #3)The Cipher (Crosspointe Chroni...The Black Ship (Crosspointe Ch...The Turning Tide (Crosspointe...The Hollow Crown (Crosspointe...


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

29 People left their mark' :

  1. Thank you for the interview, I enjoyed reading it. And am very sorry that the contest is US only, I have put this series on my wishlist.

  2. I liked Bitter Night and am looking forward to getting caught up with the series.

  3. I love this series! Thanks for the interview! Sometimes I feel like Max is overlooked among UF heroines, when she's such a complex and compelling character.

  4. I haven't read any of this series but it sounds really good. Thank you.

  5. I don't think I've ever heard that Christmas song.

  6. Thanks for the interview! I've been looking forward to getting into this series, and your other projects sound really intriguing too :)
    ~Lesley D

  7. Sounds like a great series. This is the first I hear of it. Will have to check it out.

  8. I enjoyed the interview and I'm looking forward to reading the Horngate Witches series, since I haven't started it yet.

    GFC follower

  9. I LOVE this series. I cant wait to get my hands on the the newest book. Thank you so much!

  10. I love Carol of the Bells too! It's very melodic and intricate and layered.

  11. I can't wait until Shadow City comes out! The last book was such a cliffhanger. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  12. Thanks for a fantastic interview! I love this series and I really enjoyed reading more about this author.

    This series.... it's on my "must-get-the-instant-it-becomes-available" list. I love, love, love, love Max and can't wait to read the 3rd book.

    Thanks so much again, for a great post and giveaway!

    gfc: erin
    e-mail subscriber

  13. Sounds like a great series. I am adding it to my list. Thanks for the chance.

    sariahwalters at gmail dot com
    GFC sariah walters

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Nice interview, but now I'm two books behind on this series. Rats! or Yay?!

    vivian.archer AT gmail DOT com

  16. I want to read this series
    audie(at) wickerness(dot)com
    Audra Holtwick

  17. Awesome interview! Carol of the Bells is my favorite Christmas song as well! Shadow City sounds like an awesome place to visit, and I can't wait to read these books! Thanks so much for the giveaway:)

    Name and email: Julie Witt, jwitt33 at live dot com
    GFC follower: Julie Witt

  18. I'm so glad Shadow City is almost out. I love this series. I just wish we didn't have to wait a year between books. Max is such a great character.

    GFC follower

  19. I couldn't imagine not writing from the beginning to the end all at once. I don't know how people can do it other ways either.

  20. Thanks for the interview. I'm not familiar with this series, but it sounds like a must read. Thanks for sharing the process.

  21. I love this series & am anxiously awaiting Book 3!

  22. Oops, forgot to post my name/email:

    Dana R.
    arteemus AT centurytel DOT net

  23. OH I have loved this series!

  24. Great interview and opportunity!
    It wouldn't let me specify how I followed but I'm a facebook & GFC follower (Kara DiDomizio)


  25. I want to see Christmas in Shadow City :) Thank you for sharing with us today.

  26. I like carol of the bells too, it kinda gets you caught up in the moment. THis book looks great I can't wait to check it out. Thanks for the give away.

    stephanie eckstein
    email subscriber eckstein 99, fb follower, gfc stephjx

  27. Great interview. I love this series. Thanks for the amazing giveaway.
    GFC follower CrystalGB

  28. Great interview! Thank you for the giveaway!
    I'm really not liking this new rafflecopter. It doesn't have a box to enter the information in as requested. *sigh* Sometimes it does, but more times it doesn't.
    GFC & FB ~ DeAnna Schultz
    Twitter ~ @SacredmOOn1

  29. Great interview!!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!!
    GFC: red_tigergirl2
    email: red_tigergirl2(at)hotmail(dot)com