If, like me, your image of goblins was formed by too much Harry Potter, you think of them as dark, ugly and dangerous. But how about tortured? How about a curse? How about a cursed man fighting to find a queen? Welcome to the world of Australian author Shona Husk, who spends her days as a civil designer and her evenings exploring history, myth and imagination. Her debut novel, The Goblin King, is being released this week by Sourcebooks, and we will be giving away two copies to a commenter this week. (And dig the hot cover!) You can also find more info on Shona and download the FREE prequel to The Goblin King (called The Summons) at her website: http://www.shonahusk.com/.
ABOUT THE BOOK: Once Upon a Time…A man was cursed to the Shadowlands, his heart replaced with a cold lump of gold. In legends, he became known as… The Goblin King. For a favored few he will grant a wish. Yet, desperately clinging to his waning human soul, his one own desire remains unfulfilled… A Willing Queen. But who would consent to move from the modern-day world into the realm of nightmares? No matter how intoxicating his touch, no matter how deep his valor, loving him is dangerous. And the one woman who might dare to try could also destroy forever his chance at a … Happily Ever After.
First, Shona, congratulations on the release of The Goblin King! Can you give us the “elevator pitch”?
A cursed Celtic king struggles to hold on to his soul and resist becoming a goblin. When a woman in need of help summons him he has a chance to save them both…if she agrees to be his queen. But who could love a goblin?
What attracted you to goblins? They’re usually portrayed in a negative way in popular culture (if they’re portrayed at all), so how did you go about deciding what your goblins were going to be like?
I’m interested in darker stories and goblins are creatures of darkness and embody many negative traits. The idea that one could be a hero was appealing because it was a challenge. Goblins are ugly and selfish and I wanted to keep the negative; I didn’t want to make goblins a poor misunderstood creature in need of a makeover—they are what they are. However for the hero and his men the bad is tempered by their human soul. But they know what they will become and they have to fight every day to hold on to their humanity.
How much do you rely on research into mythology for your characters, and how much of your world do you build from scratch?
I use either historical or mythological research as a starting point, something will draw my attention and then the story will grow from there and take on a life of its own. With The Goblin King it was the idea that a hideous goblin could be the hero while the human fiancé was the villain. I love world building, it’s why I write paranormal and fantasy romance (that and the HEA). I had a lot of fun creating the Shadowlands and making it truly desolate and soul crushing and then the mirror image of the Summerland which is perfect and full of life.
Who is your favorite author? What do you read for fun?
I read all kinds of things-I’m omnivorous. The one genre I don’t tend to read is contemporary romance as I read to escape. I want to go back in time, go into the future, or experience another world. I love Katherine Kerr’s Deverry series, and I’m really enjoying Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I’m also a big fan of romance novellas, I love a quick read.
If you could be a preternatural creature, what would you want to be?
Oh, something with magic, or the ability to shapeshift—unless I could use magic to shapeshift…I’ve never written magical shapeshifters.
What’s next after The Goblin King?
Dark Vow, a western style romantic fantasy, is out in November (Carina Press) and there are two more Shadowlands books planned for 2012, Kiss of the Goblin Prince and For the Love of a Goblin Warrior. After that? Well, I’m working on something new 🙂
Thanks, Shona! Want to win a copy of The Goblin King (yes, you really do!)? Leave a comment, and you know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now…Go forth and comment!