Interview with Rebecca Chastain, author of A Fistful of Fire

12 Nov 2015
Tell us a little bit about your new release, A Fistful of Fire.

Madison Fox can see souls—and the evil creatures that feed off them. In fact, her job as illuminant enforcer is to eradicate all manner of these evil beings, from the smallest chinchilla-like fluff ball of evil to monstrous and deadly demons. Up until a week ago, Madison had no clue what she was doing, and while she’s impressed with herself for surviving long enough to cash her first paycheck, she hasn’t impressed anyone else. Now Madison’s region is the epicenter of a multi-regional flare-up of evil that includes fire-breathing salamanders, and she needs to become an enforcer extraordinaire overnight . . . or watch her region go up in flames.

A Fistful of Fire is the second in my bestselling urban fantasy series.

What books do you find yourself returning to again and again?

I’m always trying to improve my stories and my ability to tell them, so I keep a very earmarked copy of Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey on a shelf beside my desk alongside Brian McDonald’s Invisible Ink. Every time I read these books, I learn more, and they’re great for inspiring ideas to smooth kinks out of plots.

For the love of the stories (and for what I learn from these amazing authors), I enjoy rereading all my favorite fantasy authors, including Ilona Andrews, Kim Harrison, Jacqueline Carey, and Robert Jordan. Also, do comic books count? I reread my entire Bill Amend and Bill Watterson collection yearly.

What’s rocking your world this month?

I’m coming late to party, but I recently found Patricia Briggs and have been galloping through her Mercy Thompson books.

What’s something you’re truly terrible at doing?

Timed jumping in video games. I’ve been playing games since the first NES system was released, but you wouldn’t know it by watching me play.

If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?

I’d fill the seats at my table with women of Tenochtitlan from around 1490. I’d want to chat with women of every station, city dwellers and those living more rurally. The history books seem to go out of their way to not mention these Native American women, and I’m fascinated by what their daily lives were like before European explorers/conquerors arrived. Plus, I’m working on resurrecting the Aztec in an alternate history fantasy novel, and it’d be invaluable to have personal insight from the women who lived there.

What’s on your writing desk?

A novella manuscript
Two handwritten timelines for novels in the works
A dozen sticky notes with random story and character ideas
Marketing plans
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream
A pocket microscope
A photo of my handsome husband
A tiny glass elephant purchased when I first started writing Tiny Glitches
My much-loved and nail-gouged ergonomic keyboard

What’s your favorite quote or scene from A Fistful of Fire?

One of my favorite scenes is when Madison learns what the mystery energy in the parking garage is—and has to face the consequences. Here’s a quote from that scene:

“Nerves made me giddy, and darting around singing “Eye of the Tiger” wasn’t going to win me any points with my fellow enforcers. Plus, who was in charge of my inner sound track? It obviously wasn’t me.”

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Not really, but I keep two notes on my monitor to remind me how I want to live:

“Everything is a gift.”
“Life is meant to be fun.”


Rebecca Chastain is the author of the new book A Fistful of Fire.

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Author Website

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