#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole polled her readers for questions, and they seriously delivered! Read on for her answers—the ones that won’t get her into too much trouble, make her break blood vows, or get her arrested. And don’t forget to pick up her latest in the series, WICKED ABYSS, available in mass market today!
Can I read the books out of order? Or will I miss a bunch of stuff?
I’ve put a lot of work into making all the books standalone. Folks tell me they get more enjoyment reading them sequentially, but you could skip an installment here or there.
For instance, if werewolves aren’t your thing or if demons don’t do it for you, get help I get it. Bottom line: If you miss a book, I’ll have you caught up with the next.
For those who’d like to read them in order, the series installments are:
- The Warlord Wants Forever
- A Hunger Like No Other
- No Rest for the Wicked
- Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
- Dark Needs at Night’s Edge
- Dark Desires After Dusk
- Kiss of a Demon King
- “Untouchable” in Deep Kiss of Winter
- Pleasure of a Dark Prince
- Demon from the Dark
- Dreams of a Dark Warrior
- Shadow’s Claim
- Dark Skye
- Sweet Ruin
- Wicked Abyss
If you didn’t write romance, what would you do?
I’d be an investigator of “world’s coldest beer” claims, committed to the pursuit of finding the world’s truly coldest brew. I would be the most dedicated worker ever.
How much research do you put into the IAD series? Are the books difficult for you to write or do they fly out of your head and onto the page?
I do a metric ass-ton of research for this series (measured and verified). I use any medium available to me, and I also travel to many of the settings in the books.
Unfortunately, nothing flies out of my head, except for little poofs of my sanity. True story.
Writing the IAD is freaking hard. The seventeen installments build on and refer to each other, so getting even the tiniest detail correct is critical.
Plus I’m so emotionally invested in this series—more than a decade of my life has been dedicated to writing them—that I want each book to be perfect.
How did you develop your interpretation of the Valkyries?
I had to improvise most of their characteristics. There’s very little research available on them compared to other mythical/ legendary beings—a fact that was both problematic and freeing.
I read everything I could, even researched in Scandinavia, but in the end I needed to invent many of their traits—their acquisitiveness, their fascination with shiny objects, their love of fighting and all things modern (video games!), and their delicate, elven appearance. Also imaginary: the Valkyrie origin myth and their consumption of lightning.
How did you come up with the idea for The Living Book of Lore? Why do the entries change with each installment of the series?
A buyer for a retail book chain thought some explanations in the beginning of the books could help readers dive right into the world of the Lore. I thought this was a fantastic idea, so I started noodling how I wanted to provide that information.
In college, I’d studied grimoires and old texts written to classify evil spirits, such as demons. Often these books had encyclopedic definitions of the various entities, detailing their appearance, powers, weaknesses, and invocations. I pictured these ancient and eerie grimoires when coming up with the Book of Lore.
In each Immortals After Dark installment, I’ll include only the entries relevant to that particular story. The entries themselves change because the Book of Lore is living. I imagine it as a crowd-sourced compendium; Loreans can edit and add as new information becomes known (e.g., a previously undiscovered realm, recent heroic feats, overthrown rulers, etc.). Whenever an edit is made, each Book of Lore in existence updates magically/mystically.
Who’s your favorite character in all of the Lore?
Nucking Futs Nïx. Apparently, readers enjoy her antics. Coincidentally, I adore writing them. See, readers? This is why we’re so right for each other.
Do you put any autobiographical tidbits in the series?
Oh, yeah. For instance, the Valkyries’ addiction to video games is based on personal experience. Lemme tell you a little story. . . .
So I’m in college, rooming with Swede, my husband-tobe. We get a Super Nintendo Entertainment System with a few cartridges, including Donkey Kong Country.
Now, I have tunnel vision, so when I start a quest, I need to finish it before I do anything else. Like sleep or eat. This is a problem with video games, because finishing an entire one could take weeks! Worse? I had a crew of very supportive friends.
My first indication that something was wrong? When Swede patiently explained to me and my friends that for the last two weeks he’d been going to sleep with the Donkey Kong soundtrack playing—and waking up to the same. Without glancing away from the screen, I told him, “Yeah, baby, I hear you, I do, but I’m closing in on King K. Rool and I’m up to my ass in Kremlings.” My friends rolled their eyes at him: “Hellooo? Kremlings.”
High on high scores, I grew totally addicted, turning grungy and vampire-pale. That time was all a blur: School? Classes, schmasses. Must—get—to—next . . . LEVEL.
I would even dial Nintendo 1-900 help lines for hints. I remember telling some kid (who sounded fifteen), “No, no, that can’t be right. I’ve already sacrificed three Kongs doing that!” Fifteen-year-old’s reply: “Lady, don’t you have a job to be at or something?” Humiliation.
Then came the 3:00 a.m. intervention. Swede threw the cartridge on our neighbor’s roof! My only thought: Where to find a freaking ladder at three in the morning? Aha, the other neighbor’s backyard! My friends were the lookouts, cheering in hushed tones as I dodged a dog and continued my mission.
Must hurry, dew might damage cartridge. As I scrambled across the roof, reaching for my precious, an idea started setting in that I might have a problem. I snagged the cartridge. Triumphant!
I got back inside with my precious. Wait . . . Swede had destroyed the console? Scuttled??? Copious weeping. Acceptance.
But the Valkyries’ video-game addiction wasn’t the only idea I got out of that dark time. When I look back, I’m reminded that every heroine needs goals (however misguided), a hero who can be understanding if she’s gone crazycakes, and a crew that supports her in anything, even going cold turkey with Donkey Kong.
For years afterward, I never touched another game . . . until Wii. I convinced Swede that my body would tire out before I could get as bad as before. And what great exercise! Until it too became all a blur: Dance Dance Revolution! Love this song! Won’t stop till I get an A. I can’t feel my ankles! So thirsty. . .
Oh, and don’t even get me started on the autobiographical-ness of trash-talking, bowling witches.