Word Wenches breaking news: The identity of the Jamie Quaid you’ve been seeing in your Wenchly newsletter (and if you don’t receive our newsletter, go click that button over there and subscribe!) is none other than…drum roll please… Patricia Rice, restless roving author always in search of something new and fun to try. She’s gone over to the dark side (just for a bit) — and is pleased to announce not only a new book, but a new writing persona. Jamie Quaid's debut release is BOYFRIEND FROM HELL,
the first book in her new urban fantasy series, Saturn’s Daughters.
Justine (Tina) Clancy is an ordinary law student with a faulty arrest record, a part-time job in Baltimore's environmentally hazardous Zone, and a family secret so bizarre even she doesn't believe it. That is, until in a fit of fury she damns her boyfriend to hell—and that's exactly where he ends up. Much to her surprise, Tina is one of Saturn's daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But between finding a way to free Max from hell, saving her own neck, and solving a mystery that threatens the Zone and her newfound friends — how is she ever going to study for finals?
Publishers’ Weekly loves Boyfriend from Hell: “Without a vampire, werewolf, or fallen angel to be seen, this strong debut is a pleasantly fresh take on a well-worn genre.”
Recently Wench Susan spoke with Wench Pat/Jamie about Boyfriend from Hell:
Q. Jamie Quaid's Boyfriend from Hell is a fun, fantastic book that lets you offer a great new author persona and a chance to try something new. How did this story and its characters come about?
Pat/Jamie: My fellow wenches have as good an idea of how this book happened as I do, since it traveled a strange and winding road. The original foundation of the book came from a cornfield… Driving hundreds of miles with nothing more than corn as far as the eye could see, with the radio booming bad music, I must have hit some trance state where the bug hitting the windshield translated into a character damning her cheating boyfriend to hell and watching him go splat against a wall. Try turning that scenario into a book sometime!
The idea reeled through my head for months but as hard as I might try, I couldn’t turn a hero dying in the first chapter into a romance. So I threw it out for my fellow brainstormers to play with and lo and behold…an urban fantasy took shape. Not your normal fangs and fur type of thing, but a browbeaten heroine coping with a world that grows madly awry one fine day. One trauma too many really turns Tina into a kickass heroine I’m proud to claim.
Q. As one of the brainstorming authors who watched the book take shape, I can verify just how much fun that was! The book just took off from your very first idea, growing into a story with unique characters, a terrific plot, really a great series concept. And having read an advance copy, I can also attest to how much fun the BFH is – wry, funny, one of those books that just captivates.
Tell us more about the story — what was the most fun for you in writing Boyfriend from Hell?
I loved just about every page of writing BFH. It was remarkably freeing to let the story flow and watch all the wonderful characters come to life! It took me a couple of tries to realize that I simply couldn’t give Tina superpowers and let her run the world her way, no matter how tempting that might be. So every time she does something outrageously improbable, there has to be a consequence. And then explaining that consequence to the world around her… makes any heroine think twice about what she’s doing. Just trying cutting a rapist in half and see how that plays out when the cops show up.
The fun really begins as I fling weirdnesses into the plot and look for a way to make sense of them. An invisible thief? Who needs the usual petty crook? Why not an unhappy gay teenager terrified of bullies who suddenly learns to vanish? The chemically-polluted Zone I’ve created has a lot to answer for! And trying to place it within the reality of Baltimore adds more spice, so to speak. (For those of you who don’t know Baltimore—that’s where McCormicks processes their spices)
Q. How does writing urban fantasy differ from writing romance?
No sex and no hero are the biggest differences. Since I’m writing a light story, each book will have its own happy ending, so that part stays the same. I can have an ugly heroine and she can say nasty things, if it’s in character. She can flirt with three different hunks and reject them all. Instead of concentrating on a developing relationship, I concentrate on developing my heroine so she can achieve her goals. I love watching Tina develop from disenchanted student to confident lawyer—although she’s not quite there at the end of the first book. And if her ultimate goal is justice for all, she may never achieve all she wants!
Yes! Damn You to Hell: in the sequel, The Zone is blasted with gaseous fumes and pink flakes, old people are beating each other up, the locals are falling comatose,
and Tina’s hunky neighbor gets arrested for murdering her boyfriend’s mother. Can she save her new home, her best client, and not send anyone else to hell?
Boyfriend from Hell will be out from Pocket on 9/25, and the publisher is running a fun “date from hell” contest — click here to check it out!
Questions and comments for Pat, er, Jamie? She's reserved an ARC of Boyfriend from Hell for one lucky commenter, so comment as fast and often as you can!