Interview with urban fantasy author Laura Bickle

Last Thursday I posted a review for Laura Bickle’s novel, Embers.  It’s a great start to a dark and gritty UF series with ghosts, demons, and witches.  If you missed it, you can check it out here.  Today I have her here for an interview where she tells us more about her and her books.  Be sure to check it out below.


Embers Sparks Banner 450 x 169





*Note- my responses to Laura’s answers are in italics.

Tell us something dark about yourself.

This isn’t really dark, but I’m addicted to collecting Tarot cards. I have over thirty decks and my collection keeps growing. I think when I leave them in the dark, they multiply. My favorites are Hanson-Roberts, Shadowscapes, and Dragon Tarot. Whenever I plot a book, I grab some cards to help me flesh out the characters and the plot. Every character always gets assigned a card.


Wow, that’s a cool idea for how to set up for your characters!

You are on a deserted island and can only choose one beverage to have besides water.  What would it be?

Hands-down, Coca-Cola.


At least you know what you like.  I’m still waiting for someone to name a weird drink I’ve never heard of.

If you had to choose between a bullwhip, cat o’ nine tails, or a crop, which would you pick?

Bullwhip. Catwoman always knew how to work it.


Work it?  The bullwhip or something else…? 

(You can’t say “work it” here at Musings of Mistress of the Dark Path without minds going in the gutter).

What mythical creature would you be and why?

A salamander. Salamanders haven’t gotten much press since Paracelsus’ time, but they’re the elemental avatars of fire. I’ve been chasing non-elemental salamanders since I was a little girl, turning over rocks in streams and pressing my nose to the glass when I see them in aquariums. There’s some kind of fascination there, and I think that I’d be a pretty decent one.


I hadn’t given salamanders much thought until your book.  They’ve certainly grown on me since then.  Great answer!

What first inspired you to write your book?

My husband is from Detroit, and it was wonderful to have him play tour guide for me. Detroit has some very magical places that are easily reimagined into landscapes for a book, like the pieces of the Ishtar Gate at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Michigan Central Station became a way station for ghosts. And the Detroit Salt Mine, which stretches beneath the city. It became the perfect place for a dragon’s lair.


I enjoyed how you used real places as part of your novel.  There were a lot of new things I learned about Detroit.  You certainly had a lot to work with on those Halloween fires!

How long did it take to research/write it?

It took me several months. Since the protagonist, Anya, is an arson investigator, I wanted to make sure I got the investigation details down accurately. Though I have a background in criminal justice, I’ve never worked with arson, so that was all new to me.


I don’t think I ever spent much time wondering how fires were investigated before, but you certainly opened my eyes with your book.  There were some interesting tricks of the trade I wouldn’t have considered.  I love when I can learn something new even when reading fiction.

Give one unique fact about your novel that makes it different from the others in its genre.

Salamanders. They’re the elemental avatars of fire, rumored to be capricious, destructive, and unpredictable as fire itself. That made a salamander a perfect sidekick for Anya.

Sparky hopped out onto the page, wiggling his tail and looking for trouble. He takes the form of a five-foot speckled hellbender salamander. He loves chewing electronics and sleeps at the foot of Anya’s bed, cuddling his Glow Worm toy.


Sparky is awesome.  I definitely see him as a unique element in UF and it’s fun to read about his antics.  My cat has a similar fascination with electrical wires that had me totally relating to Anya’s troubles with her sidekick (though she hasn’t destroyed all the stuff Sparky has).

Do you plan to publish any more books in the future?

I do! I’m busily scribbling down the ideas as we speak!

My newest release is THE HALLOWED ONES, a YA thriller. Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the outside world. But the outside world comes to her when a helicopter falls out of the sky near her house. Katie must confront not only a massive disaster unfolding in the world outside her community, but also the threat of darkness in her own increasingly fragile society.

The sequel to THE HALLOWED ONES, THE OUTSIDE, will be released September 3. As the title suggests, Katie has to confront the devastation in the world beyond her community. Her chief challenge will be protecting those she loves and her own survival in a very dangerous new landscape.

I also write under the name Alayna Williams.  Two of those books, DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE, are about a criminal profiler who uses Tarot cards to solve crimes.


Glad to hear you’ll be keeping the books coming.  I’ll have to check out the ones under your pen name.  They sound good!



Thanks to Laura for joining me here today for her interview .  She had some fun answers to my questions!  For everyone else, please check out all the information on her and her books.  The full details for them can be found on my post here or you can click on the book covers below to see them on Amazon.  Feel free to ask your own questions if you have any.



author picAUTHOR BIO:

Laura Bickle has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she’s never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses.

Writing as Laura Bickle, she’s the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket – Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she’s the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE.

More info on her urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here:
Laura/ Alayna’s blogs and
She’s also at Facebook






~ by Suzie on June 24, 2013.

2 Responses to “Interview with urban fantasy author Laura Bickle”

  1. Thanks so much for interviewing me, Suzie! I had a lot of fun. 😀

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