Karina Cooper's gritty PNR series, Dark Mission, comes to an end with, One For the Wicked (the fifth book in the series; to be released on April 30th).
To celebrate the release and the end of the series, we interviewed Karina and asked her coffee addiction and about saying good-bye to New Seattle and the characters we've grown to love. Check it out!
Hey, Michelle and Leslie! Thanks for having me. I like that you lead right in with a coffee question. It’s so true. I wake up every morning and lead off my Twitter good morning with a hashtag: #coffeezombieshuffle. This pretty much sets the tone for the day. If I can’t shuffle my way over to the coffee pot, we’re looking at apocalyptic conditions.
My coffee mugs are about the size of 2-3 “normal” cups of coffee. I drink from mugs that range from 16oz to 32oz, and I usually get through about four of those a day. On deadline days? I’m looking at six or more.
But it’s not a problem. I can stop anytime I want! ...Ahem.
How was writing ONE FOR THE WICKED knowing it's the last one in the series? Was it emotional for you saying good bye to your characters and New Seattle?
Writing One for the Wicked was kind of bitter sweet. On the one hand, it was fun to really hit the culmination of the plot—unveil and unravel all the betrayals, conspiracies and treachery that infects New Seattle. On the other, it really is goodbye. All that time I spent with the characters and the city was suddenly coming to an end.
To be honest, it’s a mixed bag. There’s this feeling of nostalgia for the series. I look back on it now and think fondly of the whole, and occasionally think, “Maybe I could write this other character’s story, you know, just for fun.” But I firmly believe that all series should end—every story does have an end, after all. For some, it’s a trilogy, for others, it goes on and on, but eventually, it should end. In this case, the Dark Mission saga ends with One for the Wicked.
One of the things I loved best about writing this was the fact I could revisit old characters—like Jessie and Silas—and really give them the resolution that events wouldn’t allow, or they couldn’t give themselves. I got to touch base with all of them: Jessie and Silas, Naomi and Phin, Caleb and Jules, Simon and Parker, and yes, Jonas and Danny. We get to see where they end up, and how they’ve changed. I love that.
When you first started writing the series, did you already know how the overarching story lines would conclude or did that change as you wrote the books? Were there a lot of surprises?
When I first sold Blood of the Wicked and Lure of the Wicked, I had this idea that the plot would unfold in a totally separate way. I was going to actually introduce the Bishop of the Holy Order of St. Dominic, and wrap it around this whole other story. However, right around All Things Wicked—which is Caleb and Juliet’s story—that idea shifted into something both extremely subtle and totally not at all subtle. I can’t say more without spoilering One for the Wicked, but how it played out wasn’t initially planned until the pieces slotted together so perfectly.
I’m a plotter, but my roots are in pantsing, and sometimes, you’re not so much plotting what a character is doing so much as writing out how they’re reacting to events you’ve already shaped. There was some surprise in that, but then, once I worked out the details, it just made sense.
The thing I enjoyed most about the characters in the Dark Mission series was that I didn’t have very many crystal clear good or bad guys. Of them all, I think Phin Clarke was my only inherently “good” guy—the kind of guy you’d see in a white hat in a Western. That afforded me a lot of leeway, because it’s so easy to justify terrible things in the name of a greater cause.
Out of all your characters in the Dark Mission series, which one(s) are you NOT going to miss at all?
Out of everyone, I think I won’t miss Caleb and Juliet very much—but it’s not because I didn’t like them. Rather, I always felt like out of all the coupled, Caleb and Juliet found a kind of resolution that eluded the others. She accepted him for who he was and what he’s done; he found his perfect match in her, and allowed himself to believe that he could be hers. For a lot of couples, it really comes down to that—setting aside the baggage and ego and what-ifs long enough to simply accept each other. I always believed that these two, for all their terrible history and hard decisions, would be just fine.
Okay, now for some "This or That":
When writing, Quiet OR Music: Usually music! Sometimes quiet.
Dog-ear OR Bookmark: Neither! I close the book and remember where I was.
Physical books OR E-books: Both!
A citizen in New Seattle OR Cherry's London: New Seattle. Given my luck, I’d end up a trouble-maker female and cast out to be a dollymop in the east end or something.
Homebody OR Traveler: Traveler. I moved all the time as a kid, and miss those days. I love traveling for cons and such.
Avon (@avonbooks) will be having a twitter chat on Monday, 4/29, from 3-4 PM EST, with Karina Cooper (@KarinaCooper), and we’d love for you to participate! It will be using hashtag #WickedOne, and we’ll be chatting about all kinds of things—namely, witches! We’d love it if you shared your favorite witches (from books, movies, TV and beyond), but we’re also keen to hear about your favorite epic endings, favorite moments in the Dark Mission series—and don’t forget, Karina will be answering questions, so please do join us! Here’s the cherry on top of our paranormal Sundae (err…Monday): anyone who tweets using #WickedOne will be entered to win the complete Dark Mission series!