Kicking It: Edited by Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price

Dec 7, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Fantasy & Fangs, Lorie Lewis Ham

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Enjoy our review of this brand new urban fantasy anthology, plus we also had the chance to interview three of the authors-Faith Hunter, Rob Thurman & Rachel Caine! At the end of this post are details on how to win a copy of Kicking It!

Put together some kick ass female fantasy authors with some kick ass female characters and you have the anthology Kicking It! This anthology, with the theme of boots and the paranormal, is edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price.

This group of nine authors includes some that were already favorites of mine, like Kalayna Price and Rob Thurman, with some now new favorites like Faith Hunter and Rachel Caine. In Kicking It you will find mystery, witches, vampires, and other magical creatures.

Rachel Caine’s story, entitled “Forked Tongues”, is the latest in her series of Andrew and Holly short stories. Both are potion witches who sometimes help the police. In this story, witches are being persecuted and killed.

Faith Hunter’s story, “The Devils Left Boot”, features sister witch secondary characters from her Jane Yellowrock series, with a guest appearance made by Jane herself.

Rob Thurman’s story ties into her Trickster series. Her story “Snakeskin” is a prequel that introduces secondary characters such as Zeke and Griffin.

Kalayna Price’s short story, “Ruby Red”, is also tied to her series, set in the same world as her Alex Craft novels and even referencing Alex.

There are also stories by Shannon K. Butcher, Chris Marie Green, Chloe Neill, Lucienne Diver, and Christina Henry.

Rachel Caine’s story had me searching for the rest of the short stories in this series, and I can’t wait for her to write more about them. Might they ever have their own books? I already loved Kalayna and Rob’s writing, and now I’ve pretty much added all of these authors to be tbr pile!

The writing in this anthology is excellent and the stories are a mix of fun, edge of your seat kick ass action, and great characters. Even though some stories tie into series, you don’t have to have read the series to enjoy the stories. If you are looking for an introduction to some authors you have been wanting to try, some stories by your favorite authors, or just looking for something new–don’t missing Kicking It! Kalayna and Faith did a great job of bringing together some of the best writers of urban fantasy!

Interview with Faith Hunter:

KRL: How did you come up with the idea for your story in Kicking It?

Faith: The premise of the anthology was urban fantasy sleuthing with boots, so instantly I wanted a story where boots played heavily in solving the crime or in finding the solution to the puzzle or problem. I also wanted to play in the world of Jane Yellowrock, explore some of the minor characters, and see where the story took me. All that gave me a freedom to pick characters who had snagged my interest in the past, and get to know them better. The witch twins Cia and Liz Everhart played an important role in the novel Raven Cursed and they fit the premise of the book – boot lovers with magic.

KRL: How does it connect to your series?

Faith: Jane Yellowrock’s best friend is Molly Everhart Trueblood, and the twins are Molly’s sisters. Jane has known them for ages, and they have appeared in several short stories over the years. But this was my first chance to get to know them and I adore the girls!

Faith Hunter

KRL: Do you find it harder or easier to write a short story as opposed to a book?

Faith: Once upon a time I was terrified of the shorter format of stories. Now they give me a short term break from novels (which sometimes feel like work) and a chance to recharge my creative energies. And yes – they are much easier simply because they don’t have to be so intensely plotted.

KRL: What is involved in editing an anthology and how were the authors chosen to be included?

Faith: This was my first foray into editing and I took the easy way out. Kalayna Price and I proposed the idea to our agent – Lucienne Diver of the Knight Agency – (who also writes) and asked her advice. I also asked if she or her agency had any writers who might be interested in joining us. Lucienne was on board right away, in the capacity of both writer and agent, and together we three came up with a list, all connected to the agency, and all with some connection to Penguin/ROC. I contacted the writers. My agent came up with the contract, and contributed heavily to helping me jump through the publishing industry hoops. I would (could) not have done it without her!

KRL: What is the theme of Kicking It?

Faith: Boots. Killer boots. Our working title was, These Boots Were Made For Stalking! which became the tag line on the cover!

KRL: How long did it take to put the anthology together?

Faith: The actual time spent, not counting writing and editing, was probably 120 hours on my part. I have no idea how many hours Lucienne put in, but her job as advisor and agent was invaluable.

KRL: Tell us a little about your next book coming out.

Faith: Black Arts! I adore this book. SO much happens in it! The book blurb is: Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who always takes care of her own—no matter the cost….
When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace.

Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy—one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.

Interview with Rob Thurman:

KRL: How did you come up with the idea for your story in Kicking It?

Rob: In the Trickster series, Trixa does go about her life’s work as a trickster, business from small to large–educational to lethal, but there’s also always the major plot, which doesn’t leave much room for the day-to-day tricks. I thought a story that showed her usual work, calling, and avocation…what she was born to do…would be intriguing. Sometimes the tricks are more entertaining than the customary world saving storylines.

KRL: Where exactly does it fit in with your Trickster books?

Rob Thurman

Rob: The story is set ten years before the first Trickster book, Trick of the Light. Of course Trixa is still running the bar (Trixsta) in the set up for the biggest con of her life (she had plenty of time to plan those four surprise endings in Trick of the Light) and doing her trickster business on the side. She’s the same age in appearance as while not immortal her particularly type of trickster does live thousands of years. You do see the introduction of secondary characters Zeke (the fan favorite) and Griffin at the age of fifteen. That will be interesting for fans of the series, especially when it comes to Zeke with his homicidally hilarious ways.

KRL: Do you find it easier or harder to write a short story as opposed to a book?

Rob: It’s different with each story. Some stories are easier to write than a novel and some aren’t. This one wasn’t. Due to Trixa being who she is and what she does, I like to include as many twists, tricks, and surprises as I can into any tale about her. That is much easier to accomplish when you have an entire book to work with.

Interview with Rachel Caine:

KRL: How did you come up with the idea for your story in Kicking It?

Rachel: I love being in themed anthologies — the basis for this one was “boots and the paranormal.” So I decided I’d do something very Texan … cowboy boots! And magic.

KRL: I know these characters have been in two other stories correct? Why did you decide to just put them in stories and is there any chance of them having their own book someday?

Rachel: I wrote the original story for the Strange Brew anthology, and I found the characters really fun and compelling, and when I had a chance to bring them back again for Hex Appeal I jumped at the chance. The idea of Austin-based witches who brewed potions and raised the dead seemed irresistible to me … especially when one of them was a resurrected Old West gunslinging witch.

Rachel Caine

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a full-scale Holly and Andrew novel, and I think it would be a lot of fun. But time will tell! 🙂

KRL: Do you find it harder or easier to write a short story as opposed to ebook?

Rachel: It’s shorter, so that makes it a bit easier in terms of time commitments … I generally turn around short story drafts in a week or less, where a novel is six weeks or more (and long hours, at that). But it depends on the story (or the novel). Some I struggle with, because in a short story especially you must choose every word so carefully — it’s a very limited scope, and I know people who are such masters at it. Short fiction is an art form all its own.

To enter to win a copy of Kicking It mysteries, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Kicking”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 14, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.


  1. What a great interview with Faith, Rachel, and Rob! I know Faith, and I’ve read some of Rachel’s books, but I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of Rob’s books yet. Thanks to your interview, I’m intrigued and will be reading some in the future. Best wishes on your continued success, Lorie, and thanks for your excellent review/interview!

    • Thanks!
      Hope you keep coming back
      Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

  2. Really interested in reading this one 🙂

  3. Sounds like an interesting read, thanks for sharing with us!

  4. It sounds like a great anthology!

  5. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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