Interview with Shirin Dubbin, Author of To the 5th Power

Please welcome Shirrin Dubbin to the virtual offices this morning.  She’s here to chat about her actin-packed super hero romance To the 5th Power.  Make sure to enter the giveaway she’s hosting, too! Click here to read an excerpt and  enter the giveaway.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less [Shirin] aka haiku?

[Shirin Dubbin] Deeply feeling, she

walks, talks, breathes art forever

loves just as deeply

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about To the Fifth Power?

[Shirin Dubbin] My editor said it best, "A badass superheroine, a sexy smart guy, and the fight of a lifetime."

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Shirin Dubbin] For me superhero stories always start with comic books. For To the Fifth Power I thought about the story arcs and characters I adore. I also wanted complexity. And no character is more complex and multi-layered than Batman. Then I asked myself what if Batman were a woman, and after her nemesis murders her sidekick the guilt causes a mental breakdown? What if her love interest was a big sexy psychologist with a twisted past of his own? From there it began to flow.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Zola?

[Shirin Dubbin] Brilliant, deadly, heroic

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Fort had a theme song, what would it be?

[Shirin Dubbin] Maybe Tomorrow by Stereophonics.

He has little black clouds of harsh memories following him around. He’s living an outwardly beautiful life but he’s definitely on the upperside of down and the inside of out. He wants a home, a safe place to be himself. Yet he’s not sure he deserves it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Zola is never without.

[Shirin Dubbin] Azure Eel, her electric whip. She hides it in various places depending on the outfit she’s wearing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Fort’s bedroom?

[Shirin Dubbin] 1. A television. Fort says the bedroom is for three things: reading, sleeping, and loving

2. Any signs of his day job. His bedroom is a work free zone.

3. Boredom

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Shirin Dubbin] In my writing it’s probably Shaw Brothers movies, anime, fantasy novels, romance, action flicks, and ElfQuest.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Shirin Dubbin] Music, good energy, and a great idea

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on To the Fifth Power?

[Shirin Dubbin] Time. I was working against a deadline.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Shirin Dubbin] Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. It’s like a mash-up of legal thriller and contemporary fantasy. The writing is vivid with wonderful world building and distinct full-bodied characters. If it were food it would have been a feast.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Shirin Dubbin] I can’t decide whether it was my book of Burmese folktales or a collected works of Hans Christian Anderson. Both pushed the boundaries of what I believed was possible. There were talking heads, and shoes that wouldn’t stop dancing. The scent of fish paid for with the shadow of a coin, and a wicked Snow Queen with an ice shard in her heart. Those stories have stayed with me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Shirin Dubbin] Mostly misbehave. I’ve gotten quite good at it too! On Thursday nights I do happy hour with Loki, Coyote, Puck, and Anansi. You really have to watch out for those guys—they’re tricky.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Shirin Dubbin] Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About the book

Three years ago, Zola Noite’s nemesis killed her sidekick and forced her to watch. The guilt drove her to hang up her cape. Zola knows one thing for certain. She will never be a superhero again.
Psychologist Dr. Arturo "Fort" Forte specializes in super-powered mental health. He’s the only reason Zola can once again call herself sane—although, truth be told, the heat between them is slowly driving her back to mad.
When three mega-villains escape the prison Fort oversees, all Zola’s best laid plans go up in flames. Fort asks her for help, and she can’t turn down the man she’s secretly come to love. As battles ensue and clues add up, the one thing Zola trusts is called into question: Fort’s true agenda and which side he’s on.