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Tell us about yourself.
1. Where do you live? I’m originally from Europe but since I’ve lived in California for the larger part of my life now, I guess that makes me a Cali girl now.
2. How long have you lived there? Two full decades. God, I feel old…
- Are you married? Happily single.
- Kids? Not even the furry kind. I do have a little nephew whom I adore, though.
- Full time job? Sadly, yes. I’m a nine-to-five admin. It’s not the most glorious job, or the best paid, but it covers the bills and still leaves me time to write, which is what I love.
- Education? Bachelor of Science in business management and information systems. I was maybe a semester away from completing a minor in history (Medieval and Renaissance Europe) but didn’t get to finish.
3. Who is your favorite author and book? I’m a diehard bookworm so choosing a favorite is next to impossible. I do, however, have two authors whose entire backlists I re-read every year. Kresley Cole and Lisa Kleypas. They never, ever disappoint and re-reading their books is like visiting old friends.
4. What is your preferred genre? Anything science fiction or fantasy, with or without romance. I read just about anything, but those are my favorites. As a writer, I also incorporate these into my books and they’re always my favorite elements to work on.
5. How did you start this journey to become a writer? I think it was always in my blood. I started writing poems as a kid and it just kept going from there. But I didn’t start seriously thinking about publishing until high school. To this day, I am grateful to my AP English teacher for encouraging me to pursue this path. Without her, I never would have considered it possible.
Tell us about your work.
6. What have you written so far? Quite a bit! LOL I had a box of novels, novellas, and short stories in my closet before my first book ever got published. Since then, I’ve written and published multiple romance series. Blood & Shadows is more science-fiction/PNR. The Beast and The Rebel Court are both twists on classic fairy tales. Wolfen is all sci-fi dystopia horror. Beyond that, I have a couple of pure science-fiction novellas and a handful of horror short stories posted on my blog. I like to keep things eclectic.
7. Tell us about your current book. My current work in progress is called Prince of Deceit. It’s the third and last book in the Dawn of Ragnarok series. It’s pure fantasy and incorporates Norse and Persian mythology and the Arthur legend. It’s about the old world order with its many gods and spirits coming to an end with the rise of monotheism. It follows a very special family who are all trying to somehow save their world from certain destruction and in this final book, it all comes to a head. This has been a very long journey and I’m taking my time with it to make sure I end it right, but at the same time I am really excited and impatient to see the final result.
8. What is the inspiration for your current book? The inspiration for the first book came out of a childhood dream. I’d forgotten about it for years before I wrote it down. Then I set it aside and forgot about it again for several more years. When I dug it out again, I just couldn’t let a sleeping dog lie. I rewrote a good chunk of it, edited, and published The Royal Wizard. It became a favorite of my friends and inspired two more books out of their enthusiasm.
9. Who was your favorite character to write and why? Liadan. She is the heroine of Dragonblood (book 2 of this series) and plays an important role in Prince of Deceit. She is just plain awesome. She’s brave, strong, and very reckless. She acts invincible, but there is a softness to her and a deep desire for love and companionship. In this book, she has some very difficult choices to make. My heart aches for her, but I have to trust that the path she chooses will be the right one. Even if it is painful.
10. Is there anything of you in that character? Umm… no. LOL If anything, Liadan is my polar opposite. I am a coward through and through. Where she jumps in with both feet, I make long lists of pros and cons and plan out every step of the way before I take one. She’s fire, I’m water. Maybe the reason I love her so much is that she lets me live vicariously through her on the page.
11. What sets your book apart? The storyline has some basis in history, and it’s something people don’t always want to acknowledge. It also brings together different religions, cultures, and ideologies, often in explosive, bloody ways, but still has a happy ending. The magic of this series isn’t all the intricate spells that fly back and forth (although there is definitely plenty of that!), it’s the connections these characters forge and maintain, despite the distance separating them.
12. What’s your favorite part in the book? The main characters, any time they banter back and forth. The heroine has no verbal filters and it constantly keeps the hero off balance. It’s hilarious watching him try to find his footing around her. He’s definitely never met anyone like this woman. Here’s an example. Prince Fal had just lured Sanja away to speak with her privately. He’s invisible (again) and she has just about had it with his tricks.
“So you’ve never been asked to dance?”
Sanja gasped. “You heard that?” Her cheeks turned red and she growled. “Oh, I wish I’d never met you!” She launched herself at the bun, her only point of reference, and Fal shifted to stay safely out of her reach.
“Is that any way to speak to your prince?”
“Is that who I’m speaking to?” she countered. Abandoning her assault, she searched the ground for something. Probably a convenient rock, or large stick. “I wouldn’t know, since I can’t see anyone around. I could be talking to myself. I do that often enough.”
“And you answer yourself, as well. An admirable gift. Whenever I question myself, I never seem to get an answer.”
“Perhaps you’re asking the wrong questions.”
Fal conceded the point. “Why have you never been asked to dance? You’re pretty enough.” Enough to snare his attention most thoroughly. Were the young men of Frastmir blind that they didn’t see her?
“I’m not speaking to you anymore. Aha!” Good gods, she’d found a stick.
“Now, let’s be reasonable about this,” Fal said, raising his hands in a gesture of peace, though she wouldn’t be able to see it. “I’m not here for a fight. On the contrary, see the buns? I bought those for you. As a peace offering. And an apology.” Of sorts. Though, if she asked him for what—
“An apology for what?”
“You’re apologizing and you don’t know what for?”
Fal’s shoulders raised in a helpless shrug. “Isn’t that what a man is supposed to do when a woman is angry?”
The contrary wench swung the stick.
“Yield, yield! I’m sorry!”
“Go away!” She swung again, harder. “I don’t have time for this.”
“Bloody hell, then let me help.”
Sanja froze, stick still raised, but she frowned. “What do you mean?”
“If you put down the stick, I’ll show you.”
After a moment’s hesitation, she complied, propping the stick against the boulder within easy reach. “Well?” Curiosity. That was her weakness. She couldn’t resist a mystery; he could use that to his advantage.
“I’d like it noted that I am willingly putting myself in physical danger to meet you halfway.”
Sanja rolled her eyes. “I thought princes were supposed to be fearless in the face of death.”
“Death, perhaps, but I don’t know a-one who would risk his neck facing you and that stick.”
13. What was the most difficult part to write? All of it. In many ways, Prince of Deceit is the most complicated book I’ve ever written, and that includes my 600-page behemoth, Wolfen. This book is very much like its title character. It changes every time I go back to revise what I already have. I discover new layers and complications. I basically need to wrap up a story that spans two generations and there’s so much that needs to happen it’s sometimes difficult to fit it all onto a page. But I’m almost done now, all loose ends brought to heel, so the ending should flow the right way now.
14. What was your favorite book to write? Each one is my favorite while I’m writing it. Bastien came to me in a rush and I wrote the whole story in about a week. I gave myself carpal tunnel issues trying to get it all down. Catch Me was just plain fun to write. Just no holds barred fun. Wolfen broke every single rule in the book. It dragged me willy nilly through a landscape that is completely different from anything I have ever written before. Blood Moons was the very first book I ever got published, but Blood Hunt rounded out the series in such a dark, brilliant way… They’re all my favorites.
15. How do you write? Do you have a set time or place? How many hours a day? With a full time job, I can’t really be picky about time or place. I take advantage of every free moment I have. Lunch breaks, commutes to and from work, early mornings, late nights, weekends… I’ve become a hermit. I’m so pale I’m afraid I’ll burn to ash if I go out into direct sunlight. I used to write freehand, but Bastien and the carpal issues he brought with him put an end to that. These days I type on my computer, or (in desperate times) on my phone. I’m never without one or the other.
16. Why did you want to be a writer? I wanted to share my stories. The idea that somewhere out there people I’ve never met are reading my stories is like magic in and of itself. I speak into the void, and thousands listen. I may never change the course of history, but my words touch people’s lives, and that is such an amazing, humbling thing. It makes me feel like I’ve left my mark.
17. How do you get your ideas? I’m a glutton for a good story. I read constantly, and I enjoy movies and TV series with solid story lines. Sometimes, I look at a picture and an entire story comes to me. Other times, I write what I’ve dreamed. There is never a single source. Everything I perceive has the potential of becoming a book.
18. What do you have planned next? I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I come to the end of Prince of Deceit. I have the Rebel Court series waiting for page time, so one of my next projects will be Rebel Heart, book 4 of this series. There is also something else that’s been itching my mind for a while. It’s not very demanding, but it’s not going away, either. I suppose I’ll have to see which one wins out.
20. What advice would you give new writers? Do it for love, not for money. Money lies, but love will always lead you true.
19. How can readers get in touch with you?