What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
If I have to get all Freudian on myself, I suppose it’s because Vampires aren’t cursed with mortality like the rest of us. They get more time to spend doing the things that they want, time to learn and experience new places and ideas. Vampires get to live without time constraints or the daily reminders of aging. For normal humans one lifetime is just not enough, so it’s nice to lose myself in a world where the characters are timeless. And smoking-hot J
What inspired you to write this book?
I was trying to think of something new for a Vampire novel. Sparkly vamps –done. Vampire Hunters –done. Blood-suckers in period dress, also done. Vampire Mom—not done. It was my “ah-ha!” moment for coming up with a unique and unexplored story arc. I wrote the kind of novel I’d like to read. And now that my baby is leaving home, I can finally get cracking on book two of the Blood Chord Series.
(I now realize there is another series out there featuring a vampire mom. I haven’t read the books, even though I want to now that I’ve discovered them. I’ll have to wait until I’m done writing this series first though.)
Please tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is Kill Me. It’s the story of Claire, a hard working Mom with bills to pay and a slacker husband. While at a music industry convention for work, Claire meets Bette, a sultry Italian woman in possession of a haunted violin that can only be played by the supernaturally gifted. Bette, a vampire with an eye on Claire's untapped talents, tries to turn her into one of the undead. Only it doesn't appear to have worked, at least not one-hundred percent.
While figuring out what fate has planned for her, Claire creates a marketing campaign for a Girl-centric guitar company, survives her first strip club visit, and fakes being a violin virtuoso in front of thousands. She turns to Bette and her Vampy-friends for help, but trusting them with her life may not be the smartest decision she’s ever made.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
Oh, yes… that would be Clive (a.k.a. Dark). He’s an arrogant big-bad kind of dude and it was deliciously fun to work with him. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the readers in book two of the series.
Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?
Not so far. I just started writing the novel and the characters appeared and fleshed themselves out. Sometimes I ask myself, “what actor would play this character in the movie?” That gives me a down-and-dirty place to start building the individual characters. For this novel, I have characters that physically resemble, Javier Bardem, Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
That would have to be the chapter in which Claire finds herself inside a strip club for the first time. The setting, for a conservative wife and mother, is jarring. But for Claire, it’s even worse because one of her “abilities” decides to show itself for the first time.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
Oh, yes. The main character, Claire, is a busy working mother. She has a list of things she wants to do just for herself, like learn a second language or take violin lessons, but she never seems to find the time. In that regard, Claire is me, but she’s also a lot of other women too.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Not block, per say… it’s more like writer’s procrastination. If and when I can ever get myself started, things flow pretty smoothly. It’s the getting started that kills me. Television, internet, children, laundry—I will use any excuse to avoid writing. When that happens usually a bribe works. (No Nutella until you write at least 500 words!)
Do you write in different genres?
Yes, in addition to paranormal and horror, I write mainstream fiction under another name. Rumor has it that there’s a third me that writes romance and erotica, but so far it’s not been proven.
Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?
Not really. I’m an eclectic soul by nature. Books on my virtual shelf range from Orwell and Flaubert to Laurell K. Hamilton and Steven King. My iPod is chock-full of Joan Jett, Miranda Lambert, LMFAO, Veruca Salt, and so much more. So why should I stick to writing just one genre? Plus, genre-hopping helps to give my creativity a regular work out.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
That’s a tough one. Some days I still wonder if I’m “there” yet, but each positive review or sale brings additional validation from complete strangers. Gradually I’m feeling less and less like a fraud and more like a real writer. Writing every day helps with that too. As does a nice glass of Moscato.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
I have a bad habit of staying up late at night to finish a book. While I’m reading and snacking, the television is playing something along the lines of The Walking Dead, Californication or True Blood. That’s my “me time” and I love every minute of it!
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
I love the idea of gardening and crafting (Pinterest addict here) but my execution is lacking. To give myself a break from the written word, I also work as a graphic designer and photographer, so I get to focus on the visually creative for a while.
What can readers expect next from you?
The second book in the series, Kiss Me, is schedule for release by the end of this summer. In the mean-time I’m considering the possibility of writing stand-alone novellas focusing on some of the peripheral characters.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Information and updates for the Blood Chord Series can be seen on the publisher’s website (QuirkyGurl.com) or on the series site (bloodchordseries.wordpress.com). I’m also on Goodreads and on Twitter as @imaquirkygurl and I’d love to hook up with more readers.
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Cassidy put her face to mine, touching our foreheads together, effectively blocking my view of everything else in the room.
"Breathe," she said. "Just focus on me."
I felt myself returning to normal after a few seconds of staring at Cassidy. Her focus on me was intense, like she trying to needle around in my brain. Never one to back down, I kept the weird pose and tried to emulate Cassidy's determined look.
She smelled like spring rain and I could see her kneeling in a garden, hands turning rich dark earth, caressing tender stalks of green. When I pictured Cassidy biting into a fresh picked tomato, I tasted it myself. I backed away quickly, whacking my elbow on the bar and stepping on a stripper’s toe. I turned to mumble my apologies, but the young brunette with doe-eyes and cleavage up to her chin totally ignored me, choosing instead to focus on her round, sweaty sugar daddy.
"Was that the first time that’s happened to you?" Cassidy said quietly, turning me back towards her.
"Yes...no...I don't know." I gulped down the nearest drink on the bar, not caring who it belonged to, or what it was for that matter. I would have downed motor oil to get the taste out of my mouth. To me, the only good tomato was a cooked one.
I let the fire spread down my throat as I thought about what had just happened. Chances are, that had happened to me before and I just hadn't recognize it for what it was. Just because I couldn't recall anything that obvious didn't mean more subtle instances hadn't occurred without my notice. Heck, maybe that was why I was so good at my job. Maybe I'd been using the little bits of information I absorbed to win over clients.
"Hey you, where did you go just now?" Cassidy asked.
I snapped out of my own head and signaled the statuesque bartender that I wanted another drink.
"Just thinking. Trying to make some sense, you know." I took the amber colored shot placed in front of me and gulped it greedily. I was just so damned thirsty all the time.
***************Thanks for having me!
Three days ago, Claire was a wife, a mother, and very much alive…