Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
Well, it was a funny thing. When I started this series, I thought it could be either a paranormal or urban fantasy romance. So, I did a little digging and found that, because my background story with the Variants could be a story on its own, the book would be considered an urban fantasy. When I was done with it in October 2013, I went to a local writer’s conference and pitched it to some editors and agents. Imagine my surprise when I was told it was considered by two of the three to be a Science Fiction book. Mainly because my male character is from another planet. Well, that definitely took the air out of my sails. I hadn’t read science fiction in years. So, how was I going to market this? How was I going to sell it? After considering my options, I decided I’d self-publish, because I knew it was going to be difficult to sell this book into a particular genre. Why not cover them all? So, I, myself, consider Variants to be an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi Romance. How ‘bout those beans?
What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
I love the paranormal world because there’s so much I can do there. It’s like giving me a huge wall sized whiteboard and a thousand different markers and telling me to have at it. Oh, the possibilities!
Anathergians (and the Variants) have fangs. The Anathergians use them sparingly: as part of their transition into becoming a full-fledged Anathergian and immortal, to exchange blood (using a certain method) to become Lifemates with someone (and they continue to exchange blood during sex), and, as a last resort, they will use their fangs to fight.
The Variants use their fangs to brutally kill someone, though they don’t use them to exchange blood.
The use of fangs in exchange of blood (and not for food) has always fascinated me. To me, this is a being essentially taking in the essence of another being. Part of their soul, if you will. I’ve always found this so fascinating. How much more intimate can you become with another person?
Please tell us about your latest release.
Variants introduces us to Auden and Leah.
Auden is a very powerful king who came to Earth over five-thousand years ago. His planet was destroyed and he and his people took refuge on our planet. They look and act like humans, but they’re extremely powerful. The more royal a person is, the stronger they are. Because Auden has lived so long, he’s having a hard time keeping control of his thoughts and his powers. This can be very dangerous, since he’s the most powerful of all the Anathergians. A Lifemate anchors Anathergians. The two become a cohesive unit and meld together, making them even stronger.
It’s Leah’s sixteenth birthday when the story begins. It was a curious day for her because she noticed an old woman staring at her through the school window. She lives with her foster family, who she abhors, except her foster brother, Ceadan, who’s six years younger than her. The sun rises and shines over her brother. She’s extremely smart and has a photographic memory. On the night of her birthday, her step-dad decides to get a bit rough with her. When he threatens Ceadan, Leah fights back and does something to the man she doesn’t understand. She runs away and is soon surrounded by women who claim Leah is a witch. They want to take her away so she can learn how to use her powers. Of course, Leah thinks it’s a bunch of B.S. And there was no way she was going to leave Ceadan. After wrangling some promises out of the women to protect Ceadan (Leah can be very persuasive when she wants to be), and realizing she could never return to her home, she decides to go with them. Four years later, just after her 20th birthday, Leah is excelling at her magical powers. But, she has an incident that her head teacher realizes isn’t normal for a witch. Leah uses powers that witches don’t have. And her eyes glow when she uses them. This is something only Anathergians can do. So, the teacher contacts Auden to ask for his assistance.
The Variants are humans who have gone through a transfusion in an attempt to turn them into Anathergians. The process doesn’t have a very good success rate and, most times, causes the person to go crazy and, eventually, die.
When Auden and his men discover these Variants, and what’s happening to them, it’s quite abhorrent. You see, the Anathergians have sworn to protect the human race. It’s what they do. They’re the ones that can go after the terrorists that the U.S. military can’t get to. They’re the ones that get the things that go bump in the night. When Auden believes that one of his men is providing DNA to make these transfusions, he’s angry and disgusted.
When Auden meets Leah, he’s extremely intrigued. Since the Anathergians have so few children, he and his group keep close track of any of their people—Anathergians or humans—that become pregnant. Leah came out of the blue. Plus, she’s extremely powerful for her age. Of course, that’s not the only reason he’s so interested in her.
Unexpectedly, Leah goes through her Anathergian transition. The transition causes the person to become violent and extremely sexually active. They also need a blood exchange to survive. However, this can be tricky, because if the blood exchange happens a certain way, the couple could accidently become Lifemates. And when Auden believes he’s the only person who can help her with the transition, he finds this out… the hard way.
It’s soon discovered that the DNA being provided for the Variant transfusions isn’t coming from one of Auden’s men. It’s coming from an Anathergian—and extremely powerful Anathergian—that Auden or his men had never known before.
That’s all I say about Variants for now. If you want to know the rest of this luscious story, you’re going to have to get the book. ;)
Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?
I do, actually. I have a very specific website I use for names and, often, I do try to match them up with what I believe fits their character. But, I’ve used this formula for mainly secondary characters. Auden’s name has a very special meaning and I’m still waiting for someone to figure it out. Leah was just the name that came to me. It had always been her name. Ceadan was a name provided to me by a very good friend, and I felt it fit perfect, since his eyes are the color of a turbulent green sea.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
I do love writing about Ceadan. I have all kinds of plans for him (along with many of the other very Alpha males in the book).
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?
I don’t really have a formula for them. I try to let the character flesh themselves out. I have an image of what they look like in my head. And, unlike many authors, I don’t go looking for photos. I just let it come to me. I will tell you, I nearly choked on my popcorn when I saw the last scene at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier—the one where Bucky Barnes is at the Smithsonian. That was Gunner. I could NOT believe it. It’s been difficult to find images close to Auden. I’ve found a few. Ceadan, because he’s fourteen in most of the book, has been difficult, too.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
I do love Auden’s reaction when he first sees Leah. He’s quite dumbfounded, which is saying something for someone who’s so very powerful and so in control of himself.
Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
Some of the background research I did on Auden was really interesting. Not really mentioning what it was. Someone will probably eventually figure it out.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
In the Anathergian world, normal humans are unaware of them. And they like it that way. They don’t want to be known. They want to live in their underground and just excel at what they do: getting the bad guys or the supernatural things that normal humans are afraid of. They’re not afraid of anything… usually.
With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?
Variants is the first book in a trilogy. So, I think so far I’ve done a good job with giving a bit of background for the second book, but it’s probably best to start with book one for the trilogy. The rest of the books after the trilogy (and I’m planning some lovely novellas as well), should be okay to start wherever they like.
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?
I like to write in coffee shops because the background noise is kind of like a hum and not so distracting. When I’m at home, I’ll often put on brown noise to help me concentrate.
Do you write in different genres?
My first book was a straight out time travel romance. I never finished it, but I hope to one day. So far, I haven’t published in any other genres, but I have many planned. Since I’m a former Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, I’d like to write some SEAL books.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I’m not really sure. I was a technical writer/editor/instructional developer for years, but even then I didn’t really consider myself a writer. I guess when I opened the box to my first proof of Variants and saw my name on the cover did it don on me that I achieved my goal of being published and being a real writer.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
I allow myself to purge on donuts about one every six months. They’re my weakness.
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
I’ve done web development for many years. I work two jobs, and both of them are heavily involved with being in front of a computer. So, that’s where I’m often found. I love going to the movies—action, superheroes, and sci-fi are some of my favorites. But I also love a good romance, too. I’m passionate about my kids, my two cats, and my dog. I’m also passionate about soccer. I coached and managed teams for many years, so I love the game.
What was the last amazing book you read?
I like to read all kinds of different genres. I love the Robert Ludlum original Bourne trilogy. I also love Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series and Highlander books. I love all of the Harry Potter books. But, the latest book I fell in love with was Howard E. Wasdin’s non-fiction book SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper. It was real and deep. It really got to me to think what our service members do for us on a daily basis and we’re never even aware of it.
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
In bed. Period. :) I love snuggling under the covers and reading.
What can readers expect next from you?
I’m working very hard on WITCHES, book two in the Anathergians Trilogy. I’m hoping to have it online no later than October. I’m also looking at doing a quick 20k word novella involving one of the more luscious Anathergian warriors.
Where can readers find you on the web?
All over the place, but mainly at:
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Sure! I’ll give you a bit of background first. Auden’s been pushing Leah away, and Leah’s been pretty confused. They’ve gone to a large battle together (Leah’s first real battle) and Auden is starting to realize that he has some feelings for her. I’m not giving the entire scene… just some bits and pieces.
Auden clasped her hand. “Come with me.”
Not daring to question him when he was so on the brink, she followed. He nearly dragged her through the curved hallways until they came to his door. Staring at it for a moment, he squared his shoulders and pressed his hand to the panel.
When they entered, the low lighting caste an amber glow on the furniture. She glanced to the left toward his office, but he pulled her to the right to a pair of double doors. Her heart skipped like it was playing a round of hopscotch when she realized where they were headed.
He released her hand, opened both doors wide, and stepped in. She hesitated and then followed him. Leah gaped at the size of the room. Against the left wall was a sitting area with a bar and floor to ceiling bookshelves packed tight with all manner of books. To the right was a bathroom.
The centerpiece drawing most of her attention was the huge bed dominating the room. The four poster bed was covered in brown ermine and opaque gold material draped across and down the intricately carved posts.
Auden stepped in front of her, the corners of his sensual mouth tugging downward as he regarded her. He reached out a hand, and ran his finger along her hairline, down her jaw, and then her neck.
His fingers continued their trek down her shirt, over the swell of her breast, her nipple, down her stomach, and to the hem of her shirt. Heart pounding, her breaths increased as she watched the sensual path of his exploration.
He stopped and brought both hands under her shirt, up the sides of her rib cage, and continued upward until the top came free.
With it also came the hair band holding back her hair, and the strands landed in her face. She lifted her hands to push the hair out of the way, the movement causing her breasts to rise.
His gaze drifted to her red bra and then back to her face. The heat within their dark depths caused a dampness to suffuse her, making her crave him. She stood on her toes to take his mouth. Her hands went around the back of his neck as she sucked and then nibbled his bottom lip. He was warm and tasted of a blend all his own. She took a deep breath, and his moist exhalation filled her. The need to have his skin against hers overcame her and her hands glided down his hard chest and abdomen, and she lifted his shirt. He helped her pull it off, and she thrilled to feel his hot skin against hers.
Auden bent down, brought his arm beneath her knees, and carried her to his bed. He reached behind her, unfastened her bra, and dropped it on the floor.
Embarrassed, she wanted to cover herself. Though they had already been together, that night she had been completely uninhibited, which wasn’t like her. But when she noticed the awe in his gaze, she stopped, enjoying his admiring look as it feasted on her breasts. A low moan slipped past her lips.
He kneeled and removed her boots and socks, tossing them across the floor…
“Turn over,” he said.
Her eyes widened a fraction, but she did as he asked, and rolled onto her stomach. He scooted her forward, the ermine fur rubbing against her sensitive nipples. His hands grasped her hips and raised them so she rested on her knees. He placed his own knees on either side of her legs and leaned over her.
“Do you have any idea how afraid I was tonight?” he asked, his voice guttural and his breath tickling her ear.
She considered him through the strands of hair covering her face. “I felt your fear.”
He brought his hand up and swiped her hair out of her face and nipped at her earlobe. “And do you know why I was afraid?”
“Because you lost some of your brethren?”
“No,” he said, his breaths coming harder. “I was afraid I would lose you,” he admitted and slammed into her.
The Anathergians Trilogy
Michelle C. Reilly
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy with Romance
Number of pages: 270 print
Word Count: 92k
Sworn to Protect the Very People Bent on Destroying Them
Auden, the king of the immortal Anathergian race, came to Earth five thousand years ago when he and his people escaped from their destroyed planet. His power is immense, but is threatened because he has yet to take a Lifemate.
With the blood of an Anathergian and a witch running through her veins, Leah is a force to be reckoned with. After leaving her foster family to learn how to master her new-found powers, Auden finds her. With him, she discovers her heritage, her strength, and her love.
An Anathergian is using variant strains of his DNA to turn humans into Anathergians. This enemy’s goal: use the Variants to take over the world and take Auden’s place as king. Auden and Leah’s goal: Stop the enemies and discover what connections Leah has with them.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/Gsw28DYNYX4
About the Author:
Michelle C. Reilly is a single mom of two wonderful boys. She spent ten years in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman Preventive Medicine Technician, which meant she was actually attached to or stationed with the U.S. Marine Corps. She has a Masters in Science in Public Health, but she is generally an IT geek and a geek of many other things as well. She currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, with her two cats, Meowdy and Moose, and her dog, Katie aka “The Old Lady.”
Make sure to visit her website www.michellecreilly.com for more information about her and her upcoming books.
Feel free to visit, ask her questions, and hang out with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/michellecorareilly
And if you’re a tweet-a-holic (or even if you’re not), follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MichelleCReilly
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