First, let me say thank you for having me here for this interview!
Thanks for joining us today, Barb.
Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
I love telling stories and told them since I was little. I was born and raised in Hawaii, the best place for stories when it comes to legends and all. I’m just your typical quirky girl who loves vampires. I write paranormal because I love vampires, but then you got to throw in the other races too! Werewolves hunt, witches have real power and well, vampires drink blood!
What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
I just love the fact that they have these special enhanced abilities to compel people, they move fast, they are sexy. Vampires have these deep sultry voices that can be hypnotic!
What inspired you to write this book?
I wouldn’t say inspiration but I was tired of the genre being so “fake like”. I mean, vampires do not walk in the daylight or sparkle. I wanted to write something that would be close to their true nature but also interact with other races.
Please tell us about your latest release.
Queen’s Destiny is a new, ground-breaking book that tells of a prophecy that has spanned centuries involving an epic battle that will rage between the races. A queen is destined to bring peace to the races.
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?
It’s funny, I get asked this a lot. There is no secret formula or anything. I try to use names that are meaningful or that will fit the character. I come up with the character first and see what name is worthy of them.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
I would say, Michael is my challenging one. Even to this day, I don’t know how he will turn out. Will he remain true to his Queen, his lover and friend or will he turn against her? I haven’t quite decided yet.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
As much as I love vampires, I love writing about Chloe, the witch. I think it’s because she has such a Seattle girl attitude. She’s goth, sexy and smart!
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?
Hmm…No formula. I just write the characters, letting them develop as the story progresses. I have no outline or anything.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
My favorite scene…it would be between Amber and Chloe. Vampire Queen and witch, respectively, of course. It’s when Chloe admits to being a witch and Amber is just grasping the situation. It’s the way Chloe teases her and makes fun of her being a genius but can’t believe there are vampires and witches! They are the best of friends. True BFFs.
Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
I probably learned a lot about gypsy legends, Macedonia and such things. I love history and all, so this was perfect!
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
I met and talked to a few historians about Macedonia and languages. It was really an interesting and valuable experience.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
It takes place in today’s time – Seattle to be exact. The only difference is that I bring the Seattle Underground world to life and populate it with the supernatural races.
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?
These can be read as standalones but only because I revive the prophecy in each book. But, to grasp the full nature of the characters, readers would have to read the first book and the novellas will complement the books.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
I think each of the characters have a little of me in them! I mean, Amber is a genius girl, well, that’s me. I’m a bit of a nerd. And there is nothing wrong with being a nerd! Chloe has an attitude and edge. I’ve got that too! Michael can be, well, sneaky. I was a sneaky kid at times. And Marcus has that gentle heart. I care so much about others and it shows in my children – the way they care about others.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
I do. I have to sometimes put it aside for awhile or I sweat it out at the gym!
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?
(laughing!). I will write anywhere and at any time I have a thought. I even wrote while on a dinner date! I love telling that to people so that they understand the muse does not wear a watch when it comes to writing.
Do you write in different genres?
I do. I write children’s fantasy books, children’s books about special needs, poetry and of course, my favorite – paranormal!
Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?
Personally, I don’t. My imagination is all over the place.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I think a lot of writers need to cross a threshold to consider themselves a writer. For me, I was 9 and in the fourth grade (in Hawaii). I had to write a Haiku poem, a story and my teacher told me that these were the most beautiful things she ever read. She told me that if I believed in myself and didn’t stop writing, I could be a writer that day. From that point on, nothing stopped me from writing.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
Probably chocolate and desserts. That’s not good when you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
I love to read. I can’t get enough of reading! I try to stay on top of my scrapbooking as well. Well, and living in Florida – there’s Disney! I love anything and everything Mickey Mouse.
What was the last amazing book you read?
I just finished Chris Kuzneski’s Hunters book. It was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait for the movie to come out!
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
I will read anywhere so there is no favorite place.
What can readers expect next from you?
They can expect the next book in the series to come out in 2015 as well as novellas on the characters.
Where can readers find you on the web?
I have a facebook page at www.facebook.com/bloodprophecybooks where I interact with my fans as well as my website at www.thebloodprophecy.com. There are lots of games and fun giveaways for my fans just because I appreciate them. In fact, my team is working hard to create a street team just for Blood Prophecy. I’m excited about that.
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Yes. I would. Thank you for asking. Here is an excerpt from the book between Chloe and Amber. You can see how their personalities are from this snippet.
“Relax, Amber. I’m going to tell you a secret. I’m not just a brilliant curator. I’m also a witch.”
“I practice witchcraft. It’s not all the crazy junk you think it is, and I think I can help you to understand your dreams.”
“Oh, Jesus.” Amber stood and started for the door. “Are you drunk? This is too insane for me.”
Chloe put a hand on her shoulder. “Sit down, Amber. I can help. There are things that people think are imaginary, but I assure you, they are real. Please let me help you. Please.”
“Chloe, what are you saying?” Amber sat, but in the process she spilled her wine and started to cry. She tried to hold back, but her lips began to quiver and she ended up giving in to the sobs. All at once, she realized how badly she wanted the stress and the lack of sleep and the fear to go away.
“Amber, there are things in this world that are beyond what we think is normal. There might very well be vampires like the man in your dream. My mother was a witch. Her mother was a witch. Her mother was a witch. We go back for hundreds of years. I can help.”
“How can you help me?” Amber looked at Chloe, whose eyes were wide. Was she crazy? Chloe gestured and the candles in the room seemed to flare before burning more steadily than before. Amber noticed an old clock sitting on a shelf with two candles on either side. It was 8:45. I haven’t even been in Seattle for twelve hours.
Chloe gestured again, muttering something under her breath. A warm breeze blew through the apartment and seemed to settle on Amber. She felt her hair blow across her cheeks, and her body began to shiver. Chloe approached Amber and took her hands.
“Close your eyes and breathe in deeply. Listen to my voice and only my voice. Breathe, okay Amber. That’s it. Relax and listen to my voice. Let me take you back to your dreams. Amber, you are dreaming, okay? You are dreaming again. But you’re awake in my apartment, and you’re safe. Tell me what you dream.”
Amber stood in the woods. She was naked, again, and she felt the hot breath of dogs—no, wolves—blowing against her thighs, her ankles, and her hands. She looked down at the wolves, hundreds of them, covered in red fur, brown fur, grey fur. They snarled at her, some coming close and bearing their teeth, growling menacingly. A large wolf, enormously large with black fur and deep yellow eyes, stepped from among the pack to stand in front of her. “He’s giant, Chloe.” She saw its body moving as it breathed, and felt its breath against her breasts. It stared at her for a moment and then dropped its forelegs as though bowing.
“Wait, now a man is stepping out of the trees. The wolves are going crazy.” Amber shook on the sofa. “They’re stepping between me and the man. He’s laughing and pointing at me.”
The man waved his fingers at Amber and smiled. She saw sharp teeth, and the man licked his lips and blew her a kiss. His face was still obscured, unknown, unreal.
“Amber, calm down. Are you still there?” Chloe’s voice seemed distant. “Nothing is going to hurt you, Amber, you’re still dreaming. Take me back to the woods, Amber.”
“The man is very close now, and the wolves are gone. He’s touching me and kissing me. He tells me he’s been waiting, and I am his. He’s calling me ‘Queen.’” Amber shook on the sofa. “I can smell his blood, Chloe. God, all I can smell is blood.”
Amber sobbed and mumbled incoherent words as Chloe held her on the sofa.
Blood Prophecy: Queen’s Destiny
Genre: Adult Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: October 1, 2014
Number of pages: 211 Kindle
Word Count: 71,417
Cover Artist: Kip Ayers
Amber Stone, once a child prodigy, has just become curator of a special collection of Macedonian artifacts for the Seattle Museum of Natural History. Chloe, a prodigy of a different sort, holds a position at the museum focusing on tribal art. The two become fast friends, united by Amber's unsettling dreams and Chloe's unorthodox ways of dealing with them. Two strangers arrive in town, bringing with them a prophecy recorded more than three-thousand years ago, a prophecy that places Amber directly in the midst of a battle that has spanned a millennia.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/79ydZ0W26tk
About the Author:
Barb Jones is a multi-genre author with a very vivid imagination. She writes with an uncanny ability to draw you into the supernatural world. She also carries the talent to write for children and allows them to feel as if they belong to the magical world of King Arthur. Barb is also a successful IT director in addition to being a mother. Her world is filled with imagination, creativity and passion. She made her debut in the paranormal genre with the start of an amazing series called Blood Prophecy for adults and The Adventures of Little Arthur and Merlin the Magnificent for children.
Currently residing in Sarasota, Florida, she enjoys the beaches and sunshine.