Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
I’m a lot of things. A mom, a wife, a writer, and most of all a reader. I love all types of genres and read everything from horror to romance. And I think that’s what I love the most about Urban Fantasy. It combines elements from horror, fantasy, romance, and melds them together. I mainly chose to write Urban Fantasy because I love to read it, that, and I had this crazy world building idea for a story that wouldn’t really fit anywhere else.
What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
I’m not sure. Maybe it was all the Ann Rice books I read as a teenager, or the fact Dracula is one of my favorite literary characters. I, personally, am fascinated by vampires because by their very essence they span a wide range of emotional depths. When you think of vampires, you immediately think of sex, violence, power, death, and intrigue. I think that makes them fascinating.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have a huge soft spot for the characters in this book. The main character, Hilda, is a secondary character in the other Shadow Born books, and she has always fascinated me. Because of her past, she’s a little off kilter, but fiercely protective of the one’s she loves. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to tell her story.
Please tell us about your latest release.
Piercing the Darkness is a tie-in novella to the Shadow Born series. It stands completely on its own, so there’s no need to read the other two books first. It tells the story of Hilda, a character I absolutely adore. This book has a lot more romance than the other books. It’s a story of two star-crossed lovers, with a love so strong, it conquers even death.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
Hilda was a challenge to write. She goes through such a tremendous change throughout the course of this book, both emotionally and physically, I wanted to make sure that it felt authentic.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
I love all of my characters. But I probably like writing Keegan the most. He’s the trouble-making dragon who first appeared in Fading Light. He has a small role to play in Piercing the Darkness, but he certainly know how to make an impression.
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 do both. I usually sketch out a list of characteristics, an outline of who I intend the characters to be, but they usually take on a mind of their own once I start writing. The characters I end up with at the end of the book are usually nothing like what I originally envisioned.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
It’s a short book, so it’s hard to do without spoilers, but let me think. There’s a scene where Hilda and Keegan are in the kitchen of the boarding house and they’re eating ice cream. It’s a humorous scene, but it’s also the first time we really see Hilda let down her guard and admit how much she is struggling to come to terms with what has happened to her. That’s definitely one of my favorites.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
Years before the Shadow Born books take place, a human war ripped the Veil that separated the planes of reality. The force of the tear pulled supernatural creatures the humans call deviants onto the Earthly plane, trapping them there. Humans and deviants alike were forced underground, away from the toxic atmosphere. As a result, human survival depended on the assistance of the sympathetic deviants who had protected them. When the atmosphere became livable, the species struck a tentative truce while they rebuilt. However, the truce made the humans complacent. They became too comfortable with their deviant counterparts. So much so that they were unable to defend themselves when a fast growing deviant faction rose up against them. The Interspecies Relationship Taskforce or the IRT police the deviants and protect the humans, but their reach is limited. The main characters in the Shadow Born books are members of that Taskforce, some willingly, some not.
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?
All the books in the series can be read separately. There is an over-arching storyline, but each book has a complete story line as well.
Do you write in different genres?
I do. I actually have a sexy paranormal romance coming out from Samhain Publishing in the fall called Dance with the Devil that I’m really excited about.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
Let’s see. Probably when my husband wakes up with our son and lets me sleep in on Saturdays. Ice cream. Definitely ice cream. And a hot bubble bath with a very large glass of red wine (preferably Shiraz).
Where can readers find you on the web?
They can definitely come find me on Twitter @angeladennis or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/angela.dennis.7798. Also on my blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com
Piercing the Darkness
Shadow Born Series
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Date of Publication: April 7, 2015
Number of pages: 86
Word Count: 27,000
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Love knows no bounds.
Cursed by the dark mage who killed her, Hilda Janssen has wandered the Earthly plane as a ghost for fifty years, finally finding her place as an IRT hunter, policing supernatural misfits trapped on Earth after a brutal war.
When a demon attacks, putting her team in mortal danger, Hilda sacrifices herself to save her friends. She’s already died once; what difference will doing it again make? But instead of meeting a final death, Hilda is cast into the Void, a magical prison from which there is no escape.
Her only hope is Cade Kerrigan, the lover she left behind after her first death. Their bond and his magic are the only things strong enough to pull her through the Veil. But Cade has no idea his soulmate came back as a ghost, and he isn’t too happy to have been left in the dark.
They must put aside the baggage of the past to save Hilda from a fate worse than death.
Warning: Contains star-crossed lovers destined for a second chance, a whirlwind of powerful magic, and a love so strong it defies even death.
Everything hurt, even her teeth. Hilda eased to her hands and knees, spitting dirt from her mouth. She had no idea how much time had passed, and she didn’t really care. All she wanted to know was where the hell she was.
She tried to stand, but pain brought her back to her knees on the damp ground. Rubbing at her burning eyes, she shook her head. Her vision was blurry at best, and all she could see for miles was dirt and darkness. The air was thick with humidity and stank of wood smoke, burning her lungs each time she inhaled.
Wait. She was breathing. Ghosts didn’t breathe. And they didn’t hurt.
Her legs gave out and she collapsed onto the ground. She ran her fingers through the soggy earth at her side, realizing she could feel it. Fighting back her growing alarm, she brushed her fingertips across her face. She could feel that too, and it felt solid.
Holy shit, she still had a body. She had no idea how that was possible, but she was going with it. This time when she stood, she was prepared for the instant pain and weakness, so she managed to stay on her feet. She spun around, searching for something, anything, other than the endless darkness.
She definitely was not still on the Earthly plane. This place felt different. The air was gritty, felt dirty against her skin. And something about it seemed…wrong.
As her eyes adjusted, she realized there were globe-like fixtures scattered beneath the ground. They shimmered with pale blue light that barely penetrated the dense atmosphere.
But it was bright enough she could make out the outline of a hillside in the distance. Maybe if she climbed to the top she could get a better look around.
She wrapped her arms around her chest to try and get warm, realizing she was naked.
How she had missed that was anyone’s guess, but it was irrelevant. It wasn’t as if she could pull a pair of pants and a sweater out of thin air. She’d figure it out later, once she got her bearings.
Bare feet dancing across the rough, pebbled landscape, she kept her eyes focused on the hill in front of her, confident her salvation lay on the other side. The farther she walked, the more confused she became. This plane didn’t fit the description of any plane she’d heard of, and the education Brenna had given her had been fairly extensive. There was a tingle of doubt in the back of her mind, a part of her that was convinced she was finally completely dead and this was her afterlife. But she refused to believe that.
So she moved forward, step by painful step, against the wind’s resistance, through the thick layers of fog, until she was only a few yards from the hillside. Now that she was close, she realized the hill was made of a series of jagged stones, jutting out at various dangerous looking angles. It would take a miracle for her to reach the top, but she was known for beating the odds. She’d never know if she didn’t try.
Her hand was clutching the first notch in the rock when she heard it. A mix between a growl and a hiss echoed through the night. It was so loud, she unconsciously released the rock, pressing both palms over her ears to block it out. The ground shook with the force of whatever was coming and the wind stopped abruptly as if it too was running away.
About the Author:
Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.
You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com.
She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t forget to find her on Twitter to chat.