What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
I’m fascinated by the paranormal, the fantasy of eternal life and circumventing the laws of reality. It’s a great escape and opens up so much unique creative opportunities for a writer.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve long been interested by the Romani culture and many of the myths and old stories that abounded. Between my love for romance, horror, writing, and culture, the outcome was inevitable.
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?
Names for A New Day at Midnight, especially regarding the Romani characters in the novel, are names traditionally associated with Romani heritage. I chose all names for the book to be appropriate to the time period as well to ensure authenticity.
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 have a particular formula, but when I start writing I have a general sense of the character, of who I want them to be, and the specifics develop as I write. After I’ve done a good amount of story development, I create a loose character sketch for the main characters to ensure they remain complex and credible, including paranormal gifts or attributes, family history, motivations, significant life shaping events. It helps to create layered characters and keeps me true to who they are.
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
Does staying up until 1am most nights count? Cramming in research between making supper and driving to dance class? Those are more mentally than physically challenging, but I feel it!
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
There is a strong focus on blood drinking demons and Romani myth within the story. It includes Bifrons, ruler of hell below, and his captive wife, Queen Ana of the Keshalyi, a woman once full of magic from above on earth, as the originators of the Hearne family. World building consisted of a lot of research into Romani history and myths, and the creation of a ‘master sheet’ to maintain the integrity of supernatural continuity, realistic time line, and cultural elements.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Sure do. Sometimes I stare at my computer screen for a good hour before I actually write a single line. Or if I’m stuck I’ll find distractions like gmail and facebook. Most of the time I try to steer myself in a constructive direction when I’m struggling to write, like researching on the internet or learning about marketing.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
That question still makes me chuckle. I suppose I consider myself a writer now, but it’s really my part time passion. I squeeze it in whenever, wherever I can, and it’s always on my mind. I think that, more than anything, makes me a writer.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
Trashy romance novels, B rated horror movies, and a considerable affinity for my pug, Odie.
What was the last amazing book you read?
That is such a difficult question. Lover Awakened is the best paranormal romance I’ve ever read. The Stand is the best horror novel, and I am Legend the best short story. There’s no possibility that I could pick one, they all resonate for different reasons.
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
Any spot is special when it comes to me and reading. I’ll read on the stairs at work on my break, lying on the couch with the television blared, in bed before I go to sleep at night.
What can readers expect next from you?
By the end of this year they can expect the second installment in the Hearne Family Saga, tentatively titled Chasing Dawn.
Where can readers find you on the web?
The website includes blog posts on writing, sales information, and book excerpts. I also plan to post excerpts from Chasing Dawn to give readers a sample of upcoming work.
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Absolutely, here’s an excerpt that exposes some of Merik’s struggle as a conflicted man playing host to a demon:
What troubles you so? What troubles you so? Her proximity jarred him, brought back memories Merik fooled himself into believing long forgotten. Images once misplaced in his mind blazed to life with brilliant colour and warmth. His body ached.
Her smell was the very same as in the dreams haunting him. It was the scent of a seraph on the breeze, biting with a thousand razor edges over the course of a decade. Such beautiful suffering. If given a thousand years, he could not wash her from his memory.
The very essence of her life called to him. The steady thrum of her heart, the warmth radiating from her, he could scarcely tolerate it. She touched him with a hand like a butterfly wing and his cock hardened, his body straining to change in ways that would horrify the traitorous woman standing before him.
He hardly took a step yet felt as if he lost some of his footing. For many years, he existed alone with his burden, carrying the weight only because his fevered purpose allowed him to. Blind devotion to his self-appointed task served to keep his hunger at bay, calming the cravings threatening to drive him to madness. Now he could not help but think the poison might actually be the cure.
The Hearne Family Saga
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Bookkus Publishing
Date of Publication: February 14, 2015
Page Count Print – 264
Page Count Electronic – 268
Word Count: 92,691
Cover Artist: Bookkus Publishing
When Merik Hearne finally lays claim to the woman that betrayed him, she inspires much more than his need for revenge—but is her love worth dying for again?
Condemned to play host to a demon, the scarred Romani leader has amassed a fortune with only one goal in mind—to possess Hannah Worthington, the traitorous beauty that has eluded him for over a decade. With an exchange of coin, everything he has been striving for is within reach but nothing is as he imagined. The tender, sharp-tongued woman he encounters tests the bounds of his convictions and he is torn between the promise of reckoning and longing for a love that once destroyed him.
Exchanged for a purse of gold and informed she is to be a slave, Hannah vows she has not survived a lifetime of loss only to wither under the likes of Merik Hearne. And she will do everything she can to make sure he knows it. Despite his overbearing manner, his fierce scars, and her own determination to escape him, she begins to see that something beautiful might lie beneath…something that belongs only to her. She must discover the angle from which the great lord plays before his dark desires consume them both.
As they struggle to find truth amid pasts marred by sorrow and secrecy, they are unaware that a vengeful apostle orchestrates the rise of a forgotten god—and the end of their chance at a life together.
Hannah realized Merik had left her doors unlocked. Again. Did he believe she would stay now that she knew his true name and nature? She dare not utter the real question plaguing her, but it invaded her mind nonetheless.
Is he right? A large ember escaped from the iron latticework in front of the fire, landing on the rug at her feet. She watched it smoulder.
Smoke curled up in delicate tendrils, disappearing before reaching the high ceiling. She stared for several long moments, willing the flame to grow, to consume her. It held the colour of Merik’s eyes, burning gold and crimson. A small flame flickered to life, hungry for progress until she stamped it out with the heel of her foot.
Rising from the fire to flop on her bed, she stopped short as an echo rang through the hall. Certain her battered senses played tricks on her, she pulled back her covers to lay down but heard it again.
Whether it was a call of rage, grief, or agony she could not distinguish. It came from Merik’s quarters, echoing deep within the shadows of the hall. Padding to her door, she warred between anger over his treatment of her and the desire to ease his pain.
She could not ignore the fact he’d told her the truth. Pulling a robe about her shoulders, she kicked off her charred slipper. Without consulting her mind, she made the decision with her heart. She rested her hand on the door, opening the barrier between her and the unknown.
“Shit. Shit, shit, shit. What am I doing? I can stay in my rooms. There is hardly any need to go out there.”
Another tortured cry rose in the air, strengthening her resolve to help Merik.
Lighting a candle, she forced herself to go into the hall. Another cry rang through the air, and as she got closer to Merik’s chamber, she finally understood what he was saying. Her name.
“I’m coming, Merik.” Running to his room, she entered through the open door to see an empty chamber. Desperation overrode the fear hammering her heart against her chest. The room smelled of blood, of sickness. Could Vetala even get sick? Could they die?
“No, please no, not again. Merik? Merik, please call my name.”
He groaned. As she followed the source of the noise, the candle shook in her hand. The hot wax stung her flesh when she stopped several steps in front of a half-open door set in the wall.
“Merik?” The smell of death clung to the entrance and she gagged. The candle wobbled in her hand. She steadied it, saying a quick thanks to God it did not go out. She could not bear to go forth in the darkness without light. Setting the candle on the floor, she swung the door wide. The candle flickered as she picked it up. Fear twisted her guts and no matter how she tried, she could not stop her hands from shaking. She took another step.
“Merik?” It took her eyes several moments to see more than a foot from her face. When she saw him in the dim light, she gasped. He now stood in front of her. It took her several more moments to realize he was not standing of his own volition, but rather restrained by chains embedded in the stone wall. When he lifted his head, she covered her mouth to stifle a scream.
Eyes of molten gold and crimson stared back at her. His jaw and facial bones were distended, his hands curled into claws. The changes were much more severe than the few instances she attributed to the loss of her mind.
“I…I…” Stepping back toward the entrance, her gaze never left Merik’s. She turned her back on him to commence a rather spineless retreat, but could not get her feet to cooperate.
“Hannah?” The voice held much more than pain. What? Desperation? Hope? She could not move as her heart and mind waged war. Despite his appearance, she knew beneath the angled bone protruding from his flesh, his distorted face, and the fangs visible in his mouth, Merik stood in front of her. The man she met a decade before. The man looking at her with the same single focused intensity with which he always did. The man she loved.
Taking another step and hearing nothing but her own harsh breathing, she took one more.
About the Author:
Michelle Hiscox is a Paranormal Romance fan and author who hails from Drumheller, Alberta. The dinosaur bones buried in the hills of her hometown inspired the first stories she ever wrote, and she feels blessed to walk those same hills with her daughter today. Crocus flowers and dust bowls full of cactus never fail to inspire.
While her little girl and husband provides many welcome distractions to writing, it's something she always finds her way back to. Michelle is the proud, and slightly crazy, owner of two dogs and three cats, all animals she loves more than she reasonably should. She's been reading voraciously since she was a child and, one night, pulled her nose from a book to start writing her own.
Website – http://www.michellehiscox.com
Amazon Author Page –http://www.amazon.com/l/B00VO2K990