Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Interview with Killian McRae

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

Well, I’m a Scorpio. I like long walks on the beach, but candlelit dinners are a bit creepy. I’ve released three novels, one novella, and a few shorts to date, almost each one in a different genre. PURE & SINFUL is my first paranormal romance. I’ve always been drawn to works like Dark Shadows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, witch stories, etc. I wanted to try out this genre and see if it sang to me. It did sing to me. Like Mariah Carey in her prime.

What inspired you to write this book?

I like the idea of an agnostic witch being made God’s warrior. It’s like God is outsourcing his demon fighting. And then, to set a seemingly unattainable man as her love interest… Temptation is a recurring theme in PURE & SINFUL and I admit, I gave into my own temptations on this aspect.

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 first come to know my character’s ethnic backgrounds, then I try to find names with meanings or associations that fit them. For example, Dionysius Zitka. Dionysius was the name of one of the Greek gods. My Dionysius is, in fact, only a demigod (his father was Zeus, his mother a patent lawyer from New Jersey). Zitka is borrowed and contorted from Mike Ditka, the famous football player. My “Dee” is a manly man, not be trifled with, but he also has a tender, sarcastic, and witty edge to him. 

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

Riona, my heroine, was quite a challenge. I wanted her to be strong and self-dependent, but also a little too overly confident to get her in trouble. The key was not to make her annoying in her confidence.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

Demon Jerry Romani was a hoot. Jerry doesn’t conform to politically correct, and he’s not afraid to be unpopular. He also doesn’t know how to stop from letting his own tongue get him in to trouble (and give the reader a chuckle.)

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 have a good idea who my characters are when I sit down to write, but their idiosyncrasies reveal themselves to me slowly. Like how Marcello Angeletti works with troubled youth. I knew they guy had a community service-orientated side to him, but I didn’t know what form it would take. I knew that Dee Zitka uses sex as therapy, but until I started writing him, I didn’t know just how deep his appreciation for women went, even before they hit the sheets. Or that despite being a local Lothario, that what he really wants out of life is 2.5 kids, a little house, and a picket fence.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

There’s a seen between Riona and Marc where they first bridge into an emotional intimacy. Riona, having had romantic relationships, recognizes what’s going on right away, but Marc as a catholic priest is completely clueless.

His thumb pressed into her bottom lip, and though she was certain the feeling was one-sided, she couldn’t help but go weak in the knees.

Which was so not penciled into her knees’ daily schedule.

Standing up straight, eyes shooting open, Riona ground out the words through clenched teeth. “Will you please stop doing that?”

Marc pulled back his hand and his warmth. “Doing what?”

“Making me feel like goo,” she hissed. “I get it, you don’t like me, but you don’t have to toy around with my emotions just to be an ass. God, you’re like… Antarctica one second, then Brazil the next. Could you maybe shoot for that subtle indifference bordering on contempt you had pinned down for so long?”

“I make you feel like goo?” It was as though he’d been accused of some heinous crime or fault, like being a fan of strip bocce ball. An obvious response eluded him.

Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?

Yes, the extent to which different religions vary about which archangels there are. Gabriel and Michael are pretty universal, but outside that it’s a free-for-all.

What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?

Pretended to be French kissing for five seconds. Timed, mind you.  On my arm.

Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?

The world functions for most people the same. My characters have some magical abilities, which are used for both special and mundane reasons. (i.e. Riona discovers she can change the channels on her TV with magic.)  One slight change is the concept of damnation and what can get you there. This was important to lay down, since one of my characters is a priest. Most humans’ afterlife is determined by how much they lived up to their own values, not some higher body’s edicts. Some moral codes remain absolute of course, i.e. murder is pretty much a big no-no. Marc, the priest, is an exemption to what is known as “Moral Right Truth” or MRT. As is explained to Riona, his vows to the church mean that his fate is determined by upholding morality as prescribed by the Catholic Church.

Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?

Jerry has my wit. It’s gotten both of us into trouble.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

Not so much. My problem is time management of stories I want to write. I have lots of ideas, not so much time.

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

After I complete a manuscript, I *listen* to the whole thing as my first edit. I use a text-to-speech engine and listen for continuity, rhythm, mistakes, repeated words, etc.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes, oh yes. I have releases in historical romance, epic fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary romance, and now, paranormal romance. One of my works-in-progress is a time-travel thriller. Why limit yourself when you can *not* limit yourself?

Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?

No, it’s like putting on different clothes to match the weather. Though sometimes, I wish I could suddenly have a witch pop up in a non-paranormal story and curse someone.

When did you consider yourself a writer?

In tenth grade, when I finished my first novel. J But I didn’t consider myself an author until I my first book released in the Fall of 2010.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

Ice cream, music, music, music, my dog, and walking. If I walk my dog while eating ice cream and my ipod is going, I feel like I need to go to confession.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

I used to be an opera singer, and still am fanatical about music. I also like to browse real estate listings for houses I can’t afford.

What was the last amazing book you read?

“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m a fiction junkie, but nothing hits me in the gut and makes me feel in awe like non-fiction when it’s well written. Hillenbrand (also the author of “Seabiscuit”) is a master.

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

About half of my reading time takes place on the treadmill. While not the most comfortable, it is the place where reading serves to distract me from life best. If I can’t find my ipad or I find upon arriving to the gym that my book is over or missing from it, I’ll skip the workout. I can’t endure it without.

What can readers expect next from you?

Crying, with a good chance of whining. No, not what you’re after? I’m hard at work on the sequel to Pure & Sinful, which I hope to have ready for a Spring 2013 release. I’m also working on the second book in the Andresium series, and a time-travel thriller. The audiobook of A LOVE BY ANY MEAUSRE will also be coming out later this fall.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Twitter: @killianmcrae

Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

But of course. : )  In this scene, the Pure Souls have been sent into a catholic high school to sniff out a demon presence. They infiltrate by posing as substitute teachers, but being “teacherly” is so not Riona’s thing.

Marc’s face screwed up in confusion as her acidic tone hit. “Okay, don’t get your panties in a bunch. Remember, they’re just kids. Have a little patience.”

“Rather opinionated for teenagers, if you ask me.” Riona chewed the words like leather. “Is this a Catholic thing? Being overly annoying?”

“No, I think it’s more of a witch thing, being easily annoyed.” 

She couldn’t tell if he was trying to piss her off on purpose, or if it was just a side effect of his hissy attitude. Riona was so not in the mood to be the bigger person and just eat up the insult.

“Oh, you mean like being sexually frustrated is a priest thing? After the locker room, I couldn’t help but wonder if you had… Ah!”

When she found herself pressed by Marc’s hard body into the bank of lockers behind her, the sensations that filled her from tip to toe overwhelmed her. Confusion, fear, lust, and relief competed for dominance. One of Marc’s hands formed a vise around her wrist, holding her left hand high over her head. The other shifted through motions right before her throat, as though it trying to decide of it should strangle her or hold her chin in place for when he leaned in to claim her lips. His eyes locked onto her mouth, but hers took in the full mask of desire and arrogance covering his face.

“Don’t confuse frustration with abstention.”

October 8 Tour Intro
Roxanne's Realm

October 8 Review
Mommy and We 

October 9 Promo
Freda's Voice 

October 10 Interview
Fang-tasic Books

October 11 Promo
Rabid Reads – 

October 15 Promo and review
Stuffed Shelves

October 17 Review
WTF Are You Reading?

October 22 Guest blog and review
Fangs, Wands & Fairydust 

October 23 Promo and review
Cherie Reads

October 24 Promo
The Book Hoard: 

October 27 Guest blog

October 29 Interview and review
My Escape  

October 30 Promo
Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

October 31 Guest blog

November 2 Interview and review

November 3 Guest blog and review
Always a Booklover – 

November 4 Review
Stressed Rach 

November 5 review 

November 5 Character Interview and review
On the Broomstick

November 15 Feature in Bewitching Magazine

Pure and Sinful
By Killian McRae

Book Description:

Statistician Riona Dade knows all about probabilities. Still, even she'd tell you the chances of discovering you’re a witch, being appointed to the demon-slaying trio known as the Pure Souls, and finding yourself sinfully attracted to a catholic priest who uses amen and other four-lettered words with equal enthusiasm are pretty slim. Also learning your ex was once Hell’s first-round draft pick, and realizing you're a prize catch for Satan’s soul-damning quota leaves a girl feeling like she just won the lottery while being struck by lightning while riding a unicorn across Atlantis.

Trying to keep her mind off role playing the Thornbirds with Father Angeletti, Riona leads the Pure Souls against a maniacal menagerie of Mephistopheles’s minions plaguing greater Boston. Giving in to lust is a direct flight to damnation for both her and the priest, leading Riona to distract herself by striking up a romance with her new, foxy neighbor, Lucy. But she can't shake her attraction to Marcello, and as the tension between them grows thicker than a lumberjack’s beard, temptation may become too difficult to resist.

How long can they deny the pull growing between them, knowing there will be Hell to pay? 

About the Author:

Killian McRae would tell you that she is a rather boring lass, an authoress whose characters’ lives are so much more exciting than her own. She would be right. Sadly, this sarcastic lexophile leads a rather mundane existence in the San Francisco Bay Area. She once dreamed of being the female Indiana Jones, and to that end she earned a degree in Middle Eastern History from the University of Michigan. However, when she learned that real archaeologist spend more time lovingly removing dust with toothbrushes from shards of pottery than outrunning intriguing villains with exotic accents, she decided to become a writer instead. She writes across many genres, including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and historical fiction.

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twitter: @killianmcrae