Sunday, July 28, 2013

Interview with Ella J Phoenix

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

I discovered I was addicted to paranormal stories when I was quite young - I blame it on super heroes. Damn you, Wonder Woman! That passion led me to amateur theatre productions and a bachelor’s degree in Arts. But it was really my mother who lured me into writing. I call her “my catalyst” – she’s always been the one who I went to for advice on my acting career, my travel adventures, my love life… And she was always the one to say, “Go for it!” Until today, she’s the first person I send my manuscripts to.

What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?

How can anyone not be fascinated by vampires? They are the Casanovas of all monsters! A lot has changed since Bram Stoker launched “Dracula” but the key factor is still oh-so true: our unquenchable attraction to a good bad-boy.

What inspired you to write this book?

I dreamt it. I don’t remember what I was reading at the time, but I went to bed one night and woke up with the entire first chapter of Dragon Heat (Book 1) drafted in my head.
What really drove me to write this series though was the fact that there aren’t many romance series about a group of female warriors. There are loads of band of brothers – like J.R. Wards’ Black Dagger brotherhood and Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld for example - but I haven’t seen many bands of sisters. And let’s face it; we can kick-ass as hard as our strong, powerful male heroes!

Please tell us about your latest release.

Dragon Heat is a paranormal ‘romantica’ series about a group of female warriors: Zoricah, the leader, a wicked draconian demigoddess; Samantha, a human woman with abnormal supernatural powers; and Yara, a Brazilian witch-shifter.

The first novel, Dragon Heat (Book 1), tells the love story between Zoricah and Tardieh, the powerful vampire king.

Zoricah, Sam and Yara have limited time to uncover a series of killings before one of their own meets the same fate. Determined not to let that happen, Zoricah has no other choice but to ask Tardieh to join her in the mission. Too bad he is her race’s archenemy. Together, they need to overcome millennia old prejudices and distrust before it’s too late.

In “Vampire Thirst” readers see Samantha’s passionate love-hate relationship with Hikuro, Tardieh’s second-in-command, blossom.

After successfully uncovering a chain of clandestine operations, Sam, Zoricah and Yara, have to trade sunny New York for gloomy London. Time is running out - more innocent people will die if they don’t catch the person behind the attacks in New York. But something is making Sam lose control of her powers. Something or someone. Ever since her first - and quite heated - encounter with Hikuro, her energies had gone haywire. The vampire king’s second in command affected her in a way no one had ever before. Her torment, however, is bound to get worse, with Hikuro’s unexpected arrival in London.

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

I dare say all characters have a bit of me in them - even the villains! (Come on, haven’t you ever dreamed of unleashing your dark side when no one was watching?) However, I’d say Zoricah, Sam and Yara are my true alter-egos.

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

I suffer from an even worse syndrome: lack of time. I work full time as marketing leader and have a fantastic loving husband, so I have very little time to spare for myself and my novels.

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

I don’t know if this is weird or not, but I usually dream about a character or a love story (or more accurately, I day-dream them). After that dream haunts me for a while, I sit down and write the first chapters, before drafting the storyline.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

I love a good bottle of red wine with cheese, lots of cheese.

What was the last amazing book you read?

I’ve read a lot of great books lately, but one that comes to mind is “Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover.

What can readers expect next from you?

The third installment of the Dragon Heat series is in the oven!

Where can readers find you on the web?

Facebook or Goodreads.

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

Here it is! Excerpt from “Vampire Thirst (Book 2 of the Dragon Heat series)”

It was still raining outside – obviously, this was London – and Sam had left Yara’s trench coat on the chair, but she was so not going back to get it. She took a deep breath and walked toward the nearest tube station, which was quite far.

May the Soartas strike all men in the world!

Her only chance to redeem herself, to amend her fuck-ups, to find out where Yerik’s operations were, was now ruined, and why? Because of stupid, chauvinistic, control-freak male egos.

Footsteps on wet pavement behind her brought Sam back from her bitchin’ reverie. Years of self-defense training kicked in. She slowed down and located from which side her attacker was coming at her – left – and waited. Just before he reached her, she twisted her body, blocking her attacker’s raised arm and, using the heel of her hand, she hit him straight up the nose.

“Ouch, Sam!” Hikuro shouted, cupping his bleeding nose with both hands.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Sam asked, not knowing what to make of having successfully struck a vampire ninja. Yay?

“I came looking for you.”

“Oh yeah? Then that served you well.” She spun on her heels and walked off.

“Sam, wait.”

She kept on walking. Heels stomping on concrete.

“Damn it, woman, I said wait!” Hikuro shouted and grabbed Sam’s elbow.

She spun around and slapped his hand hard. “Do you want me to break your nose again?” She was furious! How dare he ruin her assignment? How dare he show up like that after what happened last night? He had no grounds for being here, no business following her around.

Hikuro raised his hands in surrender. “Let’s talk.”

“Oh, you want to talk now?” she replied sarcastically. “No problem, Hikuro, we can talk now that you are ready; now that your big ego isn’t blocking your brain activity, now that you're not busy breaking the arm of the only good lead we’ve had in freaking weeks!” Sam knew she was close to hysterical, but she didn’t care. She was simply, absolutely, utterly raging. 

“How in Hiad did you find me anyway?”

He shoved his hands into his back pockets and looked away.

“Oh, you didn’t dare…” Sam opened her bag and looked inside. It didn’t take long for her to find the small black device signaling her position. She saw red. “You put a tracker on me?”

“You left me no choice after you refused to let me give you proper backup…”

She paced back and forth like a caged lion. Her rage reached a new level. “I can’t believe this! What happened to ‘we must learn how to trust each other, whether we like it or not’, 
Hikuro? Is that how you show your trust? By putting a fucking tracker on me?”

“I do trust you,” he replied through clenched teeth. “I just don’t trust Phillip. He is a notorious womanizer, a snake that double crossed you once already.”

“I had the situation under control.”

“Oh please.” It was Hikuro’s turn to lose his cool. “He was all over you, Sam! He was licking your fingers, for Hiad's sake!”

“And why is that so bad, Hikuro? You said it yourself, I love playing games, don’t I? So, maybe that’s exactly what I wanted him to do. Have you thought about that?”

Hikuro lowered his chin and snarled. Sharp fangs emerged, but Sam didn’t get fazed. He could pull the “vampire in rage” act all he wanted, she would not be intimidated.

“I arranged this meeting, Hikuro, I needed the information, and I was going to do anything to get it. As a matter of fact, I’m going back there right now and offer my help in tending to Phillip’s wounds. Maybe he’s feeling lonely and vulnerable.”

“Don’t you dare.”

“Try and stop me.”

“Sam, don’t you take another step.”

“Bite me!”

“Sam, I’m warning you. Do not tempt me!”

“Why? Why, Hikuro?”

Strong hands grabbed her by the arms and pulled her close. His lips were inches from hers. His dark eyes flashed red.

“Because you are mine,” he snarled, then crushed his mouth against hers.

Click here to read the first chapters for free.

1 comment:

creativedeeds said...

This book was a great sequel. I really liked Dragon Heat but this book really took the series up a notch. Love the interview. Great getting to know Ella a little bit better.