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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Marc Nash - A,B&E

Marc Nash - "A,BandE"

Takes a crowbar into the modern British soul, through Gangster threatiquette, "Ibiza Uncovered", Cilla's "Blind Date" if it were held in a Police line-up, an NHS nurse on the Casualty frontline, Greek Myths, Oxbridge High Table and nightclub Foam parties. A guided tour into our binge culture conducted by its presiding Mother Spirit and an arse-slapping midwife. Avenging angels both. This scurrilous and scabrous book not only peels away the sunburnt skin of our hens, stags, booze cruisers and sex tourists, but delights in jabbing fingers into the pus below. Wish you were anywhere but here?

Book purchasable online from Amazon http://amzn.to/aKaUco
and Clerkenwell Tales Bookshop http://bit.ly/7eB3Y9
Rough Trade Record Shop http://bit.ly/4pJAc0
Website on the novel http://marcnash.weebly.com
Blog with flash fiction etc www.sulcicollective.blogspot.com

Nash at his live reading
of A,B and E
Ex-playwright Marc Nash is an experimental novelist attempting to pin down the slippery and elusive nature of our language and offer up different narrative voices from what has gone before. Marc has lived and worked in the London counterculture and political scene all his life, but it is managing his twin sons' Under-13s football team that prompts the most sleepless nights. He currently blogs for the Spectator.


Tell us about your current book?
On one level it's a book about fictions and story telling. Why do we tell stories, why do we need to hear stories and what does it mean by us using fiction in order to understand reality? I suppose that makes my work a reflective literary fiction but only by default. It's not fantasy, but it is a sort of hyper-reality, in which what is 'truth' can't necessarily be separated out from what is fed to us through the media, through images and symbols. As to this particular story, it's about my people, the British. It's about our identity, our habits and pleasures, as seen through how we behave when we are on holiday away from home, as seen through the eyes of someone forcibly exiled from Britain, as seen through the frontline of pain in an NHS Casualty ward and through the black market and illegality of gangsterism that has come so much to the fore over the last 30 years. These were all what I feel to be unique elements in fiction that hadn't been covered before, that's why I gauged they needed a platform.

What gives you the motivation to write in this particular field?
I don't see it as writing in a particular field, but I am highly motivated to write fiction that engages with the world. My work likes to question some of the things we take for granted as 'true' about our lives, our societies, our relationships and ourselves. They are my own inquiries, what motivates me in my daily life and I want to share them through my fiction.

Its title A, B and E, is unusual. Can you tell us your reason for this?
It's a mixture of A & E (Accident and Emergency ) which represents the nurse character in the novel and B & E (Breaking and Entering) which represents the gangster's moll and the fact that though the two never even meet within the novel, their fates are ineffably merged. I've also got another novel named 'G' and I vaguely intend to write a series of novels whose titles cover all the letters in a musical octave! Just C, D & F to go now.

Your main character is a woman, Karen Dash, how hard (or easy) was it getting inside of a woman's mind?
She's a woman who's had to exist in two very male environments, that of academia and then its polar opposite of hardened gangsters. She's survived in both by forging a certain masculinity in herself, but her femaleness means she both remains an outsider and yet more rounded than any of the men in those worlds. Her struggle is to break down the divide between those two facts. So I slightly cheated I suppose, but I do mainly write female characters as a way of forcing me to travel out towards understanding the character who is very different from who I am.

A, B & E have received a mixture of reviews how do you feel about that?
I knew from the outset it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. Like marmite, a reader will either love or hate it, but they won't be indifferent to it. It's trying to achieve certain things not conventionally approached in contemporary fiction and that isn't going to work for some readers and that's absolutely fair enough. The strange thing to me is how apologetic those reviewers were, each offering me the chance to refuse to have the review published. While that was incredibly nice of them and most unexpected, I asked them to publish the reviews. They were honest responses and that's all a writer can ever ask for.

Have your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family?
Not really, they are fairly extreme! Like most writers I suspect, my characters are an amalgam of several traits, so even if I've unconsciously drawn from real people, it certainly isn't any one person who could recognise themselves from the portrait. I draw a lot on my own imagination, just taking my own behaviour and thoughts to extremes and seeing where it lands the character.

What are you working on now?
One word - marketing! I gave myself 6 months of no new writing in order to promote the book. I suspect I will have to extend it to 18 months. I do have other works already completed, so it's not really a hiatus. The WIP is definitely on the back burner for a while longer yet though. Mind you, through the marketing I'm probably writing 5000 words a week on blogs and flash fiction and the like.

What is your favourite scene in your book? Can we have a snippet?
I have a soft spot for the police identity parade which the moll and the gangster subvert to turn it into a bizarre courtship ritual just between the two of them and eliminating everyone else gathered there. Of course, the reader has to ask themselves how much of this story is embroidered in the retelling, or whether it even happened at all.

I chanced peering up, to descry an almost imperceptible tilting downward of Damon’s irises in their sockets. What the hell was he playing at? And then it hit me. What a charge! And all the while they were attempting to press charges against him?

Assembled, nay on show here, was a beauty pageant. All tenors, hues and heights were represented. In fact, we pretty much had the entire male gene pool clustered within these specimens. And there was Damon, outstanding among all this rank parade of manhood. Observe how he shone like a polestar alongside these others. While they all blithely beam, safe in the knowledge they couldn’t possibly get picked out, yet still they are unable to quell their edginess. Mark number three there, perspiring like a sow. Since, line any man with his back to this parapet and his mind can’t help but fall prey to working overtime. His lack of conviction, so that anything, anything at all in his whole life, that makes him feel ashamed, out it comes and is displayed here. Guilty by dint of being hard up against this tidemark. First formed and then reinforced, by row upon row of unwashed, sweaty necks. A plimsoll line beneath which they all sink into the mire. But not Damon, head held unabashedly high and proud. His whole body tensed with rippling self-assurance. Now I gleaned why the 5 & 1/2 foot stripe, uniquely defined his stature. Human in scale, but his power could scarce be contained.

It was incumbent upon me, as witness, as adjudicator, to take a long abiding look. After all, he’d sought and located me behind this dividing wall. Made it two-way again. Somehow he’d distilled my superannuated pheromones of desire and condensed them against the glass. So that he could pinpoint me exactly. It was as if we were both putting on a private peep-show for one another. The other punters just didn’t register. Our own exclusive id parade. Teasing one another inscrutably. Playing footsie without flexing a muscle. Come in number 5, your time is up. He could say it with flowers, or how much more exciting to say it with handcuffs. Unwittingly in the guise of Cupid, the Met had given him a pull, in order for him to pull me.
Nash at another reading.
Check out that nurse's uniform!
Would you use Legend again?
I've been happy enough with Legend's service, though like anything there are tweaks I would prefer to see them put in place. I'm not sure about my chances of further self-publishing since my other books have certain typographical and visual demands which may be beyond a template service. I don't know, I'll have to discuss that with them.

Thoughts on SP? I.e. do you think the line on SP and traditional is closing?
It's impossible to get any trustworthy data right now, since everyone has a vested interest and defends their own corner. Agents poo-poo SP, of course they would wouldn't they? Self-pubbers big themselves up, but do we see any real breakthrough novels? The whole sector is readjusting itself to new markets and new technologies. It hasn't settled down at all yet.

How long does it take you to write a book?
I'm a really quick writer. I sit with an idea for 6 months just making notes, but when I finally launch into writing it, the first draft is 2-3 months. The editing however can vary as to how long it takes. This novel was completed, but took me 7 years on and off to edit because I just couldn't get one section right and tried coming at it from different angles, which impacted elsewhere in the book as well.

Which comes first for you – characters or plot?
Neither! I know I have a workable idea for a novel when a voice comes together with the central metaphor. In this case, a gangster's moll on the run and having to spin stories like Scheherazade to stay alive. The voice was that of a hardened woman, the book was all about story-telling itself. I had the notion of her as a 40 year old hiding in a Club 18-30 type resort very early on, don't ask me where it came from, I have no idea.

How did you get into writing? Did you always want to become a writer?
I dabbled with angsty song lyrics like most boys, then at College I started writing plays because there were loads of theatres and would-be directors and actors. I only stopped writing plays because my twin boys arrived and I needed to spend more time at home rather than hanging around theatres. So I turned to writing prose once they were in bed.

What mistakes do you see new writers make?
I can't speak for others, but my one regret about this novel was I should have paid for a professional editor. It would have made for a very interesting exchange. I suspect all self-published writers ought to seriously consider having their work professionally edited. it's not that same as having beta-readers or peer review sites look at it. Other than that, I would just advise new writers to trust to their voice and try and make it different from all else that is already out there. That doesn't mean it has to be radical or experimental, but just fresh.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
To stick to your vision and not be beaten back down by rejection. Ultimately, if you believe in your work enough, now you have the means of getting it published without relying on others. But you have to be sure it's good enough and then you have to be prepared to put in an enormous amount of time and effort in promoting it.

Do you have an agent, or have you gone alone?
No, I've gone my own way. I published it almost by accident. I couldn't make head nor tail of how YWO's self-publishing offer worked, and when I went to Legend Press' website I couldn't fathom that any better. I phoned them up and got Tom the MD on the line and started chatting to him. I made the decision there and then to go with them directly - I'd missed the latest round of YWO deadlines and felt inspired by Tom to just go for it there and then as they had a space. What it meant was I had done very little planning and had to learn very fast. I'd always hated the idea of any self-marketing, but having jumped in, nobody else was going to do it for me. And I've surprised myself by actually enjoying it. The usual author's platform stuff, blogs, websites, twitter, videos, podcasts, I've ended up blogging for "The Spectator" from my efforts - but as to whether any of it sells novels? I have my doubts. The one thing that you can gauge a reaction from is doing live readings and I really love doing those. I do them in character, which means being one of the two female protagonists...

"A,B and E" by Marc Nash is available to buy now from Amazon
To sample
Website on "A,B&E"
Book Trailer
Twitter - twitter@ExisleMoll (character) twitter@21stCscribe (author)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Meet author Jennifer L Hart

Laundry Hag series: Crime and grime don’t stand a chance.
Have you met the Laundry Hag yet?

Maggie Phillips hasn't had it easy. As the wife of a retired Navy SEAL and the adoptive mother of two little hellions, Maggie is constantly seeking new ways to improve her family's financial situation. She accepts a cleaning position for her new neighbors (who redefine the term 'eccentric'), never imagining she will end up as the sole alibi for a man with a fascination for medieval torture devices when he is brought up on murder charges.
While Maggie struggles to prove the man's innocence, her deadbeat brother arrives, determined to sell Maggie and Neil on his next great scheme and to mooch with a vengeance. If that isn't bad enough, her in-laws the cutthroat corporate attorneys, descend on the house, armed with disapproval and condemnation for the family's annual Thanksgiving celebration.

As the police investigation intensifies, Maggie searches for the killer among the upper echelon of Hudson, Massachusetts, in the only way she can—by scrubbing their thrones. Of the porcelain variety, that is....

The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag:
Swept Under the Rug 

Crime and grime are everywhere, at least in Maggie Phillips’ opinion. Deep in the throes of a New England winter, Maggie’s still adjusting to her new role as confidential informant for the Hudson Police Department. When a suspicious fax is sent to one of her new clients, Maggie is sure she’s unearthed a conspiracy. With no crime to investigate, however, the Hudson P.D. can do nothing—that is until a wealthy trophy wife disappears and the FBI is called in to the hunt.

On the home front, her twelve-year-old son is growing up way too fast, while her brother is back with a few surprises destined to wreak havoc on the household. To frost the whole crappy cake, her best friend’s marriage is falling apart, which leaves Maggie worrying over her own. All of the family drama is put into perspective, however, when Maggie is arrested for kidnapping and blackmail.

Between economic woes and a now tarnished reputation, Maggie is in way over her head. Yet out of the ashes of frustration and failure, something great might emerge. If she survives the birthing process that is….
Other fiction from Jennifer Hart:
River Rats
coming August 10th

The new man in town. Ranger Sam Ruiz doesn’t know the trouble he’s in with Alex Hanson…or how far some will go to protect her secrets. Small town living never looked quite like this.

Set in rural upstate New York along the Delaware River, the Wayward Son Diner is a pit stop for tourists and locals of Sullivan County. Waitress Alex Hanson has seen it all and has no interest in the daily gossip-mongering of the natives. Knowing full well what it feels like to be the grease on the wheel, Alex takes pity on new park ranger Sam Ruiz, when he’s accosted by several eligible females whose need to satisfy their biological clocks outweighs their ingrained trepidation of a government employee.

Jennifer L. Hart has tried on many accessories including early childhood educator, Navy wife, video store clerk, photographer and mother of two. The “wife” and “mom” shoes got stuck and she found the hats of mystery writer and romance novelist are a perfect fit—and don’t clash. Jen’s works to date include The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag mystery series, the contemporary romance Worth the Wait and the upcoming romantic suspense River Rats. For up-to-date information, and a few good laughs, please visit her website.

Tell us about your current book? 
The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag: Swept Under the Rug, book two in the Laundry Hag mystery series has been out about a month. The ebook is available on Kindle and Fictionwise as well as Wild Child  Publishing’s  site.

Coming soon also from Wild Child is the romantic suspense, River Rats.  I recently sold a contemporary romance, Redeeming Characters to Passion In Print Press, which will be my first print release with a publisher. 

How many books have you written?
Jackson Corners was my very first book, which I self published in 2006. Two Laundry Hag books to date, plus the same characters are featured in my uncontracted manuscript Who Needs A Hero? Redeeming Characters, River Rats,  and another uncontracted manuscript, Stellar Timing. So lucky number seven are finished to date.
You write in several genres, how does this affect your readership? 
What sets me apart is my voice, the way in which I tell a story. I’m a very active author online, always promoting my novels and what they are about, including genre. But I am a genre bender and anyone who started with me in mystery knows the romantic elements always play a big part in my work. The second Hag book is listed under romance as well as mystery and humor. I don’t believe in labels as much as the quality of the story. 

Which genre would you NEVER try?
Never say never! If I had to pick, I’d say horror, simply because I don’t think that I personally could pull it off without being downright cheesy.

Have your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family? Family no, because I have to live with them. ;-) Friends yes and the ones I’ve used, names have been changed to protect the guilty. They know who they are. 
What are you working on now? 
The sequel to Stellar Timing, working title Cosmic Balance. These books are medieval times space operas with my own zany sense of humor leading the charge.  Another contemporary, For A Reason as well as a new series, which is kind of like a genetically engineered X-Men. And Maggie and Neil are getting loud. They want me to do the third Hag book, All Washed Up, ASAP!

What is your favourite scene in your current book? Can we have a snippet?
 This is from the Misadventures of the Laundry Hag: Swept Under the Rug. This scene gives you a good look at Maggie and Neil as a couple as well as the mystery element to this book: 

We parked in front of the Valentino’s house. The brick and stone behemoth, flanked by leafless deciduous trees, sat at the end of a private drive. While the house was gated, the gate stood open, probably in expectation of the police. Lights blazed from every window and reflected off the brilliant snow and the sight took my breath for a minute. The mansion did have a Currier and Ives look to it, even the snow seemed whiter than in my middle-class neighborhood.

“Tell me again why we’re here.” Neil scowled at me and shifted in the driver’s seat, bashing his knee into the gearshift. Whoever had designed the Mini Cooper didn’t have six foot, two inch retired Navy SEALs in mind.

“Mrs. Valentino called me, thinking I had something to do with the dead bird. My logo was on the delivery box. Therefore, I have a vested interest in getting to the bottom of this.”

He winced as he rubbed his abused knee. “Only in your mind, Uncle Scrooge. Do they know you intercepted that fax the other day?”

I rolled my eyes. “What do I look like, a complete doofus? I made a copy of the fax before I beat feet outta there. The original I left precisely where I found it.”

“I still say you’re sticking your nose into somebody’s kinky sex life,” he grinned and met my gaze. “That’s always entertaining, at least.”

I thought of Sylvia’s stricken face. “Not so much from my angle. Besides, you ever heard of anyone with a dead foul fetish?”

“No, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’m a sheltered sort, you know.”

I snorted and unbuckled my seatbelt. “Yeah, Neil the Pure with his lily-white sensibilities. How about the thing you did to me last week in the shower? What bedtime story featured that particular move?”

“My favorite.” He glanced around. “You sure she called the police?” I’m not seeing any lights yet and we’ve been sitting here for five minutes on top of the twenty minute drive.”

“I told her to call, but she was a little busy doing the Technicolor yawn and then my phone went dead. And you left yours at Dr. Boob’s. I mean Bob’s.”

He opened his door. “Might as well knock and see what’s up.”

The air hit me as soon as I straightened from the car, whipping my hair into my face. Neil grasped my gloved hand and pulled me to the relative shelter of the porch. He rang the doorbell and we waited.

“Maybe she took the package directly to the police station. Or animal control.” Neil guessed.

I opened my mouth to respond, but a black Jaguar slid to an abrupt stop in front of the house and Mr.Valentino emerged. He sprinted up the porch steps and brushed by us without a word, inserting his key in the door. It swung open and he didn’t bother to shut it so Neil tugged me inside.

“Candace?” Mr. V called out stomping through the foyer. “I can’t just show up whenever you’re in the mood to….”

Neil cleared his throat and gave me a knowing smirk. Valentino spun on his heel and scowled at us, his gaze focused on my husband. “Who the hell are you?”

Neil dropped my hand and extended his own. Neil Phillips, sir. Your wife called mine.”

“Phillips, Phillips,” Mr. V pursed his lips. “Why does that name sound familiar?”

“Your wife hired me to clean twice a week. I’m Maggie Phillips from the Laundry Hag cleaning services.” I informed him. Though I’d been on the job for almost a month, this was the first time I’d seen Valentino up close. Jet black hair cut fashionably short and GQ worthy stubble only emphasized his high cheekbones and pale complexion. His eyes, almost a neon shade of blue, stole attention from his extra large nose, an almost beaklike appendage which announced his Greek heritage. He appeared the perfect masculine foil for Candie’s petite blonde beauty, but some instinct told me theirs wasn’t a love match.

“Well, get to it then,” Markus Valentino dismissed me with a wave of his hand and continued his hunt for his wife.

Before I could get my back up, Neil called to his retreating form. “We’re here about the bird.”

Valentino stopped in mid-stride, like his feet had been super-glued in place. It was almost comical, like a Wile E. Coyote signature move before he fell off a cliff.

“What bird?” Mr. V’s tone held suspicion, and as he turned back around to face us, I noted a brief flicker in his eyes. Fear perhaps?

“Oh, Markus!” Candie rushed down the stairs and flung herself at her husband. Beneath her tan, she was sickly pale and trembling. “It’s awful, just plain terrible.

“What is?” Valentino held her an arm’s length away. “I get this message from Sierra that you need me here, but no explanation. Just what is going on?”

Candie looked as if he had slapped her. With visible effort she pulled back and composed herself. “It’s in the kitchen.” Without another word she led the way, Valentino hot on her heels.

“What a tool,” Neil murmured almost inaudibly. I heard him though and grinned. He’d read my mind.

We followed the footsteps into the kitchen. A large white box, like a bakery container sat open on the granite island. Candie had been right, it was the little caricature from my business logo, the sprightly little woman with a pink kerchief wrapped around her head and matching vacuum. Candie stood in the corner next to the gourmet refrigerator, arms wrapped around her upper body. Valentino loomed over the box then pulled away in disgust, yanking a handkerchief to his face. I shuffled past Neil and stood on my tip toes to get a better look. The carcass did resemble a large bird, one that had been barbecued. The stench invaded my nostrils and I stepped back.

“If I had to guess, I’d say it was some sort of hawk, maybe a falcon,” Neil moved closer, seemingly oblivious of the putrid smell. “Did you phone the police?”

“What for? It’s obviously a prank.” Valentino scoffed, the tone losing some impact delivered as it was through the hanky.

“If it’s a prank, I’m missing the punch line. Dead foul in a bakery box, how is that funny?” Neil asked his tone mild. “Looks more like a message to me.”

“Just who the hell are you?” Valentino seethed.

“A concerned husband. Whoever sent this didn’t do it by certified mail. The smell alone insures that. And the box has my wife’s logo on it, which means the perp wants to shift attention to her.

“Why wouldn’t he go all the way though?” I asked “If he ripped off my caricature, he could have put my business name on there too, made the connection even more obvious.”

“Who gives a shit?” Valentino thundered, closing the lid with his hanky-free hand. “It’s just some freak playing a game. Not worth all this fuss and bother.”

Out of the three of us, Markus Valentino was the only one who appeared remotely riled. The stress brought out his Texas accent and a vein bulged in his forehead. Neil stood like the calm eye in the center of a shit storm and both Candie and I were green around the gills.

“I recommend you report this to the police. Mrs. Valentino has our number and we’ll be happy to answer any questions they might have.” Neil inclined his head toward Candie and then led me to the front door by my arm.

“We can’t just leave—” I protested as he propelled my forward.

“There’s nothing else we can do.” Neil replied. “We can’t force him to call the cops and your connection is shaky at best.”

“Why do you think my logo was on the box but not my name?” I repeated my earlier question. Neil didn’t answer until we were both secure in the car and heading towards the main road.

“Someone is messing with Valentino. Did you see him freeze when we mentioned the bird? I think whoever sent that box has been watching them and snagged your logo to cast suspicion on you. Maybe they didn’t want it to be obvious that it was you, or maybe the site that I ordered your stuff from has copy write protection for its consumer’s company names. I’ll look into that when we get home.”

I wanted to ask why me, but didn’t bother as it sounded too whiney and Neil had put up with enough from me today. “Do you think Valentino knows who is behind this?” I asked instead.

Neil cut his gaze to me briefly. “I’d bet my left nut on it.” 

Do you have an agent, or have you gone alone?
No agent, though I do keep trying to hook one. Getting those rejections is tough and accumulating the no’s was what led me to self publish Jackson Corners in the first place.   

Who is your publisher, or who do you SP with?
I self published Jackson Corners with lulu.com. Wild Child holds the rights to the Hag series as well as River Rats, and Passion in Print contracted Redeeming Characters.

Would you SP again?
 Absolutely not! While the tools available for self publishing are fantastic, I’m a detail freak and having to struggle with formatting, copy editing and promoting all by my lonesome was too much for me. After a while I read what was supposed to be on the page, not what was really there. Jackson Corners is full of errors, most noticeably my homonym deficiency. Mixing up, then and than, things like that. It’s embarrassing. 

Thoughts on SP?
I like the idea of self publishing, the fact that you can start with a brain child and get it out there to interested parties is really magnificent. If I hadn’t self published Jackdon Corners, my grandmother would never have been able to read a copy of my work, since she died before the first Laundry Hag was finished.
Another thing that turned me off to the concept were the forums filled with ego maniacs, you know, the misunderstood artists who have been snubbed by traditional publishers.  They are really a small minority of self published individuals but unfortunately they seemed to be the loudest.

How long does it take you to write a book? 
On average, four months, though it depends on the story. I wrote River Rats for National Novel writing month in November of 2008 in 25 days.  Sometimes I churn out chapter after chapter and other days where I don’t even open the document. Redeeming Characters took the longest, three years just to get the plot out and I’m still editing that puppy!

Which comes first for you – characters or plot?
Always characters. I call ‘em the voices in my head. My Laundry Hag has her own page on facebook where she likes to blow off some steam when I’m not writing one of her books.
Plot makes you turn pages but characters have a reader telling her friends “Gee, I just read the most fantastic book...”

How did you get into writing?
I was born to tell stories. LOL, that’s what my grandmother accused me of when I fibbed to get out of trouble. Sometime in my late teens I decided to stop telling stories for the sake of my own comfort and turn them into entertainment. Some days it feels like no one wants to hear them but then I just tell them to my beagle. It’s either get it out or go insane. 

What mistakes do you see new writers make?
Well ATS or Arrogant Tool Syndrome is a biggie. No first draft, no matter how brilliant, is ready for public consumption. Also, putting too much weight on one completed manuscript is never a good idea. Trends change and while I’d never advise chasing them, timing the market is a must.

What advice would you give aspiring authors? 
It’s never too soon to start networking. Blog tours, social networking sites, author groups are all ways to get your name out there. Join a writing organization to get a better grip on understanding the business side of the industry. And for Pete’s sake, write! The fabulous story that only you can tell story is not going to write itself.

For More Information on Jennifer Hart's book visit: www.jenniferlhart.com

Redeeming Characters
By Jennifer L Hart

Dakota doesn't just have writer's block—she's got a whole fricking wall of doubt standing between her and her next book. What she needs is sexy Drue, back by her side whispering words of confidence and seduction. What she gets is Drue and the giant axe he has to grind… fantasy is not all it's cracked up to be.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Hunted of 2060
Ami Blackwelder
America 2060
Three Lovers. Two Species. One Way to Survive

Set in Alaska in 2060, when April enters her Sophomore year at University, she thought Robert might be the love of her life, but as she discovers, she is hiding something inside her, something the rest of the world believes to have died out. She struggles with who she was and who she is becoming as she learns of a family she never knew existed and of enemies she will have to outrun, outfight or outwit to survive. As April embraces her new identity, will she have to leave the life she loves behind?
Tell us about The Hunted of 2060
Summary: Set in Alaska in 2060, when April enters her sophomore year at University, she thought Robert might be the love of her life, but as she discovers, she is hiding something inside her, something the rest of the world believes to have died out. She struggles with who she was and who she is becoming as she learns of a family she never knew existed and of enemies she will have to outrun, outfight or outwit to survive. As April embraces her new identity, will she have to leave the life she loves behind?

With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages of April’s story.)

How long did it take to write the book?
I began writing it in March of 2010 and began professional editing in June 2010. About 3 months to write and 1 month to edit.

And what inspired you?
While in Thailand teaching Kindergarten I had a vision of a woman who could transform into an animal and thought what a fun idea.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I write novels from passion. If I love the idea, I will write the story! A few main characters come quickly to mind as they develop throughout the writing process. Other characters usually easily emerge later...the beginning and ending are usually clear, but sometimes the ending is blurred until I approach it. The bulk of the story forms when I take the journey with my characters and allow them to make it their own story. Writers can't force a story for characters. I usually have to research a bit when writing paranormal and when writing historical I research constantly. When writing my novel The Day the Flowers Died set in 1930 Munich, I used YouTube for videos of that time period for music, sound, place and to set me in the right frame of mind.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
A sense of appreciation for the wildlife and forests on earth and a better idea of how prejudice can lead to cruel and unnecessary consequences. I hope my readers are entertained while learning. All of my novels have something to teach, but are also very entertaining.

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000483080700 these are three great sites to gather information about The Hunted of 2060 as well as learn more about me and other paranormal authors.

Excerpt from The Hunted of 2060

At my apartment I thought I was safe from it, from myself, but my arms began to itch. I scratched. The tingling returned. I knew what to expect — sharp, intense pain. Unbearable. I threw myself onto my oversized bed propped up on steel bars and held myself. My hands clasped my shoulder bones. My head pushed into the pillows. My teeth gritted into the sheets. My fingers raked my skin as if I were an addict in need of another fix. My body shook with convulsions. My eyes shut. Instinctual, not of volition. It will pass.
A sound bellowed from my lips, a sound I’d never heard before tonight. I curled up like a baby in need of her mother and let the aching pass. It always passes. It always takes too long. Every minute felt like forever. I need him. I need him to help me get through this. When the violence inside my body soothed, I called him on my phone. He will come. He always comes.
The knock at my door drew me from my bed and to him in one fluid motion. He stood at my doorway with an orange tulip in his hands, my favorite. But I didn’t even have time to thank him for his thoughtfulness. My pain needed his comfort. My mind needed his words. My body needed his touch. He hurried through my door to the foot of the bed. He sat in his dark blue jeans, still wearing his crimson sweater. Too desperate for games, I just told him the truth.
‘I need you.’ The words flowed so easily. He drew close to me and I rested my weary head on his chest. The chill from his skin cooled my warm temperature.
‘What happened?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Tell me where you hurt. Let me help you.’ The fine lines breaking in his forehead revealed his fear for me.
‘Everywhere,’ I grimaced.
‘Tell me what to do.’ The longing in his words mirrored the longing in his heart. He wanted more from me than I could give him right now.
‘Nothing,’ I said shortly, looked up into his pleading blue eyes and then gave him just an inch of what I knew he wanted. ‘Just be here.’
He smiled and didn’t question me more about it. Robert had seen me hurt before, twice, and learned not to ask me questions. They brought out the agitation in me. With his lips closed, his gentle hands took care of me. I abhorred hospitals. He held me in his embrace. His heart beat fast, too fast. I heard it too well, better than I should.
Never mind. He’s here with me now. Everything will be fine.
I rested on his chest, wrapped up in his arms, his large toned arms. He fell asleep, peaceful. I never sleep so still. Every sound, every motion usually kept me awake. But with him near me, I slept soundly.

* * *
I covered my eyes in the bright daylight at first. We strolled out of my apartment and down the block over the chipped sidewalks. The sky cars in various metallic colors flew past us like birds overhead. Their revving sounded like whistles blowing. The black apartment walls stayed in the shadows of the day and the windows glowed in fluorescent lights laced around their borders.
The electrical newspapers beamed in and out against the shop walls and displayed current events. America clones President Strossey in an attempt to derail assassination attempts. The news faded out while the next page faded in. A trip to Mars is scheduled for next weekend: September 14th, 2060. NASA says the highly anticipated Anti-Matter Propulsion is ready to use for distant travel. On the next slide of news, another space-related event emerged onto the screen. The RAM Jet Fusion Engine will reach the Space Walker today to transport food and water to the Moon Station. Go Green, Go Hydrogen!
The gray clouds rolled in like a tumultuous sea about to storm. The thunder crackled and a few rain pellets began to fall. Robert took out his compact umbrella stashed inside of his front jean pocket. He wrapped his hand around the miniature, rectangular tool and hit the silver button with his forefinger. The shape of the umbrella unfolded around us and clicked into place. People on the busy streets brushed past us in dark raincoats and silver radiated umbrellas. The silver color lit up against the lightning. I wrapped my arm around Robert’s and fastened my other hand over my waist.
‘Are you…’ He stopped his sentence. I knew what he wanted to ask, …alright today? He knew I didn’t enjoy those questions. He cleared his throat, ‘…hungry?’ I smiled at him and shifted my eyes to the chipped sidewalk like a coy animal.
‘Sure, I could eat something.’ In truth, I was famished. I hadn’t eaten dinner last night even though I’d been feeling more hungry than usual.
‘Where would you like to eat? We have the whole day to ourselves.’ His strong blue eyes shone lighter than the sky. ‘Thank God for Saturdays,’ he smirked with a scar over his wrinkled chin from playing hockey. We ambled to the end of the sidewalk. A sky car slowed down, dropping out of the sky in front of us. Its wheels, in mechanical precision, lowered out of its body and hit the aluminum street. The car’s angular tip and short rounded frame propelled down the road and disappeared after turning a corner.
‘We could eat at Uro’s Deli,’,I suggested. ‘I’m craving a roast beef sub.’
‘Uro’s it is.’
The silver, black and white checkered walls of the deli stood out between two buildings. The low brick building to the left reminded everyone of designs long gone. The spiraling crisp white tower to the right reached into the clouds. Music somewhere between disco and techno permeated Uro’s (a name based on the monetary exchange of America since 2025) and the sounds seeped out the deli door and onto the city as we approached.
Robert pointed to the spiraling tower with his forefinger. ‘I would’ve positioned the base more to the left and the tip more to the right, placing the spiral off center.’
‘Crooked?’ I arched a brow. He loved architecture, he studied architecture, but his ideas could be grandeur.
‘Interesting,’ he corrected. I grinned. Robert tripped over cement on the other side of the street.
‘Damn sidewalks. Do you know when they’re going to rebuild them?’ he asked, agitated. I don’t have answers. I can only think of my own pain. I can think of nothing else.
‘No.’ I walked ahead toward the door.
‘They’d better reconstruct them with nano-ceramic soon before someone gets seriously hurt.’ He followed. The entire city began to look like one large piece of nano-material, a substance that wouldn’t bend or break in chaotic weather or over extended periods of time.
Robert sat across from me in the oversized black booth with his concentrated expression. We punched our orders into the Electric Order Form, an efficient device, much like the internet fifty years ago. Square, about the size of a book, it fit into the table on each side near the end. It eliminated the need of waiters.
Robert fiddled with his projection watch. He looked like a budding professor playing with the technology in his hands. Despite his strong body and model-like appearance, he maintained a 3.5 GPA and tutored some of his buddies on the hockey team. He hit the silver button on his watch and the hologram of our Biology textbook appeared over the table. He clicked the arrow button and it turned page after page until he stopped at page ten.
I brushed my onyx hair away from my face. ‘You want to show me something?’ I placed my elbows on the table and nestled my head in my left hand. My palm cupped my chin and my hazel eyes shot up at him.
‘I forgot to mention, Mr. Crougar said this was going to be on the quiz Monday.’
Monday? I can’t even think about tomorrow. I have to take this one day at a time…whatever ‘this’ is.
I nodded like I cared about a quiz, like I wasn’t thinking about something else over every word he read. He hit the arrow button again and the page turned. As he finished highlighting the important parts, the Intelligent Service Robot, dressed in the deli uniform of silver, black and white checkered shirt and pants, carried our orders on its metallic arms. Its back squeaked as it bent over to place our plates before us.
‘Do you ever miss it?’ I said in almost a whisper to Robert.
‘Miss what?’
‘Actual people serving food?’ The ISRs were manufactured and found in every business by 2050 and in most homes by 2055. They brought a great relief to the extra workloads carried by most people, but they also took away many jobs. People were angry at first, until new employment opportunities for the manufacturing and upkeep of the ISRs became available.
‘Sometimes.’ Robert winked and began to eat his chili sandwich, one of his favorites at the deli. The smell of roast beef spun my head in a dizzy frenzy and I began to feel the aches in my bones again.
All I can think about is the meat.
Preview and Purchase Ami Blackwelder books (Prints and eBooks):

Ami Rebecca Blackwelder is a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal and historical romance genre. Her unique experiences from travels in Asia for eight years allows her an original perspective and a plethora of ideas to entertain readers. She graduated from UCF with a BA in English and published her first work after winning the best Fiction of 1997 at UCF and subsequently achieving the semi-finals in Laurel Hemingway Short Story contest of that same year.

The Day the Flowers Died

An historical fiction set in Munich, Germany in the early 1930s before the outbreak of War World II. Eli Levin and Rebecca Baum fall passionately in love and while their differences should have separated them, they instead forged a passionate bond that would change their lives forever.

While religious and social differences weigh heavily on their families in an increasingly tense Germany, the lovers remain unadulterated in spite of the prejudices. After overcoming family issues and social pressures, the two must sustain under a growing violent governmental regime. When the Nazi party heightens in popularity and the partys ideas influence law, they must face the harsh reality of life and death.

Graphic Novella

Rain is a highly advanced genetically engineered woman designed by the future corrupt government of 2100. She has dreams who remind her of who she really is and decides to go rogue and take the government down.

The Gate of Lake Forest

Within the small town of Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, there exists a quiet forest where a world undiscovered awaits. When soccer player, Michael Cole, of high school Green Mountain Falls sees the new girl Evelyn walk into his senior English class, he is forever changed.

His passion for her draws him deep into her heart and deep into her mystical world. Will their forbidden love be able to sustain them as their separate worlds collide, and Evelyn and Michael journey into magical adventurous and perilous realms where dangerous creatures are determined to defeat them?

High school will never be the same.

A Paranormal and Historical Romance author
Passion with Taste and Twist

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill

Finding a publisher – 'working hard at being lucky'
Nick Quantrill

Since the publication of ‘Broken Dreams’ in March, one of the recurring question I’m asked by readers and writers is, “how did you get a publishing deal?” The short answer is I sent the standard synopsis and first three chapters off and crossed my fingers. From there, Caffeine Nights Publishing asked for the rest of the manuscript and the rest, as they say, is history.

What I try and tell people is that there’s more to the story. The saying, “the harder I try, the luckier I get” has more than the ring of truth about it to me. I started writing seriously in 2006 and produced a string of short-stories, some of which I remain quite proud of, some I’d quite happily never see again, but for better or worse, I created a website and a MySpace page and published the stories. I wasn’t the only one doing this and it brought me into contact with countless readers, writers and independent publishers, several of whom I’m proud to say I now call friends. Networking in an informal atmosphere gave me the opportunity to take a look at the different publishers out there and figure out which ones might be a potential good fit with the vision I had of my work. Writing about a Private Investigator in my home city of Hull, a decaying and isolated fishing port on the East coast, never felt like it was going to be an easy sell, so it seemed obvious that I would have to put the groundwork in to increase my chances of success.

Caffeine Nights Publishing is the brainchild of Darren Laws and I first came across him on MySpace and started to follow his blog, which outlines his approach to the ever-changing world of publishing. Our low-key relationship on the Internet allowed us to keep an eye on each other’s progress and demonstrate that we were both serious about what we were doing and it was this base which underpinned my submission of ‘Broken Dreams’. I was fortunate enough to be offered the chance I needed, but it’s imperative that you’re active. There’s a huge network of readers, writers and publishers a press of the button away. The challenge is to engage with them, enjoy the successes and learn from the mistakes. That way you’ll be working hard at being lucky.

Find me :
‘Broken Dreams’ is available from all good bookshop and online retailers - £7.99.
ISBN – 9780955407024

‘Broken Dreams’ by Nick Quantrill

Joe Geraghty, Private Investigator, is used to struggling from one case to the next, barely making the rent on his small office in the Old Town of Hull. Invited by a local businessman to investigate a member of his staff’s absenteeism, it’s the kind of surveillance work that Geraghty and his small team have performed countless times. When Jennifer Murdoch is found bleeding to death in her bed, Geraghty quickly finds himself trapped in the middle of a police investigation which stretches back to the days when the city had a thriving fishing industry. As the woman’s tangled private life begins to unravel, the trail leads Geraghty to local gangster-turned-respectable businessman, Frank Salford, a man with a significant stake in the city’s regeneration plans. Still haunted by the death of his wife in a house fire, it seems the people with the answers Geraghty wants are the police and Salford, both of whom want his co-operation for their own ends. With everything at stake, some would go to any length to get what they want, Geraghty included.

About Nick Quantrill

Nick Quantrill was born and raised in Hull, East Yorkshire. Never realising he could be a writer, Nick spent most of his twenties shouting and bawling his way around Sunday League football pitches before studying for a degree in Social Policy. Approaching now or never time, Nick started writing crime stories set in and around his home city. The result is ‘Broken Dreams,’ his debut novel which focuses on Hull’s past and future through the lens of the city’s lost fishing industry. ‘Broken Dreams’ is published by Caffeine Nights.

Taste the action!

New Author Richard Sutherland

Richard Sutherland

Brace yourself for a hackneyed opening line. Here goes: "I always wanted to be an author".
Apologies for that. Now let me make it up to you by adding: "But the fact that I did very little writing and was too shy to tell anyone about it hindered this ambition."

There we go, that's spiced it up a bit and given me something to focus on instead of just rambling for a few paragraphs. So now I'll elaborate on how someone who didn't really write anything ended up being an author. Or I’ll give it a go, at least.

Whilst at college and university, I wrote a few short stories and a single poem (the latter being something which, at the time, I thought was a one-off), but I didn't consider myself a writer until July 2008, when suddenly everything changed. Waterstone's (my employer from 2002-09) were running a competition called 'What's Your Story?", which invited the public to create a tale that could fit onto a single-sided postcard. The winners would then be published in a postcard book alongside famous authors the likes of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, J.K. Rowling and many others. I'd never taken part in a writing competition before but this really took my fancy, and the fact that I worked at Waterstone's gave me that much needed thrust to actually take part.

Sitting at my computer, I felt dismay at the realisation that I had no idea what to write about. My eyes flitted back and forth around the room, finally landing upon the spine of Aesop’s Fables, this particular edition being illustrated by the wonderfully fantastical artist Arthur Rackham. On the cover, Rackham had beautifully captured an array of characters from the book, one of them being an anthropomorphised stork. This swiftly resulted in me writing a story based not around the fairy tale creature per se, but around a perfect couple who can obtain anything they desire, except for a child. This short story is called ‘Special Delivery’ and it’s the first in my book because I still hold it dear; but the version that I wrote in July 2008 went through many changes before it was published in December 2009, most notably the ending… and the beginning… and pretty much all of the stuff in-between. (One piece of advice I can give: even when you think a piece is finished, chances are it isn’t. There’s often a sentence or even just a single word that might need changing. Take a break, then look at it with fresh eyes. This can pay dividends.)

Having written a full story, I became insatiable! I wrote another called ‘Savage Competition’, which charts the barbaric feud between Polar Bear and Walrus, followed by many others of various styles. One of my favourites, and by far the simplest of them all, is ‘The Life in a Year of the Traffic Lights’, which I wrote at about 3am because I simply couldn’t get to sleep without composing a tale about sentient traffic lights. I’m an odd man.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I wrote the contents (obviously), designed the cover and overall layout (those pesky margins, page numbers, copyright page and so on), registered with Nielsen Bookdata in order to buy the block of ISBNs and list the book on their database, paid a printer to put ink onto paper, created an account with Gardners Books so that it could be sold to shops, which in turn I then had to contact one by one because I’m my own marketing and press departments, and generally spread the word like crazy! As much as I’d love to say “that’s that”, the process continues until every single copy has sold (I broke even a few months ago, so trickles of profit make their way to me now and then, which is a pleasant surprise).

Self-publishing can be a long and hazardous road (not to mention lined with expensive tolls), but by God, there can be a lot of interesting incidents on the way. And providing you reach your destination, the hard slog makes it all the more satisfying. So I would recommend self-publishing as a route toward getting your words in the public’s view as it’s worked out great for me, but do some research first to make sure that it suits your needs. There are websites such as Lulu.com that publish any book, NightPublishing.com that publish many books, and then there’s the DIY route that I took (I used the printer Think-Ink.co.uk, based in Ipswich). Again, take your time and find the method that’s best for you.

Oh, and that postcard competition – I didn’t win. In fact, I didn’t even enter it! Why? Well, because I decided that my story deserved to be longer than a single-sided postcard, simple as that. And who needs to be published
alongside J.K. Rowling? I’m pretty close to her in the alphabet anyway.

Take a collection of short stories that range from the sombre to the slapstick, with characters from the psychopathic to the fairy tale. Add to the mix a bunch of humorous poems, a ‘monologue for two’, a story written entirely in text speak and even one that includes a bit or Morse Code, and you have yourself ‘The Unitary Authority of Ersatz’.
The Unitary Authority of ErsatzDespite the contents incorporating very different genres, styles and rhythms, they all take place within the eponymous city (Ersatz itself), a place where flights of fancy come to land.

The book is now in over 100 bookshops across the UK, stocked by Amazon and Play.com, and available worldwide from the author’s website: http://www.ersatzscribblings.com/

About the Author

Richard Sutherland is the author of ‘The Unitary Authority of Ersatz’, a collection of eclectic fiction and humorous poetry.

He studied History and Art History at Hull University and has worked as a Frozen Food Assistant, a Market Researcher, an Electricity Salesman, a Waterstone’s Bookseller and is now in the Marketing Department at Hull Truck Theatre (so he’s accustomed to people dressed as anything from cheeseburgers to penguins walking through the office on a normal day).

His life revolves around a loving girlfriend and two insane cats. His favourite colour hasn’t yet been discovered by scientists and he has a worrying obsession with traffic lights.

To get a glimpse into his bewildering imagination, take a gander at http://www.ersatzscribblings.com/

Monday, 19 July 2010

Meet author B. Swangin Webster

 Let Me Just Say This

Cheryl and Kevin are living the American dream and the only thing missing is the dog. However they are hiding a secret that threatens to destroy all that they have worked hard to obtain.

Kevin holds onto secrets that could ruin his business and credibility in his elite circle of friends.

What will happen when a stranger discovers their secrets and threatens to expose the truth?

And Again...Let Me Say This

Cheryl leaves behind an abusive marriage that nearly cost her everything but in doing so, she steps into the world of the unknown.

A new man in her life love her unconditionally but is hiding a dangerous secret from his past, that could put both of their lives in danger.

Once and For All will be the third book in the series and out this fall.

B.Swangin Webster grew up in the suburbs of Maryland and DC. She now calls Southern Maryland her home. She has five grown children and four adorable grandsons. Her family is her biggest supporter and without them she could not do what she loves to do.

Her motto is: "Passion is something you can not live without." Something that she holds true for herself, because it is the passion for writing that has pushed her to become the author of three novels within a two-year time span.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog. I have such a tremendous time doing this and hope that I have encouraged people along the way to follow their dreams no matter if their dream is to be a singer, writer, actor/actress or whatever you want to be.

I also have told those reading my blog stops that no matter what age you are, you can still live your dream. My dream was realised just after my 43rd birthday and who would have thought that at the age of 45 I would have three novels in print and in the process of casting for a play. Yes, I am announcing on your blog that Let Me Just Say This is going to become a stage play and I couldnt be more excited about it. I am hoping to have that project started by the beginning of the 2011 year. So my dreams are now "real and in living color".

So if you thought that you couldn't dream big and that the dream couldn't come true. I am living proof. In parting please, please, please do one thing for me:

B.Swangin Webster grew up in the suburbs of Maryland and DC. She now calls Southern Maryland her home. She has five grown children and four adorable grandsons. Her family is her biggest supporter and without them she could not do what she loves to do.

Her motto is: Passion is something you can not live without. Something that she holds true for herself, because it is the passion for writing that has pushed her to become the author of three novels within a two year time span.

B.Swangin Webster
~Writing Coach
~Author of:
*Let Me Just Say This
*And Again...Let Me Say This


Censorship Alert: Obama Deception Illegally Removed from You Tube

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Cara Mia - Immortyl Revolution Series

Denise Verrico, author of the Immortyl Revolution books

Science Fiction V Science Fact
Denise Verrico 

When I set out some fifteen years ago to write a vampire novel, I did a lot of research into vampire lore and read some of the classic stories. I found that almost every culture has some form of vampire legend. At that time there wasn’t nearly as many novels about vampires. Now they have their own sub genres in urban fantasy, romance and horror. The idea of science fiction vampires appealed to me. Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend is the classic example. Graphic novels and films have also explored this idea. I like to read about biological science and biotechnology. A story about a race to capture the vampire’s immortality sounded like a good idea to me.

The fun begins with the research. Science fiction uses science fact as a springboard, but with a heck of a lot of creative license. My favorite science fiction author, Ursula K. Le Guinn says, “a novelist’s business is lying.” That being understood, it’s time to build a world.

My premise is that vampires are human beings with a unique mutation. I hit upon the idea of a symbiotic organism passed through blood. This organism, like a virus, would bond with human DNA, but instead of destroying human cells, it would allow them to replicate perfect copies of themselves forever, preventing ageing and death. Human DNA is programmed to only produce so many copies and these grow less perfect as we age. Could my premise of a symbiotic organism that confers immortality really happen? Probably not. Is it possible to arrest the ageing process? Possibly. Experiments using mice and fruit flies have been able to extend the lifespan of these creatures beyond the norm. We’re still a long way off from immortality.

There is always the challenge to create believable characters in a very unreal world. Although some of my vampires are sympathetic, I still wanted them to be dangerous, because they obey a biological imperative. I try not to write characters that are just plain evil because they aren’t as interesting. Usually my villains’ agenda conflicts with the heroine and hero. In creating my vampires, I wanted them to still have a human psyche, with the understanding that the mutation causes them to behave like a predatory animal. It turns on their senses and a lust for blood. This of course, messes with their brains and many of them have difficulty dealing with their condition.

I looked into psychological studies on violent behavior in human beings. I learned that sociopaths lack empathy, which allows them to objectify others and even make a fetish of violent behavior. Certainly some of my vampires fall into this category and don’t agonize over killing human beings. Most of them compartmentalize their emotions. Studies have suggested that people under duress or expediency will treat others abysmally or even violently if the behavior is “permitted” by authority figures. They begin to categorize people as “others” or less than human, therefore their violent behavior is acceptable to them under the circumstances. However, there are those individuals for whom this is unacceptable and don’t make this disconnect. They will rebel against the idea that violence is okay.

Okay, so there’s the convention of blood drinking. I like that one. To me a vampire should have some “kryptonite” or else everyone would want to be a vampire. I found out that human beings suffering from a condition called porphyria have a need to ingest foods rich in iron like liver. They can also become photosensitive and avoid sunlight. Drinking animal blood seems like a cop out to me. My vampires do eat and drink like other people, but the blood is an essential element of their diet. The symbiote depletes compounds in the vampire’s blood needed to sustain life. These must be replenished and animal blood lacks the right combination.

Another of the traditions that evolved in vampire literature was the need to stay out of the sun. Some contemporary stories don’t follow this convention. In fact, this is an idea that gained steam in the movies. In the novel Dracula, the count went out in the daylight, but he was weaker. In the film, Nosferatu, Count Orlock bursts into flame when sunlight floods in on him.

I happen to like the idea of the sun being fatal to vampires, but in a biological world they wouldn’t burst into flame. How could a body decompose in a very short period? I saw a program about flesh eating bacteria, (necrotizing strep). In a matter of hours this virulent bacteria can devour body parts. Could this be a way to describe the effect the sun has on a vampire’s body? Perhaps ultra violet light mutates the vampire’s DNA and causes the cells to grow erratically. Cancers are cells that grow unchecked to the point where they destroy neighboring structures in the body. Ultra violet light can mutate cells causing skin cancer. Imagine this happening in a matter of hours. My theory is that the symbiote evolved in a place without sunlight. Just where that place is remains to be revealed in future books.

The job of the science fiction writer is to take some real life science and ask those “what if” questions. Allow the research to feed the imagination. If you spend the entire book talking about this stuff it bogs down the story. Every story is at heart a human struggle, no matter if you’re writing about vampires, aliens or androids. The hero or heroine must have a driving force or inner conflict. My heroine, Mia, wants to walk again in the sun.

Readers can follow me on Facebook
My website: www.deniseverricowriter.webs.com
My blog: www.ImmortylRevoution.blogspot.com
I’m also on Twitter: www.twitter.com/deniseverrico

Cara Mia is available online at: www.deniseverrico.webs.com (author signed copies), Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Borders and Fictionwise in trade paperback and multi format e-book including Kindle. It can also be found in some bookstores or special ordered.

Read an excerpt of Cara Mia here
And treat yourself to a snippet from Denise's new book Twilight of the Gods here.

Twilight of the Gods
Book Two of the Immortyl Revolution
Coming Fall 2010 from L&L Dreamspell