Hi and welcome to my blog, Honoria Ravena. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake. So tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a paranormal romance author. I’m going to school to be and Esthetician. So I’ll deal with skincare, and makeup (which is a little bit of an obsession of mine). I also love to belly dance. I’m dying to travel and I have a history obsession. Seriously, if I stay somewhere where I have access to the history channel I CAN’T pull myself away from the TV.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Not that much. I’m sure subconsciously it’s a lot, because every character must have a piece of me in there somewhere. Mostly I throw in my music and movie likes, because they’re all across the board and will fit a lot of characters.
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Um… <looks guilty> I really haven’t timed it. I tend to jump around because I lack focus. I’d say about a year or more for a finished book that’s ready to submit, but I’ve got so many projects up in the air that are half done (or more) so it’s hard to keep track.
What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I tend to go really hard at the beginning of a book. The beginning is my favorite part. At the beginning I have all the information and it just pours out on to the page. When I hit 26k, I lose it, because that’s all I’ve got plot wise, and so I start something else. When I hit 26k on that next book, I get determined not to start anything new until I finish something, and so I go back to the first book, and try to keep my focus there. I’ll flop back and forth between them, and other projects until one gets so close to done with one that I HAVE to finish it, or I’ll feel like a complete failure. I’m at that point right now, and after that I’ll be making some definite changes to my process, because if you haven’t guessed, it’s not very efficient.
Tell us about your latest release or upcoming release. What inspired it?
Well, have you ever read a book and asked a “What if?” question. That’s essentially where all my books come from. The Devil’s Trap came from “What if the vampire this woman is hunting kidnaps her brother and turns him?” That’s The Devil’s Trap in a nutshell.
What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
It totally depends on my mood. If I’m feeling like writing a love scene, then it’s easy, if something is wrong in the book its usually not. Like the sexual tension isn’t there, or the emotion. It all gets ironed out in rewrites, but I do tend to leave out emotion, which can make love scenes hard. Also, if I was really into one, and then stopped in the middle, it’s hard to get back into them.
What kind of research do you do for your books?
Since I write paranormal there really isn’t a lot of research that I have to do. Of course if I’m doing a wereanimal/shapeshifter book I’ll research the kind of animal my characters are, because that’s where the truly rich details come from.
What are some of your favorite things or hobbies to do?
Belly dance, shop, read, do my makeup. If I had more money I’d love to travel.
Who are some of your other favorite authors and genres to read?
Paranormal romance has to make the top of the list. I love Kresley Cole, J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and MANY others. But lately I’ve been on paranormal burn out. I’m really not sure why. I’ve been reading historical romances like crazy. Johanna Lindsey, Alexandra Hawkins, Teresa Medieros, and Elizabeth Hoyt have been some of my favorites. I’m hoping to write some historical romances someday, but so far I haven’t gotten any ideas for them, so I’m starting to think I just don’t have them in me. Usually by now I would have some ideas since I devour them by the dozens.
Among your own books, have you a favorite? A favorite hero or heroine?
I love The Devil’s Trap. It’s the best book I’ve written so far, and some days I despair at the fact that it might be the best book I write ever. But I have to go back and tell myself that at one point it wasn’t so good, and it took a lot of work to make it so good. I’ll just have to put as much work into the others. And since The Devil’s Trap is my favorite, Zarek is my favorite hero. He’s a sarcastic, pain in the ass, and I just love him.
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
The story, always. It will just start popping into my head, along with world details. The characters come from the scenes that come to me, and I build on them more later.
What part of a book has been the easiest to write? The hardest?
The beginning is the easiest to write. I have to say the middle or the end is the hardest to write. I’d say the end is easy too, but I always rush it and end up having to rewrite it anyway, so apparently it’s not so easy.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
Mostly, I like characters I can fall in love with. But plot is so important too. I like a lot of action in my romance novels or they just won’t hold my attention.
What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?
Getting myself to focus and stay on task is the hardest. I just have issues sitting down to do the writing. And I know if I just turned off the internet and sat down to do it, it would get done. But getting to the chair is just the hard some days. The easiest part is getting the ideas. I don’t have to sit around and brainstorm for hours to get ideas. Most of them are sitting in my computer now. They just pop into my head when I read or watch something or I’m writing someone else’s book. My editor says I’m the queen of make series. I have a ridiculous amount of spin off characters, simply because they’re all interesting, and I want them to have their own book. And like I said earlier, that initial idea will give me 26,000 words in a book.
Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?
Oh, they control me. If I try and make them do something, they will rebel. So I just sit back and let them go for it. I got tired of arguing long ago.
What are some of your current projects?
I’m currently working on a few things (surprise, surprise). I’m working on Laden’s story. He’s the werewolf who helps Zarek run his bar in The Devil’s Trap. And I’m working on Alaric’s story, and he’s also a character in that book. For the most part I’m trying to stick with those two, but I do have a ménage going and some short stories I’d like to finish.
Boxers, briefs, boxerbriefs…. Or commando on a man? Why?
Boxers, and I’m not sure why. I’ve just always thought they were sexy. Though, commando is hot, too.
What is your strangest habit?
My food can’t touch on my plate. So I’m always getting smaller portions, and pushing things apart. My aunt tells me there’s medication for that.
When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Probably along the lines of “Holy crap, that’s a monster zit.”
What is your favorite pizza?
Currently its pepperoni and onions.
What is one thing scientists should invent?
An electric car that you don’t have to sell your children to afford.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Ancient Greece, with the Spartans because I’m incredibly interested in that time period. Ancient Mesopotamia would also be fun. And the 1700’s, because the clothes were so pretty, and the times were interesting.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Telling a story the way I want it told. So many books used to make me mad at the end before I started reading romance, because I wanted that happy ending for the couple, and in YA you don’t always get that.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I’d probably start you with Fear of Darkness simply because it is the first, and I like to read books in order. Some of the characters appear there first like the vampire king, who will be prominent in several books, and some day have his own. Macon shows up a lot. And the main characters in Fear of Darkness do make a guest appearance in The Devil’s Trap. But all my books can stand alone, because I think that’s really the goal of any good series. I never want a reader to pick up a book in the middle of the series and have no idea what’s going on.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I hope my books make people happy. That’s really my main goal. Nothing would make me prouder than having someone tell me my book helped them get through a tough time in their lives, or even just cheered them up after a bad day.
The Devil’s Trap by Honoria Ravena
Regan is the best vampire hunter money can buy. But when she’s paid to kill one of the most powerful vampires in existence, she doesn’t realize she’s in way over her head. Things go terribly wrong, and there is no escape…
Zarek is so powerful, he scares other vampires. One little hunter should be no challenge. However, Regan is different, and as soon as he sees her, he will do anything to keep her. But she’s a stubborn woman who refuses to let someone else control her.
When a powerful enemy comes to town, she’s forced to trust Zarek with her life. Who is the larger threat? The man out to destroy humankind? Or the vampire determined to own her heart?
I reached the wooden bar and slid onto a sleek black stool with a groan of relief. In front of me, a shirtless vampire buffed the countertop, muscles flexing with each circle he made. Now this was a guy you actually dreamed about seeing naked. He was built like a god. Every muscle toned to perfection. He had probably been a big, chiseled guy before, and vampire blood washed away any flaws he might have had as a mortal. His raven-black hair gleamed in the lights. He was the perfect thing to bring in young women for a bite on the neck.
I sighed in pure feminine pleasure. Just because he was a vampire didn’t mean I couldn’t appreciate the view. But, a black aura and raw vampiric strength bled from him. He would have been jump-his-bones hot if his power didn’t creep over my skin like spiders. I suppressed a shudder. No matter how enticing their form, vampires always made my skin crawl.
His gaze met mine, and I drew in a breath. He had the most gorgeous violet eyes. They were filled with an ancient intelligence. His lips curled into an amused grin, as if he knew I was ogling his body.
I frowned. It annoyed me that he read me so easily. I shook my head. I needed to remember the real reason I was here. I was here to kill Zarek, not drool over some gorgeous vampire. I was in a den of evil creatures, and he was one of them. Now really wasn’t the time to do any lusting.
The smile widened and he raised his voice over the music. “What can I get you?”
He had a subtle accent I couldn’t identify, and the deep, growling bass made my toes curl. It soothed my nerves in spite of what he was and caused another kind of excitement to bubble in my stomach. God, this was not the right guy to get that good down-low tickle for. Focus, Regan!
I cleared my throat and leaned closer to him. “I’d like to see the owner.”
The smirk turned wicked and suggestive. “I’m Zarek. I’m the owner.” He scanned my body, eyes finally resting on my throat. The scrutiny made me flush and wish I could hide my neck. Unfortunately, my black tank top and ultra-short shorts didn’t leave much to cover up with. People who went into vampire clubs usually favored bare skin and a gothic appearance, so I’d been forced to blend.
Had he fed tonight? Vampires were twice as dangerous when they were hungry. The better question was, had he killed tonight? For some strange reason, I found myself hoping he hadn’t. I tried to shake the ridiculous feeling. Even if he hadn’t killed tonight, he had in the past. And even if he’d stopped, like Alaric and his brothers, it didn’t change what he was, or the fact that someone wanted him dead.
He licked his lips before meeting my gaze again, leading me to believe that he hadn’t fed. Great, I wouldn’t leave this place without giving a little blood to him, even if I ended up killing him. If a vampire wanted blood, he’d find a way to take it.
“Again, how can I help you?”
I barely kept my curse of frustration to myself. I’d hoped to meet with him in private. Fighting to the death in the middle of his bar was a bad idea.