Thank you, boys. Is it hot in here or is it just me?
To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
My debut release is The Mark of Abel. In it Lucifer struggles to determine what’s more important–redemption or his heart. It reimagines the Judeo-Christian stories many of us were raised with to combine the Bible with the paranormal. Lucifer is the first vampire. Lilith is his mistress of hell and the mother of his twins. His best friend is Mary Magdalene.
Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released?
I am head over heels in love with my cover. I had it made into a fleece blanket. Lucifer’s head is bigger than mine. I love wrapping myself up in it.
What influenced you to get published? How long did it take for your first book to get published?
Romance Writers of America was a huge help.I joined the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal on-line chapter and really learned my craft. They taught me how to write and all about publishing. I started writing The Mark of Abel during National Novel Writing Month 2007. It went through a lot of revisions before I was happy with it. The first book takes a long time because you are learning how you write as you write it. The sequel is coming much quicker.
Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?
The Mark of Abel went through so many complete revisions, I consider it five books. It even had five different titles. I started writing it as a pantser/stream of consciousness. Taming it was quite a task. I never wanted to go through that again, so I took every workshop I could on plotting. Now I come up with a loose outline and the revisions won’t take so long.
Could you tell us a couple of favorite books that inspired you to write?
RWA National Conference was held at Disney World one year. I met Tinkerbell. I told her I’m going to tell you something you’ve never heard before. She got all excited. I said, “I’m a writer because of you.” She responded,”You’re right. I’ve never heard that before.” Peter Pan and Wizard of Oz are big reasons I’m a fantasy writer. Things like the Avalon series by Marion Zimmer Bradley and American Gods by Neil Gaiman showed me the type of writer I wanted to be.
Is music a factor for you while you are writing? Do certain songs put you in the right frame of mind to write certain stories?
When I’m in the zone, I turn off iTunes. It’s the only time there isn’t music going. Music, especially more recent stuff, motivates me to write. I think, “If they can do it, so can I. What have I written lately?” That gets my butt back to the computer. For sex scenes, I need Duran Duran.
If you could collaborate with one author who would it be?
Neil Gaiman. My dream is to win the Hugo or Nebula and have him give it to me.
What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?
The heroine in The Mark of Abel comes from a documentary about the Roman extermination of Dacia, in present day Romania. It is the subject of Trajan’s Column. I thought, “That needs to be in a vampire novel.” Then I thought, “Hey, I’m writing a vampire novel. It should be in mine.” That was the last major version the book went through, adding in the heroine’s past lives so I could write about Dacia.
If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would they tell?
Ray Bradbury once said something. “I’m never all here.” His mind was always partially in the stories he was telling. My muse would say she’s never all here. She’s always listening to us.
Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?
I love painting. I made the heroine a painter so she wouldn’t be too much like me. I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. Then I needed to learn how to paint to write her scenes. I took a class just to learn the process and lingo. Turns out I’m pretty good at landscape painting. There aren’t too many straight lines in nature. You can see some of my paintings on my website. http://www.violaryan.com
What books are currently on your nightstand?
Most books are in my iPhone. The only paper books I have were free and most of them autographed at RWA conferences. I just finished Angie Fox’s Immortally Embraced about a supernatural MASH unit in a war between the gods. The other types of paper books I have are short story collections. That way I’m not up late because I can’t put something down. Some of my favorites are the Mammoth series, Sympathy for the Devil and the Living Dead.
What can readers expect next from you?
Next up is The Chalice of Creation. Lucifer’s redemption isn’t finished yet. He must find and protect the Chalice of Creation from fallen angels/vampires or face humanity’s destruction.
Thanks for coming. Is there anything else you want to add?
I got great news from my publisher this month. The Mark of Abel will be coming out in paperback before this fall.
Is a frustrated artist Lucifer’s ticket back to heaven or will falling in love with her reawaken the compassion that got him expelled?
Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.
Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.
Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.
MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=516&category_id=69&manufacturer_id=250&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1
Excerpt: At his feet the Sword of Justice glinted in the firelight.
Keeping Eve in Eden was definitely an act of justice.
In one smooth motion, Lucifer kicked up the sword, grabbed it, raised it above his head, and plunged it through God’s back into his heart. He twisted the sword, and God slid down into a crumpled heap at Lucifer’s feet.
“Now it is.” Lucifer held the sword above his head. It didn’t ignite. Who cared? Justice had been served. Little did God know the sword he’d created would be his death.
Eve appeared next to Lucifer. He couldn’t contain his joy. Now they would fashion the universe how they wanted.
She touched the sword with one delicate finger. Blue flame consumed the hilt, and he dropped it. Before it hit the ground, it disappeared.
“You are not ready for this.” Eve/God’s thoughts held a tinge of disappointment.
Lucifer appeared outside of heaven. A high wall of the same gleaming material as the palace formed around heaven. Eve appeared behind an open gate. Its gleaming bars stretched up and down into infinity until up became down and down became up. It swung shut.
He raced for it, but was too late. The clang echoed in his soul, and he collapsed to his knees.
“You are no longer an angel. You don’t belong in heaven. You must find your way home.” God turned away.
“What am I?” Lucifer rose and sent a burst of energy at the gate. It remained shut.
“Am I human?” His soul bled at the question and darkness surrounded him. As a human he had nothing to offer Eve. He couldn’t protect her. He couldn’t create another Eden for her. She would beget Adam’s children in pain. Lucifer cringed.
Eve/God appeared next to him and traced three triangles above his heart, each attached to the other two at the corners of its base to form a fourth triangle in the center. They burned, and he screamed until his voice was raw. He collapsed and gulped fire.
Standing above him, God laid her hand on his shoulders. Pain shot down his back. He reached around, and his hands passed through wings of fire. God ran her hand along his arms. His skin itched, and then burned, as it morphed into swirling red, orange and yellow. With sweat pouring down his face, he allowed God to help him up.
“Your re-creation occurred in fire. This is now your true form. To maintain
your angelic powers, you must feed on the intense energy of fire.” A ball of fire appeared on God’s outstretched hand. She shoved this into his heart.
A sharp pain stole his breath, but Lucifer refused to collapse again. He grit his teeth, and his entire body shook.
“What am I?” He stared at his arms.
“To maintain free will, you must drink the blood of humanity every three
“What am I?” he shouted toward the center of heaven.
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