I have three books out right now Marked, Beauty and the Darkness, and Rise of the Blood Queen. You can view those here:
You're the author of the Marked series, can you tell us a little about how it came to be and why you chose to write it?
It actually started with an impression that I had of Kate sitting by a pond with snow falling all around her. It’s dark, but the moon is so full and bright that it’s easy to see the details of the snow falling around her hair, and to catch the reflection of the knife as it spins. Initially I intended only to write that single scene to get it out of my head, but it went on from there.
This not just another vampire PNR, can you tell us a bit about the world in which Kate lives?
Kate lives in modern times, she is at first aware of the paranormal only in her own imagination. She’s very quickly thrust into the thick of things when she chooses to let Marc turn her. In that same moment she decides to live. There are all manner of supernatural beings existing simultaneously with humans. These include Werewolves, Witches, Fey, and Vampires.
Tell us a bit about Kate herself, how is she different than other heroines? What do you like about? What makes her complicated?
Kate is different than other heroines in that she represents a regular woman. She has imperfections, and a dark history. She changes her name in book one, choosing to be called Aimee. This is a very symbolic change that she makes. It’s a way to express the change that she feels inside, and it’s one of the ways that she begins to take her power back. She gets an amazing opportunity, but she has to work to protect herself and those that she loves. Sometimes she’s faced with very difficult choices. I like the struggle inside of her, and I can relate to sometimes not knowing what the right thing is to do in black and white. Life has a lot of gray areas and I think you can see that in Kate’s character. She isn’t purely good, or purely evil, but a very human mix of both.
You also tackle abuse here, what do you think readers can gain form Kate's experiences?
The topic of abuse is always a very difficult one to navigate. Kate experiences this on a few different levels. She is neglected and emotionally abused by her first husband, which drives her into a deep depression. I can’t reveal the other situations without including spoilers, but to speak generally she has also endured physical abuse in the past. This topic is important to me especially because I went through abuse as a child. I think that a lot of women can relate to abuse. Not only is it a topic that deserves more awareness, but it’s something that definitely impacts your character as a person.
What makes your vampire different from others out there? Do you follow some of the tropes or create something new with yours? A little of both? How about the weres and other supernatural being in this series?
I think my vampires are a little bit of the old and the new. I love the old school Dracula version of vampires, but in addition to their ferocity, my vampires can walk in the sun. They stay out of direct sunlight because it burns their skin and hurts their eyes, but they won’t turn into a pile of ash. Also, their circadian rhythm is a little different and most of them sleep during the day and rise at night because they prefer to. The wolves are very different. They’re not poor country people. They’re actually Mafia. They go on monthly corporate retreats when they turn. They can’t speak or walk bipedal while in wolf form. Their wolf form looks like a dire wolf. The witches are interesting in that each coven has its own unique source for their magical ability. Some have ancestral magic, some nature based, or sexual. The Fey are immortal and move between the human and Fey realm. There are also Elves which are mortal but live for centuries, but those don’t get introduced until book 4.
Things get even deeper in book three, more characters are introduced and Kate is tackling some heavy subjects even after surviving the events of Marked and Beauty and the Darkness. Do you think she's grown after everything? Could she still learn from things to come?
I definitely think that she has grown a lot through the events of Marked and Beauty and the Darkness. Rise of the Blood Queen is about her coming into power. She accepts her new role and puts herself full force into it. She has a lot that she can learn though from things to come. In a sense, the easy part is over. She’s claimed her place, but now she will have to fight to keep it. On a personal level, she’s neglected a lot of things that have to be dealt with as well.
What can we expect to read about in book 4? Do you have a title in mind?
Book four is a powerhouse. I hadn’t intended to even start it until the fall or winter, but it started to unfold so quickly in my mind that I had to get it down. The title is going to be Love and War. These are exactly the two topics that are covered. A lot of things that have been threatening on the border come to fruition.
How long do you think the series will be in the end?
I’m not sure how long the series will be in the end. I can definitely see book five and potentially six, and then I’ll just go from there. That may be the end, or I might discover something unexpected and keep going.
Are there any genre tropes you'd like to see addressed in the future? Some that should go over time? Which authors do you think get vampires and PNR right?
Some genre tropes that I’d like to see addressed in the future are psychic powers, the vampire-werewolf love triangle. Some I’d like to see continue over the course of the series such as the mad oracle, demonic oppression, and blood magic. There are so many authors in the PNR genre that I think do a fantastic job in their own unique ways. Some of them are: Anne Rice (of course), Annie Nichols, Christine Feehan, Laurell K. Hamilton, H.P. Mallory, Christine Warren, and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Do you have other ideas in mind along with the Marked series? What might we expect to see from you in the future?
Yes! I’d love to do some anthologies with other authors. I also have something that’s about halfway finished that focuses on a Succubus. I’ve got a few more ideas as well, but I’ll keep them to myself… for now.