author interview, Author spotlight, Authors, Books, Box set, Feature, New Release, Paranormal Romance, Preorder, Supernatural Suspense, Suspense, thriller, writing

Rosemary A Johns: Vampires & Angels

Award-winning and best selling Author Rosemary A Johns has always been a rebel, a trait I can closely relate to 😉  She writes sexy British anti-heroes, savage vampires, and epic battles. Recently I had the pleasure to chat with Rosemary about her newest release, Vampire Huntress, writing and her incredible theater background.

  1. When did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?

I became a traditionally published short story writer at fourteen and then a playwright, so my first published novel (BLOOD DRAGONS, the first in my REBEL VAMPIRES series), was at aged thirty-four!

I’d taken time out of writing to care for my son who’s an autistic savant: everything he sees he remembers. It’d sparked me to wonder what it’d be like to be a vampire savant and to live for centuries, remembering both wonders and horrors with the clarity of a photograph. Would it be a blessing or a curse?

BLOOD DRAGONS IS AVAILABLE HERE: 

 

2. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I loved bringing the emotion and voice from my theatre background into the novel format. Writing is a thrilling emotional rollercoaster for me; I immerse myself and live it alongside the characters. Publishing my first book was an amazing experience because seeing other people’s connection to that – there’s even a rock song inspired by it! – has been incredible. But it hasn’t changed that rollercoaster.

 

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Energizes!! In ‘first draft’ stage I go into a ‘zone’ and I see what’s happening like a film in front of me. This helped a lot when I wrote plays and screenplays. It’s frequently said that my series would make good films, and it’s been awesome to hear the audiobooks. I think they work because of this.

 

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Distractions! Usually, phone calls or just something small that jolts me out of that ‘zone’. You have to write each day, and it’s tough if you have to start all over again.

 

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Gorgeous covers for my books! I’m in love with the current covers for REBEL ANGELS!

 

  1. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I love writing blokes. Actually, REBEL VAMPIRES is written from the POV of Light, a male British vampire. His voice had been in my head for about a year before I could write the series. People say he’s my male alter ego!

I think it comes partly from being a playwright, where you need to be able to write and understand the psychology of both genders equally, and partly from the fact that I grew up living in the grounds of an all-boys school where my dad was a teacher!

 

  1. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

 

I think authors often do feel emotions strongly but it’s more about understanding people’s motivations – hate, greed, or love – and then being able to write those, than whether you experience them yourself. Emotion is at the centre of everything I write because that’s what makes you both fall in love with the characters and experience the adventure along with them!

 

  1. What are you working on now?

My new series – REBEL ANGELS! The first in the series VAMPIRE HUNTRESS is out now.

It’s a Buffy meets Lucifer addictive new series.

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Vampires and angels are locked in a deadly war.

Half vampire/half angel, Violet, is dragged into the supernatural world when her sister disappears.

Violet’ll have to rely on a sexy vampire geek, while facing off the harem boy angel threatening her sister.

And there’s only one way she’ll win: by letting out the monster… 

VAMPIRE HUNTRESS FINAL

VAMPIRE HUNTRESS IS AVAILABLE HERE: viewbook.at/VampireHuntress

The second book in the series VAMPIRE PRINCESS: REBEL ANGELS BOOK TWO by Rosemary A Johns is available on pre-order here: viewbook.at/VampirePrincess

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VAMPIRE MAGIC, which is set in the REBEL ANGELS world is one of the novels in THE SHADOW FILES!

Mages and witches battle in an eternal supernatural war…

Thanks for having me on today Kim, it’s been fun!

 The Shadow Files

 

Find Rosemary A Johns on the web:

Amazon ~ Website ~ Facebook ~ Bookbub 

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LGBT + Urban Fantasy Meets Heavy Metal – Meet Amir Lane

Amir Lane is a genderfluid supernatural and urban fantasy writer from Sudbury, Ontario. Engineer by trade, they spend most of their writing time in a small home office on the cargo pants of desks, or in front of the TV watching every cop procedural or cooking competition on Netflix. They live in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence, and they strive to bring that world to paper. Their short story, Scrap Metal and Circuitry, was published by Indestructible magazine in April 2016.

Amir is set to launch Gift of Shadows, the first book in The Barrier Witch Trilogy in August 2018. A big thank you to Amir for taking a moment to Q&A with me and giving us a little peek into their writing life!

  1. When did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?

The first time I actually finished a book was in 10th or 11th grade. I never published it, because it was kind of a mess, but I finished it. I finished the second one the summer before I started university, and it was also a mess but I hung onto the characters for future reference. I have no idea what inspired the first one. I think I just heard a name I liked and built a character around it, then the story. The second one, I had a scene in my head and I wrote the story so that I could have some context for that scene. I’m usually really inspired by, like, how people got to where they are, how they became this way. Origin stories, basically.

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

The biggest change is that I can’t really spend time on ideas that I’m not going to follow-through on. I used to pick up an idea, write two chapters, and get bored. Now that I have a schedule to maintain, that I am literally always behind on, I can’t chase every idea. I do a lot of short stories, and I have a lot of unfinished short stories, and that’s not so bad because I usually do short stories, like, if I’m on a bus or something where I don’t necessarily have time to get into a bigger project or when I need a break, which I’m okay with, but I don’t feel like I can do that with books. Which kind of sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. I keep a running ‘concepts’ list in case one of those ideas speaks to me on a deeper level, but in the meantime, I have more than enough to keep me busy.

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I think it’s a bit of both. Planning energizes me, but the actual act of writing is exhausting. It’s work. Work is exhausting. But I feel good after, even though I’m tired. So, I don’t mind it so much. It’s like going to the gym. Totally worth it at the end of the day.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Endings. I hate endings. I always just want to be like, okay here’s all the loose ends, story’s over, let’s move on with our lives. Because the fun part is over. But nooo, people want endings.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Good covers. I don’t necessarily move many copies of my books, because I’d rather be writing than marketing, but I think my covers do a lot of the legwork themselves. It also gives me something nice to look at to remind myself that, yes, I am actually getting something out of all this.

  1. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

I don’t see why not. Writing emotions is just like writing anything: If you don’t know it, study it. Even for me, I’m a very emotional person, I look up ways to describe emotions and emotional markers all the time. To me, there’s no major difference between looking up what an emotion feels like and what, say, being stabbed feels like. We don’t all have the same skills or the same experiences. That shouldn’t be a barrier.

  1. What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on a book called Gift of Shadows, which will be launched in August in The Shadow Files box set. It’s book one in my new Barrier Witch trilogy. The book stars a Lebanese immigrant, Fairuz Arshad, who has the ability to create barriers and works for the Toronto Police’s Special Crimes division. In the first book, she stumbles onto a string of murders where all the victims are supernaturals missing organs, except nobody seems to be willing to admit there’s a serial killer out there. It’s a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to see the end product.

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

The first book that made me straight-up bawl was actually the last Anne of Green Gables book, Rilla of Ingleside. I know a lot of people didn’t read it because it’s one of the only ones not about Anne herself so I’m not going to spoil it, but it takes place during WWI. I was reading it during my lunch breaks, and my co-worker got a little concerned that I spent the entire afternoon trying to hide that I was sobbing. It was at least a week before I could think about it without bursting into tears.

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

You know what, I don’t think I would tell myself anything. I was dedicated and persistent and weirdly confident in my writing from day one. If anything, I’d tell myself to just keep doing what I’m doing.

Stalk Amir Lane:

Amazon ~ Facebook ~ Website 

About the Book:

Gift of Shadows is available for pre-order now exclusively through The Shadow Files Box Set!

“If nobody else is going to say it, I will: Our victim has no eyes.”
A murder victim with no eyes is only slightly out of the ordinary for Toronto Special Crimes Detective Fairuz Arshad. When that murder victim turns out to be a phoenix, all her evidence goes up in flames — literally. As more bodies start piling up, and as the Toronto Police refuse to let her investigate, she and her dryad partner take matters into their own hands. But the deeper she digs, the more Fairuz starts to wonder who — and what — she can trust.

BW - Gift of Shadows - Small

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Authors, Be inspired, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Suspense, thriller, Urban Fantasy, writing

Author on a Train

The night was dark and cold. My eyes burned tired while I flicked through my emails and opened one from Joanna Penn. An unlikely opportunity gazed back at me from the screen. A chance to join J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon on an overnight train journey from Chicago to New Orleans, followed by a week in NOLA learning to collaborate and write with other authors.

Hmm. What did I have to lose?

The notion was like a wildcard to someone like me. Especially since I am based in Australia and new to the wonderful world of publishing and writing. Surely I’d be passed up.

I was wrong. And the rest, as they say went down as history!

Eight authors rendezvoused with our hosts in Chicago having never met before, some of us from other countries. What a fabulous manifestation!  I think back now and the week was like an exquisite silky bubble that burst way too soon. The experience was rich with transparent content, unrestricted shared knowledge and a wealth of information. Exploring New Orleans and learning about the city’s history has captured a part of me I’ll always be fond of recalling. And the company – the people involved made for something truly special. I wouldn’t have changed a single glorious moment.

The end result was published back in January with  Dark Shadows: Vampires and Ghosts of New Orleans (An Authors on a Train Short Story Collection), and some lifelong connections I’ll forever treasure. I can’t thank these two guys enough.

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Me with J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon

Did we actually write on a train?

Indeed we did. A piece of flash fiction you’ll find below if you’re interested enough to keep scrolling.

Want to find out more?

The guys are doing it again in 2018. Check it out here!

Dark Shadows

AMAZON

 

Flash fiction on an Amtrak Train:

The Bronze Statue

Carly’s breath appeared like a puff of smoke as it combined with the chilly air.

‘Here it is!’ She grabbed Helen’s arm and dragged her toward the bronze statue.

‘Finally! I’m over walking this cemetery,’ Helen moaned.

‘Stop whining; this statue is famous. Haven’t you always wondered about your death?’

‘No,’ Helen scowled, pulling her arm free.

They stopped in front of a bronze figure, falling silent and crooking their necks as they took in its inscrutable image. The statue loomed tall. Its moss-cloaked arms almost concealed the hard etch of its face as it peered out gravely.

Carly nudged Helen. ‘Go on, look into its eyes. Tell me what you can see,’ she murmured.

Helen rolled her eyes and buried her chin among the shaggy material of her scarf.

‘Then can we get out of here? It’s cold and I want to warm up at the bonfire party. Besides, I really need to pee.’

Carly grinned. Her brown eyes sparkled as she contemplated the statue.

‘Sure. Let’s just see if anything happens. Legend has it, not only will you see your death in this statue’s eyes, but they say there is an evil entity waiting for the right soul to come along to swap places. That poor person will forever be trapped behind those bronze eyes.’

‘You’d believe it snowed in summer if Ryan Willis told you so,’ Helen sniffed.

‘I’m going to ignore that remark. What do you see?’ Carly said behind her.

She rolled her eyes again. Best get this over with. Her thick boots squished into the soggy grass as she stepped closer to the statue. When her eyes met the inky black wells of the figure, she was overcome with a tide of eeriness. She squirmed, screwing her nose as she scrutinized the dark icon.

She shrugged at her friend.

‘Nothing. Your turn,’ she said, stepping aside. ‘And hurry up, something doesn’t feel right; this thing is funky.’

Carly laughed as she took her place in front of the statue.

‘What did you really think will happen? Now who’s letting all that death and soul-trapping talk spook you,’ she teased.

‘Just hurry up already.’

Helen watched as her friend lifted her chin. She pushed out her chest, and pulled back her shoulders as she stood with her legs apart and gripped her hips. She stared unblinking at the giant statue.

Carly’s focus seemed to deepen as her eyes locked into the figure. A deep silence fell over the cemetery, broken only by the flutter of wings as the birds fled from the trees, and the tiny pattering footsteps of the scurrying squirrels. Helen’s heart began to thump. Her eyes darted wildly about the cemetery. She could feel something shifting. Her tongue clung to the roof of her mouth as a lump wedged in her throat. An ominous suspicion twisted and corrupted through her.

Her ears pricked as Carly’s high-pitched scream reverberated around her. She swung around in alarm as she saw her friend convulsing uncontrollably. Carly’s body was shaking violently, yet her feet were rooted into the earth like an entrenched tree trunk. Her eyes remained wide and spellbound against the soulless face of the statue.

Helen rushed over to quell the fit but was unable to stop her quivering nor move her in any way. Horror coiled around her and through her like a venomous serpent, while her cries for help echoed vainly among the gray tombs that littered the desolate graveyard.

Her fingers twitched as she frantically searched her jacket pocket for her phone. She clasped the phone, and paused as she blinked at her friend. Carly’s convulsions had subsided and her eyes were shut as a quietness permeated her.

Helen frowned and ventured toward her friend. She encircled an arm around her.

‘Carly?’

Carly’s eyes flew open and she turned her head toward Helen. Hollow black eyes pierced her.

Helen gasped and reeled back under her friend’s stare. She clutched at her chest.

‘Carly?’ she asked again. ‘Are you okay?’

A wide smile erupted over ruby lips. ‘Oh, I’ve never been better,’ Carly said.

She tossed her golden hair up and began to flounce away.

‘Are you coming? We have that bonfire party to get to, remember!’

Helen’s brows furrowed as she trailed Carly down the cemetery road toward the entrance. She glanced over her shoulder at the statue, unaware of the wild silent pleas from its freshly bronzed brown eyes.

K. Petersen

***

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Inspired by this spooky thing in a Chicago cemetery.

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