The Study of Blood in Winter is my first professional sale. Though I have been writing for a long time, I never had the gumption to submit before. When I read the premise behind Frostbite it fit so perfectly with the characters that had been poking at me so I got down to work and put together the story in time for the deadline. I cannot express how happy I was when I found out the story was chosen.
I have loved vampires and gothic style stories ever since my parents gave me an Edgar Allan Poe book when I was in grade 4, so this was right up my alley. Also I wanted to give it a twist, have a mythology that was not something the readers would be used to, plus I did not want to de-fang the monster. I hope I managed to achieve those goals.
Writing it was a joy from beginning to end. I learned so much from my patient beta readers, to then working with a professional editor. Her questions and comments really challenged me and helped me create the story that was really there in my head. I can't wait to do it again (knock on wood).
You have been a book lovers since your can remember so who are your favourite?
My favourite book of all time is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, closely followed by all the Sherlock Holmes adventures written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have read those stories over and over again. More modern authors I love are Tanith Lee & Neil Gaiman. And my most favourite recently read book is The Lost City of Z by Dan Grann.
Why is your first love erotic romance?
I enjoy erotic romance as a story form because I love love stories. My favourite stories in whatever genre must have the element of human connection in them. I also really enjoy reading hot sex scenes, not necessarily always explicit, but if the characters really connect and enjoy each other that makes the reading that much more fun. Whether it's just an intense look across a crowded room, a light touch in passing, or a passionate clandestine fumble in a broom closet, as long as it makes me tingle, I love it.
You like to draw and paint so what do you like to use for inspiration?
My art these days is not much more than glorified doodles at times, but I am very much inspired by what I read, and the world of fantasy and fairy tales. I tend to have a lot of fantastical elements to my work and that extends to my crafts as well. This year I want to create a Book of Shadows for myself, sketchbook/journal full of stories, fancies, spells, art, whimsy. Something that my great grand nieces & nephews can find and wonder over someday.
With this, farming and looking after your family how do you fit your writing in around it all?
Priorities and choices, not that I always make the right ones. My physical fitness, for example is not what it should be. A lot of late nights and weekends. Quiet time writing is my preferred state of being so I work at carving that out for myself. Not very easy as I am not particularly disciplined. Working on that.
Please tell us a bit about the character of Julian and Danika.
These two came about because I wanted to bring together two of my favourite TV/movie characters so in a way it is a bit of fanfiction. Julian was inspired by Sherlock as played by Benedict Cumberbatch (who if you follow me on twitter you'll notice will probably inspire more leading men) and Danika was inspired by Lisbeth Salander as played by Rooney Mara. I didn't want to write a fanfic though I wanted to write my own story but that is who I started with.
After that I worked on who these people would be. My style is a combination of organic (ideas come as I let pen glide on paper, literally) and more clinical, where I sit down and purposely figure out specific details with an excel sheet. I also do a lot of walking and tell myself the story, no writing, no trying to organize anything, just let it flow.
What is next for you?
I have a few more stories in the works right now. We just came off the busiest time for our business and I also have a lot of mundane paperwork to deal with but this is when I will put into practice that discipline I mentioned before. I definitely want to write more. The response I have had has been so wonderful and made the dream closest to my heart come true. Thank you.
The Study of Blood in Winter is available now from Totally Bound Publishing.