It gives me great pleasure to welcome Alicia Dean. She is a super busy woman and a wonderful author who I have gotten to know over the past few months. Welcome, Alicia! Tell us about your new release.
AD: My latest release is a YA Vampire Novella, (Liberty Awakened Isle of Fangs Book 1)
Evil lurks beneath the surface in the beauty of the tropics…
After graduation from her small, Oklahoma high school, Liberty Delacort is looking forward to a fun-filled summer before college. But when the people she trusts the most betray her, and a letter arrives claiming the father she thought was dead is still alive, she jumps at the chance to travel to an exotic island to meet him.
But her excitement is short-lived. Her father is dying, and he doesn’t want her around. In spite of its outward tranquility, the island is filled with danger and ominous secrets. Before long, the secrets begin to unravel. She learns she is a descendant of Van Helsing, the vampire hunter, and she must fulfill her destiny in order to save humans from a faction of vicious vampires. The only man who can help her learn the skills she needs is a volatile, hostile, vampire who wants her off the island.
Will her inexperience lead to her death—and the death of others—or will she rise to the challenge and realize her full potential as a Hunter?
Describe the heroine in three words.
AD: Courageous, Hemophobic, Lost
What traits does the hero posses that makes the heroine swoon?
AD: I have a love triangle brewing, and there is some, but not a lot of swooning yet. However, the traits that draw her to both men are Ryan’s kindness/protectiveness and Eli’s danger/passion
What was your inspiration for this story?
AD: I am enthralled with Vampires, and I always wanted to write a Vampire story. This one came to me and seemed a little unique, so I thought I would give it a shot.
Who is your favorite character from this book? Can you include an excerpt involving this character?
AD: That’s tough. I think I like Eli the most at the moment. Here is a snippet:
At the Van Helsing house, Eli climbed out and opened the passenger door. Sliding one arm beneath Liberty’s knees and one behind her back, he gently lifted her from the car. Her head lolled against his shoulder. His chest tightened at the soft feel of her against him. He tilted his head, the urge to rub his cheek along the silky hair more powerful than any craving for blood he’d ever had. He gritted his teeth and forced the thought away. Get a grip, man. She’s not for you. Not in a million years.
Favreau opened the door as soon as Eli stepped onto the porch. He moved back and gestured for Eli to enter, then followed him up the stairs.
Antoine turned the knob to her bedroom, and Eli went inside and lowered her onto the mattress. She didn’t move. Her thick lashes cast a shadow against her pale cheeks. Her breasts rose and fell with her steady breathing. That same tightening came back to his chest, moving up to his throat.
“I can take it from here,” Antoine said. “How did she do?”
Eli curled his lip. “She’s getting better,” he whispered. “But she’s not a warrior.”
“She must learn to be.” Antoine put a hand on Eli’s arm, and he turned to face the older man. “She cannot be your Grande Amour.”
“I know that,” he snapped, still whispering.
“She is with Ryan.”
“A woman, especially a young woman her age, can have many loves. Does she know why she can never be yours?”
A whoosh of air escaped Eli’s lungs. He didn’t want to discuss this with Antoine—or anyone else for that matter. He knew Liberty had to mate with a human. She had to continue the Van Helsing line…have babies with another man. He couldn’t give her that. Not ever. He damn sure didn’t need Antoine reminding him.
He shook his head, then spun and stalked from the room.
How long have you been writing with the hopes of publication?
AD: Since September, 2001. (I ‘hoped’ my entire life to be published, but started actively pursuing it a little over 11 years ago)
How did you get started?
AD: I took a class with author Mel Odom. He is an amazing instructor. Very encouraging and supportive. One particular exchange with him gave me the confidence and incentive to keep writing. I told him I was overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire book. He said, “Then write one scene at a time.” That has stuck with me all these years and has been invaluable to me.
What genres do you write in, and what appeals to you about those genres?
AD: Suspense and Paranormal mostly. I love heart pounding action and tension. Not knowing what will happen next. I love being scared. I love magic and paranormal worlds. I love the way you can stretch believability and create anything your imagination can conjure.
What other titles do you have published?
AD: Cupid’s Beau – Valentine’s Day Romance – What happens when a Cupid falls in love with her target?
Hearts, Hearths, and Holidays – A Christmas Romance Anthology with 6 other authors – Blue Christmas by Alicia Dean: When heartbreak derails a bride-to-be’s holiday cheer, will a sexy, self-proclaimed Grinch restore her Christmas spirit…and her faith in love?
Lady in the Mist (w/a Winter Frost) – Gothic Mystery Romance – When a young woman takes a job in a remote coastal town, she soon becomes embroiled in a mystery, and in the lives of two enigmatic brothers.
Thicker than Water (Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll) – Romantic Suspense – Shortly after a woman returns to her home town—and the man who broke her heart—for a high school friend’s funeral, another member of their group is murdered. Are the deaths related to an ancient, cursed doll, or is someone out for revenge?
Soul Seducer – Paranormal Romance – A nurse’s near death experience connects her to the world of Grim Reapers, endangering her loved ones and shaking up everything she’s ever believed about love.
Death Notice (The Northland Crime Chronicles, Book 1) – Suspense with Romantic Elements – A newspaper columnist discovers a typo in an obituary that turns out to be killer’s demented idea of a game, where the players end up dead.
Death Offerings (The Northland Crime Chronicles, Book 2) – Suspense with Romantic Elements – A crime reporter searching for the truth about the long ago murder of her childhood friend catches the attention of a psychopathic killer.
A Knight Before Christmas (The Three Kings, Book 2) Contemporary Romance with Suspense Elements – A prodigal son’s trip home for Christmas leads to the discovery of startling family secrets, someone in need of his protection, and the realization that he never stopped loving his best friend’s widow.
Heart of the Witch – Paranormal Romance – A beautiful young witch with a secret escapes the clutches of a serial killer who fears her, yet is determined to silence her forever.
Truly Madly – Romantic Suspense – Haunted by her family’s tragic legacy, an artist moves back to her home town to settle her parents’ estate, only to learn that someone is out to frame her for murder.
Poetic Injustice – Romantic Suspense – An ambitious detective investigating the murder of a high profile celebrity judge is distracted by the sexy, bad boy ME, who is exactly the kind of man she’s sworn to avoid like the plague.
Tears of the Wounded – Romantic Suspense – A madman bent on revenge puts a diabolical plan in motion where a man’s races against the clock to save his daughter could mean death for the woman he loves.
Nothing to Fear – Romantic Suspense – A frightened wife flees her psychotic husband and enters the witness protection program, but when an undercover cop out to avenge his partner’s murder tracks her down, she discovers her new location—even with her new identity—isn’t the safe haven she’d hoped for.
What are you working on now?
AD: A sequel to Liberty Awakened
Can you describe your daily writing routine?
AD: It’s not ‘daily.’ It’s more ‘as I can.’ I don’t really have a routine, other than trying to grab as many hours of quiet time as I can.
I can relate to that. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
AD: Plotter for sure. Not a graph/chart/extensive outline plotter, but I need a synopsis and scene notes before I can really dig into a story.
What genres do you enjoy reading?
AD: Many genres, nearly all, but mostly Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
What author(s) have influenced your writing style?
AD: I don’t think any have influenced my ‘style,’ that’s pretty much just me. Although I wish I could emulate some of my favorites…Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Sharon Sala, Lisa Gardner, Stephen King, Heather Graham.
Where do your best ideas come from?
AD: They just…appear. I usually think of a particular type of book I’d like to write and just relax and let scenarios run through my mind. Most of the time, the ideas start with me asking, What if… (As in, what if a Grim Reaper was a romance hero? Or, what if a Cupid fell in love. Or, what if a descendant of Van Helsing discovered she was a vampire hunter on a tropical island?)
What is your favorite book that you’ve read?
AD: I can’t say that there is a definite favorite. Gone with the Wind is up there. Sweet Savage Love. A Drink Before the War. The Concrete Blonde.
Who is your favorite character from any of the books you’ve read?
AD: Scarlett O’Hara (If I HAVE to choose)
What writing/writer’s organizations are you involved with? Can you explain how they help your writing and/or your writing career?
AD: RWA and OKRWA and HERA. They offer support and encouragement and give guidance and answer questions and help brainstorm. Also, helping other writers helps me grow as a writer, and these groups have given me the opportunity to do that.
Do you belong to a critique group or have critique partners? If so, what have you learned from them? How has it affected your writing?
AD: I belong to an amazing critique group, Okie Penpals. It has affected my writing in SO many ways. My group is wonderful about catching my errors and inconsistencies, and telling me when my stuff sucks. I have made some fairly significant changes in my stories based on suggestions from my critique group. They are also fabulous at brainstorming. I could not have written the stories I’ve written without their help. Another great thing is that we meet every two weeks, and that’s somewhat of a ‘deadline’ for me. I am determined to have something to submit before each meeting, so they help me reach my goals.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?
AD: Keep writing. Don’t give up. If you’re a writer, you write. Period. It’s in your blood. Even if you get negative feedback, hang in there and continue to hone your skills and practice. Don’t believe everything people tell you about your writing, but be open to constructive criticism and at least consider suggestions to see if they work for you. (Okay, more than ‘one’ piece of advice, but it’s all good stuff, I promise, LOL)
Where can my readers find you?
Alicia Dean is generously donated TWO ebook copies (for the Kindle or Nook) of Liberty Awakened. For your chance to WIN a copy, leave a question or comment for Alicia.