- The Resistance Trilogy
What inspired you to write your trilogy in the way you did?
The whole idea for The Resistance Trilogy came to me when I was visiting Louisiana – I was able to visit some of the places in the book – and I’d been wanting to write a paranormal romance for a while, particularly with vampires. I’m a big vampire fan. I wanted to write something mysterious, with fantasy and romance elements, and the entire voodoo/hoodoo culture in southern LA just really intrigued me.
Did you always picture Camille being a strong heroine and having an equally strong (female) best friend? There don’t seem to be any weak females within your story. There are some who’s motives are questionable but need no man’s help to truly accomplish their goals.
Yeah, I guess I just always saw Camille as this strong person. Initially, she’s very broken, and I think she’s a bit misunderstood. Yes, she comes across weak, but that’s because she’s lost, insecure, and has no real sense of self worth. She’s got issues. But by the 3rd book in the series, she’s an entirely different person. I think who she is by the end of the series really embodies how I envisioned her from the very beginning. Once she knows what she’s meant to do, her inner strength shines. She just didn’t know how to believe in herself at first.
How did you choose your vampires and how they would act/interact with the human world,having ruler and the vamp society and its rebellion? Which mythos you draw from primarily?
The concept I had for the vampires just kind of came to me. It evolved as I began writing and I just went with it. I drew from some of the traditional myths, but I wanted to focus on a more modern twist. I also read a lot about psy-vamps and the whole energy feeding factor, so I drew a lot of inspiration from that idea as well.
There are a couple of large shocks in the plot along the way. When you were writing the first book, did you know that those are going to happen or did it just kind of happened as you’re going along?
A little bit of both. I have this weird thing where I sometimes see the final scene of the story first, before I start writing. And I write from there, knowing exactly how it needs to end. It’s been happening more and more. I remember that kind of happening with the first book in this series. I had an idea for the cliffhanger and had created an outline, but not every event was planned.
For me when I write, I find that the characters truly dictate the story. For example: I’m trying to get them to choose a dark blue paint for the house and the characters want to choose something different, like a periwinkle color. And then they won’t let me move on telling the story without the character screaming in my head that I’ve chosen the wrong color. Once I’ve fixed it to a periwinkle blue paint do the characters let me continue in my writing. Do you find that this happens to you, that the characters dictate their story to you and it’s up to you to just write it down and get it out?
LOL Yeah, I can definitely relate to that. I think you definitely become a medium for your characters. There are times where I’ll change something a character wears, drives, or listens to, or even says, because it makes more sense to me and my taste, but before I even change it, I hear that nagging voice saying, “noooooo, Jackson wouldn’t say that, or Emma wouldn’t listen to that song, are you crazy?!” And so I immediately have to change it back to appease the character and I have to chuck my opinion out the window. Characters, for me, are the most fun and the most important part of storytelling. I love getting to know them and love seeing how they surprise me… which they always do.
Do you have any writing process quirks?
I need music. Always. Music and writing are just synonymous for me. Don’t think that’s really a quirk, but it’s something I need before and sometimes during my writing process. If I don’t have it, I feel like someone’s cut off my left arm or something.
Are the names you choose an important aspect of the character or is it more of keeping a stock list of names to refer to when you write? (I know for me it’s both.)
For sure. I’m obsessive about my character’s names. Like really, really anal. Sometimes, they just come to me when I picture the person and their personality or look, and the name just suits how envision them, and then other times I will research names to death to find the “perfect” name that is somehow symbolic to the character or plot line.
What was your readers be surprised to know about you?
Hmmm not sure. Maybe that I used to work with marine animals? I was an intern for a year at Shamu Stadium, where I studied killer whale behavior, and I volunteered for a few years at the SeaWorld Research Institute where I did whale necropsies and dolphin field research. I went on to work as a public speaker for SeaWorld’s education and conservation department, teaching crowds about the animals at each exhibit. It was an exciting time of my life and marine conservation is still a huge passion of mine. It surprises me, I guess, because looking back I can’t believe I worked as a public speaker. I’m very shy.
Why, with this trilogy, was it so important for you to choose strong willed women, women who are strong really in every way?
I don’t think it was ever a conscious choice. I just wrote about women with qualities I admire, I guess. I write what comes naturally and go with the flow from there.
Speaking of strong women, Cam is an abuse survivor. What was the decision behind making that part of her history?
Well, I’ve experienced different kinds of abuse. Not physical abuse, but my mom has, and so it’s just a subject that hits close to home. Actually, a few years after I wrote Amaranth, she almost died because of domestic abuse. So it’s a subject I seem to gravitate toward. I drew from a lot of those personal experiences and the junk that came with it over the years: the helplessness, low self-worth and self-esteem.
Do you have anything in the works?
Always! LOL Right now I’m finishing up the last book in The Preservation Series, and working on another New Adult project as well as a coming-of-age drama.
What books and authors have you discovered in the last year or so that you really enjoyed? Do you think your readers will enjoy them as well?
Oh, man. I discovered so many great books last year. I think one of my favorite new series is the This Man romance/erotica series by Jodi Ellen Malpas. It’s full of passion and is so dysfunctional, makes me so angry, so mental – which is why I think it’s brilliant. And I also fell in love with The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski.
What would you recommend to someone looking for something new to read?
Hmmm well, I always recommend anything by Cormac McCarthy, although his stuff isn’t for everyone. My favorite is No Country for Old Men. I also recommend White Oleander by Janet Fitch, Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant, and if you’re in the mood for some contemporary romance or fantasy, anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Her stories are always insanely good. She’s my favorite contemporary writer.
Who does your amazing cover designs? They’re beautiful and really set the mood.
Thank you! I love them too. 🙂 Robin Ludwig Design does all of my covers. You can check her out at www.GoBookCoverDesign.com
Now this is a BIG SPOILER : Do Gavin and she stay human but immortal since they chose to stay? What is going on in the lives of the other half, up in our realm?
Oh man! Yes, big spoiler. I actually can’t say yet because I have a novella in the works (on the back burner right now) which might or might not turn into another series someday, who knows, that will focus on exactly those things. 😉 I can say I do have plans for all of that and I purposely ended the series the way I did for a reason…
List of favorites?
• male romantic lead – Christian Grey from Fifty Shades (enough said)
• female romantic lead – Ava from This Man (she’s very feisty)
• genre to read – contemporary romance and fantasy
• franchise – uummmmm….. Barnes and Noble
• villain – Jack Torrence from The Shining
• sidekick character – Man, these are tough! I can never pick just one. Will have to get back to you on that…
(non favorite categories)
• most annoying cliche – The gorgeous female lead who supposedly doesn’t know she’s attractive
• ideal vacation spot – Paris
• overrated character/series/item/etc – I won’t say because people would show up on my doorstep with torches and pitch forks…
If you could choose one superpower (or supernatural ability), but you have to keep it as a secret from the rest of the world, they can’t know you exist with this ability….. what would it be and why?
I’d say telekinesis! I’d love that. Thanks again for the interview – I’m honored. You asked some really great questions.