Origins, Book 1 of the Demonkin Series, was published by Echelon Press, February 2011.
Tell us about your book. What is it about and where will it be available?
Ashlyn Thorn was born different. Born with all the characteristics of a vampire, she lives in a world where vampires, elves, and werewolves work, play, and die side by side with normal humans. But everyone knows vampires aren’t born, they’re made. The only thing she wants is to know her true origins.
Ashlyn’s quest to discover the truth of her differences is all that matters. But with every answer, she uncovers more uncertainties. To make things worse she has found herself an enemy of the most powerful vampires of the city who fear her powers are too dangerous to let go unchecked.
Salvation comes at the hands of the government, or does it, who trains her in the ways that best serve their purposes. Ashlyn is torn between two worlds. She can either be a monster, or she can help destroy the monsters.
That's the official description. Mine is, one seriously fun look at what life would be like if vampires, werewolves, demons, and just about everything else you could imagine worked, played, and died right beside everyday mortals.
Right now Origins is available as an eBook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Omnilit in just about every format you can imagine. I'm expecting a proof of the paperback version this week, so it might be on sale as early as next week! I'm a little excited.
What were your inspirations for your book? What sorts of thing inspire you as a writer in general?
I've always been fascinated by vampires. Of all the creatures of fantasy they have always had a special place in my heart. It's amazing how interests get passed down through the generations. My daughter (she's 9 going on thirty) is the same way. No matter what it is, if it's about vampires we'll go see, watch, or read it. (Yes, I've read the twilight series ~wanders off and crawls into the box of shame~) Well one thing that always bothered my daughter was why vampires are so different in every book, show, and movie. Why do some sparkle, some have fangs, some walk in sunlight, and some have severe allergic reactions to wooden stakes through their heart? Those differences provided some of the inspirations for Origins. I wanted to explain why vampires were so different.
As for what inspires me as a writer...That's easy. Everything. I suffer from an extremely overactive imagination. I can turn anything into a story. I actually wrote a five thousand word essay once on the sex life of a ping pong ball (not by choice. Got in trouble in school, long story, go figure!). Inspiration doesn't just hit you. You have to play the what if game. Look down at your coffee mug. There it's sitting on your desk all innocent like. You're never going to get inspiration from that. It's an inanimate object. Here's where the what if game comes into play. Now look at your coffee mug and think, "What if?" What if it weren't made out of ceramic like everyone thinks. What if it was made from the ground bones of innocent victims of a local serial killer who used a pottery shop to dispose of the bodies? Hmmmm? Now you know how to play the "what if" game. We meet on Tuesdays.
Let's talk about your process. How do you approach a story, do you start with outlines or something else? Where did you work when writing your book? Do you think it was the optimal writing environment for you?
I usually approach a story from behind. It can't see you that way and you have a better chance of catching it. "Outline" is a seven letter, four letter word. It's dirty. They frighten me. If somebody forced me to sit down and plot a book from soup to nuts before I wrote it, I would be forced to retaliate by doing bad things to their slippers. It's just not in me. I write as I go.
I have a laptop. What does that mean? It means I write wherever and whenever I can. I have a wife, two kids, 3 ducks, 2 bunnies, a dog, and fish. I also have a full time job as a fiberoptic engineer at a local cable company. I also am now Senior Editor for the publishing company that published my book. Writing is so dear to me, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night when things are quiet, just to get the stories out of my head.
Tell us about your "story of getting published."
The planet I came from was being torn asunder by violent earthquakes. Our sun was going supernova. My parents put me in a crystal ship...WAIT! Wrong story.
Oh, yes. I remember. I had just finished Origins. I had no idea what to do with it, so I did what everybody else does when faced with a situation they have no idea how to overcome, I googled it. "I wrote a book, what now?" I typed into the search bar. Miraculously I was inundated by adds and spam. That almost never happens. I pulled out my virtual machete and started hacking through the forest of information and found a few things called "Blog Posts." I giggled at the name. "They said blog," I said. I started diving into the real information on my screen. Step one: Find an agent. "Hmmmm," I said. "I can do that." And so began my quest for the elusive literary agent. Know what they didn't tell you in their "blog posts"? If you're an unpublished author, the odds of any literary agency even READING your novel, ya, Not So Good. I queried over 100 agents. Want to know how many read Origins? Zero, Zip, Zilch, nada, nein. squat.
Disenchanted on the whole literary agent dream, I did what any enterprising youth would do. No, I didn't self publish. I refused to give up. I started looking into the possibility of finding a publisher on my own. I didn't know anything about slush piles or the differences between independent publishers and big publishers. I didn't have a clue that big publishers won't look at your work unless you have an agent. Anyway, I lucked out. I found Echelon Press. They invited me to send in my work and voila. I have a novel in publication. And a short story. And another short story series. And I'm part of an anthology. Happy ending.
What are the publicity plans you have coming up?
Well, I plan on dating one of the Kardashian sisters. I plan on getting into a bar fight with Justin Bieber. I thought I would hang out with Charlie Sheen for a few weeks, and then go jewelry shopping with Lindsay Lohan. If that doesn't work, I'm going to give the whole book signing, blog tour, post some ads thing a shot.
I also have a contest going to generate some buzz about Origins. So far it's working great. I'm giving people the opportunity to be one of the main characters in the third Demonkin book. They get to be a vampire, werewolf, or anything they want. They can be the good guy or the bad guy, and as special thanks, they will be in the dedication of the book as well. It's all on the Demonkin website. www.demonkin.com