Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Carpe Noctem Chronicles
Vixanna Cloviskin’s life changed forever the day her mother suddenly appeared at her classroom door covered in blood. Next thing she knew she was being taken into a world she’d only dreamt of full of every metaphysical being imaginable all to save the life of her brother, and to keep an ancient pact for the existence of her family.
Step by step she must collect vial after vial of blood so that she can be turned into something stronger than human and find an antidote for her brother by hunting down the creature responsible for nearly taking his life and putting him into a coma.
But how can a young human girl, with no exceptional abilities, possibly gather the blood from a Korrigan in the jungle ruins let alone the Fey Queen Nicnivin herself, and that is just the beginning…
Not that I intend on. I like the way I ended the trilogy and want to keep the ending where it is.
What made you want to become a writer?
I used to write a lot of poetry growing up, but a novelist isn’t something I ever really intended on being, it is more something I unexpectedly fell into. I was working at a job that I had a lot of time to allow my mind to wander and I would write down pieces that I would imagine in my boredom. After a while I had so many pieces I laid them out into a timeline and formed a book. To make a long story short, from there supportive people told me I should get it published, and so I did. So it was more by circumstance than decision that I became a writer.
Do you reflect people you know into your characters or do you prefer making them up on the fly?
Both actually. There are characters that have aspects I just pictured in my mind, and others that have aspects of people I know. But even some I created due to conversations or situations. For instance the Spiderwitch Urania in Of Blood and Magic was directly influenced by a conversation with a friend of mine, and the situation with the Imp in Hypnotizing Darkness has roots in something a friend did to me.
What kind of research did you do for Carpe Noctem?
I looked through a few mythological encyclopaedias actually for creatures and possible names in mythology. My intention was to diversify from just having the regular creatures in this kind of genre like Vampires and Werewolves and add creatures like Manticores and the Donestre. On top of that though, some were even creations from my own doodles, like Ianitor, or nightmares like the Vakushra that I had to create my own names for. But other creations I searched through the encyclopaedias to find any mythological description that could match the creature I had created in my head, which I remember distinctly doing for the Topielec. But for everything else there were small bouts of research here and there when I wanted to make sure of factual consistency.
What themes might we find in the first book Kissing the Dark?
I would have to say that the first book is about having the courage to do what needs to be done even if it seems impossible.
Which characters do you think are the most like you?
Ooh, hard question, I would say different aspects of a few different characters, but not just one character. I have a rebellious side like Nika, and even an assertive characteristic like Theatera, but no I wouldn’t say a single character is the most like me.
If you gave Vixanna a chance to speak to the readers, what would she say about seeing her mom in the doorway of the classroom?
Vixanna would probably say “It is that moment in your life that you don’t know that your life is never going to be the same, but that you feel that it is already different.”
What makes this series stand above the rest?
Another hard question, I value so many stories of this genre and their ideas that I have a hard time comparing them, but I do feel that I tried to expand the bestiary of the common practice and didn’t try to have a focus on a single love story. This is a story of life influence, of how previous pains and experience can shape so many other lives and effect everyone’s decision and interaction with others. I have characters that are linked in their lives with many others for this reason. But in the end it is a story of perseverance and courage against the odds.
What is your next project?
At the moment I don’t have just one that I am focused on, but multiple projects.
Where can we find you?
The rest of my list however are more so actors I think that could play the parts well. Rhea Pearlman would play the part of Lily Deorsa I think perfectly.
Djimon Hounsou would make a great Maiten.
And even though I know they already play Vampire characters Joseph Morgan or Daniel Gilles for Vikenti because of their demeanor more than looks.
I think Joseph Morgan would make a great Nexaddo as well.
Helen Mirren would be a great Amara from the second book (Of Blood and Magic).
And whoever this is for Aurelio, for his eyes alone:
But as for the part of Vixanna, I still haven’t seen anyone that stands out to play her in my mind.
I sort of answered this earlier, but it wasn’t exactly intentional, it just sort of seeped out of my brain whenever I was forced to sit and do nothing for too long.
What advice could you give aspiring writers?
Don’t stop, literally even if you work on something every day you are a step closer, but do not stop. It took me six years in total to get mine done, so don’t let a time period keep you from getting your work out there. It will happen if you keep working for it. As well people have asked me how I overcome writer’s block and I have two practices to help. The first, sit, relax, and see what comes out. Sometimes what does fits into the project you are currently working on, and sometimes it doesn’t but for me it seemed like it was in the way of what I needed to come out and once it’s out what I need to write flows out. And then secondly; get up and get out. Go do something you haven’t experienced before, try archery, pick up wall-climbing, anything really that you have never learned or done, this is where new ideas can be born, you aren’t going to write anything new if you keep staring at the same walls.
What is your least favorite thing to write? How do you accomplish it?
Truthfully, dialogue, I find what seems like an entertaining conversation in my head sometimes sounds utterly corny once put onto paper. But the only way I can get this done is to get whatever I need to say out and revise, revise, and revise until I no longer wince when I read it out loud to myself (and even then just accept that it isn’t getting better) and read it to someone else who I know is willing to tell me how bad it is and I may scrap it entirely. But that’s writing right?
What is your favorite thing to write?
Description, I love weaving words to leave an impression, an emotion, or an image in my reader’s minds. If I have people tell me that they felt they were really there or that they could perfectly picture what I wrote, that is one of my favorite feats.
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Laurell K. Hamilton, L.J. Smith and Kelley Armstrong probably had a major influence and even from a young age R.L. Stine, but everything I have read has also made an impact. I read all genres and enjoy writing multiple types, so even Lee Child, John Saul, Dennis Lehane and more have made an impression on my writing.
What is your favorite paranormal movie?
That, for me, is utterly impossible to answer, but if I have too…nope, still too hard.
What is your favorite paranormal book?
Another hard one, but The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is definitely up there.
Pen, Pencil, phone, tablet or computer?
Any and all, whatever is within reach to get the idea down, and then transferred in the end to notebooks (paper kind), computer, and ipod, as well as emailed copies to myself. I’m pretty paranoid about losing my work somewhere.
What does your writing sanctuary look like?
A very messy living room surrounded by sheets of paper, open notebooks, needed reference books and my laptop. This same idea has at times been in my own bed.
Do you have any tricks when it comes to getting into the writing-mode?
The right music for the feel I want the piece to have is one. I will even keep notes when I hear a song that brings images to my mind to listen to it later for the sole purpose of writing something with that influence in mind. Another is skimming online photos, paintings, images or even watching a dance production of any type to see what it sparks in my mind.
Where do you call home?
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Do you prefer paperback or e-books?
I prefer paperback, but still like e-books for convenience.
Is there an author out there that you'd like to meet?
Any and every actually, I believe everyone has something I could learn.
If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
If I were to answer quickly it would be where I will be in ten years, but when I allow myself to think about it, nothing. I prefer the ride and facing the unknown (as hard as it may be sometimes), the surprise and experience is part of the fun.
List the last three books that you've read?
Altered Souls, Reaper Madness, and Living Dead Girl.
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” -- Marianne Williamson
As I know it's sometimes hard to just pick one favorite book. What are your top few this week?
Battle Royale, Gargoyle, House Rules, The Thirteenth Tale, and Night Circus. Book Series though, Women of the Otherworld, Hunger Games, and Jack Reacher.
Are you an early riser or a night owl?
Is there anyone you'd like to thank?
My family, my friends, and everyone who pushed me to keep going, who kept telling me I have talent and that are so supportive of my dream, plus everyone who is a fan of my work, thank you so much. Thank you to Reader’s Hollow as well for this opportunity and experience.