Thursday, December 19, 2013

Q&A and Giveaway with Ash Krafton

1. Let’s start off with you telling us about you Demimonde Series.

The Books of the Demimonde is an urban fantasy series about an advice columnist-turned-oracle who finds herself in a clandestine world of demivampires, werewolves, and other supernaturals. 

BLEEDING HEARTS (Demimonde #1) introduces us to Sophie Galen, who would do anything to save the man she loves from the fate that threatens each of his race—evolution into vampire and the loss of his soul. She learns she is destined to become a Sophia, a spiritual healer who helps to undo the soul-damage that cause demivamps to evolve into vampire.

BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2) expands on the role of the Weres and the mythology of the Sophias. Our heroine is a loner with no one to teach her what to do with her power so you can imagine what a relief it is when a mentor shows up. (And by “relief” I sarcastically mean “disaster”.)

This series mixes a new take on vampire lore with elements of Egyptian mythology. Throw in some sexy romantic elements and Sophie’s snarky sense of humor, and there you have the Books of the Demimonde.

2. What was your inspiration behind these two books?

I think every writer sets out to write the book they want most to read. I love vampire stories and their dark allure, but I always had a tiny bit of disappointment that my favorite vampires were, well, dead. Too far gone. Sometimes, chilly or (worse) room temperature. *shudder*

I like my guys with a pulse so I set out to give myself the best of both worlds. A demivampire is alive, a creature with a soul-in-progress. Vampires, on the other hand, are pretty much beyond help.

Since I’m the type to never give up hope, I set out to write creatures who had all the allure of vampires without the oppression of hopelessness, because that is exactly the sort of book I’m happiest reading.

3. Could you tell us a little about the third installment, WOLF’S BANE, planned for mid 2014?

Oh, sure could…it’s my favorite book yet. :)

As you can guess from the title, there is a Were storyline for all those shifter fans out there. In WOLF’S BANE, Sophie knows time is running out for Marek, but things get ridiculously complicated when the king of Werekind comes to town and the moon decides to play matchmaker.

And if you stop by the Demimonde blog at tomorrow, December 20, 2013, you’ll be in for a special treat—the cover reveal for WOLF’S BANE! You’ll see the rocking cover art and get a chance to read the official blurb.

4. How many installments are planned all together for this series?

While the series is planned as a trilogy, I’m considering a few stand-alone installments. There are no hard plans yet, though, so I won’t tease you too hard with it.

5. BLEEDING HEARTS, your debut novel has won several awards. Where and what were you doing when you found out the news that it was going to be published?

April 2011 was a whirlwind for me—I received notices that the book was making the final round in several RWA contests and it felt like the time couldn’t be better to get it into the hands of editors. I ended up with six contract offers and learned the true meaning of mental agony—so many great presses and I could only choose one!

But that moment, the first time an editor said I WANT THIS BOOK…I couldn’t tell you what I was doing. The world just kind of slipped away from me and I read the email over and over, making sure it said what I thought it said. Then I squealed and scared the dog and made the kids dance with me.

So, even though I don’t remember what I was doing, I do remember what I felt—and that was humbled, grateful, thrilled, and very blessed.

6. Tell us about a typical writing day for you.

I’m a full-time pharmacist, so my writing day has stiff competition from the family and the laundry and the myriad of paranormal shows on SyFy (LOVE Ghost Hunters!) I’m satisfied if I can get two to three hours in the morning for hard writing, and a few evenings a week for less intense writing and editing.

My Windows tablet means I can take my books everywhere I go but my favorite place to write is at home, sitting at my grandfather’s roll-top desk. The desk recently came to live with me and I love sitting at the desk I played with my entire childhood. It’s got all sorts of secret drawers and the wood has a wonderful smell that takes me right back to Papa’s office every time I sit down.

7. Do you have any little writing quirks when you are in writer’s mode?

Music—I love to listen to Lacuna Coil when I write. They are an Italian metal band and their music embodies the essence of urban fantasy to me—tragic, emotional, romantic, and mystical. Cristina and the guys are my muses and their songs are an unending source of inspiration for me when I’m writing.

8. Share three things that you would like our followers to know about you.

I’m PC, not Apple…I am obsessed with leather boots—I even name each pair….and museums are my favorite places to hang out, with rock concerts coming in a close second.

9. Do you dream about your characters?

Sure do…in fact, BLEEDING HEARTS started with a dream of a green-eyed man with long black hair, who smiled a sharp smile and left me with the words “Saving the world…one DAMNED person at a time.” It became the tag line for my first novel and he became my forever hero, Marek.

Sweet dreams, indeed!

10. What is the sexiest feature on a male, from the waist up?

Definitely the throat zone

From the hollow at the base of the throat…up along the muscular sides of his neck…the slide of his Adam’s Apple during a long swallow…to the bottom of his strong jaw, just a hint of stubble…and a bonus if he has a cleft chin.

Now, that is truly sexy.

Thanks again for this fabulous opportunity!
Cheers, Ash

Ash Krafton
Author of Speculative Fiction

Ash Krafton is a writer of all things spec fic. She believes spectacular endings make the best beginnings...
Why not? One billion black holes can't be wrong.
Her first novel BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde was published in March 2012. The manuscript earned finalist distinction in several Romance Writers of America 2011 competitions and has earned several other awards. The follow-up title BLOOD RUSH was released May 2013. WOLF'S BANE (Demimonde #3) is expected mid-2014.
In addition to novel-length fiction, Ash enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned big ups by CNW/FFWA in 2008 and 2011 as well as the Abilene Writers Guild in 2010. Ms. Krafton made her publishing debut in Spring 2009 when her poetry appeared in Poe Little Thing; her work has since appeared in several other journals including Niteblade, Ghostlight Magazine, The Skyline Review, and Silver Blade. One of her poems was selected as a Pushcart prize nominee.
She's a member of Pennwriters, RWA, Pike's Peak Writers, SFPA, and the Maryland Writers Association. Her blog is at Ash Krafton's Demimonde; she also contributes regularly to Query Tracker’s blog.
Ash resides with her family in a rural town in the heart of the Pennsylvania anthracite coal region.
She'll never leave, either, because coal is just another example of a spectacular ending waiting for a brilliant beginning. (It’s kinda fitting.) And because, like a black hole, once you’re never get out.

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