My Halloween recommendations

I realised today why I like Halloween so much; for a few weeks, the world looks like the inside of my mind. People decorate with ghosts and pumpkins and let in the dark and scary with reckless abandon. Horror films dominate the TV. And we all eat more sweets than is good for us. It’s my Christmas.

Every year, I choose a Halloween read, a Halloween horror film, and a Halloween treat (not chocolate, I eat that all year round anyway!) This year, I’m going to share them all with you.

My Halloween read is, thanks to Netgalley and Amulet Books, Blood Countess by Lana Popović. Here’s the summary:

A historical YA horror novel based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula

In 17th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her too.

I’m really looking forward to it. I love the history of Countess Elizabeth Báthory, so am chomping at the bit to get my teeth into this one – too much? If you’d like to read it, you’ll have to wait until the New Year :(

My Halloween Horror film is the Ginger Snaps trilogy – yes, I’m being greedy and having a three for one. Featuring sisters bonded by more than just blood, and believable werewolves; it even takes us back to the start of the curse with Ginger Snaps Back. I would highly recommend all three films. If you have the channel, they’re on Starzplay, or you can still find them on DVD.

My Halloween treat is going to see Dracula the ballet performed by the Northern Ballet . I’ve never seen a ballet before, and I’m hoping that with its Gothic costumes, beautiful scenery and amazing feats of grace, it’ll start a life long love of this art form. Who knows, I might even meet a real vampire there…probably not!

I love this time of year, and I hope you do too. So get out there and carve scary pumpkins to keep the evil spirits at bay, buy overpriced sweets that somehow taste better shaped as ghosts, zombies and witches. And feel, just for a little while, that the supernatural world is close enough to touch – and to touch you back!

Happy Halloween!

Two 2019 Anniversaries that I’m celebrating

200th Anniversary of John Polidori’s The Vampyre

Before Dracula, there was The Vampyre. John Polidori penned this story in 1819 – 78 years before Bram Stoker gave us his iconic vampire.

The Vampyre is a must-read for any fan of gothic literature, and of course fans of the blood-sucking monsters themselves. I read the book when I was 11 years old. At that age it felt as if I was reading something I shouldn’t – although my parents were never the type to forbid any books on my reading list – it was still a book that I hid the front cover of when I was in public (there were no Kindles back then that successfully camouflaged your reading tastes)

The character of Lord Ruthven bore many similarities to Dracula. A high-class gentleman – it appears that vampires could only get away with their bloody deeds when lurking in the halls of the aristocracy. With their class came riches that afforded both travel and time to indulge their scarlet tastes. They both seemed to have a preference for seducing and killing maidens, and they seem psychotically inclined to play with their chosen enemies, Aubery and Harker respectively.

So, as this book is celebrating its 200th birthday, why not celebrate with it and curl up in front of a fire, with a glass of red (be that wine or Vimto) and experience first-hand the sinister nature of true vampires.

40th Anniversary of Ridley Scott’s Alien

One of the first horror films I ever watched. The 1979 film Alien is a masterpiece body-shocker, claustrophobic, sci-fi scare-fest. Set in deep space, the story line has a depth that surprises me every time I watch it. Treachery, greed, and politics underpin a rather hard-to-kill violent Xenomorph.

Let’s not forget that this film also pioneered the concept of a kick-ass woman, Ripley. One of the unsung survivors in the pantheon of horror’s final girls. She shows little girls everywhere that, in the face of nightmarish disaster, you can survive – even when the odds are stacked against you, and exits are nowhere to be found.

Alien lead to my all-time favourite film, Aliens. Both films still stand the test of time and should be a right of passage for any young horror/ sci-fi follower.

My older brother is a huge Alien fan too and, a few years ago, he took me to London to experience Alien Wars – a live action version of the Aliens film complete with marines, facehuggers and of course long-limbed oil-black Xenomorph aliens. Now, I don’t scare easy, and I was all set to venture into the dark with him, along with the marines guarding us on our journey into the infested colony, however, I took one look at how fast those grabby little facehuggers were and how fluidly the aliens could scramble up to me and decided to sit it out. Not my best day. However, even as I sit here writing this blog post, I still wouldn’t choose to take on such other-worldly horrors; no doubt, I would have probably been slapped with alien snot to the wall and impregnated within the first 3 minutes! I’m certainly no Ripley!

A Tourist’s Halloween Guide to Bad Blood

g1510984England has a rich heritage and, especially in London, you’ll find it difficult to spit and not hit something centuries years old – BTW, you might get arrested for that, so do check around before letting rip with the salvia!

London is a busy city where there are too many people and far too many construction sites. Our Tube (Subway) is unnaturally warm, and our roads are naturally congested. But none of this matters in my YA horror novel, Bad Blood. It’s hard to care about temperature and traffic when you’re hip deep in snarling smelly zombies.

Bad Blood is told first person from a vampire’s point of view. Britannia is the very essence of Britain; she has protected it many times in the past, and now finds herself taking on that role again to save survivors of a fast-paced zombie outbreak that hits the UK. The first book happens mainly in London – so let’s take a tour of some Bad Blood hot spots:

The Statue of George IV, Trafalgar Square: erected in 1843, this bronze statue of King George IV astride his faithful steed looks out over the world famous Trafalgar Square. Used as higher ground by Britannia when she is sniffing out un-infected humans to feed on, this statue gives her the space and time she needs to locate her next meal.

The Natural History Museum: A beautiful, elaborately designed building established in 1881; filled with knowledge, dioramas and now zombies. Britannia has an epic struggle on her hands here, and not just with the hungry undead hordes that were given free admission!

Madame Tussauds: Originally set up by wax sculptor Marie Tussauds in 1884, there is more blank-eyed scary looking celebrities here than on any red carpet event. But Bad Blood takes you deeper into the bowels of this tourist attraction, delivering you a fast-paced confrontation in the Chambers of Horrors.

Double Decker Red Buses: The Red Double Decker bus is an iconic symbol of London and is used by the vampires and the human survivors to flee the city and also to indulge the vampire’s competitor natures!

Now you know the stops, why not jump onto the Bad Blood bus and let it take you sight-seeing through the zombie ravaged streets of London; the price of admission? Well, Britannia only asks for your blood…

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Doing the zombie shuffle – Zombies in YA literature

img_0443_v2I find zombies scary – there I admit it. I always have done. And I can tell you why; we are just one mad scientist away from zombies becoming real. Zombies worry me, and movies aside, they are certainly not new to literature.

I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at school. It’s only when you get into the nitty gritty of this book you realise it was one of the first ever zombie novels. The creature, albeit more sentient than your average ‘braaaains’ screeching shuffler, is a re-animated corpse. Considered a ‘flawed creation’ by Dr Frankenstein, the creature has to contend with some serious abandonment issues, loneliness (after all zombies are pack creatures) and some rather vengeful thoughts. All in all, the zombie in question doesn’t act much like the zombies we’re use to today.

Moving quickly through the years to Carrie Ryan’s Forrest of Hands & Teeth we find Mary, the protagonist, struggling to free herself from a predictable YA love triangle while avoiding the ‘Unconsercrated’. The name of the zombies in itself echoes the book’s theme of religion; but apart from that, they seem to lumber around the forest being said hands and teeth. The zombies provide only one author objective: they are the threat that seeks to harm the main characters. The only zombie character that comes to ‘life’ is the fast and slightly vengeful, Gabrielle – who seems to retain some of her former personality and is hell-bent on killing Mary for allowing her to die.

Darren Shan’s Zom B uses zombies to unite its characters. One of the themes of this book is racism and yob-like behaviour. Although by its title, it’s a zombie book, the shambling flesh-munching creatures serve as danger and a catalyst for character development. They unite the survivors – regardless of their misguided beliefs.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion did something extraordinary with zombies – he made them the romantic lead. The book is written the first person from R’s point of view. It was a bold move that paid off and put zombies in a different light altogether. After that, Lisa Habel’s Dearly Departed also took zombies firmly into the romance genre.

Now it would seem that zombies are not just evolving but contorting into a new type of ‘monster’. Maybe it would be more accurate to say they are going back to their gothic character-driven roots. Who’s to say that if Dr Frankenstein had given his monster a bride that it would have gone very differently for him, and his loved ones.

As a YA urban fantasy writer, I love zombies, and am, to a degree, guilty myself of simply inserting them into my story as a wall of rotting flesh that relentlessly rolls towards my heroes – I did, though, introduce a new dynamic in my series, Battle of the Undead. It’s vampires VS zombies. So what happens when a vampire becomes infected? A Vambie or a Zompire? Find out now with the first in the series, Bad Blood:

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Halloween advice – surviving the zombies!

dsc00127We have a fascination with zombies, in my opinion, they are the most realistic monster lurking in the horror aisles of your local book shop. They are us. They could happen. Vampires, werewolves – well, as Disney put it ‘It’s a small world after all’ so we’d know about them already. In a time when people post what they had for breakfast on FaceBook, these creatures couldn’t hide for long. But zombies …there are more dead bodies crammed into the earth than live ones walking on it.
So how could it happen? Mostly in zombie stories the survivors rarely find out how they ended up nose to nose with re-animated flesh-munching corpses; they’re far too busy trying to stay alive than to discover the undead root of the problem. To me, the most believable way of this happening is a scientifically created disease, perhaps something similar to rabies.

Okay, so it’s happening, the dead are rising. In theory, this wouldn’t be an instant issue; it would probably take 2 or 3 days for the undead crap to hit the fan. In that time you’d see more violent news reports than usual. There would be odd hashtag threads on twitter about attacks and infection. They’d be YouTube videos popping up with alarming regularity featuring police show-downs with crazed, bullet proof psychos. It would be a slow but steady stream of bloody violence.
Now, if hunky British survivalist Bear Grylls has taught us anything, it’s that to survive in a harsh environment, we need to ensure we have three things: food, water and shelter. You need to be fed and rested to be able to keep one step ahead of the zombie hordes so, to survive, your priority would be to find a safe place to hole up, preferably which contains food and water too. We’ve all seen the potential trolley of problems with picking a shopping centre for this – it’s too big, you can’t defend it. So somewhere, perhaps like a small supermarket that’s doors could be barricaded, would work well.
The next question you have to answer is: do you buddy up, or go it alone? There are dangers with either, but I tend to think the buddy system was practicality designed for zombie attacks, so buddy up! Just be cautious and ensure your buddy is someone you can trust. You don’t want to test the theory ‘to survive – you only need to run faster than your friend, than a zombie horde in pursuit!’
So, you have a group of people you can trust; you’re holed up in a defend-able, solid building stuffed with food and drink – now what? Well, to be honest, you wait it out. When comparing a zombie outbreak to a disease of similar ilk, it would all be over after 21 days. After that time, those who were infected will have eaten their whole available food source, they’ll start to starve and, even zombies need food to keep going. After hearing the last animated corpse scratch and moan at your door, you give it another day before emerging. Then with other sensible survivors start to rebuild, and I guess figure out how it all went horribly wrong in the first place.
Just, remember the rules that horror movies have taught us over the years: Don’t open the door for anything/ anyone. Slug anyone who looks like they’re going to panic and rip out through your barricade. Ration the amount of sugary items you consume (Although I actually believe that you can never eat enough chocolate). Always carry a weapon. Check your buddies for infection. And always, always… hang on there’s a new #infection tag infesting Twitter…Right, I’m off down the local supermarket; you can join me if you like, but make sure you get there before I barricade the door!

If you like your zombie uprising with a dash of vampires, then check out Bad Blood today for your Halloween read:

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Rule Britannia – examining the main character of Bad Blood

britBad Blood is a vampires VS zombies horror set in England. Told first person from a vampire’s point of view, I knew as the writer; I needed a certain type of character who could tell the story, engage with the reader and survive the zombie hordes as they drag their rotten asses through the burning streets of London.

Britannia is over 4 hundred years old and was born Brianna. Daughter of a wealthy merchant she lived like a princess and was set to marry the love of her life… when Nicholas the vampire saw her. He kidnapped her, made her a vampire against her will, murdered her fiancé then kept her captive for 20 years in a crazy attempt to woe her. When she was finally free, she swore a vendetta on Nicholas and evolved from spoilt little Brianna to the blood-guzzling, ass-kicking, England protecting, Britannia.

Her lost love was a soldier in his majesty’s service so Britannia declared herself a secret protector of the realm, fighting in every war and falling ever deeper in love with the memory of her dead soldier. That love is reinforced on an almost nightly basis with her daydreams. She might be lying in wait on the roof of a West End Theatre to kill Nicholas’ newest vampire, but be imagining herself inside with her fiancé, enjoying a show. The mirror of a violent vampire dreaming she’s a bored housewife is held up throughout the book and is both an endearing and dangerous quality for a character to have.

She’s spent centuries learning to fight, to use her strengths and weakness as assets. Her favourite book is the Art of War, and she prides herself on winning every battle. She’s competitive, stubborn and amazingly loyal – but all that comes with a price. She still needs to drink human blood to survive, and when she does, she considers it the natural order – she certainly isn’t the guilty type. The vampires in Bad Blood have no glamour abilities. They cannot read people’s minds, and they certainly cannot make a bite in the neck painless. Usually when they feed they kill, but now zombies are fighting with them to be top of the food chain, they’re on a more ‘little and often’ diet and have to change their behaviour to survive.

Bad Blood is fast paced, and both humans and vampires get a lot of horrific problems thrown at them – I had to make sure Britannia was equipped to deal with these problems, to cut them up with her trusty scythes, and shoot them right back to where they came from.

So why not order a copy of Bad Blood today and let Britannia take you by the hand and give you a tour of the zombie-ridden streets of London and beyond. Don’t worry about the undead clawing to touch your pretty flesh; she’ll protect you. There’s only one thing that she asks in return…your blood.

Want a Halloween read? Pick up Bad Blood today: Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Author interview swap with Cynthia A Morgan

morgan-3Tell us about your publishing journey…

I started out publishing my book, Dark Fey The Reviled, through Kindle Direct Publishing.  It was the easiest and fastest avenue to get my work ‘out there’, but I quickly realized that patience merits a far better publishing experience.  Though I subsequently released my second book, Dark Fey Standing In Shadows, via KDP as well, I shortly thereafter withdrew both of them when I signed with a publisher, Creativia.   I have found their SEO marketing expertise far superior to anything I could have accomplished on my own, but maintain my Indie Author freedom, which appeals to be greatly.  I have the best of both worlds!

What do you love about being an author?

I love words, love painting pictures with lyrical expressions and detailed descriptions that transport readers wherever I wish to take them; so for me, being an Author is my calling.  I have found the poetry I write touches people in ways I could never plan or anticipate and that is an immense blessing for a writer.  I also love the freedom to do what it is that I enjoy, while earning a few pennies from it.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

 It would more than likely be one of my own, I have to admit; as I do find them endlessly fascinating, but if I didn’t, my readers would not either.  So I would have to say Gairynzvl or perhaps Evondair, or both…and we would enjoy a vegetarian meal of some sort beneath the eaves of the forest.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I will confess, this is something I’ve actually thought about, because I have been told by more than a couple of readers that they can see Dark Fey as a movie.  I tend to envision actors I am familiar with, like Tom Hiddleston as Gairynzvl, Scarlet Johansson as Ayla, and perhaps Chris Hemsworth as Mardan; however my characters are young, early to mid 20’s, so better suited might be Jennifer Lawrence as Ayla, Liam Hemsworth or even Jack O’ Connell as Gairynzvl and Freddie Stroma as Mardan or perhaps even better as Evondair.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?  reviled-awards

The nice thing about vampires is you can have it both ways, really :)

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

My interests have always centered around Regency Period England (the early 1800’s).  I am actually working on a historical romance set in this period, so I would love to visit to gain a better understanding of the constraints of the day, which were many, and the culture, which was quite different from ours today.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner? 

We Create our own Reality through what we Say and what we Believe.  The Power of Positive Thought truly does Move Mountains.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why? 

That’s easy, I’d be a Fey, of course, because I would love to live in Jyndari, even in its darkest moments, and have the gifts, not only of Flight, but the ability to read another’s thoughts, wield magic or bend light.  It would be amazing.

Where do you write best?  

Always at my laptop, in my writing room, often with music playing that is ethereal and mystical, rhythmic and very frequently tribal. Delerium gets played repeatedly, especially when I’m working on Dark Fey, or Brunuhville.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently read The Eternals by Richard M. Ankers, a vampire tale set in the distance future with a dystopian flavor and steampunk twists that really captured my imagination and left me anxious for book two of the trilogy, which is being released this autumn. His strong lead character was irresistible! (who just happens to be both sexy and a blood-thirsty vampire)

standing-in-shadows-w-5starIf you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

 I love writing, it doesn’t really matter what genre it is.  I have a work in progress that is Historical Fiction/Romance; I have written YA Romance/Fiction; Dystopian/Sci-Fi and even Children’s stories.  Of course, I also write poetry.  If it involves words, I will (most likely) write it.

Where can fans find you online?

All Things Dark Fey Website 

Blog / website:




Amazon Author Page:

Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon/Kindle:
Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon UK:

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:

Dark Fey Standing In Shadows on Amazon US –

Amazon UK –

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:


Links to:

 Delerium –

Brunuhville –

The Eternals by Richard M Ankers

Interview with Wattpad author Angela Merlo

meTell us about your writer’s journey…
It’s really hard to keep this answer concise. It’s been a long journey, a sad journey, one connected to my personal struggles with anxiety and depression. Fast forward through all of the, I can say that in the spring of 2014, I had an unfinished manuscript that I’d been playing with for years. An author I admired and a few other people were impressed by it and encouraged me to get serious about finishing and promoting the project.
Later that year, I joined Wattpad and began syndicating chapters of my novel, Devil’s Lake. I was a bit sheltered from other author’s ideas and ambitions about success on Wattpad.  I was easily impressed, and kept waiting for the chapter that would have zero reads, or the day the book would stop ranking. I suppose that’s my whole strategy for being happy. Anticipate the worst so that you’re expectations are always exceeded. Maybe that’s why I always get anxious when I’m tempted to raise my expectations and hopes.

My journey hasn’t been like some of the authors I’ve admired on Wattpad, but I still appreciate the successes I’ve had. Devil’s Lake reached #4 in its genre about a month after Wattpad began featuring it. It occasionally makes it back into the top ten or very near there. I’ve been aiming to self publish a paperback for awhile, all without the anticipation of making any real money off of it.  I’ve still tended to have that pessimistic approach of “Throw it out there without expecting a bite. Maybe something will surprise you.”

But with that said, I have been growing a little more confident and did recently write a story for the #OnceUponNow contest. Honestly, it’s the most light-hearted work I’ve written that I actually think is good. Amazingly I like my characters. They’re just a little eccentric in a fun way, rather than the dark and depressing way I’ve always defaulted to. Maybe that’s just a reflection on how much I’ve grown since I began writing Devil’s Lake. I don’t know. I am excited about the contest though and feel more enthusiastic. Even though I feel prepared for it not making it, it doesn’t feel as threatening to hope for it. So that’s got to be a good thing.

What do you love about being a writer?newdevil2
I think it’s more about being in love with the story and characters you’ve developed than with anything else. I am always surprised when I hear so many authors complain that they hate editing. I enjoy editing far more than I do drafting. The story and characters are far more fleshed out in you mind by the time you complete a draft than when you have a mere outline.

I once had someone point out to me that this might mean I didn’t spend enough time planning the story and developing the characters before I began writing. That may be true. Devil’s Lake especially has involved lots of rewritten chapters and revisions. It’s been a learning process even with the planning I did ahead of it.

I do think I could write a story faster and more organized than this one was (if I’m passionate enough about the project to start it), but I don’t think any author magically gets there by attempting to restrict themselves from the path of mistakes. Those paths teach you more than merely “what not to do.”

What’s been the best part of being on Wattpad?

The community is amazingly supportive, and its a good place to build your initial band of followers and supporters. Recently I became a part of the Wattpad Community Toast Group on Facebook. It’s still pretty new. It started with RK Close organized an online toast for Juliet Lyons to celebrate sending off her manuscript to her publisher. Primarily it’s about toasting book launches.

Largely it seems that the most successful writers on Wattpad don’t just have talent but really network together to help each other. Even when it comes to the #OnceUponNow competition I’m competing in, there’s a supportive vibe and I think the platform is really designed to encourage that sort of interaction rather than to look at each other as mere competition.

But I suppose maybe what I love about Wattpad is the access to readers. I love getting comments from my readers. I get teary-eyed just thinking of the number of people who’ve read my work. I’ve never had this many people read my work willingly.  Friends and family always seem to afraid they’ll hate it. They’ll read three sentences and tell you it’s wonderful and then go on about having no time to read. At least that’s been my experience.

Wattpad has given me a great boost in self-confidence. I’m so happy people enjoy my work.

onceuponnowIf you could have dinner with any authors, who would it be and what would you eat?
Oh goodness! I haven’t a clue. I’ll say this. If I could get a phone booth time machine and do a Bill and Ted, I’d gather up GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien, put them in a pub and just listen to them talk. Maybe I’d throw in Flannery O’Connor as well, but I’m not sure she would stay.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Do you mean do I prefer Dracula or Twilight? I’ve only read the first Twilight book. It’s not as terrible as some people make it out to be. Certainly the level of it’s success is a head-scratcher. It’s not that good. I’ve also never been that much of a Dracula fan. I like Carmilla better.I’d say, though, it was really the early 90’s re-revival series that really got me first into vampires. At 10 years old, I did find Barnabus frightening, and yet by the time the show got to his relationship with Victoria Winters, I really wanted them together. I loved his internal battle.

In high school, my favorite author was LJ Smith. The Vampire Diaries were originally published in the early 90’s, so by the time I started reading her work, she was publishing “The Night World series.” Everyone loved Ash Redferd, but I still loved Poppy and James’ story over any of the series. Poppy had pancreatic cancer and was dying. James, the vampire, was offering to save her life.

I’d say, I don’t think it’s either/or.  It’s both. Meyer’s vampires, especially as they come across in the film, aren’t scary for reasons beyond the romantic elements.

Where can fans find you online?
They can find me on Wattpad at (or just search @light-in-darkness).
They can friend or follow my personal author profile on facebook at .
My blog is . My twitter handle is @AuthorMerlo though most of my posts are fed from Facebook. Twitter frustrates me to no end.

Interview with Medeia Sharif

my headshotTell us about your publishing journey…

It took me a long time to break in. I queried for thirteen years, for several manuscripts, until I found the agent who sold my first book. After that agent and I parted ways, I’ve had subsequent books and short stories published through small presses.

What do you love about being an author?

I love creating stories. I can’t imagine not writing. Then to have people tell me that they enjoy my work is uplifting.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I’m a fan of Erica Jong’s Isadora books, so I’d have dinner with Isadora Wing. I’d go with Thai, since that’s my favorite restaurant food.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I have no idea. I don’t watch many TV shows or movies, so I’m out of touch with today’s celebrities.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Since I lean towards horror, I’d say blood hungry monsters.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’d love to visit the 1960’s and 1970’s (although I was born in the latter part of the ’70s). I find the societal changes during those decades fascinating. I also like the music, fashion, and entertainment of that time.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

To get involved. I did many things alone and in a bubble when I would’ve learned things faster by working with and receiving support from like-minded people.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’ve always been fascinated by vampires since an early age, so I would choose that creature. From shows to movies to books, they’ve always captured my imagination.

Where do you write best?

My home office space. Sometimes I write somewhere else in my home or at a public spot, but that space is where I write the most.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I read was Kelly Hashway’s Out of the Ashes. It’s book 2 in a paranormal YA series. It has mystery, romance, and so many other wonderful elements.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I’d love to try writing one of those sweeping speculative fiction series that run into 3 or more installments, either paranormal or sci-fi. I’ve had ideas for them, but never planned them out.

Where can fans find you online?

I have a website, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads page.

evernight covers

Interview with Marcus Damanda

at the deskTell us about your publishing journey…

I have a box of rejection letters that I could use to wallpaper the Taj Mahal. I have been taught humility by several hundred agents and publishers that have psychologically flogged me for decades, all while wearing black hoods and going bare chested. In 1989, I got my first agent—and promptly refused a publication contract with Doubleday because they insisted I re-write the second half of the book. I figured I’d have another offer within weeks. My next offer came in 2007. A painful lesson, but I have learned it well.

What do you love about being an author?

The fancy cars, my house in the Catskills, my pet leopard—oh, wait. I have none of those things. I love starting with an idea and slowly watching it fill in. I write almost nothing in sequence, so for me, it really is like watching the picture in a jigsaw puzzle emerge from scattered pieces.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Hannibal Lecter. No, wait. I withdraw that comment, too. Serious answer: Father Karras from The Exorcist. We’d have Italian with a nice red and talk about what it felt like to confront the Devil. Now, if you’re asking me about a DATE with a character, definitely Clarice Starling from The Silence of The Lambs. Hm—noticing a pattern here.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?salvationstate1l__68237.1452817734.432.648

If THE SALVATION STATE was made into a movie, give me Willow Shields as Rebecca, the preacher’s daughter on the run, and Asa Butterfield as Daniel, the atheist outcast.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

15% sexy leads, 85% bloodsucking monsters. That about sums up my vampires in THE FOREVER SHOW and TEETH. Bottom line, if they’re not scary, they’re not vampires.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’d set my time machine for “repeat” and stay in 1985 forever. Everybody have fun tonight, Everybody Wang Chung tonight. Seriously, the 80s were so freakin’ happy for me. I mean, like, totally.

Definitely not going back anywhere in time that does not have indoor plumbing, cable TV, and a 7-11 on the corner.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

That’s tough for me, because I was given so much good advice that I totally ignored. Having said that, I do wish someone had advised me to do as I was told as a young writer—that it’s not the world’s responsibility to make you rich and famous, that your dream is no one else’s responsibility to realize for you.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

This is where I expect a lot of people would expect me to say “vampire.” They really are a lot of fun to write about. But if I could be a supernatural creature—say, one with immortality, good looks, superhuman reflexes, et cetera—make me a Tolkien elf every day. I’d be able to sing better, my hair would be awesome, I’d be able to drink without impairment to my permanent health, and I’d be one of the good guys—a wins-all-around type of situation.

51Yx2B16qTL._OU01_AC_UL320_SR214,320_Where do you write best?

The only place I write is at the modest little table-desk at the man cave by the sliding glass door with Shazam the cat on his perch to my left. Having said that, my favorite environment to write in is one with a good wrath-of-God thunderstorm flooding my downhill neighbors’ basement—I’m sorry, was that aloud?—or else the quiet of early morning before the sun comes up.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last series I finished was the Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman, and the last individual book I finished was Time Runs Away with Her by Christine Potter. Very different types of books—pure dystopia on the one hand and paranormal teen romance on the other—but both completely blew my mind.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I typically write horror and—these days—dystopian science fiction. One day I plan to go back to my roots and go full-on swords-and-sorcery again, like I did when I wrote for no one but myself and my pre-teen friends.

Where can fans find you online?

Buy links: