An Interview with Seleste DeLaney
In somewhat of a special appearance of my blog, I’m please to introduce the fantastic Seleste Delaney, author of Kiss of Death and Badlands.
Here’s a little about Kiss of Death:
Too many years of killer vamps have triggered the curse of the Blood Kissed. They’ve awakened the bloodline that can alter their world, because her blood has the power to control them all—even make them destroy each other.
Jocelyn thought her troubles with vampires were over when she drove a stake through her boyfriend Max’s heart a year ago. Even though she’s engaged to Chad now, she’s never really forgotten him. Now Max is back, and Chad is taking her into the heart of the vamp community—and they’re the ones trying to keep her alive. The ones who love her and each seek to claim her for their own. Because once the elders know who she is, they’re all going to want her… or want her dead.
And here’s a short excerpt:
Music still pumped out of the club as the door opened and a pair of giggling humans staggered out, clearly drunk and obviously recently bitten. “Hey, handsome—” one crooned as she stumbled and grabbed his arm, “—wanna come party with us? We’ll show you a real good time.”
He reached out with a surge of power. “Go show each other a good time. It’ll be better for your health.” Yanking his arm free from her grip, he stalked up to the door. The club acted like nothing had happened, like his fiancée hadn’t been snatched up by some no-name vampire and driven off into the night. Business as fucking usual.
At the entrance, he shoved Trevor into the corner between the door and the wall. “Who was the fucker that came running out of here with the hu…” He glanced at the people still standing in line to get in. “—woman I came with? Got in an old blue pickup.”
“Yeah, that was pretty messed up.” Trevor ran a hand over his scalp, acting like being manhandled was a nightly occurrence worthy of nothing more than an arched brow. “I mean, Max can be kind of goofy when he wants to be, but that was out of character, even for him.”
Chad’s eyes widened. It couldn’t be; he was out of her life. Jocelyn had assured him time and again. “Max? Max Shaw?”
“Yeah, that’s him.”
Grabbing Trevor by his shirt collar, Chad opened the door and dragged him inside, throwing him against a wall.
Another bouncer inside gripped his shoulder. “Easy, man. Everyone gets in when they get in.”
Chad twisted his head around, flashing fang. “Cover the outside. I need to talk to this guy for a minute.”
Backing away, the other bouncer slipped through the door as it swung shut. Trevor swatted Chad’s hand away, all pretense of friendliness disappearing. “What is your problem?”
His problem was he thought Max Shaw was dead and gone. “Where does he live?”
“Max? Last I knew he had a place in Bloomfield.”
“That’s south of here. He went north.”
Trevor pushed off from the paneling, his body a wall of muscle as he approached Chad. “Then you’ve got me. Haven’t spent a lot of time with Max in the last few years. Who knows where he keeps his coffin these days.”
“You let him out.”
“Yeah. I did.” He glowered down at Chad, the challenge evident in his eyes and tone as he leaned closer, using his height and size to intimidate.
“And you can’t help me find him.”
“Pity for you.” Chad reached up, grabbed Trevor around the ears and twisted sharply. The vampire’s neck snapped, and when he kicked the body back against the wall, the head came off in his hands, blood spraying for a second before everything turned to dust.
A spotlight swung Chad’s way, blinding him for a second as his eyes adjusted to the harsh glare. On stage, the band had stopped playing and Remy waved his hand in a flourish. “And that, boys and girls, is how you upstage the main act.”
The first human must have noticed the blood coating Chad’s face and clothes and let out a scream.
From across the club, Remy shouted into the mic, “Someone get a fucking handle on this place and clean up the mess.” Before Chad could reach for the door, the singer was at his side, hand holding tight to his arm. Remy’s eyes had bled completely to black. “Little boy, you’ve got some ’splaining to do.”
Sound fantastic, doesn’t it? And now on with the Interview.
1. Can you tell us a bit more about your book? Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?
Kiss of Death is where the world I introduced in the prequel shorts (Of Course I Try and The Ghost of Vampire Present) really takes off. The shorts set things up, but in the most tangential way. Of Course I Try started as a 1300 word story for a writing challenge (basically the last 1300 words of the short were the original story), and I thought it was over and done with. But so many reviews I got insisted that there was more to the story that I started considering the possibilities. The Ghost of Vampire Present was written to give another angle on the buildup, and then Kiss of Death took off. The initial draft took about forty days to write (a lot of which happened during NaNoWriMo.)
2. Who’s your favourite character in the book?
That’s easy: Remy, always Remy. He sits on the council of elders, but he’s not old like the rest of them and they hate him for it. He cracks me up so much.
3. What has been your favourite part of this writing/publishing experience? The scariest?
This one in particular? The scariest was moving publishing houses. I appreciate Decadent for giving me my start with this series, but they are very much a romance publisher, and this isn’t a happily ever after kind of story. So when I decided to take it beyond the shorts, I knew if I didn’t want it to fall through the cracks, I had to take it someplace that really embraced urban fantasy. Thank goodness for Mundania and the brilliant Skyla Dawn Cameron. Her excitement over the book and working with me totally buoyed me up when I started worrying that I really wasn’t cut out for this business. And the fact that there are people really excited about this release. That makes me absolutely giddy!
4. What has been the best compliment you’ve received as an author?
This is kind of an odd one to answer. You see, I also write young adult fiction under a different name. At the Romantic Times convention this year, a woman bought my YA book for her daughter (who is “not a reader”). A short while after the con, she linked me to pictures of her daughter reading my book before school (by CHOICE!). Truly, that right there? Best. Compliment. Ever. I’m totally planning to send the girl a beta copy of book 2 when that particular mess gets straightened out.
5. Do you see writing as a career?
Most definitely. I know if I didn’t approach it that way, I’d still be writing but it would be one project a year maybe. Dawdling on the revisions. Maybe submitting, maybe not. I do have projects I haven’t subbed yet, but that’s because of time. I am always working on something. In fact, as soon as my current bout of editing madness finishes, I have a naughty holiday story to write and get subbed by the end of September.
6. Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
In addition to hopefully selling that Christmas story, I have at least one more book coming in 2012. Love & Other Indoor Sports is part of the Cupid’s Conquests series I created for Evernight Publishing. It’s my first m/m romance as well as the first m/m in the series, so I’m really geeked about that. It should be out either in September or October. There is also another possibility between now and the holidays, but at this point, that’s a “please keep your fingers crossed” possibility. Then in 2013, I have a romantic suspense coming, the next in my steampunk romance series, and (tentatively) in June Kiss of Life.
7. You can pick one series to return to the TV. Firefly or Angel?
Easy. Firefly, no question. Angel had five seasons to tell its story and it did. Yes, there have been comics since that continue it, but I truly felt like it had a chance to “finish” its run. Firefly, on the other hand, was plagued with shoddy promo from Fox, episodes shown out of order, and not enough time to build a steady following for something that was truly different and groundbreaking (and didn’t have the advantage of being a spinoff from a very popular series). However, I wouldn’t want it back on without Whedon at the helm of the show and without a commitment to at least two seasons. If the show was back on the air, it deserves the chance it didn’t get the first time around.
8. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Relax and don’t stress about having fun. Fun is allowed. Fun is good. And odds are, by the time you’re forty, you’ll have forgotten the majority of the things you’re studying so hard to remember. Do the work, but play too. Oh, and that break you’re on from writing—you know, the one you took to “get serious about your future”?—stop that shit. Stop it now. Write something. And then write something else. And stop trying to measure up to what other people want, just be the most awesome you you can be.
9. You get turned into a werewolf, who do you pee on first?
Dude, if I wanted to pee on someone that badly, I really don’t think I’d need to turn into a werewolf to do it. There’s a list of people I’m close to that done with. Don’t worry, you’re not on it. Yet. …Or am I supposed to be marking territory? In that case, there’s a shorter list. You’re not on that one either. Uh… sorry?
I’d like to thank Seleste for taking the time to answer my questions, and also for not wanting to pee on me. I think that’s pretty important.
If you want to read more about Seleste or her books, you can click on the links below:
The short story prequels, available from Decadent Publishing can be found here. And Kiss of Death from Mundania Press here in all formats. Additionally, all are available at a variety of online retailers.
Kiss of Death is on GoodReads as well, and you can find Seleste all over the internet.
Twitter as @Selestedelaney