It’s Author Interview Friday. This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?
Think on THAT a while…
Meet fellow Harlequin E Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Box Set Babe and Author Misty Simon.
Welcome, Misty! You’ve just released Wicked Ink. Tell us a little bit about your story.
Hi Lisa! And thanks for having me here! I love your site. Where to start on the story?!?! The story opens with Garrett Blackwell, former bad guy, going after some thugs. Now that might be a great suspense story, but then I added a layer where Garrett’s tattoos can transform into weapons and you have an awesome power to deal with. His next door neighbor seems to be the perky girl next door, but she is much more than she appears to be on the surface.
Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy or paranormal romance? What attracted you to the genre?
I’m going to say they’re both with a dash of mystery. You have the grittier backdrop of urban fantasy, the superpowers of a paranormal and the mystery of who is after Garrett, and how far will they go to get it?
Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels. If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?
I love beasties and will be writing them in the future (fingers crossed because I adore the Phoenix and dragons). But for this series it’s all about superpowers! My favorite monsters are the ones that don’t get a lot of love, but to tell the truth, after reading your Reap and Repent, I have to confess a new love affair with reapers.
Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!
This is the beginning of a series. Wicked Ink will be followed by Protective Ink in July and I am currently working on Fluid Ink but don’t have a release date as of yet.
What else are you working on?
LOL! What am I not working on might be a better question! I also have a Contemporary Romance series set in rural PA that is currently on the shelves and a long-running cozy mystery series that is being revamped. But paranormal mystery is definitely one of my favorite genres.
Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?
I’d love to hang with the whole crew from Wicked Ink. They’re intense but I’d like to see if I could get Garrett drunk enough to karaoke!
Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?
Total plotter and a must before I start writing is knowing who the core of the character is. What is that defining moment in their lives? It informs every decision they’ll make and I can’t move forward without it. Well, that and their name because names mean a lot to me.
How long does it typically take for you to write a novel. Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?
Eek. Roundabouts, I can manage 2K a day with the day job. Without it I have reached 10,000 words in one day but then was dead for the whole next day 🙂 A full length novel can take as little as a month if it’s rolling. But if a book is not gelling, it’s probably closer to three months.
Editing is one of the joys of life. It usually takes me about a week to edit. I like to have a clean copy as I’m writing since I am completely linear and can’t move forward if the behind is a mess. Then once I’m done editing I send to critique partners, fix what makes sense to me and send that puppy out into the world. It doesn’t always work. I do have one book that I rewrote twelve times (over the course of ten years) before it sold. I was selling other stuff in between but that book kept calling to me and eventually I got it right.
I’m apparently all over the map!
Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?
Do not give up. Second, every word down is an accomplishment – celebrate!
Please enjoy this WICKED INK excerpt
Dark glass shot out from Garrett Blackwell’s palms as he ran down the alley behind his apartment building. The college student from 4A screamed at the top of her lungs, grappling with the man in the black ski mask who held her by the throat. Garrett’s shards of glass struck true as they bloodied the assailant’s hands, giving the girl a quick second of release.
“Run,” he yelled to her, but she was already sprinting down the narrow road without looking back.
“You son of a bitch.” The girl’s attacker shook his bloody hands in front of him, splattering crimson against the brown brick walls.
“Truer words were never spoken,” Garrett said.
Drawing from the darkness around him and in the man opposite him, he mentally called up a long, double-edged blade into his right hand. A black tribal tattoo from his right biceps slithered down his arm, wrapped around his wrist, and pooled in his palm, materializing as a dagger. He readjusted his shoulders to soothe the crawling sensation as the tattoo did what he’d asked of it. The blade shone midnight-black in the dim light of the quarter moon above them.
The perpetrator started to back away before Garrett had fully gripped the dagger. “Oh no, you’re not getting away that easily,” he said.
Garrett launched himself toward the man, and felt a surge of satisfaction as the dagger sliced through the man’s arm. His blood slicked the blade and was absorbed into it within seconds. The man feinted to the right, then lunged to the left. They had reached the end of the alleyway, where bright streetlights gleamed against the night sky, chasing away the shadows that fueled Garrett’s power.
A car came careening around the corner and glanced off the man in the tattered ski mask. He went down, but was back up faster than Garrett would have anticipated. He ran into the middle of the street, loping painfully and cradling his arm against his side.
Before Garrett could follow him and finish this thing, the same car screeched to a halt and the man jumped in, shouting obscenities while the car zoomed off in a heartbeat.
Leaning against the brick building, Garrett dragged in a deep breath and absorbed the dagger back into his body, his tattoos reforming around his biceps. Later, he would need to find the shards of glass he’d sent shooting into the assailant’s hands. He could live without them, but he didn’t like to leave pieces of himself lying around. There would be enough fallout from this brawl without the added complication of making a trip to Lissa for a new tat.
He dug his fingers into the bricks, trying to ground himself so he could find the strength to fight the darkness swirling through his blood. His head swam with nausea and his knees almost gave out. Somehow he had to get back upstairs so he could detox. Right about now, he wished he could fly like the mythical Superman. He’d take Kryptonite over the purging any day.
Each step was painful, though no one would be able to tell from his outward appearance. He might look slightly drunk to the casual observer, his dark hair tousled, his T-shirt untucked from his worn jeans, but that suited his purpose. Hopefully it would keep his neighbors from being too nosy.
He made it to the third landing without coming across anyone. Staggering down the hallway, he only hoped he could make the last three steps without attracting notice.
This was not his night, though, in more ways than one. He snapped to his full height a breath before 3A’s door opened.
“Hey, Garrett,” his next-door neighbor said. “I’ve been working on a new recipe. Have you had dinner yet?”
He stifled a groan, not knowing whether it was from the unwelcome promise of another meal cooked by someone who shouldn’t even have a kitchen, or from the pain coursing through his body as the darkness sank deeper into his cells.
“Hi, Dory. Thanks for the offer, but I already ate.” The urge to bolt into his apartment was nearly overwhelming. But running from Dory was not going to do him any good. He’d realized the hard way that the more fodder you gave people for speculation, the more questions they tended to ask.
Want to read more? You can buy here:
Look for the next installment in the Ink series with Protective Ink! Coming in July 2014 from Harlequin E.
Misty Simon loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org