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…
Welcome, Victoria Richards! You’ve just released (The Banshee’s Embrace Trilogy). Tell us a little bit about your story.
Our heroine, Jacqueline, has no idea what has been happening to her, but it started the night she was attacked by men with strange powers. Mortally wounded in the attack, Jacqueline knows she would have died if her husband hadn’t thrown himself into the line of fire, sacrificing his life to save her.
Ever since that night, Jacqueline has been strangely drawn to death for reasons she doesn’t understand. When death is nearby, she can see when it is coming for someone. However, it’s her urge to sing when she gets close to dying people that she finds most disturbing.
Toby is a wizard and a member of an ancient order of powerful wizards charged to keep an eye on Jacqueline. As owner of a local bar and a place Jacqueline frequents, it seems an easy enough assignment for Toby.
When a sinister wizard attempts to kidnap her, Jacqueline learns a frightening truth about her heritage- and her powers. Will she be able to use her powers to save Toby, the man she is falling in love with, or will her powers consumer her, causing her to lose everything she holds dear?
Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?
A little bit of both. There’s the paranormal romance aspect that is the underlying theme of the story, but there are some fantasy characters as well. I love reading everything, romance especially, but have always been drawn to paranormal romance stories. The more fantasy, the better. In this series I wanted to create a new kind of character. Our heroine, Jacqueline, is a half banshee, capable of reaping any soul at will. But unlike a full banshee who lives in the plane between life and death and whose task it is to guide the dying to the other side, Jacqueline is still very much alive, but with banshee powers. Something she must come to grips with.
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?
No Godzilla like monsters, haha, but there are wizards, banshees, a shape shifter, the specter of Death, and a god and goddess who appear in Book 3. My favorite character… I have a couple. The shape shifter is a hoot; a cranky, old colorful alcoholic who is very endearing. The other would be Toby’s son, Gabe. Young, impetuous, and a powerful wizard just coming into his own. Because of the circumstances of his upbringing he has a lot of hatred and resentment in his heart. But extremely powerful. A dangerous combination.
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!
It’s a series of 3 books. As of now the trilogy is complete, but I have been asked by some readers to continue the story. Gabe, who I just mentioned, and his love interest would be a great new series to pursue. Also, near the end of Book 3 is an appearance by Merlin. Yes, that Merlin, adding a good, unexpected twist to the ending of the series. Because of his appearance here I started a new series, Young Merlin. Book 1 is out. No release date on Book 2 yet.
What else are you working on?
Currently plotting the Young Merlin series. I’ll be introducing some new and unique supernatural creatures in this series. The first book has a goddess and two young, powerful, if not foolish incubuses. Add a dragon, magic and Excalibur and it makes for a fun, quick fantasy read.
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?
Jacqueline’s best friend, Angela is one of those fun, flirty girls that is just fun to hang out with, and have a drink with. Despite appearing shallow she is a fiercely loyal friend. If I had to pick an actress to play her it might be Emma Stone or Scarlett Johansson.
Now if you’re talking sexy men, then the hero, Toby would be hot. There are a couple steamy sex scenes where he uses magic in his lovemaking with Jacqueline. Casting an actor to play him would be tough. Might try for Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans or Ben Afflec.
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?
I start out with the story in my head, where it can dance around for days or weeks. I pencil idea snippets out as I go along on real paper, before finally putting the plot down in Word. I review the plot several times, bounce it around with some trusted friends and fellow writers before finally starting actually writing the book. The actual writing part is mostly a punster, where I sit locked in my dungeon banging away until the story takes form.
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?
Best case scenario 1-2 months. Reality more like 3-4. Round one would be intense focus and just write and let things flow. This takes about a month to really get the story out. After that I’ll re-read and retool the story as needed. This can go through two or three iterations before I call it done. After it’s “done”, I’ll still reread it again to spot any typo/grammar issues. Then off to the editor for further typo/grammar/continuity checks. During the edit phase I’ll have my cover designer come up with a cover. Both of these should take another 1-2 weeks. After that it’s time to publish.
Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?
Yes, write every day. Come rain or shine, write. Initially, don’t worry if it’s good or bad, just write. Everyone gets better with practice. Other than write, read. Read everything, especially in the genre you would like to write in.
Where can we find you and your books online?
Victoria Richards is a native southern Californian. She is a married and a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful daughters. She holds two degrees, one in Liberal Arts and the other in History. Victoria has been writing since she was old enough to pick up a pencil, but it wasn’t until her college years that she really developed a love for writing creatively. At the suggestion of her creative writing professor she decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer, something that she enjoys and gives her immense satisfaction.
Her passion for reading is all encompassing, with her writing focused in the paranormal romance genre. With a hyperactive and romantic imagination, a degree in history and a love for the arts she finds it easy to blend these many disperse elements together to create paranormal romance stories that can range from the beautiful to the bizarre.
The Banshee’s Embrace is currently free and can be download here, http://bit.ly/BansheesEmbrace.