TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery!
Alexa: Thank you so much for inviting me as part of your debut author challenge. I’m incredibly excited to take part.
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Alexa: Oh wow, I really wish I could say something great like I do all my writing in the bath amid the light of a thousand candles. Or I only write during the full moon or in months with an “R” in their name. Those would be quirks worth sharing. Unfortunately, the most quirky thing about me is the HUGE cup of coffee (or two) I need before I can sit down at my desk and the pens and notepads I have stashed all over my house and in my car for the moment inspiration strikes. Although, this time of year, I do bring my laptop down out of my office to write curled on the couch in front of the woodstove. It’s not candlelight, but it’s cozy.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Alexa: I could wax poetic for hours about my favorite writers from Jane Austen to Lois McMaster Bujold. I grew up a huge SF/F fan devouring McCaffrey, Lackey, Norton, Kay, and Vinge to name a few. But interspersed in there were tons of historicals from writers like Dunnett, Gabaldon, Cornwell, and Penman. And of course romance of any subgenre. I love Julia Quinn and Kristin Higgins, Karen Marie Moning and Hester Browne. I always come away thinking, “boy I want to write like that when I grow up.” Right now, I’m reading CS Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series…actually it would be more accurate to say gobbling. They’re fabulous!
I think every author I read influences my writing to some degree, and since I read across such a wide spectrum of genres, all of those influences jumbled together turned into my mash-up of paranormal-historical romance that became the Imnada Brotherhood and DEMON’S CURSE.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Alexa: A definite pantser. When I begin a book, I have a bare bones premise and two characters I vaguely understand. The act of writing is what stirs my imagination, so outlining for me is completely useless. I don’t know my characters until they come alive on the page and the story I end up with is the story they tell. I just follow along behind with my laptop madly typing.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Alexa: Definitely that following along madly typing thing we just talked about. It’s a challenge every time, especially when midway through the book my characters decide to take a detour and I have to grit my teeth and rewrite the first two hundred pages. I also need to relearn with every book that the story will only come when I surrender to that inevitable route change. When I struggle to keep to the path I set at the beginning, the words grind to a halt and the whiny panic and self-doubt begins.
TQ: Describe Demon's Curse in 140 characters or less.
Alexa: A star on the Covent Garden stage and one of the mysterious race of shapeshifting Imnada join forces to find a killer and break a curse.
TQ: What inspired you to write Demon's Curse?
Alexa: Don’t laugh, but my very first thought when coming up with the series was ‘why not have aliens in the regency?’. Needless to say, my agent was skeptical about little green men hanging with the beau monde. So I tweaked the idea a bit, added an Arthurian twist, two warring magical races, threw in a battle-toughened group of shapeshifting ex-soldiers, and…oh yeah…a really nasty curse.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Demon's Curse?
Alexa: I spend most of my time making sure the Regency details are accurate. My office is floor to ceiling bookshelves and probably one-third of that space is devoted to information on the time period when my books are set; everything from military maps and travel guides to sources on food, architecture, fashion, and social mores of the era. For Mac and Bianca’s story, I spent a lot of time researching the theatre in general and Covent Garden in particular, including floor plans and biographies of actresses of the day.
TQ: Tell us something about Demon's Curse that is not in the book description.
Alexa: When writing the book, my inspiration for Mac Flannery came from a photo I found of Chris Evans (Captain America). Whether it was the pose or the expression on his face or just his extreme yumminess…I don’t know…but he became Mac, the shapechanger soldier who finds himself caught between duty to his race and the human woman he comes to love.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
Alexa: I always enjoy my secondary characters best. They seem to jump off the page with little effort on my part. Actually, I tend to have to put them on leashes to keep them from taking the story over. And in DEMON’S CURSE, there were lots of those types of characters to choose from. Lady Deane tried to hijack the book, especially in the early drafts when she was channeling Tallulah Bankhead. Mac’s smart-ass best friend David St. Leger tried horning in from time to time. And then there’s the mysterious Badb. My cp’s are dying to hear her story.
Mac was the hardest to write because he derived completely from my imagination. I had no built-in reader knowledge to fall back on. I had to explain everything about his character and his world and do it without sounding like an encyclopedia entry.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Demon's Curse?
Alexa: I love the prologue when we witness the devastating attack that triggered the curse. Mac and the other shifters have been taught to hide what they are at all costs, but in following the laws of their clan, they’re struck down by a curse and end up outcasts from the very society they killed to protect. The whole scene rolled off my pen effortlessly from start to finish and really summed up the personalities and motivations of the four main characters.
TQ: What's next?
Alexa: The second book, SHADOW’S CURSE is complete and due out in the fall of 2013. Captain David St. Leger is trapped into helping a beautiful necromancer flee north to her family, but his good deed sets an Imnada assassin, a Fey-blood gang lord, and a carnival knife thrower on his tail. If he survives, he might discover a way to break the curse. If he dies, he might find true love.
I’m also working on a novella which will come out about a month prior to Shadows where we find out how Sebastian Commin, the Earl of Deane wooed and won the heart of London actress Sarah Hayes.
And AWAKEN THE CURSE, the novella that began the series is still available for a mere 99 cents anywhere e-books are sold.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Alexa: Thank you for having me. I want to wish everyone a magical and memorable holiday. I hope to hear from lots of you in the coming year, letting me know what you thought of my Regency shifters.
About The Imnada Brotherhood
The Imnada Brotherhood 1
Pocket Books, December 26, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
She holds the key . . .
One of the mythical race of shape-shifting Imnada and a member of an elite military unit, Captain Mac Flannery suffers under a ruthless curse. As the result of a savage massacre on the eve of Waterloo, he and the men he served with are forced to live the hours of darkness trapped as their animal aspects. Now one of them has been murdered, and Mac suspects the existence of the Imnada may finally have been discovered. His only link to unearthing the truth—Bianca Parrino, the beautiful actress whom every man desires.
. . . to his forbidden desires
Forging a new life for herself after escaping the clutches of her abusive husband, Bianca is again drawn into violence when a dear friend is brutally murdered and she becomes a suspect. Forced to place her trust and her life in Mac’s hands as they flee a determined killer, Bianca cannot deny she is falling for the mysterious soldier. But will his dark secrets tear them asunder? Or will love be the key to breaking even the cruelest of spells?
Awaken the Curse
The Imnada Brotherhood
Pocket Star, November 20, 2012
eBook, 100 pages
One very passionate and very scandalous kiss separated university student James Farraday and professor’s daughter Katherine Lacey. Now five years later, James, the new Lord Duncallan, receives an unexpected summons from Kate’s father begging him to come to Wales. When James arrives, he finds Professor Lacey has vanished while studying a mysterious ancient obelisk and everyone blames the nightwalkers; sinister creatures said to haunt the surrounding remote Welsh mountains. Do these legends point to the existence of the Imnada; a race of shape-shifters said to have died off a thousand years ago? Or is the professor’s disappearance the result of a very human villain? James and Kate are determined to find out the truth, knowing it may be the only way to find her father.
Even as they work to unravel the mystery, they find that they’re not the only ones interested in the obelisk and the lost race of Imnada. Treasure hunter Gilles d’Espe believes the ancient dolmen is the focal point of the shape-shifters’ power and would do anything to lay his hands on the last of four silver disks he needs to unlock the dolmen. A disk that hangs around the neck of James Farraday. While Cade, a local villager, is determined to refute both the claims of nightwalker sightings and the power of the dolmen as superstitious nonsense.
James and Kate soon find themselves fighting for their lives. Yet every hour they spend together makes it harder to lay aside the bitterness of the past and a very new and very real temptation…
Alexa Egan lives in Maryland with a husband who’s waiting impatiently for her fame and fortune to support them in a new and lavish lifestyle, three children for whom she serves as chauffeur, cook, nurse, social secretary, banker, and maid (not necessarily in that order), one cat … and twenty-seven fish. You can find her at www.AlexaEgan.com, friend her at www.Facebook.com/AlexaEganBooks or follow her at www.Twitter.com/AlexaEganBooks.
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