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Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mysteries
Genre: Urban fantasy/Paranormal mystery
Publisher: Misterio Press
Date of Publication: October 31, 2014
Number of pages: 291
Word Count: 75,000
Cover Artist: Becky Scheel
Hoodoo, haunts, and horror.
Riga Hayworth just wants to wrap up her supernatural TV series exploring the magic of New Orleans. But when she stumbles across a corpse, she becomes a police consultant on a series of occult murders, murders that quickly become all too personal.
Book six in the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mysteries.
“What we need is more conflict.” Sam frowned, his sandy hair stirring in the breeze from a nearby fan.
Riga Hayworth caught a waiter's eye, pointed to her empty cocktail glass, and raised a digit.
Nodding, the waiter bustled off, abandoning her to the crew of the reality TV show. Tourists and black-aproned wait staff swirled about their courtyard table, in that New Orleans mix of soupy heat and raw excitement.
But all Riga felt was irritation. Irritation that so far the Haunted New Orleans episode of Supernatural Encounters had been a bust. Irritation that she’d felt obliged to do the reality show. Irritation that she didn’t really need the money from the series, her husband had plenty for them both. And that left her awkwardly trying to demonstrate some relevance, keeping her hand in as an income earner. And why did she feel the need to prove herself in their marriage? At the thought of her husband, her annoyance vanished, replaced by longing. What was Donovan doing now?
“We need tension,” her field producer went on. “It doesn’t have to be a fight per se. Tension can mean two people who want different things.” He was dressed for an L.L. Bean safari, but judging from his darkening freckles and ruddy face, he wasn’t any cooler than the rest of them.
Summer in New Orleans. Why?
Riga glanced across the table at her slim, tousle-haired niece, Pen. One bare foot was propped on the edge of her chair, straining the knees of her cargo pants. Today's t-shirt read: KEEP CALM AND GET OFF MY LAWN, an image of a shotgun bracketing top and bottom.
At least with Pen on the Supernatural Encounters camera team, they had a chance for some quality time. The opportunity to do magical research was an added bonus. One of their interviewees, a local hoodoo queen, had joined them for lunch, and Riga had been picking her brain about gris-gris charms.
Riga angled her head back, meditating on a puffy white cloud. If Donovan had been able to get away from his casino in Macau, New Orleans would have been different. Her lips parted. Fun.
She pulled her auburn hair off the back of her neck, enjoying the play of the fan on her damp skin. Discreetly, she unstuck her white silk tank from her back, leaned forward in the wrought iron chair.
“Story is conflict,” Sam, rattled on.
Pen fiddled with a video camera. Her chair was slightly back from the table, angled toward her boyfriend and fellow camera tech John Wolfe. Her other foot rested, hidden, in Wolfe's lap, being massaged.
Angus, their sound man, turned a deeper shade of pink and looked away from the couple.
“I mean, you're gorgeous,” Sam continued. “A Rita Hayworth clone whose name is actually Riga Hayworth. The heart-shaped face, the hair. Your eyes are more of a browny-purple, which is stunning, but the point is...”
Ignoring the producer, Riga narrowed her gaze at Wolfe, still massaging her niece’s bare foot. With his long sideburns and wavy, dark hair, his looks fit his name. Seven years older than Pen, he was a grown man, challenging, virile, sexy. And though Riga liked him, his relationship with her niece made her uneasy. Pen wasn't even old enough to drink yet.
Catching her eye, his face paled, and he laid his broad hands on the table. Riga was unsure what her role of chaperone entailed and had decided to err on the side of militancy.
“You're ignoring me again,” the field producer said.
Riga looked up, studying the spot between his pale blue eyes. “I'm not ignoring you,” she lied. “Just waiting for you to elaborate.”
“As am I, chère.” Beside her, Hannah the Hoodoo Queen propped her head in her hands and fluttered her lashes. Tall, with the sculpted cheekbones of a supermodel and the muscular frame of a pro tennis player, Hannah’s dark skin shimmered in the heat. Dreadlocks streamed from beneath her gold-colored turban.
Sam waved his manicured hands in the air. “Conflict. Stories are built on conflict. Our pilot show had it in spades—”
Riga's mouth turned down. “In the pilot we crossed paths with a serial killer. Do you really want that again?”
“No, no. Of course not,” he said. “Just... conflict.”
“We've got some great footage of Riga rolling her eyes and smirking.” Pen shook her loose, chestnut-colored hair, smothering a smirk of her own.
“It's a start,” Sam said. “But we need more.”
“How much more?” Riga asked.
“We need conflict between people.”
“It's too hot to argue,” Riga said. “Whose bright idea was it to come to New Orleans in June?”
He sighed, glancing at Hannah. “Can't you two at least disagree a little? Magical practitioner to magical practitioner?”
“Why would I disagree with Hannah on anything that has to do with hoodoo?” Riga asked. “She's the specialist, not me.”
“I like this girl,” Hannah said.
He put his hands on his hips. “Work with me here.”
“So you're asking us to fake an argument,” Riga said. “For reality TV.”
“It's television,” Sam said. “You should know by now there's no such thing as reality TV.”
Hannah rose. “Sorry, Mr. Producer. I don't do catfights. And now if y'all would excuse me, I've got to meet a client in desperate need of a love potion.”
“Bye,” Riga said.
Hannah winked and sauntered through the restaurant, winding past the fountain in the center of the courtyard. Pausing beside a table sheltered by ferns, she nodded and disappeared through the garage-like entryway.
Sam folded his lanky arms across his chest. “Riga... We spent the night in one of America's most haunted houses, and you didn't react.”
“It's not that haunted.”
Wolfe's hands were under the table again, and Pen smiled. Riga relaxed, slipped through the in-between. Wolfe's drink toppled, spilling ice and mint leaves and booze into his lap. He leapt up, sputtering, dabbing at his jeans with a cloth napkin.
Pen's feet retracted onto her chair. Peeling a wet leaf from her foot, she glared at her aunt.
Riga gave her a what-are-you-gonna-do-about-it grin. After a year of struggling, her magic had had a sudden breakthrough.
Unfortunately, other parts of her magic were still wildly awry. But the possibilities both excited and terrified her. Enemies in the magical world were like gunfighters, looking to make names for themselves by knocking off tough opponents. The more adept her magic, the easier it was to defend herself, the more people came after her. She fidgeted, itching to return to her hotel room to study the thin file on the Old Man, the file she'd told Donovan she'd leave at home.
Wolfe tossed the soaked napkin on the table. An awkwardly positioned stain spread over the front of his jeans. “I'll be right back.” He headed for the bathrooms, passing the bar. A youngish man in a Hawaiian shirt and baggy shorts half-fell off his barstool, but managed to keep his tall, tropical drink upright. The drinking got started in New Orleans earlier than any other city Riga had visited.
“Riga, this is important,” Sam said. “You need to react more. People need to see your emotion to connect with you – whether that emotion is positive or negative. For example, what are you feeling right now?”
“Great! And what do you do when you're annoyed?”
Riga's lips thinned. “As a mature adult, I express my annoyance in the appropriate time and manner. If you expect me to pitch a fit like some reality TV star—”
“You are a reality TV star. Or you could be if we get this series off the ground. Look, we've got three more days. Just… give me more reaction, okay?”
“Got it. More emotion. No problem.”
Glass splintered, and they turned toward the sound. Hawaiian shirt guy had navigated off the barstool and knocked a waitress to the ground. Clumsily, he brushed an orange from her knee. Her tray rolled along the moss-filled brickwork. A toddler in a highchair pointed at it, laughing with delight. Clutching a fistful of napkins, the bartender hurried to the fallen waitress.
Riga's brow furrowed. Stupid drunks, that was her drink seeping into the patio floor.
Waving a hand in apology at the waitress, Hawaiian Shirt staggered to the fountain, crashed into a chair and stumbled into their table.
Angus stood quickly, and laid a chubby hand on the drunk's chest. In spite of Hawaiian Shirt's six-inch advantage, the stranger stumbled back.
“Hey friend,” Angus said, his broad, freckled face serious, “the bar's that way.”
“I'm not your friend. I'm a hit man. A hoodoo hit man.”
“Well, Mr. Hit Man, you need to move along.” Angus oriented him in the other direction.
The man nodded, turned, brushing past Riga. His lips pressed to her ear, his breath hot and sweet on her neck. “And you're worth a cool quarter mil.” He leaned into her, the gun hidden beneath his shirt digging into her shoulder. Something dropped to her lap.
Pen's face twisted with disgust.
“That's enough, buddy.” Yanking him away from the table, Angus shoved him gently in the opposite direction.
The hoodoo hit man lurched into the dark corridor that led to the bathrooms and the rear exit.
Riga looked down at the scrap of paper folded in her lap. Hands beneath the table, she opened it:
Neither of us is alone.
Follow me and only one of us gets hurt.
At a nearby table, a father lifted his toddler off the ground, blew into the little boy's belly. The child shrieked with laughter.
Riga swallowed. There were too many targets. The waitress, bringing her a fresh Hurricane. A well-dressed couple, engrossed in their smart phones. Pen, smiling vacuously at Wolfe and oblivious to the danger. Riga clenched her hands, a wave of dizziness surging through her body.
Abruptly, she stood.
“Now that's an emotion,” Sam said. “That's what I want to see on your face. What have we got? Anger? Anxiety? Stress?”
“Indigestion.” Riga followed the hit man.
Walking into the cool shadow of the wood-paneled corridor, she unclenched her fists, her heart slamming in her chest. In magic, fear and stress worked against her. Riga fought to relax, rolled her shoulders.
It didn't help. Tension sputtered through her system.
A humming fluorescent light illuminated the narrow hallway in flickering sepia tones. On her left, two bathroom doors, black and splashed with red paint. Further down, a cart stacked with dirty dishes. A sliver of light gleamed at the end of the hall. The rear door stood ajar.
So he wanted her there, outside.
Which meant he was probably in one of the restrooms. Centering herself, she pulled in energy from above and below – hot molten red from the earth, cool blue from the sky.
Riga shoved open the door to the ladies room, checked the stalls.
Riga sidled outside. She walked to the men's room, her sandaled feet clicking lightly on the tile floor. Flung the door open.
Wolfe, braced before a urinal, whipped his head around. “Hey!”
“Anyone in here with you?”
“What are you... No!”
“Of course I'm sure. Do you mind?”
“Sorry.” She ducked out.
So the hit man really was waiting for her in the alley, unless he could hide on the ceiling like a bat. Glancing up, she blew out her breath. No vampires or hit men crawled across the ceiling. Not that she really believed there would be.
Riga paced down the corridor, energy rippling between her fingers.
Heat drifted in from the cracked door. Licking her lips, she tried to ignore the fluttering in her stomach and pressed her fingertips to the door. She extended her senses beyond it, a gentle push on the auric bubble that surrounded her, forcing the bubble outward. She felt no one before her, outside. Which meant…
Riga spun, panting, palms extended outward, fingers curled like claws.
The corridor was empty.
Sounds of normalcy – the clatter of dishes, laughter, light jazz music – flowed down the corridor from the restaurant.
She stared at the alley door. What. The. Hell. Extending her senses again, Riga probed more carefully. A flicker of life sparked on the edge of her awareness. But it was too small to be the hit man. A cat? The gorge rose in her throat at a familiar pull, sickly sweet.
She pushed open the door. A wave of damp heat struck her, and the scent of copper and rotting garbage. A narrow brick alley. Tumbled cardboard boxes. A garbage can, tipped on its side. A hand, lying on the pavement, wet with...
Gripping the door, Riga took another step into the alley. She stared, breathless. The hoodoo hit man lay on the ground, blood spreading from the gash in his neck in a ghastly smile. Blood soaked his Hawaiian shirt. Blood puddled, trickled, spattered. She stumbled back, dizzy, the warm door handle tethering her to reality, keeping her upright.
Something prickled at the edges of her consciousness, hot and cold and electric.
At the end of the alley, a tall figure wavered in the heat, its head strangely bulbous. It stretched, extended, darkening, pulling light inside it.
“What's going on?” Wolfe asked.
Riga jumped, gasping. She turned and looked into a camera lens. “Dammit, Wolfe!”
Riga glanced down the alley. The figure had vanished.
Wolfe smiled, one eye glued to the viewfinder. “I figured you were up to something when you busted into the men's room, so I went back for my camera.”
Riga couldn't trust herself to speak. She longed to punch him, to wipe that infuriating grin from his mouth.
“What...?” He turned the camera, panning down the alley. The camera dipped, swayed. “Oh.”
Digging into the pocket of her skorts for her cell phone, she called 9-1-1, hands shaking.
“At least the cops can't say you did it,” he said. “I saw you go into the alley. I've even got it on tape.”
Riga grunted. “Small favors.” Forcing down the fear and shock, her mind registered the scene. The hit man had probably been attacked from behind. But the spatter would have been hard for the killer to completely avoid, and she shuddered in spite of the furnace-like heat rising from the macadam. It cooked the garbage, the blood, the body.
There was something horribly intimate about a knife attack. It was close, personal.
She'd rather face a gun.
The hit man's shirt was ruched up, exposing his weapon, a Walther PPK. He'd never gotten a chance to draw it.
Character Name: Brigitte the Gargoyle.
Character Bio: Gargoyle and magician’s familiar “born” in 1496 in Paris. Likes gory romantic suspense novels.
Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Brigitte: Between Riga and her niece, the brave Pen, I have little time to relax. They are always getting into some sort of deadly magical trouble and need to me to help them out of it. Without me, you understand, they would not be alive today. But when I am allowed a free moment, I read.
Q: Oh? What book are you reading now?
Brigitte: Plague World by Dana Fredsti. Her zombies are very stupid, but delightfully bloody.
Q: Tell us about your family.
Brigitte: I have been alive a long time, and ze necromancer who animated me is long dead. He was a good man, and I always considered him my father. It was not his fault that those who came after him were not so scrupulous. Fortunately, I have a new family – Riga, Donovan, and Pen. Thank ze heavens Riga finally married. On her own, she can be very irritating.
Q: What are you passionate about these days?
Brigitte: Passionate about? Seriously? Where do you get these questions?
Q: They’re pretty standard –
Q: I am a gargoyle, a creature of living stone! And you ask about my passions?
Q: All right. I’ve noticed you land pretty heavily on the furniture. How much does a gargoyle of living stone weigh? And how much damage do you think you’ve done to Riga’s stuff in dollar terms?
Q: This interview bores me. [Flies off].
Kirsten Weiss is the author of the Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery series: The Metaphysical Detective, The Alchemical Detective, The Shamanic Detective, The Infernal Detective, and The Elemental Detective. She’s also the author of a steampunk novel, Steam and Sensibility.
Kirsten worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and deep in the Afghan war zone. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.
Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking good wine.
You can connect with Kirsten through the social media sites below
TITLE – Black is the Colour SERIES – Tales from the Hearthfire AUTHOR – Nicole Hurley-Moore GENRE – Romance – medieval fairytale PUBLICATION DATE – 27th October, 2014 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 189 pages COVER ARTIST – Conor Moore
Ciana has loved Oran all her life and nothing, not even her father will prevent them from being together. But the Mayor of Stonemark has higher aspirations for his daughter than the village blacksmith. He engages the help of a witch and dark magic to bend Ciana to his will.
Oran knows that he doesn’t deserve Ciana. But their love is stronger than the metal he forges and welds. She has his heart and he will never turn from her no matter the cost.
Separated, Ciana will need all her strength to journey through the deep forest and save Oran from the witch’s curse. Alone and with only a trail of black feathers to follow, Ciana will fight against the odds and attempt to bring her lover home.
Round double, double you go, Until black feathers upon you grow. Beak and claw, talon and wing, Now with raven’s voice you shall sing. To the heavens you shall fly, It is my will – So say I.
Oran’s arms were around her, holding her tight. She snuggled against him to capture his warmth. Outside the wind had picked up. It caused the branches to scratch against the cottage walls. Ciana closed her eyes but there was something that wouldn’t let her sleep. She tilted her head back and looked at Oran. His eyelids flickered for an instant before closing altogether. His dark hair had fallen forward and obscured part of his face. Reaching up, Ciana brushed it back. “You should sleep. The dawn will be here soon enough and we have a long journey ahead of us,” he said as he tightened his grasp. “I know, but I can’t settle... it’s as if...” “What?” “Oh, I don’t know. It’s as if something isn’t right.” “All is well, my love,” he answered sleepily. “It’s been an eventful day. You’re worried that your father will come after us but we will soon be far beyond his reach.” “I suppose you’re right.” “We’ll be long gone before he even returns. Fear not,” he said as he kissed her shoulder. “We’ll be at Havensport in three days and the very thought of Stonemark will be far behind us.” “I’m sure that’s true,” Ciana said as she closed her eyes and willed herself to fall asleep. But the wind shrieked and circled the cottage and Ciana could not shake the feeling of foreboding. “Of course I’m right. There is nothing to worry about...” The door burst open with a bang. The wind tore around the room, circling the bed. With it came leaves, sticks and debris from the woods. Oran threw himself over Ciana in an attempt to shield her from the maelstrom. The wind howled like a banshee and the bed shook, until she was sure that both of them would fall. “What’s happening?” Ciana shouted. “I don’t know – but nothing natural I’ll wager,” Oran said as buried his head above hers. “Just hold on, love and wait for it to pass.” But it didn’t. The wind became stronger and rattled the cottage until Ciana thought the whole thing would blow away. Ciana wrapped her arms around Oran’s waist but let out a cry as a branch dragged across her forearm, scratching and snagging her flesh until it bled. “Put your arms beneath me and keep down – I’ll protect you.” “But who will protect you?” “I’ll be fine as long you’re safe. Everything will be...” Oran broke off as the wind tugged at his body. It began to lift him up. Ciana grabbed his arms and tried to anchor him to her. “You can’t have him!” she screamed against the circling wind. “You can’t have him!” Oran held on to the rough wooden bed head and she felt his muscles strain and bulge as he gripped on. “Ciana, I...” The vortex spun quicker around the room. Noise thundered in Ciana’s ears as she was buffeted by more twigs, leaves and black feathers. She held onto Oran until her knuckles were white and her nails dug into his skin. “I won’t let you go.” His dark eyes locked onto hers for a moment. “I love you.” “Nay, I won’t let you go...” But even as the words fell from her lips her grip slipped. The force of the wind lifted Oran off the bed. The leaves swirled around him and swallowed his body so only his outstretched arms and head were visible. The strength of the whirlwind wretched Oran from Ciana’s grasp, the bed head snapped and with one final look Oran was dragged off the bed, back through the open door and into the night dark wood.
Nicole has always been a lover of fairy tales, history and romance. She grew up in Melbourne and Central Victoria and has travelled extensively. Her first passion in life has always been her family, but after studying and achieving her BA in History and Honours in Medieval Literature, she devoted her time to writing historical, fantasy and contemporary romance. She is a full time writer who lives in the Central Highlands of Victoria with her family, where they live in the peaceful surrounds of a semi-rural town.
$20 Amazon Gift Card
Fantasies in Color
Sharon Lynn Fisher
Genre: Steampunk Erotica (BDSM)
Publisher: West 26th Street Press
Date of Publication: Oct. 29, 2014
Number of pages: 45
Word Count: 12,000
Cover Artist: Rafido
Second novelette in the Fantasies in Color series by RWA RITA-nominated author Sharon Lynn Fisher ...
Pearl knows it was Raven who stole her mama's heart -- a beautiful quartz stone given to her by Pearl's father right before he died. She sets off alone to the crow-man's keep determined to bring back the stone, but she's caught by a servant and taken to the tower.
The dark-winged ruler of the keep isn't at all what she imagined, and he isn't about to let Pearl go before unlocking all her mysteries -- mysteries she never dreamed her body possessed.
Available for $2.99 at Amazon
Available for $1.99 at AerBook
We pass through a corridor lit by more of the strange lamps, most notably an octopus with an arm span of a dozen feet and a large green light bulb for a head. A clock is mounted just under the bulb, and as it strikes the hour, the arms begin to adjust their position along the wall, accompanied by the unmistakable sound of grinding gears.
Wilkes catches me eyeing it and says, “Master makes them all himself.”
“Who is ‘Master’?” I reply, fear sharpening the edges of my voice. “Where does he come from? Who made him like that?”
“Same as makes us all, Pearl. The Maker.”
“You mean to say he was born like that?”
“Are any of us as we were when we first separated from our mothers’ bodies?”
This sounds like something my pa would say, and is not at all the sort of chat I want to have right now.
“What makes him do it?” I demand. “Why does he steal things?”
“Master Raven acquires objects for his inventions. Cast-off things, or things the owner will not long miss.”
“Ha,” I grunt, “and what would a silly old crow-man who has no use for other living souls know about that?”
Wilkes follows me down the corridor, so he can’t see it’s not only anger that’s choking me up. But also I can’t see what he thinks of my answer.
At the end of the corridor we climb a dizzying number of steps that wind upward like a corkscrew. We rise up through a hole in the floor into the “workshop.”
Workbenches line the walls, and every surface is covered with what look like machines in various states of repair or assembly. There are heaps of “acquired” objects up here as well, and I steal a quick look around the room for Ma’s stone.
The tower has but one large window fitted with amber-tinted panes, so it’s only moderately brighter than the rooms below. More lamps range around the perimeter, but these mostly use clear light bulbs so it feels less like being in a submersible — or at least what I’d imagine a submersible to feel like. Near the window is a tall easel holding a stack of parchment. Symbols and numbers and diagrams have been scratched over almost every inch of the first sheet. I notice now that many sheets, similarly scrawled upon, have been hung along the walls. Some of the diagrams seem to be carefully labeled drawings of Raven himself.
“Here, Wilkes,” he calls, and Wilkes takes me by the arm and leads me over to the easel. Next to it is a sort of stand, shaped like an X, with a system of straps and buckles.
I jump as the manservant pushes me toward the stand, and the moment my back touches it I begin to fight him in earnest.
“What are you doing?” I demand, shoving at his chest.
Wilkes doesn’t reply, but he uses his body to seal me against the stand. His eyes bore into mine, transmitting something hot and alive, as he raises my arms over my head.
Raven joins us, and I cry out as he fits leather cuffs over my wrists and ankles.
“Leave us,” orders Raven.
As Wilkes withdraws, Raven steps back, cradles his elbow in one hand, and props his head on the other, watching me.
“What do you want from me?” I shout, straining against the cuffs.
His brow furrows as his eyes move over me. I’m not sure he’s heard me.
“Master Raven!” I insist.
He drops his arms and moves to stand directly in front of me. We regard each other, my heart vibrating my chest, and I become aware that the fear that grips me is changing — in a way I don’t understand well enough to explain to anyone, including myself.
My heart still hammers. My breaths come faster. I am afraid. But something warm and velvet is awake and moving low in my belly.
Raven reaches for a lever and tugs it gently. The X-stand tilts backward, angling my body.
He draws nearer, reaching a gloved hand to the top fastening of my corset. I gasp as he runs a finger from the hook, along the ridge of the corset, tip grazing the soft, rounded flesh above. His finger passes back and forth, my breath increasing with his momentum, until finally his fingertip stops just above my nipple. He presses into the soft flesh and then suddenly tugs upward.
My nipple pops free of the corset. Heat builds between my legs and my mouth waters. He meets my gaze, and my lips part, short puffs of breath moving in and out. His fingertip slides down, and with the soft leather of his glove he begins to slowly rub.
“I … Master … ”
He ducks his head closer, positioning the magnifying device over his eye and focusing it over my nipple. I feel the cold metal of its tip pressing against me, surrounding the small red flower.
“Hold very still,” he says, and I try to stop breathing. But it’s not possible.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Yes, since I was a kid! I was a shy kid and books were my whole world. I started very young, writing stories that were my own versions of stories by other authors I liked.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I’ve pretty much always thought of myself as a writer! I was always either scribbling fiction or working as a writer in my job.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Either four years or twenty. I first started writing with hopes of publishing when I was in my early twenties. But then I gave it up for a long time. I started again when my daughter was very young. The first full-length novel I wrote at that time was GHOST PLANET, and that was published by Tor Books in 2012.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
Yes, I work as editorial director for SilkWords (where I’m also a partner). SilkWords is an interactive romance and erotica publisher. We publish branched fiction (Pick Your Path), and Reader Vote stories. If you’re curious, there’s a lot of free content up on our site: www.silkwords.com.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My tour book is RAVEN TAKES A PEARL, a steampunk BDSM novelette, second in my Fantasies in Color series. Twenty words was hard!
Steampunk lass leaves home for the first time to steal back her mother’s prize possession — finds herself instead.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
Both! I publish science fiction romance novels via Tor Books, and I indie publish my erotica novelettes.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
My first published novel took less than two months. (True story!) My second took a year and a half. (Alas, also a true story.) My erotica stories are novelette length and take a couple weeks to write the first draft.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
There are more Fantasies in Color stories coming! I also have a new Tor book out on Feb. 3 (ECHO 8, a paranormal, suspense, sci-fi mash-up with a love triangle). And I have an in-progress novelette on Wattpad — RED: LOVE IN THE TIME OF FLESH-EATERS (free read).
What genre would you place your books into?
Sci-Fi/Fantasy, though I do love mash-ups (see previous question!).
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I’ve always written speculative fiction, and probably always will. I really love worldbuilding, and steampunk has such compelling settings. RAVEN is sort of a dark sister to a sweet steampunk romance I wrote for SilkWords, A HEART FOR COPPER. They both are set in the same world, have a hero who’s an inventor, and have a heroine who experiences an awakening.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorites. She’s smart and doesn’t take crap from anyone, not even the powerful and secretive Mr. Rochester. Ha, I just realized you said from one of MY books. But I think that would be like choosing a favorite child, so I’ll stick with this!
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
Since I was six! Books inspired me to write.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Post book contract, writing becomes as much profession as passion, and I’m pretty businesslike about it. In other words I work at my desk in silence most of the time. But it does get lonely, so sometimes I go to coffee shops just to be around other people. And I do sometimes listen to music when editing.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I’m on a self-imposed intervention with review reading. Up until recently I have read every word of every review. But occasionally there’s a really painful one and it’s impossible to scrub it out of your brain once you’ve read it. Nowadays if I see less than three stars, I don’t read it.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Almost without fail I choose a title first, and the rest of the story unpacks from that. But for RAVEN, I was well into writing the story before the title came.
How do you come up with characters names in your books?
Sometimes I name them after a literary character I love (like Elizabeth in GHOST PLANET). Sometimes the name is symbolic (like Pearl in RAVEN). Their name may have a meaning in another language (Asha and Pax in THE OPHELIA PROPHECY). And sometimes it’s just a name that seems like it suits them (Tess, Ross, and Jake in ECHO 8).
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I always have some sense of the character by the time I’m a few pages in, but it’s usually in the revision process where their characters really develop.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Not so much morals, but higher-concept stuff does seem to creep into my work. What it means to be human is a very common theme, explored through characters like Master Raven who are not fully human, and are often marginalized because of it.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I have a Kindle but still love paper. Trade paperback, I think. Nice big words, not too heavy.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I’m not very good at choosing favorites (more on that below!), but a few books I loved and read multiple times: A WRINKLE IN TIME (loved the close family bonds, and awkward Meg), WATERSHIP DOWN (amazing characters), and LORD OF THE RINGS (amazing characters and setting). These days I don’t ever seem to have time for re-reading.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Some do, yes. Readers have to adjust expectations when it comes to films — things that work in books don’t always work in movies. My current favorite is the TV adaptation of OUTLANDER. A friend and I did an eight-hour binge on that one! I love it because it’s got great writing and they made good actor choices. I think my least favorite adaptation was THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. I didn’t think the screenplay did the book justice.
Your favorite food is? Your favorite singer/group is? Your favorite color is? Your favorite Author is?
I suck at favorites! If I pick one, pretty soon I’m thinking about all the reasons I love a different one!
An RWA RITA Award finalist and a three-time RWA Golden Heart Award finalist, Sharon Lynn Fisher writes stories for the geeky at heart — meaty mash-ups of sci-fi, suspense, and romance, with no apology for the latter. She lives where it rains nine months of the year. And she has a strange obsession with gingers (down to her freaky orange cat). In addition to her erotica stories, she’s authored three science fiction romance novels for Tor Books: Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8 (2015).
Visit her at www.sharonlynnfisher.com