Truly, I meant to blog every day and keep up to date with my 30 Day Book Challenge, and while I have been thinking about it, sometimes life just gets in the way and kicks you around some.
Life has been somewhat difficult and stressful over the past couple weeks. Losing someone close to you is never easy. I’m slowly starting to get back on track and back into blogging, though and thought I’d surprise you with an author interview with one of my new favourite authors. If you read on, you’ll also get a sneak peek of Blood of a Hunstman, the second book in May Sage’s After Darkness Falls series, releasing May 29, 2019. Enjoy!
Questions about After Darkness Falls
Q1. I’m aware that the After Darkness Falls series is a standalone series and that the second book in the series features Bash and Catherine, two characters that readers met in the first book, but I have to ask, will Chloe and Levi have another book of their own later in the series?
Chloe and Levi will not be the main characters of any other books in the series, but they will appear quite frequently through the rest of the series. I’m almost done writing book two, and I can say that at least one, if not two of them, are present through a quarter of the book at least.
Q2. In After Darkness Falls readers were introduced to a number of wonderful and charismatic characters. Will all the characters that we met be having their own books?
Not all characters will have their own books, although most will appear in every sequel. (Except those I ruthlessly murder. Or send away on holiday. I’m not a total monster. Maybe ahah!)
Q4. One character in the series that I am intensely interested in is Eirikrson. Will readers be learning more about him and his past in future books?
Currently, there are seven books planned in the After Darkness Falls series. Each will follow a couple, and their story will be resolved by the end of each book. The overall arch, however, will be resolved at book seven. Book seven is Eirikr’s story 😉 We will see small glimpses of him in every book.
Questions about your impressive backlist of books
Q4. So I’m going to be honest and admit that aside from Krinar’s Bane (which I loved), After Darkness Falls is the only other book of yours that I have read. However, I am very eager to read more of your work and have to ask, if a reader had never read any of your work before, what series would you advise them to start with?
The Krinar’s Bane is one of the two instances where I wrote in someone else’s world. The rest of my books are related, happening in one extended universe (different timelines and location, but one world. There often are easter eggs through them.)
That said, every series can be read independently. I will be the first to admit that my first series weren’t well executed. The series started in 2015, 2016 and even some in 2017, aren’t as strong as the more recent work. Even if there’s a recent release in the series, if I’ve started it back then, it’s nowhere near my current level, as I’m limited by the world, characters and lengths of the previous books in the series.
So, I’d recommend my more recent work. Strands of Starfire, for the space fantasy romance fans. Court of Sin, for the fantasy romance fans. Any of the upcoming series starters, such as King of Ruin. That one is FUN! A contemporary fantasy romance. That’s the bridge between paranormal romance and fantasy romance.
Although, note that not all my books are series of standalones, so if you have issues with trilogies, double check the descriptions on the product page first!
Q5. For readers who have read After Darkness Falls and thoroughly enjoyed it, but may not have read any of your other series, which series would you tell them they might like? What series of yours has the most in common with After Darkness Falls?
I don’t have any work quite like After Darkness Falls. Age of Night, happening in the same timeline, is also a series of paranormal romance standalone, but they are novellas and short novels, which means I don’t go in depth into the character’s development. It focuses on the relationship building, and some action as a side dish. In book five, Magic Pussy, there’s actually a closer glimpse at Charles, when one of my character (Chelle’s younger sister) ends up in NOLA. They’re closely related. But not written with the same intent.
Questions for Aspiring Authors.
Q6. What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Read. Read a lot, and in your own genre. The best authors you can get your hands on. When you think you don’t have the time to read, make the time.
I don’t believe that authors who read a lot copy someone else’s style. But I do believe that reading a very well written book makes you challenge yourself and perfect your style. It also should give you a better notion of plot, development and pacing.
Q7. When a scene is giving you trouble or you’re having difficulty with a scene, is there something that you do to help work through it?
Generally speaking, I used to have issues writing action scenes. I’m getting better at it, slowly. What has helped me was watching action movies, analysing the fighting sequences, and writing down what’s happening to practice doing it.
If one specific scene isn’t flowing for any reason, I write “here goes THAT BIT” and write the following scene. I get back to the problematic scene later. Our brains tend to work out problems in our sleep or when we’re chilling, watching a movie, reading a book. I don’t believe in slaving over a scene and staring at a blank page.
Q9. Everyone has their own writing process, as writing works differently for everybody. Some plan and plot, while others fly by the seat of their pants and let the story tell itself. What is your writing process?
I’m a pantster at heart. I believe it helps with the pacing, tells me how long the story is going to be from the start (which helps scheduling my workload, booking editors, and other stuff.) I started plotting After Darkness Falls in May 2018. I had a direction for the entire arc long before I wrote the first sentence. I know how it ends. That means finding the way to get there is a lot easier.
I don’t have all the details, but the general direction is helpful.
I do write down an entire, chapter by chapter outline before starting a book, though. Often, the characters scream, “no! I’m doing what I want!” but it’s fine. Having the outline means I land back on my feet after they’re done having their tantrums. Did I sound like I have a multiple personality disorder? Oops 😛
Anyway, that’s my usual process. I don’t always bother outlining short stories and novellas, however. I just have a sentence somewhere about a couple of points and an idea of the end. I only truly need that outline about fifty percent through a novel, at 30000 words or so when the plot thickens and there are factors outside of the characters weighing in. And typically, that’s where the novellas end, so I’ve rarely needed a clear direction there.
Thank you May Sage for chatting with me and sharing an exclusive sneak peek at your current WIP that I can share with my fellow booklovers.
Exclusive Excerpt (Unedited and subject to change)
Blood of a Huntsman, Academy Falls Book 2 by May Sage
Hearing a clock in the distance, she rushed into the night class moments before Fin Varra, their delectable ancient fae professor, entered the room.
In the middle of the winter, Fin often showed up shirtless—a pleasure like no other on Earth—but now, mid-June, when everyone else struggled with the heat, he walked in wearing a dark cloak that flowed to the floor like it was made of mist. The creature was unable to look anything but fabulous.
“Is he wearing anything under that, you think?” the woman seated on Cat’s left asked.
Cat grinned, admiring Greer Vaspian’s courage.
Greer, an ochre-skinned, freckled redhead beauty with pale green eyes, was the second woman Cat had ever considered a friend. Perhaps not a close friend—she had no reason to trust her, but they had an easy relationship. Greer never asked for personal questions, and never revealed anything about herself either. Instead, they joked, gossiped, helped each other in class, and practiced yoga together. Their superficial arrangement was perfect for Cat.
There was no doubt that Fin had heard every word; if vampires had good hearing, it was nothing compared to the senses of an Aos Si.
Should the professor not be in the mood to be ogled and objectified, he might spell Greer for months, years, centuries, cursing her entire bloodline with nothing more than a few words.
And Greer just didn’t care. Which made her incredibly brave. Or insane.
Cat was wiser; she remained silent, though she did wonder. She couldn’t see the hem of any clothing under the cloak.
Fin fixed Greer under a heated gaze for a long moment.
“I just came out of my bath, Miss Vespian. My skin doesn’t tolerate the rough fabric of this world well. This,” he touched his collar, “came from my world.”
The witch bit her lip and swallowed a strangled laugh.
“Thank you, sir. That’s exactly the kind of fact women need to hear, these dreary days.”
Cat shifted in her seat, suddenly feeling rather uncomfortable, now that she knew the glorious male was, for all intents and purposes, naked.
“Now, if you’re quite satisfied, we can start where we left off last week. It is impossible to spell, hex, or even influence those who carry the blood of the gods, and thus, only one thing can affect them. What is that, Mr. Venari?”
Cat winced, turning to the back of the room, discreetly. That was hardly fair.
Sebastian Venari was the newest student to attend the Advanced Spells class, and Cat suspected he’d picked it only because of the time and attendance. The class ran from ten thirty to midnight, and was mostly populated by vampires. Greer was the sole student with mortal blood in her veins, and she smelled different than most. Older. Somehow more enticing, and less appealing all at once.
To a new vampire, mortals smelled like food. Like prey. Cat had been turned thirteen months ago, and she still was uncomfortable in a room full of regular humans. But strong witches, huntsmen, shifters, were different. A little less like a steak dinner. They had powers of their own, and even the monster buried under a vampire’s conscious mind recognized it.
Sebastian—Bash, his friends called him—had just turned, first into a feral, then back into a regular vampire. He was subjected to the worst kind of desire. A thirst he couldn’t control.
And he was dealing with it badly.
Asking him any academic question right now wasn’t nice. The guy had bigger concerns.
To her surprise, he grumbled, “Elements.”
Correct. Cat’s eyebrows hiked up an inch.
Any magic user knew that, but she hadn’t expected an ex-hunter to be versed in spells. She wondered whether the huntsmen also had classes on craft. Know thy enemy and all that. Maybe they needed to understand how magic worked to kill witches and mages more efficiently.
The huntsmen were part of an ancient, elite order of mortal-ish men and women who hunted rogue vampires, immortals, witches, shifters. Anything paranormal that represented a threat to humanity.
She had little love for them and their tendency to kill first, ask questions later. But, for all that, Cat had to admit she felt sorry for the man. A little. No one deserved to be turned against their will. Without preparation.
She’d only seen him a handful of times in the three months since it had happened, at least until he’d joined this class last week.
And he looked so miserable.
The other part of her didn’t feel sorry at all. To be honest, she was pissed. Pissed at him for wallowing instead of acting. He was such a waste.
“Indeed. Elements. When you cannot touch the mind, or body of your opponent directly, they’re your one defense. Make the ground underneath their feet shake. Make the air blow them ten feet back, and stumble upon your sword. Command the waters to flood their lungs until they drown.”
His voices caressed each word, making torture sound far too enticing. Which was so very typical of a fae, come to think of it. Flooding lungs might be Fin Varra’s kink.
“Well, that’s the theory. In practice, in the entire history of time, only a handful of magic users have ever learned to master more than one element. Names? Catherine, it’s been a while since you showed off.”
She named the six multi-elemental mages recorded off the top of her head. Half the class chuckled and the other groaned. She ignored them all.
“Correct, as usual. Now, assuming that you’re no Tatiana, queen of fae, you will have one affinity. Each individual, even the most mundane of regular humans, has a link to one specific element. This week, we’re going to determine your affinity. Some of you already know your power. Very well. Shut up about it and take notes.”
Another dig at her. Cat’s power was over air, and storms in particular. It was in her blood; her entire family shared that trait. But in this class, she was the only one with a clear familial affinity like that.
“Elemental magic is as volatile as it is powerful, but control it, and no force in this world can stop you. Let it control you, and it will swallow you whole.”
Fin’s eyes fell on her, lingering but one second, before he added, “Of course, that’s assuming you wield a decent amount of magic to start with.”
Again, thank you to the wonderfully talented May Sage. I can’t wait to read the next book in the After Darkness Falls series.
Until next time.
Love Rhianna of Bingeworthy Book Blog