Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When Titles Are Born

For those of you who have been following Jessica Therrien, whose debut teen novel will be out early next year, you'll be excited to hear some developments in the area of book and series titles. Naming things is an essential part of writing - from naming characters to naming narratives - and it's not one we take lightly. Jessica's novel has been under a working title for a while now, and we are excited to reveal the official series and book one title at last:

Children of the Gods

The release isn't for several months, but we'll be giving you tidbits of information and sneak peeks into the story as time progresses. In the meantime, follow her blog, twitter, facebook, and anything else you can find. She's seriously worth following.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ask the Author: VMK Fewings

I'm not sure there's much we enjoy more than talking to authors about their work. One of the exciting things about book blogging is the opportunity to do blog interviews. This week, we have a number of questions for a few of our authors, beginning with the incredible V.M.K. Fewings. Author of the Stone Masters Vampire Series, she has been writing for quite a while, and her fans will be the first to attest to the richness of her work, the intricate characters and complex plot lines each book explores. Here to discuss her work in her own words, we welcome Ms. Fewings.

What first drew you to the genre of vampire fiction? What sort of novels first inspired you?

Thank you for inviting me over to the ZOVA Books Blog! I'm thrilled to be here.

The first novels that inspired me were Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. I quickly fell in love with Asimov's works of science fiction. He was and still is considered a pioneer in the genre.

As a teenager I discovered Anne Rice. I can still remember seeing the paperback of Interview with the Vampire on the shelf of my corner store. I bought the book with my pocket money and never looked back!

Is this the only genre you've written in, or are there other worlds in your head?

I'm currently co-authoring a romantic comedy novel and we're excited with how the world is evolving. It's such a joy when a character rises to the surface and starts to feel real.

What do you think about the current trend, especially in YA fiction, toward more peaceable vampire lore?

It's been exciting to watch new fans find the vampire genre. There's certainly enough room for many different takes on vampire lore.

I'm particularly drawn toward characters with compelling personalities. To me what's attractive about vampires is their ability to have survived centuries and during that time travelled extensively, grasped several languages, and even have mastered an instrument or two, thus rounding out a character's compelling personality.
Would you rather be the vampire, or the vampire hunter?

I'd rather be a Vampire!

Although I write about vampire hunters, I sense there's an underlying lack of tolerance and prejudice when it comes to them, whereas vampires are very often misunderstood beings who are trying to make the most of their circumstances.

What drew you to set your novels in England?

Most of my characters appeared to me as British, so I suppose they were really the ones to decide that.

Having grown up in England and being exposed to its rich history, it seemed only natural to base the series there.

You now live in Los Angeles. Have you ever considered writing about the City of Angels?

Anything is possible. There may be a spin off book set in Los Angeles. Louisiana-born Vampire Zachary Harris may very well find his way to the City of Angels. ;)

As a writer, what are your habits, exercises, tricks of the trade that you use to push a novel from idea to finished manuscript?

I set myself a daily writing goal and do my best to stick with it. Writing in the morning is the most productive time for me.

Depending on the book or where I am with other writing projects, editing etc, will influence how much progress I need to make at each sitting. I'm usually very relaxed when writing the first draft and just follow the characters along.

A thrilling experience is when I read to the end of the chapter I've just written and wonder why the next page is blank, actually expecting something to be written there! That's a wonderful moment.

Writing to music inspires me with certain scenes and stirs the imagination.

My advice to new writers: Trust your character and trust your muse.

What's your favorite part of the writing process?

There's a moment when you realize everything you're writing is coming together, as though the words were always there and you just chipped away at them. Story lines cross and you witness characters evolving, their arcs occurring naturally. It's as though the book is a living, breathing entity.

Of all your characters, which do you sympathize with most and why?

Alex Artimas, Jadeon's younger brother, holds a special place in my heart. I'm looking forward to writing his story. Alex always seems so lost and misunderstood. So lonely. I want to reach into the novels and give him a huge hug.

The first two books in the series, A Vampire's Rise and A Vampire's Reckoning, can each be read independently of the other. Is the third book in the series also a stand-alone novel, or does it rely on the first two, and how much so?

Like the others A Vampire's Dominion can be read as a stand-alone novel. 

Do you have a favorite passage from any of your books?

This is a passage taken from A Vampire's Rise. To me this expresses the frustration that Orpheus was feeling at trying to get his point across. Those last few words express his silent pain.

A feather from her cuff came loose and spiraled, and I watched it float to the floor. It appeared as though it had always belonged to the sleeve of that long, black chemise, and had never been ripped from the small body of a dead bird.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Soulless

If you haven't yet read Jessica Therrien's flash fiction piece from the Writers' Platform Building Campaign, we've posted it below. Jessica just won first place in the readers' choice awards and fourth place in the judges' panel for the story. You'll see why as you read on:

The door swung open.
“They’re coming.”
My stomach tightened as Brad slid the deadbolt into place and turned the couch into a barricade.
“How long?”
The sound of the soulless flinging their bodies against the door was my answer. The knob twisted and voices began to hiss. They’d find their way in soon.
The soulless only wanted one thingour hearts. Those who’d already lost theirs had slowly been taken by madness, joining the hunt for more.
“If we surrender they’ll let us live. We won’t lose ourselves if we have each other.”
I felt the steady chug of my heart beneath my ribs and shook my head violently. “I’m not going to just hand over my soul.”
Another body slammed against the door, and I jumped into Brad’s arms. He held my head against his chest, and I listened for the steady beat that always gave me comfort. Only this time, it wasn’t there, and I lost myself to unconsciousness.
When I awoke, the room was silent. I sighed with relief. Just a dream.
Then I saw it, the incision below my sternum. I looked up in horror, catching sight of Brad’s heels as the door swung shut.

Jessica Therrien's debut young adult novel will be coming to bookshelves near you next February, 2012. Keep an eye on this one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Vampire's Rise

Daumia Velde will be paying for his brother's death for the rest of his life. Not because he is guilty, but because those who are guilty need a scapegoat. Daumia would be dead himself were it not for the assistance of Sunaria, a mysterious woman appearing in the nick of time from the ghostly night of the graveyard.

After years of serving the corrupt Roelle at his ranch in Spain,  Daumia at last begins to think of his freedom - of paying back the men who accused him and finding a way to rise in the world. What he cannot foresee is the extent of his danger or the depth of the depravity of those who would hide their own crimes behind his ignorance.

Freeing himself from their deceptions may take more than Daumia is prepared to give. It may, in fact, require his very life.

In this sweeping saga of betrayal and corruption in 15th century Spain, VMK Fewings introduces us to her epic Stone Masters Vampire Series. This is the story of the man who would become one of the most powerful vampires in history. Behind the legendary Orpheus is the history of a conflicted man fighting for his place in the world - and before that, a young boy who was not meant to survive the graveyard.

The first three books in the Stone Masters Vampire Series will be released October 25th, 2011.

Friday, September 16, 2011

For those of you who miss the old vampire days, back before they got all sparkly and peaceable, we have a special treat for you this Halloween. Some of you have already taken a sneak peek at V.M.K. Fewings' fascinating world of the Stone Masters with her short story, Mortal Veil. If you got to the end and hoped for more, be patient. Next month, we'll be releasing three titles in the Stone Masters series: A Vampire's Rise, A Vampire's Reckoning, and A Vampire's Dominion. Keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we highlight each title to give you a taste of what's to come.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Advocate's Conviction

Just over a year ago, ZOVA published its first book, The Advocate's Betrayal, a thrilling legal mystery from the pen of Teresa Burrell. Since then, we picked up the first book in her series, The Advocate, and have been working on the third book with her for some time now.

So many of you have been waiting for a new installment in the Advocate Series, that this October's launch of The Advocate's Conviction is very exciting for all of us.

After two foster children on her caseload go missing under very unusual circumstances, juvenile defense attorney Sabre Orin Brown must figure out where they might have gone, how their cases are connected, and if there's any possible truth to the mounting evidence that satanic ritual abuse is behind it all.

To find out more, of course, you'll just have to buy the book. A special launch event will be held on October 22nd at the Pomona Home Show. Be sure to join us there to hear Teresa introduce her newest book, and to get your signed copy.