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Author Alexa Egan’s debut novel, DEMON’S CURSE, the first novel in her dark and sexy Imnada Brotherhood trilogy, was recently released by Pocket Books. I’m delighted to welcome Alexa here today to talk about her writing.
DEMON’S CURSE blends the historical and the paranormal, exploring the world of shapeshifters in Regency-era England. When Bianca Parrino’s close friend Adam is murdered and she is suspected in his death, she is unwittingly drawn into the search for his killer. Soon, she’s questioning everything she believes—about her friend, about herself, and about a world she never knew existed: the world of the shape-shifting Imnada. When Bianca meets Captain Mac Flannery at Adam’s funeral, she is introduced to the secret world of the Imnada, cursed to live their hours of darkness as their animal aspect as a result of a savage massacre during the Napoleonic wars. Before long, Mac has more to contend with than Bianca’s overt mistrust, his ill-fated attraction to her, and his ongoing search for an end to the curse. Because Adam’s killer is back, and Mac is next on his list. Thanks to Alexa and the charming Stephanie at Gallery Books, I have a copy of DEMON’S CURSE to giveaway to a lucky visitor. Please see the end of the post for the guidelines.
In a 4 ½ star review, RT Book Reviews said DEMON’S CURSE is “replete with dark, sensuous and honorable characters and a fast-paced, intricate plot, this highly romantic and exciting story is a winner,” while Publishers Weekly said that “the complex possibilities in the relationship between the races will leave readers eagerly anticipating future volumes.”
Here’s Alexa, who has graciously answered some questions for me.
Mason - How would you encourage someone who has never read your genre to give it a try?
Alexa - I would tell them that if they enjoy stories of suspense, horror, military thrillers, light chick-lit comedy, historical fiction, fantasy, YA, or contemporary dramas, they could find all of those subgenres and more within the pages of a romance. I would tell them that if they enjoy page-turning, up-all-night, emotionally compelling stories they could find all those things and more within the pages of a romance. And I would tell them if they want to be entertained, amused, absorbed, or out-and-out swept away they could find all that and more within the pages of a romance. It’s an amazing genre that’s elastic enough to offer the best of so many other types of stories and still be true to its central premise of two people overcoming obstacles and finding redemption to fall in love and live happily ever after. Mason - If you had to write this book over, would you do anything differently - content in the book, your writing schedule, the way you researched it, etc.?
Alexa - I could tweak and fiddle with a book forever if I could, so there are always little things I look back on and think I might have done differently if I’d had the opportunity. This is probably why I never read my stories once they’re published. I will confess to finishing every book with the firm conviction that the next time I’ll plot and outline and make sure I know every twist in the story before I sit down at my computer, if only to keep the hand-wringing and hair-pulling to a minimum. Unfortunately, when I attempt to do that, I end up stifling every ounce of creative excitement, the story stalls and back to the seat-of-the-pants I go. Mason - Why write this book? What made this story so compelling to you that you had to tell it?
Alexa - I started out with this very fuzzy idea of aliens in a regency setting. Needless to say, my agent was skeptical about little green men hanging with the beau monde. But the kernel of that idea wouldn’t go away so I shifted my focus just slightly and introduced the Imnada race of shapechangers. As the story took shape I was more and more drawn into the world building and the history behind this mysterious and extremely secretive race. What made them withdraw from the world? Where did they come from? What was their inner society like? How did they function within the outside world of Regency England? The more questions I asked, the more I needed to keep writing to find out the answers. And the more answers I found, the more questions occurred to me and the deeper I felt myself digging as the plot twisted and the characters evolved.
Mason - Of all the authors (past and present) you enjoy reading, has any one (or more) been an influence in your writing?
Alexa - I think every author I read influences my writing to some degree. I grew up a huge SF/F fan devouring McCaffrey, Lackey, Norton, Bujold, 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 come away from all these writers thinking, “boy I want to write like that when I grow up.” Maybe because I read across such a wide spectrum of genres, all of those influences jumbled together into my mash-up of paranormal-historical romance that became the Imnada Brotherhood and DEMON’S CURSE. Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?
Alexa - The second book, SHADOW’S CURSE is complete and due out in the fall of 2013. Exiled shapechanger 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.
Alexa, thanks so much for joining us today and giving us a closer look at your writing habits. I especially like your take on why readers who haven’t tried the romance genre should.
A fresh new voice making her literary debut, Alexa has combined the paranormal world with historical romance. Featuring shape-shifters and telepaths alongside the historic Regency, DEMON’S CURSE introduces the characters and storyline of Egan’s Imnada Brotherhood series.
Alexa Egan is a member of the Romance Writers of America and a Golden Heart finalist. She lives in Maryland with her family. For more on Alexa and her writing, visit her online at AlexaEgan.com
Now for the giveaway guidelines. To enter, send me an e-mail (email@example.com) with the subject line, “Win DEMON‘S CURSE.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance at a copy of DEMON’S CURSE is 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Jan. 24.
Everyone, thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you see the romance genre as just a love story being told or do you see it as offering a little bit of everything - mystery, romance, suspense, intrigue, horror, comedy, etc.?
Hi, I'm Mason Canyon and I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites such as Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are an author who would like for me to review your book or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards. I'm also a freelance editor. For more on my services, drop by Freelance Editing By Mason