Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour: Interview & Giveaway with Felicity Heaton

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Please join me in welcoming paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton to Romancing the Darkside!


Felicity Heaton is an independent author who writes romance e-books in various genres, including paranormal romance books (vampire, werewolf and shapeshifter), science fiction romance books and dark fantasy / urban fantasy romance books. She write romantic stories of vampires and werewolves, shape-shifters and demons, witches and wizards, and heroes in deep space, all of them from the heart, capturing the emotions of courtship and love, with plenty of twists and turns.

 Her current book is a paranormal romance titled Forbidden Blood.

And now for the interview...
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Welcome Felicity!

Please name 3 things your readers would be surprised to learn about you.
  • I’m really into astronomy, although my telescope is in storage at the moment. 
  • I’m a Cherry Coke and Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte addict. 
  • The best thing I’ve ever eaten was a Nutella pizza in Rome on my honeymoon.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think it sort of snuck up on me. I wrote quite a large chunk of a gothic horror romance in school when I was 14, but gave up on it, and have always read a lot of books, mostly classic romances and fantasy novels. In 2003, I really got into reading fanfiction, and then I started writing it. It was a very natural progression. I sat there one day and thought—I could write this. And I did. In 2005, an author friend of mine convinced me to write something original and give e-publishing a go. I thought I wouldn’t be any good at creating my own characters but once I started writing them, I couldn’t stop, and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve written over forty stories now, and have plans for at least another thirty. Every time I finish one, I get ideas for more.

How did you celebrate publishing your first book?

It was so long ago that I don’t remember now, but I probably celebrated it with my husband by going out to dinner somewhere quiet. I’m not one for big celebrations that centre around me, so it would have definitely been something low key.

You now have two paranormal romance vampire series, are they your favorite supernatural creatures?

Yes. I’ve loved vampires since I was very young, back in the days of having a single digit in my age. In my teen years, I used to daydream about a vampire world and I would be part of it, human but still there with vampires. I love movies about them, books, songs and all sorts. I am very vampire obsessed, but it’s the traditional type of vampires that appeal to me. The sort that have preternatural abilities, an aversion to sunlight, a tendency to drink blood from humans, and a penchant for killing. I love dark vampires, not the sparkly kind a lot of authors write these days. Without the darkness in their hearts and their evil ways, they’re just not vampires.

How does the Vampire Venators series differ from the Vampires Realm series?

Quite dramatically. I know a lot of people might go into them expecting them to be similar, but they’re actually very different. My writing style is obviously the same, and you’ll get the same protective and possessive heroes and strong heroines, but the vampires in them differ greatly. In the Vampire Venators series, the vampires have a societal structure that they adhere to consisting of a single ruling bloodline, a secondary tier of three vampire families that are almost as powerful who are known as Nobles, and then a third tier of weaker vampires known as Lesser Nobles, and then a sort of sub-species that the vampires call Commoners. In the Vampires Realm series, each bloodline has its own hierarchy, but they don’t associate with other bloodlines. They normally treat other bloodlines as an enemy.

The vampires in the Vampire Venators series procreate, so family means family, brother is literally brother, sister is sister, and they have mothers and fathers. They’re not dead and turned like the vampires in the Vampires Realm series, just age at a different rate to humans, although they can turn humans. Nobles and Lesser Nobles can’t bite a human unless they’re going to kill them or want to start them on the path to becoming a vampire. A single bite is enough to trigger the change in humans. No death involved. Over a period of a year or two, they transition into a vampire. The vampires in the series have powers and sometimes a special ability, and depending on their bloodline and age, can tolerate the sun. They have the usual vampire weaknesses but don’t go poof when killed unless they’re sentenced to the eternal darkness by a Venator.

In this series, you have more than just vampires and werewolves too. There are nine species of demon, and a tenth species of beings known as the Sovereignty governs them through the use of their Venators. There are Venators for each species. Within those species, each bloodline has a Venator in its ranks. There are differences between the species and Venators too. Each species has different laws that they uphold and a different method of selecting who will be a Venator, and those Venators have a different power. The Vampire Venators series is focused on the vampire side of these hunters, but there will be other species involved in the stories to come.

Oh, and the Venators are out to protect humans, unlike the Vampires Realm vampires who see them as a walking meal on most occasions.

Who are the most challenging characters to develop while writing: the sexy Alpha males or the strong and feisty heroines?

I find the heroines are harder to write. Far harder. It’s difficult to get the right balance in a heroine. She needs to be strong and feisty, but still feminine, and still show a little fear at times in order to be believable. She also needs to know when she can cast aside her strength without looking weak, and rely on her man for something. We can’t have a protective and possessive alpha male who doesn’t get to coddle his female now, can we? It’s writing her strong but with weaknesses that give the hero room to flex his muscles and protect her, or to show his love for her, that’s the difficult part. Although, it is a challenge I relish.

Is there any historical research involved in your writing or does it all stem from your imagination?

There’s often need for research in my books. Normally my research centres around locations as I love globetrotting in my stories. Most of the places I write about are cities that I’ve visited, and can remember well, so researching them isn’t difficult, but it takes time to bring them to life. I also have to research things like titles and hierarchy for my vampire series as I often write stories that feature a societal structure. For other stories I’ve written, I’ve had to research gods and goddesses and mythology, and I enjoyed that a lot. I’ve always been fascinated by mythology. A lot of the details involved in my stories do come from my imagination and I love contemplating things like the powers my characters could have, or how they could use those powers, as I can let my imagination run riot then.

If you had the chance to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I don’t think I would change anything in this one. I would probably change the odd thing in a few of my older stories though, but nothing major.

What book(s) is currently on your nightstand?

I’m getting ready to go on holiday as I write this, and the book I have lined up for reading is Lara Adrian’s Midnight Rising. I love her Midnight Breed series. They’re just the sort of stories I love to write, which I guess is why I love reading them too!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure I can.

Here’s a rather teasing but tasty excerpt from Forbidden Blood:

This close to her, the smell of blood was overwhelming.

Kearn clamped his teeth shut and held the change at bay. It had been too long since he had smelt anything like her and it pushed at his control. He had been able to subdue the effect of her scent when he had been at a distance from her, but he couldn’t contain it now. His gut clenched and twisted, saliva pooling in his mouth and his fangs itching to extend as hunger to taste the blood that went with the divine scent tore through him.

“Keep still,” he said from between his teeth and soaked some of the paper towel.

Kearn took her hand in his and forced himself to focus. Her skin was warm and soft, and he used his senses to see how much vampire blood was in her system. Enough to keep her under control and stop her from answering his questions. He had promised that he would make her feel better. He only had one way of doing that and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go through with it or not.

He wiped the blood from her hand. It mixed with the water and covered his, ran down his arms in beautiful rivulets, soaking into his shirtsleeves. He slowed without thinking, fascinated by how her blood blossomed on the surface of the cut and savouring the warm alluring smell. He swallowed the burning ache in his throat and focused. She inhaled sharply when he wiped the blood away again and he grabbed the bandage. He wound it around her hand as quickly as possible and pinned it on her palm. The smell of blood lessened but it was all over his hands. He licked his lips. The fiery thirst in his veins begged him to quench it. Did he really want to do this?

“Why did he make me do that?” she whispered and Kearn looked at her. There were tears in her eyes as she stared at her hand. They trembled on the brink of falling. Her feelings travelled through their joined hands, filling him with a sense of fear and confusion. He released her fingers and sat back.

“There is a reason he made you drink his blood. It will help him find you, which is why I need to keep you with me.”

She didn’t seem shocked by what he had said. He had expected her to react with disbelief or horror. Perhaps the blood in her veins and what she had witnessed was enough to make her believe him.

“Why did he cut me?” She raised her hand and toyed with the bandage. The blood was already soaking into the edges of it.

Kearn looked down at the scarlet ambrosia coating his hands. “Your blood may be of a type which is valuable to his kind.”

He curled his fingers into fists. They shook.

“I must wash my hands.” He stood and headed straight through his bedroom and into the white and black bathroom. He stared at his hands. The blood looked even redder against the white sink beneath them. They trembled uncontrollably.

Did he really want to do this?

He needed answers and to get them he needed to eradicate any control the vampire might have over her.

Kearn lifted his hand to his nose and sniffed the blood. It smelt strong and enticing. His mouth watered. He took a deep breath followed by another two, trying to prepare himself. This could be a grave mistake.

Closing his eyes, he tentatively reached out towards his fingers with his tongue. The moment the blood touched it, a jolt rocked his body. She was definitely a Source Blood. He hadn’t tasted forbidden blood since becoming a Venator but he hadn’t forgotten the effects.

He licked his finger and swallowed. The jolt became an intense buzz and his fangs extended. His eyes shot open and familiar red ones looked back at him from his reflection, a fragment of the real him that he didn’t often see. He grasped the edge of the cabinet with his other hand to steady himself and then licked the blood off his other fingers, gaining pace. He needed more. Just a little more, so he would be sure of his ability to command her and clear her blood of interference. That was the only reason he had to suck each of his fingers clean. It had nothing to do with the delightful way her blood made him tremble, made his breath stutter and his heart beat faster, at an almost human speed.

He went to lick the blood from his palm and stopped himself. Unpeeling his fingers from the edge of the cabinet, he forced himself to turn on the tap. The water ran fast and hard down the drain but he couldn’t bring himself to put his hands under it and wash the blood away. He only wanted a little more. A warm pulsing feeling relaxed every muscle in his body and his head felt light. His eyelids fell to half-mast and the warm buzz became a hot inferno in his blood, an ache to feed and give in to his animal instincts. His breath shuddered. Just a little more.

No.

Stop it.

Kearn forced his head under the water instead of his hands but it did nothing to stop the hunger gnawing his stomach and the hard ache in his trousers. He groaned under his breath and kept his head under the freezing water, begging it to clear. He didn’t want to remember.

High laughter. The scent of sex. The mindless lust. The painful betrayal. The blood on his hands.

He didn’t want to remember any of it.

He didn’t want to feel that way again.

Kearn squeezed his eyes shut and shoved his hands under the water the moment he pulled his head out of it. The scent of blood instantly diminished and his control came creeping back. He focused on it, trying to expel the effects of her blood on him. It was difficult. Her blood was more potent than what he had experienced before. He had never had blood direct from a Source, only diluted from another’s veins. He closed his eyes and kept his hands under the water, gradually clawing back a sense of calm and shutting his rampaging feelings down.

The cold water numbed his hands. He kept them there, not trusting himself. If any trace of her blood remained on his skin, he would be tempted to lick it off, and it would undo all the work he had done to regain some control over himself. He grabbed the bar of soap from the side of the basin and washed his hands with it, erasing every drop of crimson on his pale skin. When he had been washing them for nearly ten minutes, he turned off the tap.

He glanced at himself in the mirror.

His eyes were still red.

The colour of blood.

Kearn focused on thinking over everything that had happened tonight. The woman was lucky that he had been patrolling the area and had smelt the blood. It had been the vampire’s blood that had caught his attention, carried on the night air in a rich vein that had been easy to detect. Unfortunately, he couldn’t use its scent to recognise the man. Vampire blood all smelt the same. Heavy and strong.

Human blood was a light fragrance. He resisted the temptation to take a deep breath and see if he could smell her blood. He was almost in control again.

The knife, the vampire’s blood, the man’s appearance, none of it was the break he needed.

But she was.

***


Just for fun:

Cats or dogs?
Cats all the way. I love them and especially my ginger ninja Koyo. She’s feisty, kick-ass, and loving at the same time. Sort of like my heroines.

Morning person or night owl?
I’m a night owl. Mornings suck. I get all my best work done (not writing though) at night, although I don’t tend to stay up late anymore as I feel the effects of staying up until 3am a lot more these days!

Who’s your favorite author?
In paranormal romance at the moment it would be Lara Adrian.

What’s your favorite TV show?
I love anime. I devour it so it’s hard to pin down what my favourite would be. I love most anime involving mecha or occult stuff. I’ve been re-watching Gundam 00 recently. I also really enjoy Scrubs, Heroes and Vampire Diaries, and I used to adore Buffy, but not Angel, because Angel is a wimp. I’m more of a movie buff than TV girl though.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?
I went to Australia last year and it was amazing, but I have to say that my favourite place to go to is Japan. My Japanese is getting rusty because I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t had much time to practice and learn, but I love going there and speaking Japanese and travelling around the country. I’ve been there four times now. It’s a long way to go, but it’s worth it.

Thanks for stopping by today Felicity!
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About the Author:
Felicity Heaton is a romance author writing as both Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. She is passionate about penning paranormal tales full of vampires, witches, werewolves, angels and shape-shifters, and has been interested in all things preternatural and fantastical since she was just a child. Her other passion is science-fiction and she likes nothing more than to immerse herself in a whole new universe and the amazing species therein. She used to while away days at school and college dreaming of vampires, werewolves and witches, or being lost in space, and used to while away evenings watching movies about them or reading gothic horror stories, science-fiction and romances.

Having tried her hand at various romance genres, it was only natural for her to turn her focus back to the paranormal, fantasy and science-fiction worlds she enjoys so much. She loves to write seductive, sexy and strong vampires, werewolves, witches, angels and alien species. The worlds she often dreams up for them are vicious, dark and dangerous, reflecting aspects of the heroines and heroes, but her characters also love deeply, laugh, cry and feel every emotion as keenly as anyone does. She makes no excuses for the darkness surrounding them, especially the paranormal creatures, and says that this is their world. She’s just honoured to write down their adventures.

For more information on Felicity Heaton, visit her here:

You can purchase Forbidden Blood here:
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The Giveaway:
Two (2) lucky winners will receive signed book cover flats, bookmarks, a keyring and magnet! 

Rules:
Winner will be chosen by random.org and have 48 hours to respond via email. 
Open Internationally.
Giveaway ends June 29, 2011, 11:59 pm EST.


TO ENTER:
Leave a comment below.
FILL OUT THIS FORM.
{Entries in the comments only Will NOT COUNT!}


16 comments:

  1. Felicity you have so many paranormal books I would love to read. They all sound very good. Thanks for the giveaway. Tore923@aol.com

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  2. I enjoyed the interview and getting more depth on such a great range of your books. Thank you for the giveaway.
    irgl7(at)bonzo15(dot)plus(dot)com

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  3. Fun interview! I also like my vampires more on the dark side. :) thanks for the giveaway!! I'm going to have to check out Felicity's books - they sound good! :)

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  4. I love the interviews .... I haven't read any of her books, she is now on my list to get!!! Thanks.shannon (sham241@hotmail.com)

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  5. Very beautiful interview! I haven't read any of her books yet, they have very interesting stories. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. Tasty little except, indeed! Now I really, REALLY want to read this book! Thanks for a great giveaway:)

    Z

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  7. I've never been to Australia or Japan. I've always wanted to visit Japan. I've studied several languages but none were Asian languages. Maybe someday I'll get to visit that gorgeous place.

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

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  8. Great interview. I LOVE reading author interviews. Thanks for sharing. I prefer my paranormals dark too.

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  9. Great Interview ladies!! Thanx for sharing Felicity ;)

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  10. What a wonderful interview and awesome giveaway. Thanks for sharing today.

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  11. Insightful interview and great giveaway - thanks.
    ~Lauren

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  12. Great interview! I think I want some new books. I don't know you, but when I see a so nice person as an author, I want to read her books.
    And thanks for the giveaway.

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  13. What a great interview (other than her being a cat person - but I'll excuse her for it!). I really want to read some of her books, so thanks for having one as a giveaway! I've heard good things about her writing and I can't wait to find out for myself.

    jwitt33 at live dot com

    Z

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  14. Interesting excerpt--it caught my attention!

    It's so nice that Felicity came to Australia. As an Australian resident and proud Aussie I'm glad you found my little ol' country amazing. I certainly love living here!

    Thanks for the contest too =)

    rachybee101@live.com.au

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  15. I wonder what your teachers said about the gothic horror romance? Or did you not show them?

    Please come back to Australia! We need more author visits!!

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  16. Thanks to everyone who left a comment so far. It's great to see so many new faces interested in my stories, and some familiar ones coming out too.

    In regards to the gothic horror romance, it was actually a school assignment to write the first chapter of a gothic horror and my English teacher loved mine so much she read it out to the class *cringe*. It really inspired me to keep writing it though... and now I'm back writing nice dark novels, although I do sometimes flex my funny muscles too.

    Felicity Heaton

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