1. If you could be any character in your books, who would it be and why? Angel and the answer is pretty simple really - Ash!
2. Do you have other series in mind for when you complete this one? I'm currently working on the third book in the Sanguinary series, they may be another after that but it all depends on how book three ends! After that I do have a few rough drafts for a couple of completely different books.
3. Do you write every day? I would say that I do try to get something down everyday.
4. How did you come up with the titles for your books?
Sanguinary means bloodthirsty and Imbrued means stained with blood, so with both words I was trying to stick with the blood theme!
5. What was the first story you ever wrote? Was it published? The first story I wrote was when I was about 14, I typed it up on my typewriter, drew the cover and bound it together with tape! Needless to say it was never published but it was passed around friends and family!
6. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
What inspired me to start writing was reading. As a child I would always be in the library and a love of reading led to a love of writing.
7. When you read, do you like it quiet or do you like back ground noise like the tv or music?
I prefer it quiet to read but if there is any background noise I tend to block it out.
8. Do you have any hobbies? Other than writing, no, it's kind of taken over at the moment!
9. Do you have internal conversations with your characters? Is there one voice that is a constant or stronger than the others?
Not so much internal conversations but when I form a scenario in my head, it tends to stay in there, playing over and over until I can type it out onto the computer and only then will it stop constantly running through my mind!
Excerpts from Sanguinary:
The DJ spoke into his microphone, ‘We have a new band performing in Domain tonight. Welcome to Erebis.’
The stage was dark and nothing stirred. The chattering continued for a while until people started to wonder why there was no music and conversations died off. Even the mosh pit stilled. A strange quiet descended slowly and an air of expectation began to build. All this for a band that most people had never even heard of.
The hush went on a while longer and most people’s attention was given to the stage. All lights in the club dimmed more than they already had been.
Through the darkness the deep thump of the bass drum began. A repetitive sound that I could feel thudding in my chest like a heartbeat. It continued alone for a few minutes, building the sense of anticipation. The bass guitar joined the drums, adding rhythm but holding the constant beat. The build up was slow and I found myself getting caught up in the excitement. The crowd remained extraordinarily silent for a club. Then the lead guitar began, shaping the song more but keeping the same steady pace. The stage was still in darkness, no musicians could be seen. The music snaked out of the shadows. The three instruments continued, yet people did not become impatient, the steady tempo seemed to have them hypnotised. And as the pace of the drums increased I found my heartbeat picking up with it.
The stage lights beamed suddenly, illuminating the whole stage but there was only one thing that caught my eyes. A figure was standing in the centre of the stage, his back to the crowd, arms spread out wide, his head bowed forward, one leg crossed in front of the other. Black, tousled hair reached past his shoulders to his bare back, he was wearing only black leather trousers. A tattoo reached right across and halfway down his back, from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. It was a bat, wings splayed out. The lights were on for only seconds, and then it was dark again. A few more heartbeats to the rhythm of the drum and the lights were back, this time the singer had turned to face his audience. His eyes were fixed on some point at the back of the room, above the heads of the people below him, both of his hands gripped the microphone stand. He began to sing, his voice deep yet soft, a whispering caress that I felt physically; a shudder went through me.
He stopped, ran a hand through his hair and looked towards the back of the stage. There was a second of silence as the music paused with him. And then kicked back in heavy. The tempo of the song was turned up and the guitars screamed. The singer grabbed the microphone from its stand and bent forward slightly as he began to sing again. His voice had changed completely, this time he was screaming the words, his voice raw, harsher with a growling edge. A cheer rose from the crowd and the mosh pit went wild at the thrashing rhythm of the song. He didn’t smile, did not acknowledge the appreciation. He maintained an arrogant look and continued his singing as if no one but him existed in the room.
I could do nothing but stand and stare in amazement at the sheer essence of him. He was absolutely stunning. His bare chest and stomach were well-defined with muscle. He just had it. That certain something that could make him a rock god. He had the arrogant demeanour to go with it; that said he knew it. But there was an edge to him too, even from a distance there was something in his eyes that said he wasn’t one that I would want to cross. I was mesmerised by him.
I tried to take a moment to appreciate the effort that the rest of the band were putting in. They played hard, even though they were in the shadow of the singer. As a whole they were completely amazing. I reminded myself that I wasn’t there as a music critic but as a journalist. I also realised that I wasn’t the only one who was captivated by him, there were a growing number of groupies gathering around the edge of the mosh pit. Attractive girls, hoping to catch his attention. But the singer’s eyes never met anothers. His gaze went through the crowd, sometimes he stared straight ahead but his intense eyes never rested on anyone. The band were going down well with others who were actually interested in the music. People were dancing and cheering. Their first song ended and already they seemed to have won over the audience.
The next song began, this time coming straight in with heavy guitars and drums. I turned my attention to the guitarist, who was nearest to me on the left of the stage. He had dark spiked hair which turned to red at the ends. He looked more like he was enjoying himself than the singer did, he had a hint of a smile and a wicked glimmer in his eyes. From my angle I couldn’t see the drummer very well at the back of the stage, just a bleached blonde head. The bassist was thin with long straight dark hair, he looked serious, his gaze was mostly directed at his guitar. It wasn’t long before my eyes were back at the singer, who was stalking the stage. At one point he came right over to the left of the stage where I was. Closer up I could see he had a number of other tattoos. There was an ankh on his left bicep and some letters running down the inside of his right arm. He has numerous others that I didn’t get the chance to observe, as he went down on one knee, bent over the microphone and sang intensely. The girls next to me screamed and hands reached out to touch him. And even though I believed I was above such things, I yearned to reach out for him too. To run my fingers down his sweat slicked chest. I held back though and a moment later he had strutted to the other side of the stage. And I could breathe again.
They played tight and they played hard. No missiles fell from the balcony above.
I didn’t move until Erebis finished their set and then not for some time afterwards. The DJ began playing music but for a short while there was an air of despondency where the crowd seemed disappointed that the band had left. It didn’t last and soon the mosh pit was manic again.
Feeling strangely deflated, I made my way to the toilets; three bottles of lager and an hour watching the stage had left me quite desperate. Afterwards I was intending on getting myself another drink whilst I pondered my next move. After visiting the toilets I saw the singer was already waiting at the bar. He was still wearing the leather trousers, but he had covered up the previously bare torso with a black t-shirt. There were a couple of girls who had also noticed him. They were watching him and talking to each other, giggling. They seemed to be goading each other into approaching him. I had no time to waste, I had to get to him first.
Taking a deep breath I walked over and stood next to him at the bar.
‘Hey,’ I said.
He didn’t look at me, he continued staring straight ahead, waiting to be served. He seemed much bigger close up than he had on the stage. He was tall and strongly built.
‘Can I get you a drink? I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your gig,’ I said, raising my voice to be heard above the music. I hoped that I didn’t sound too much like a groupie. On the subject of which, I noticed that the other two girls were moving a little closer. As I glanced at them I saw that their previous laughter had stopped, they looked quite annoyed that someone had gotten to the gorgeous singer first.
‘Yeah, I’ll have a whisky,’ he said, still not looking at me, which made me feel even more like a groupie. But, ah his voice, his speaking voice was just as mesmerising and beautiful as his singing voice even in that one short sentence.
I asked the barman for two whiskies, thankful that it wasn’t David. Whilst the drinks were being poured I watched him in the mirrors on the back wall of the bar. Vampire or not he definitely cast a reflection. But that wasn’t the main thing that I concluded…to go with the body of a god he also had the face of an angel. A fallen, dark, dangerous angel. He was impossibly beautiful with sharp cheek bones, a strong jaw and a full firm, very kissable mouth. He stared straight ahead, not once had he even acknowledged me with so much as a glance and I was beginning to think that there was a downside to his looks. He seemed an arrogant bastard.
The barman put the drinks on the bar and I handed over the money. He knocked his drink back in one gulp and I did the same, feeling the fiery liquid slide all the way down my throat and into my stomach. It felt pretty damn good. He banged his glass back down and then he turned to me and caught me with his eyes that were deep and dark. His eyelids were coloured with black shadow and his eyes lined with black kohl which emphasised their darkness.
As our eyes met something happened that I didn’t expect. It was an actual physical jolt, some strange connection that unnerved me. I had never experienced anything like it before. I didn’t believe in love, never mind love at first sight. I’d experienced lust at first sight many times. That moment when my eyes would meet with somebody else’s and there would be an instant physical attraction, an immediate wanting. A need that could be easily sated by having them, which I usually did. But the moment my eyes met with his my stomach lurched so much that I felt sick, but it wasn’t just physical. There was something that clicked deep inside me. And I’m not talking about feeling horny, although there was that too. Something much deeper than sex. I had no idea what any of it was but it left me shaken. It almost brought me to my knees.
Before our eyes had locked he had seemed infallible but there was a momentary look of surprise on his face and I thought that he must have felt something too. It fleeted across his features though and it only took a heartbeat for his expression to change back to arrogant again.
I tried to go on sounding confident, but there was a tremor in my voice. ‘Well, I hope to be able to see you. . .’ I gave him a smile and purposely gazed down his body and back up to meet his eyes, which only gave me another jolt, no less powerful the second time. ‘. . .perform again sometime.’
He didn’t smile, just nodded imperceptibly with a slight frown. I walked away, my heart pounding. How I had managed to stay cool I didn’t know. I tried to fight the urge to turn back to look at him. But I had an irresistible need to see him again. I also wanted to know if those other girls had approached him. I wasn’t sure why it bothered me so much when I found that they had. The girls were talking to him, giggling again now that I had gone. But his dark eyes were still on me.
'I totally understand, baby. Believe it or not I’ve been taking things slowly with you. The way you make me feel scares me, that first night I could have pushed it and came into your flat and fucked you…’
His presumption riled me and I pushed him away from me. ‘What makes you think that I would have let you in?’
‘Deny it then, tell me that you weren’t mine for the taking that night,’ he said. He looked so supercilious that I wanted to punch him, yet at the same time it made him look so damn sexy that I wanted to kiss him.
I punched him in the chest. ‘Arrogant bastard.’
‘That wasn’t a denial, Angel,’ he looked amused so I hit him again, he didn’t even flinch.
‘What was it, Ash? Do you think that I’m that easy or that you’re that irresistible?’ I yelled.
‘Just so that you know I find you quite irresistible too,’ he said.
He still looked too damn pleased with himself so I raised both my hands to punch his chest again, even although it was like hitting a rock. He was quicker and caught both of my wrists in his hands to stop me. The amusement vanished in a blink of his eyes, his voice turned to a low growl. ‘Listen to me. What would usually have happened is that I would have taken you home with me that first night, we would have fucked, I would have made sure you enjoyed it and afterwards I would have expected you to leave,’ he said and I struggled to get away from him, anger flaring again wildly.
‘If you’d wanted me to leave then you should have said the same as you usually say to get rid of the others,’ I said. ‘Let go of me.’
His fingers dug into my wrists hard enough to hurt and he jerked me closer to him. ‘Shut up for a minute will you?’ he snapped. As he continued to speak his eyes were flaring with anger, he released my wrists only to grip onto my upper arms, no more gentler and he was shouting. ‘I’m trying to tell you that it’s different with you. I didn’t want you to leave. I never want you to leave. I wanted you to be there when I awoke this evening. I don’t do relationships, I never let people get close. And it scares me how easily you can breach all my boundaries. I’ve been trying to stay away from the edge but I can’t and I’m falling fast. But believe me if I’m falling I’m grabbing your hand and you’re coming with me. I can’t fight this so don’t you even try.’
He paused a moment, his hands still gripping my arms, digging into flesh, probably hard enough to bruise. And then he spoke again. ‘I fucking love you, goddamn it.’
Those words have been spoken by many millions of men to many millions of women and probably in much more eloquent ways. And given that Ash was a brilliant lyricist it was a poor effort but he couldn’t have moved me more. Because it wasn’t the words it was the passion that was beneath them. The force with which he spoke made me believe it more so than if the words had been a gentle caressing whisper.
‘Ash, I love you too,’ I said, meaning it like I had never meant it before. I wondered why when I heard those words from him and when I spoke those words it made me feel like my heart was already breaking.