We're so happy to have Renee Silvana, author of new release Waking the Dead, with us here today!
So, what's this story all about?
Guardian of the gate to the spirit world, hellhound Adrian Mason is responsible for apprehending errant necromancers—witches who conjure spirits during divination rituals—and now he has his hands full with a demon on the loose. When all evidence points to Miriam Spencer, she swears she's not to blame. Though she is descendant from a family of powerful witches, Miriam can barely divine answers from a magic eight ball, let alone raise spirits.
But, if she's not the culprit, then who—or what—is wreaking havoc on the small upstate-New York town? Falling for his prime suspect isn’t on Adrian’s agenda. Duty-bound and with time running short, he must bring Miriam to justice, or face his own.
AD: Sounds awesome, Renee! How long have you been writing? Was writing what you always wanted to do, or was it an unexpected turn in your life?
RS: I'm not unique in this matter when I say I've been writing for as long as I could hold a pen. As a young child, I was frustrated by my inability to decipher written words, and was thrilled when I was able to manipulate them into something new and permanent on paper.
AD: What was your inspiration for Waking the Dead?
RS: You know those silly story generator things? I was playing with one of those one day. They never really give me much help because the story ideas are so ridiculous. One of the phrases I came up with during the process began, "What if an inept necromancer...." I laughed out loud. What a silly idea! But then as I thought about it, the sentence completed itself. What if an inept necromancer were accused of raising a demon, when she can't perform any magick at all?
AD: How long did it take you to write?
RS: Waking the Dead took a long time to write because it started as a completely different story back in my 100% pantsing days. In its original form, the hellhounds were the villain. The entire process of writing, rewriting, polishing, editing and submitting it took about a year. Now that I plot more I can write a LOT faster than that! Even the sequel to WTD is currently 90% finished and has been for months, but I want to make sure I get the story completely right before I send it off!
AD: Does your location -- you currently live near the Grand Canyon, right? -- affect or inform your writing?
RS: I currently live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and have for just a couple of months. Unfortunately I've been too distracted by my odd work schedule to really have it influence my writing. This past summer however, I lived in the Grand Canyon. I could literally wake up in the morning and walk up to the Colorado River. It was phenomenal. I had a beautiful view of the Vermillion Cliffs from my window, and I would wake up to it early every morning and just sip my coffee, look out my window, and write. It was so inspiring.
AD: What drew you to writing paranormal romance?
RS: I read a lot of paranormal, speculative fiction and science fiction. I write what I read, and then try and make it a happily-ever-after.
AD: What is something surprising about your heroine? Your hero?
RS: The idea for Adrian came from a song. The character in the song is not a good guy, but as soon as I heard the lyrics, I had my Adrian in mind. Miriam's character initially came to mind when I did that story generator thing, but developed as I began studying Wicca.
AD: The subtitle of your book is The Hounds of Annwyn. Does that mean you have a series in mind? What can you tell us about it?
RS: I do have a series in mind! I have the second book in the series almost done (but I'm probably going to rewrite it because that's just how I roll). The second story follows the lives of the characters a little after WTD ends. I am about 8,000 words into the third installment as well.
AD: Please describe a typical writing session for us.
RS: I used to have one! I'd wake up at 4 a.m., put on a pot of coffee, and write for anywhere from 2-3 hours. Now I really only fit it in when I can, because I'm still adjusting to working evenings.
AD: What author has influenced your writing the most? Who are your favorite romance authors? Authors in other genres?
RS: When I was an angsty teenager, Edgar Allan Poe influenced most of my writing, followed closely by the lyrics from a band, Cradle of Filth. Once I passed that phase in my life (thank goodness), I started developing my own voice. The first eBook I bought was by Mandy Roth, and I've been a huge fan since. I can only hope to be as prolific someday! I'm reading more Evernight Publishing authors now and am a huge fan of Georgia Fox's Conquerors series. Outside of romance I enjoy H.P. Lovecraft, Harlan Ellison, Arthur C. Clarke... I wish I had more time to read, though.
AD: What gets the largest share of your free time?
RS: My job gets the most of my time now, followed closely by sleep. After that, my top priority is exercise. I get cranky if I don't get a run or a hike in.
AD: What is the most surprising thing about you?
RS: That's difficult! I guess it's all relative, really. I belong to several different "circles," and they all look at my other ones kind of funny. My romance writing buddies look at me sideways when I talk about backpacking and sleeping deep in the wilderness. My outdoor recreation friends can't believe I write romance and that I was a public school science teacher for two years. My meat-centric family thought my years of veganism were crazy (I've been vegetarian for a long time now). The only thing that surprises me about me is that I was such a New York City homebody for years, and over the last twelve months I've moved to four different states after living in the same neighborhood for over two decades.
Thank you for having me here today, Adonis!
AD: Thanks for stopping by!
You can pick up Waking the Dead here. Renee is also on Facebook and Twitter.