How long have you been writing?
I have been interested in writing since the 6th grade when my teacher gave us writing prompts in class. I found that my imagination was limitless and I had fun writing. After that, I wrote a novel in high school, but wasn’t happy with it. I tried to tackle it again in college, but it still wasn’t right. I decided to take creative writing classes in college, which is how I met my husband. I wrote short stories for fun until I decided to write my series.
What inspires your work?
I originally tried to write “The Third Throne” as a fantasy with odd-looking creatures like goblins and such, but I found out that fantasy creatures not my strong suit. I'm better with angels, vampires, werewolves and hot guys. My main characters lived in my head for a long time, but didn’t have a genre. Once I read Twilight, it opened me up to the world of Paranormal Romance. I call it my gateway book, which I have found inspired many readers to travel down the path of Adult Paranormal Romance. I read book after book, getting a feel for the genre. One day I realized that my characters would fit into this world and I started writing.
What made you decide to publish a series?
Once I had the concept, I knew it would lend itself to a series. I had the characters, I just had to come up with a storyline for each of them and give each book a location. I had the framework of a series within a few days. In total, I plan to write 12 books for “The Third Throne” series.
What inspired you to write the first book?
I had this idea of the devil calling to a young woman by telling her lies, and threatening her. She ultimately decides to join him and ends up in Hell. He tells her that she is now his servant and hands her a black dress. I was obsessed with this simple idea for decades. I tried at least twice to write this book, but I didn’t have the genre or a fully developed concept. Over time, I would revisit my main character in Hell and would imagine new scenarios and characters that would eventually lead to the first book.
What was your favorite part to write?
I love writing for Hades. He has the best voice of all my characters to this point. He can say whatever he wants and yet he’s more complicated than most people will think. I actually wrote a scene with Hades and Michelle where they have to work together to defeat an enemy, but it didn’t fit into this book, so I moved it to Book 2. That was my favorite to write, but my second favorite was Michelle’s interaction with Hades in the Hall of Mercy. I originally had them in the Hall of Torment, but moved them to give them privacy so that Hades could reveal more of his true character without worrying about the other prisoners eavesdropping.
What was the hardest part to write?
The scene in the Caves of Darkness when Michelle speaks with her father was the hardest. Creating a new history of the world was difficult, but I also had to lay the foundation for her backstory. I wrote and rewrote until I screamed. There’s a lot that her father has to tell her and not a lot of time, so he has to give her the ugly truth of who she is while she details her experiences in Hell. There’s a lot of emotion for both characters and it’s hard to fit everything in there.
Who is your favorite character and why?
As of Book 1, my favorite character is Hades, though I like writing for Sacha too. Hades thinks one thing and says something else. I’m always interested in his motivations. He is the former Angel of Endurance who will do anything to save his backside and stay out of trouble, unless taking the beating is the lesser of the punishments and will somehow save him. Sacha’s true identity isn’t understood right away, but he will become very important later. I love how he can walk into Hell without being seen and does what he wants.
How do you give the characters unique voices, separate from your own?
Sometimes I have to write for a character before I start to understand their voice. Most of the characters start out sarcastic, like myself, but after editing and revising my dialog, their true voices begin to form. I try to understand them and base the dialog and actions on what I know about them.
Michelle is confused by what is happening to her, but she learns early on that she has to fight for what she believes. Her voice will continue along this path as the series grows.
Lucifer fluctuates between insane and sweet, but always has an edge to him. He’s paranoid that Michelle will discover all of his sins, of which there are many, so even when he is kind, he always holds something back.
Will we see CJ again and what will happen to Aganon?
Poor, poor CJ, that’s what I always think when I talk about him. CJ won’t be forgotten any time soon, and Michelle’s reasons for walking away from CJ will be explored in Book 2. She knows that he can’t be a part of her life, so she truly hopes that he can mourn her and move on, though, based on her father’s reluctance to speak about him, that won’t happen any time soon. Sometimes people have to reflect on the past before they can move on. CJ still has a long way to go before he is willing to confront losing his best friend, and the girl he loved.
Aganon is going to cool his heels in the Hall of Torment for a while. Michelle needs to be calm enough to speak to him without killing him. She doesn’t want to kill, but her anger might take over and she doesn’t want to run that risk. We will definitely see Aganon again, though he isn’t as evil as the reader may think. He will be put into a difficult situation, and his loyalties will be tested.
How does Balthazar (Vengeance) differ from Alazar (Death)?
Alazar is brash and impulsive. As the Angel of Death, he’s used to being the toughest person in the room. He leaps before he looks and isn’t one to give up, but knows when he is outmatched. Deep down he needs his Master, but there are so many things holding him back that he has to overcome before he can join Anjali.
Balthazar is the Angel of Vengeance and is cold, calculating, and won’t stop until his enemy is defeated, though it may take centuries for Balthazar to end his opponent. He takes his time and plans things in advance. He doesn’t believe that he needs Anjali, or Alazar. He doesn’t particularly like women and believes that they are a distraction.
Where is the story going to take place?
While the story starts off in a prison, it will mainly be focused in the Northwest US, around Washington State.
Will there be another love interest for Anjali?
Since we established in Book 2 that Anjali had a finite number of lovers during her centuries as a mortal, she is bound to come across these soul mates eventually. Some may argue that she is collecting these men, but that is not her intention. She feels strongly for each of them and wants to protect them. If given a choice, she would let them live out their lives in the Mortal Realm, unfortunately, these men sometimes become targets for her enemies. She will have to deal with them individually and decide if they are worth protecting. There are no easy answers when it comes to her soul mates, but she does her best to protect them.
Who are the villains in this book?
This time around, Anjali is facing a dangerous escaped soul from the Realm of Nightmares. Though she has no idea how it's possible, Jericho has risen from his grave in his corpse, making him invulnerable to pain and beheading. Once Jericho starts bring his gang back from the dead, the city will be in danger.
With the help of a closed off monster hunter, she must track Jericho and his associates and figure out how to kill them before they destroy the world.
Why do you write paranormal romance?
The characters that I envisioned had a special bond with my main character and it seemed like the right genre for them. The first book only deals with Michelle’s relationship with Lucifer, but the other books will bring in more characters, which will change things. Personally, I enjoy reading paranormal romance books, so I found myself drawn to it.
Is this series considered Christian fiction?
No, my books borrow from a number of religions and mythologies, while creating its own unique world. Yes, there is a God and angels, but they are depicted as real people with their own faults and failings. My Harbingers, or Predznak, are dark angels who must overcome their own pain before they can fulfill their intended duties. Loyalty, morality, and a scence of right and wrong are reoccurring themes in my books.
What were some of the difficulties of writing a series?
The hardest part, by far, was writing the first book. It was the basis for the series, so I had to set the rules for this new world and explain the concept of the coming books. I wrote and rewrote the reasoning behind things that I had accepted as fact. It’s easy to say that a character has a dark destiny, but explaining why they have that destiny is hard. I also had a difficult time working with only a few characters. I have 20 fantastic characters coming and I couldn’t use any of them. I was essentially stuck in one location for most of the book and my best characters were benched. I was able to highlight my Angel of Death, so I did get a small break from the main characters, but it was like writing with one hand tied behind my back.
What were the challenges of writing a second book?
I actually wrote books 1, 2, and 3 simultaneously, while making notes and writing scenes for the other books. Book 3 was further along than 1 and 2, because I was on a roll with Book 3. I had to force myself to stop and finish Angel of Darkness (Book 1). I was having too much fun playing with the Angel of Vengeance.
Once I put Book 3 down, I wrote Book 2 without a clear understanding of the Angel of Death, Alazar, and I had to learn more about him before I could really understand his motivation. I love Alazar because he is bold, aggressive, and impulsive, but I didn’t understand his reluctance to join with Anjali. I also had to balance out his appearance with the Spirit Experts, who land right in his path of destruction. Plotting out a timeline for the story proved to be difficult at first, but once I reorganized the chapters, I had a better handle on things.
Who are the Spirit Experts?
The Spirit Experts are amateur ghost investigators who have come to Romania to investigate a presumably haunted castle, but what they find is something they don’t expect. They are there to film their first big special for television; unfortunately, they couldn’t have chosen a worst time to visit since the Angel of Death is nearby and is lost to his own pain.
What was your favorite part to write?
I enjoyed writing the scene where Alazar and Anjali meet for the first time. Alazar is confused because she is wearing the dress from his nightmares and believes her to be one of Lucifer’s former lovers, whom he hates. It was interesting to watch Anjali's’s reaction since she had no idea what to expect from Alazar. She doesn’t want to fight him, but she is forced to defend herself.
I also enjoyed writing any of the scenes with Michael, aka “The Sword of God.” I originally thought he was a pompous jerk, but once I started writing for him, I started to understand him better and realized that he has a tough job. I had more respect for him in the end.
Will your books ever venture into other areas of “paranormal” like werewolves and vampires?
Book 2 deals with a Rogue Angel causing all kinds of problems, but the villains in future books will vary greatly. There are many more enemies beyond Rogue Angels that Anjali and her harbingers will have to face. All of them have an interest in either ending the world or taking over the world, which puts Anjali in the middle of the fight because of who she is. She has a vested interest in keeping the world safe until it’s time to bring about an Apocalypse.
When will Angel of Death be released?
July 31, 2015
The first time we saw Tristan, the Angel of Fear, he could barely function on his own. What has happened to him since Alazar left him to fend for himself?
Tristan had to grow up. He was once feared by all who knew him, including Lucifer, but over time, the temptation that he wielded made him weak and he became ruled by fear. Without Alazar there to tell him what to do and protect him, Tristan had to find other ways of dealing with his trauma. It has been a hard road for him, but he does the best he can to survive from day to day.
Who are the main villains?
Ancient gods being held prisoner in the Hall of Shadows finally have their chance for revenge. Fenris, the Wolf God, leaves the others behind because he is focused on his own mission. He ventures to New York City and searches for three men to turn into his servants called, die Drei.
Things take a turn for the worst when an unknown force brings Fenris and his siblings, Hel and Jor together to end the world.
Who will the new love interest be?
Liam Leavitt, a security excerpt in New York, is walking his friend home after a night of drinking and finds himself being chased by the biggest wolf he has ever seen. Unable to outrun him, his life changes forever. He will tempted by two paths and will have to make a choice about who he wants to be.
OMG! Why does it take so long for you to publish this series?
Well, there are a few different reasons for this.
1) These are long, complicated books that take a lot of time and energy to write. Plus, editing time. Sometimes I need a break in between.
2) I often get sidetracked with other projects. Sadly, authors need to make money for additional covers, editing and all that other pesky life stuff, so I will write other books as projects present themselves.
3) I'm always thinking about this series, but unfortunately, the RH readers have changed dramatically since the Angel of Darkness was published in 2015. RH became more about sex than plot, and slow-building series fell to the wayside. Yes, you guys love my books, but not everyone wants to wait for the harem to build. They all want their men at once, which is totally cool, so this kind of series isn't en vogue anymore. Readers get confused or annoyed by the concept. It's heartbreaking, but trends change over time. That doesn't mean that I want to abandon this series, but I need to be mindful of the trends so that I can continue to publish successful series.
4) We all need a break from the darkness. I'm in a very different place than I was back in 2015, and the earlier years when the books were developed. I like writing humorous RHs, and YA. That doesn't mean that the Third Throne isn't very much a part of me, but we all have our different moods.
I thank everyone who has hung in there with me over the years and I hope that you enjoy the series, as slow as it may be to write. I'm still here and I'm still pushing to get back to this series. I'm still writing Illness, I just need to figure out a few plot holes as always. I do promise that this next will be as epic as the prior books, so stay tuned!