Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#Vampires as guardian angels--"Dark Companion" is unique #Paranormal #EroticRomance

Today I'm turning the spotlight onto Author Maya DeLeina's new release from Ellora's Cave. Maya is a breakout novelist whose cast of vampires will ignite your passion and pull at your heartstrings. Thank you so much for stopping by for an interview, Maya. 

Your vampires are different than the 'typical' vampires—can you explain how?
All I write about are vampires, which can strike a challenge in the creativity department.  So, to make the storylines distinctive, I play around with folklore on what vampires can and cannot do. Some of my vampires can eat and walk in the sun, some of them do not reflect in mirrors. Others project synthesized worlds for mortals, while others have color-changing sclera.  Vampires are vampires- fangs, blood, immortality…yada, yada, yada, you can’t change much with that. But, it’s their inherent traits, abilities and structure that draws the conflict in the story. This makes for fascinating plots and submerges a reader into that paranormal world. And while I’ve been known to push the envelope with their characteristic makeup, I always have an explanation- something either scientific from an advanced technology perspective or something embedded during the physical transformation from human to immortal. For example, my Ambrose Heights Series is all about a family vampires that manufactures and distributes ‘Defender’. ‘Defender’ allow vampires to walk in the sun. How? Defender is a manufactured serum composed of synthetic melanin. It is mass-produced as an injection that resembles insulin for diabetics and last for 6-hours. I’ve read stories where there was a unique twist on the vampire trait but they never explained any of it and it drove me batty (Get it? Bat? Vampire?) I vowed to always explain the “why” in my stories to alleviate any “battiness” for others. J

Tell us briefly about your new release and what you feel is the most important topic/sub-message you share (if there is one).
All of my books deal with the subject of the afterlife because of the immortality. This book, Dark Companion, however, completely delves into the afterlife. Where do we go? What do we see? Is there a heaven? Is there a hell? The other aspect I bring into this book is the power of the natural world to lay the groundwork for some of the inherent cycles that play into the afterlife I created.

Oh, and this is the first time I wrote Vampires as guardian angels.

Vampires as guardian angels? I really love that concept. 
Why erotic romance rather than a more mainstream approach?
Well, damn. This is going to sound so wrong…but erotic romance is what really got me into reading and holding my interest. Yes, I know what you’re thinking… how sick is she? LOL! Just think of it this way….reading is an escape from reality. Reading about these steamy situations characters find themselves in is a little slice of taboo and a guilty pleasure that erases the world for me. No matter that the same text is read, each reader will visualize the scene differently and the emotional outcome will vary. This is why I love reading in this genre and hey…they say to write what you love to read!

Have you always been interested in vampires?
Absolutely. Growing up in Hawaii- the sunshine, palm tree landscape and beaches, it’s pretty hard to imagine how vampires could be of interest to me. But on the drive to a town called Wahiawa, there was Mt. Ka’ala in the distance. On top of the mountain is the Mt. Ka’ala facility which is controlled, I believe, by the Hawaii Air National Guard and FAA. There is a giant tower that can be seen for miles. From as far back as I can remember, I was convinced THAT was Dracula’s tower. So even as I was half melting from the heat and humidity as my dad and I drove to North Shore to go snorkeling, I would side-eye that giant tower and my mind would be absorbed in thinking about vampires.

Then there was “Lost Boys”….that rekindled love for vampires as a teenager!
 Ooo…I loved Michael from "Lost Boys." So sexy. 
Are there any other aspects of the paranormal that interest you? Would you ever consider incorporating those into your writing?
In addition to vampires, I have always been fascinated with witches. In fact, I have a plot in my head for a coven story and thinking of starting this next year. 

It has been my experience, some things come quite easily (like creating the setting) and other things aren’t so easy (like deciding on a title). What comes easily to you and what do you find more difficult? 
I agree. Settings are always the easiest for me. I can easily visualize what kind of environment I want to be absorbed in, so without a doubt, location and scenery is quite effortless. The difficulty, I find, is when the book is finished and I have to write a synopsis. Sometimes that is harder than writing the book!

Yes, and blurbs always give me fits. It seems I rewrite those and am still not thrilled with the end result. Why is it we can write novels and then get tripped up on the little things? 
Let's talk inspiration. What inspires you?
Travel and music are my primary sources of inspiration.

I have seen many amazing and rousing places that I have adapted into stories or used a little piece of reality to create a fictional world.  Case in point, my girlfriends and I had a very memorable trip to a tree house in Colorado. When we arrived, the photos we saw online of the place didn’t do it any justice. The tree house was simply magnificent. A good balance of man-mad materials and natural elements made up the tree house. For my story, I thought more along the lines of something almost “hobbit-like” so I incorporated natural elements more so than man-made. 

As far as music is concerned, I could be in the middle of a blizzard in Colorado, but feel like I’m walking along dry and dusty earth in a Marrakesh bazaar, my eyes absorbing the bold, jeweled-tone colors of fabrics and taking in a healthy whiff of the exotic spices. Typically, I have Pandora tuned to my stations to provide inspirational settings that takes me halfway around the world without leaving the couch. Check it out:

Maya’s Arabian Dream Station:

When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your books and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?
That I had a lively and active imagination with a good sense of humor.

Is there any particular book when you read it, you thought, "I wish I had written that?"
Not one book, but the entire Forbidden Series by Samantha Sommersby

Who or what inspires your characters and/or plots?

Characters are typical developed from imagination, but there are some physical traits that derive straight from photography I have on men, the photo album aptly named “muses”. Okay. They’re just a collection of good-looking men. What can I say? I am a fan of the male body and facial features.

For character personality, it’s a combination of imagination and incorporating some traits from men that I actually know.  I have a handful of great friends that are male and every time I am quiet in a conversation, they say, “Lord. This is going in a book or something, right?” 

Tell us about your writing space. Do you need any 'must haves' around you before you start writing?
I sit in the same spot when writing at home. My spot is on a leather sofa, right next to a wall of windows that showcases all of the treetops I have in my yard. Between the canopies of trees, glimpses of Pikes Peak come into view. The walls of the room are painted in a warm green tone, think two shades lighter than an avocado. The accents, from pillows to throw blankets are bronze, gold, burnt orange, copper with splashes of crimson. Accents are all in different shades of wood and metals. I have three themes going on in the room-Hawaii, Moroccan, and Bali that blend quite well together. Within the space, my must haves are lit candles, incense burning and Pandora playing softly in the background.  

What happens before sitting down to write? (Explain your creative process.)
My writing is typically done at night or early morning. If I happen to write during the day, it’s usually because it is in the middle of a snow or thunderstorm. The time of day and what the weather holds really plays a key role in inspiration.  
When I sit down and write, I read back on the last chapter written or skim through the chapters. I close my eyes to envision the scene, as if a movie. I don’t work with an outline- most times I don’t know where I am going with a story until I sit down and I “see” where I want to go. All in all, I read to escape reality. Because of this, my goal in writing is to create a world that is vivid enough for the reader to sense it all around them as they read to the point that their immediate environment vanishes.

Do you do a lot of research for your book(s)?
It’s usually medical research that I perform since I want to explain some of the structure changes in the body that occurs for a vampire’s existence. I’ve researched general information on diabetics, how insulin is made, advances in brain-machine interfaces for patients with neurodegenerative disease, blood oxygenation and altitude influence on the body.

Is there anything you'd go back and do differently now that you have been published, in regards to your writing career? 
I would’ve started writing earlier in life.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where?

I have done conventions such as RomCon, Blissfest and Jimmy Thomas’ RNConvention in Vegas. For 2014, my focus is on writing. I will plot out conventions for 2015 and also hoping to do events locally with some fellow Colorado muses that I know (LOL). All events that I will attend will be listed here:

We look forward to seeing you out and about. Good luck with your new release and thank you so much for taking the time for an interview. Now let's look inside "Dark Companion." I'm sure this one will be an instant best seller. 

The blurb…
Joseph’s Protector at the moment of her birth. Four decades later, he struggles to hide the love he harbors for his charge. When the time comes for her to learn of Warwick’s existence, lust is a beast he can’t contain, nor can Isla fight her instant attraction to this mysterious “stranger”. The pair comes together in a frenzied feast of flesh.
But their intimacy has consequences. Consequences for Isla, when she discovers her lover is a vampire…for the team of Architects, who are struggling to save her from a horrific future…for Warwick, when he’s forced to wipe every trace of himself from Isla’s memory.
Isla, Warwick and the Architects will soon discover love isn’t so easily erased. And while fate may have dark designs for Isla…destiny has other plans.
A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

And the characters take the stage for their introduction…

Warwick Dark
Isla Joseph

Early reader reviews

5 stars

I bought this book and read it from front to back. I simply couldn't put it down. This is a totally unusual and unique vampire story that has you wondering what in the heck is going on at the end. Easily one of my favorites from this author.

Book and series trailer…
Book Trailer:

What are you waiting for? Buy it now! 

More about Maya

Maya DeLeina is a multi-published Erotic Vampire Romance Author  with Siren , Evernight and Ellora’s Cave Publishing.  Her current series includes Ambrose Heights Vampires, My Naughty Vampire and Vampire Architects.

Not only does Maya have theatrical book trailers that bring her vampires to life, all of her vampires were featured in Singer/Songwriter Jill Cohn's music video "Blessing Moon".

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