Posts Tagged ‘Born of Darkness

18
May
09

Author Interview–Rita Vetere!

bornofdarkness-websizeThank you, Rita, so much for joining us here at Playground Mystique! We’re honored to have a bestselling author of darkness and suspense here with us today.

Cindy: Let’s start off with a little bio. Give us a peek in to your life:

Rita: First of all, Cindy, thank you so very much for having me today. The pleasure is all mine!

Okay, let’s see, a little about me. Born in Newborough, England, raised in Toronto, Canada, where I still live with my husband of 25 years and our daughter. I grew up enjoying the culture of the 60s and 70s, such an interesting era. I’ve always been an avid reader and my reading taste has always gravitated naturally to dark fiction. I love a good horror flick too.

C: When did you know you wanted to become a professional author?

R: I did quite a bit of writing in high school, but I never really gave much thought to pursuing it as a career. It wasn’t until much later, after marrying, raising a family and working the evil day job for many years that I realized how much I missed the written word in my life. I started writing again, mostly short stories and flash fiction. Then I sat down to try my hand at novel-writing. Even then, I didn’t have any real expectation of being published, I just knew I had to try. The result was Ancient Inheritance. When I finished the story, that’s when I knew I wanted to write professionally.

C: What inspired the plot of your debut novel, Ancient Inheritance?

R: I happened across some info on the Spear of Longinus, the artifact around which the story revolves, and discovered some fascinating history and legends associated with the Spear. I couldn’t help but wonder what might happen if a demon was to get his hands on it. I carried that idea around with me for a couple of weeks and then sat down to prepare an outline.

C: There’s something very sexy about your demon, Sammael. Do you have a dark affection for your villains? If so, what other sensual bad guys can we look forward to?

R: I really enjoyed letting my dark side come out to play when creating Sammael. Sure, I envisioned him as cruel, selfish, egotistical, power-hungry and evil, but he also turned out to be clever, with a dark sense of humor, extremely attractive, very persistent—a demon who knows what he wants and will stop at nothing to get it. I tried to paint him in a way that a reader might think: Gee, I’m glad I’m not a demon—but you know, if I was a demon, I’d want to be just like that.

The villain in my upcoming paranormal/dark fantasy novel, Born of Darkness, is Ahriman, an inubus who has learned how to incarnate. He, too, will have some unique qualities which I hope readers will enjoy. His incubus tendencies definitely bode well for his sex life.

C: Ancient Inheritance is now available in print. How does it feel to hold a book with your name on it, to see your words in print?

R: Because I spent so much of my youth with my nose stuck in a book, I have always loved the feel and even the smell of an actual book, especially an old book. So many good memories are associated with reading that I have to admit I was thrilled to hold a copy of Ancient Inheritance in my hands. An awesome feeling, if a bit surreal.

C: You have another book coming in digital format next month called Born of Darkness. Could you give us a sneak peek into the book?

R: I’d love to. Here’s a mock-up blurb and the cover art for Born of Darkness, as well as an excerpt I’ve not posted anywhere else yet. I enjoyed writing this dark fantasy very much and I’m really looking forward to the June 15th release.

~ There’s no escaping black karma when its time has come ~

Meet Jasmine Fairchild, outrageously gorgeous, and extremely persuasive. Some might say unnaturally so. Jasmine is a Cambion, part mortal, part succubus—and she hears voices.

On the cusp of her 21st birthday, the incubus Ahriman arrives, an old and evil soul who has learned how to incarnate. He seeks immortality, but a fate worse than death awaits Jasmine if he succeeds.

When she fails to destroy Ahriman’s portal to the physical world, and with the fate of the human race hanging in the balance, Jasmine turns to the mysterious voice she keeps hearing. It may be the key to her salvation, and redemption for those who dwell in the land of the dead.

Unedited Excerpt:

She turned to study her reflection in the dark window, perturbed at the sight of the haggard face peering back. Her long hair, once silky, hung in limp, greasy strands around her pale face. Puffy eyes, underscored with dark circles, stared back at her. She looked like a ghost, a shadow of the woman she’d once been.

Lilli turned away from her reflection and used the remote to turn on the television. Muting it, she sat back, gazing blankly at the moving pictures on the screen. She missed Charlie. Always, she missed Charlie. Yet she knew even Charlie would not have been able to stop what was happening to her, or help her to protect the baby. The baby she was now quite certain was not his. Her heart began to beat double-time in acknowledgment of the dreadful truth.

The clock on the mantle ticked away like a bomb in the silent room. Almost one-thirty in the morning. Dora would be home soon, and they didn’t like to make themselves known to others. Usually, they arrived when she was alone, or in the early morning hours when Dora was sound asleep. She’d be safe once Dora got back. She wrapped her arms protectively around her belly and watched the silent screen.

Minutes later, her head snapped up. The soft sound of a whispered voice floated toward her. “No… please,” she moaned. She placed her hands over her ears and began to slowly rock back and forth. Hot tears spilled onto her cheeks. She felt flushed, fevered. The baby kicked inside her, as if in warning.

“Go away,” she whispered into the empty room.

Other menacing voices chimed in, whispering sly words she could not make out. Soon, the subtle, sinister sounds surrounded her. She closed her eyes and tried to will them away, but it did no good. Suddenly, the hushed voices turned loud, making the hair at the nape of her neck stand up. A trickle of sweat rolled down her back. As the angry voices rose in unison, terror engulfed her all over again.

Invisible hands began to prod and poke at her. Phantom fingers brushed against her face and hair. Soon the slapping sensations on her arms and around her head would begin. Lilli sat helplessly on the couch, shielding herself against what she knew was coming. When the first blows struck, she jumped up and tried to fight them off, but her fists encountered only air.

As she tried to defend herself against the phantasms, something she saw on the side table caused her to freeze in shock. She stood perfectly still, the blood in her veins turning to sludge, no longer aware of the unseen hands pushing and slapping at her.

“That’s impossible,” she whispered to herself.

She stared in disbelief. The pendant. The one she had thrown away in Morocco. It can’t be. But there it sat anyway, glittering malignantly. A bolt of dread shot through her. Somehow, the awful thing had found its way back to her.

C: What about the mythology surrounding incubi captured your imagination?

R: I was intrigued by the myth that that an incubus is able to breed with a mortal and produce offspring known as a Cambion. I began to wonder what would happen if a female Cambion wasn’t aware of her origins, thinking herself mortal. How would she fit in among humans, how would it become evident to her what she was, and how would she cope? The story just seemed to flow from there.

C: What next can we expect from Rita Vetere?

R: My current work-in-progress is Whispering Bones, a ghost story that takes place on a haunted island off the coast of Venice.

I have to say right off the bat that I’ve a special affinity for this story. For one thing, it’s straight horror—no romantic or other elements here—and horror is my first love. I’m hoping to have a first draft completed in a couple of months, then revise, revise, revise. I’m really looking forward to the day I can get it out there.

C: How long does it take you to finish a novel from start to fully polished manuscript?

R: So far each story has been different. Ancient Inheritance took me just over a year. I wrote it evenings and weekends, working around my day job. I had the luxury of being at home when I wrote Born of Darkness so had more time to devote to writing it. That story took about six months, start to finish. I’m 50,000 words into Whispering Bones and that’s taken me four months to do. I anticipate Whispering Bones will take a total of six, seven months to complete.

C: So far you’ve written full-length novels—very impressive for a new author—do you ever see yourself working in other formats like short stories or novellas?

R: I am planning to revisit a short story or two once I get the first draft of Whispering Bones done. I’ve been toying with an idea for a short story that stems from my real-life fear of birds.

C: What about the suspense/horror genre drew you to it?

R: As a kid in the sixties I spent my Sunday afternoons at the local movie theatre being mesmerized by such classics as “The Hand”, “The Birds”, “Two on a Guillotine” and “The Man with the X-ray Eyes”, so I learned to love a good scare early on.

Also, fear is such a powerful motivator. I mean, let’s face it, on the motivation scale, fear ranks right up there with sex and hunger. It has the power to shape a person’s behavior. It can make people do things they might otherwise never do. And the battle between good and evil is an age-old one that will never grow tiresome.

I should also mention that the type of horror books and films I enjoy are chilling, atmospheric tales that leave something to the imagination. I’ve never cared much for the “grindhouse” variety of horror.

C: Any plans to try your hand at a different genre?

R: Not at this time, Cindy. I’m still trying to find my voice in the genre I’m working in. Something tells me I won’t be straying from the horror/paranormal/dark fantasy genres anytime soon.

C: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

R: I confess to being a notorious Plotter. I won’t start writing until I’ve got a solid outline in place.

C: Do you ever deviate from your outline? If so, can you give us some examples of when you decided to change things up in a book?

R: Ancient Inheritance deviated quite a bit from the original outline, mostly in terms of sequencing. There’s a large back story dealing with Cat’s grandfather Alan, and how he came into possession of the spear. I started off with a straight-line approach to telling the story but it ended up coming across as two separate stories. So I reworked it, weaving the back story in a little at a time through Alan’s flashbacks, which I hope had the dual effect of piquing the reader’s curiosity and setting a proper pace.

Born of Darkness deviated from the outline in one spot, the ending.

I think at some point, the story takes on a life of its own and dictates what should happen, but I find it very helpful to have an outline to start working with.

C: What are your writing habits like? Disciplined and ritualized or you writing whenever inspiration hits you?

R: I do make the effort to write every day. Some days I’m on a roll and can’t stop. Others, I’ll only manage to tweak a few pages of what I’d previously written, but I look at it as a job where I have to put something out every day. If I don’t, I run the risk of losing momentum. (I’m very distractible!) In between stories, I’ll take a break to reset the odometer so to speak.

As far as rituals, I enjoy having a few scented candles lit. Sometimes I’ll have some of my favorite blues tunes on in the background, but not necessarily. I also keep a 15th century icon of the Archangel Michael right next to my computer. It was gifted to me by a friend when I first started writing Ancient Inheritance and I’ve developed a real attachment to it—my good luck charm.

C: When you’re working on a manuscript, do you ever succumb to writer’s block?

R: A couple of times when writing Ancient Inheritance, I realized my outline wasn’t taking the story where I wanted it to go, so had to stop and re-evaluate things. Other times, I went back to look at something I’d written and decided it was crap, deleted the section and re-wrote, but I don’t think either of those things constitute writer’s block. So, no writer’s block so far. I also think that having an outline in place first helps prevent writer’s block because you’ve got this path that you’re following in the story and, even if it changes, you usually know which direction you’re headed in.

C: Do you work mostly on a computer or do you ever write by hand?

R: I can’t imagine writing by hand! Don’t know what I’d do without my computer.

C: Many authors purport to have muses, including the ladies here at Playground Mystique. Do you have muse, if so what’s his/her name?

R: I suspect I have several, but haven’t got a visual image of any of them, just subtle voices at the edge of my senses, urging me to discover what’s really lurking beneath a character’s façade.

C: On a more personal note, what’s your dream career other than being a writer?

R: Honestly? I think I would have loved archeology. I’ve always been fascinated by ancient civilizations and other eras. I could see myself digging up ancient artifacts and structures of some long forgotten civilization and loving every minute of it. I’d find that thrilling.

C: Do you have any guilty pleasures?

R: Several. That’s all I’m sayin…

C: Rita, you minx. All right, I’ll move on, lol. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite pastime?

R: Reading, watching horror flicks, gardening, playing on my xbox 360, spending time with my terrier, Scruffy, cooking.

C: I’ve saved the most important question for last—what’s your favorite junk food?

R: Ha! Although I don’t eat a lot of junk food, the one thing I absolutely cannot pass up is a Tim Horton’s blueberry fritter. (Tim Horton’s is a Canadian coffee chain and their fritters are out of this world. The apple fritters are good, but the blueberry fritters are amazing). Oh, and also Krispy Kreme donuts. Love them as well.

Thank you again, Rita, for being our guest today. Chat with Rita all day today on the Playground Mystique Yahoo group. And find out more about this fascinating lady at the following locations:

Website: http://www.ritavetere.com
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/rita_1111
Chatting in the Dark: http://www.ritavetere.com/chat.html

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