By Sammie Spencer
Olivia has spent her life learning about her enemies, the deadly Venator - including how to kill them. What she knows nothing about is whiskey, playing poker, or rugged, copper-haired musicians.
As punishment for a small 'crime,' Olivia is sent to a safe house in a human town and forced to live as one of them for a summer.
There, she meets the charming Jackson Vance, and her real education begins. She soon discovers that she's being hunted, and figuring out why means she uncovers a secret that threatens to end everything she's ever fought for.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I make a living as a non-fiction writer, but fiction is my passion. I have two young children and am currently raising my very young niece and nephew. I have two shelter-rescued dogs (one is part weasel, I believe, and I'm pretty sure the other is part horse). I love to read, almost as much as I love to write!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
At birth. LOL - I don't know. I've always been interested in it. I think I began to get serious about it when I plotted Amaretto Flame, but I've always written for fun. I was a child who read voraciously, and I've seen that same trait in a lot of writers. Perhaps the two go hand in hand?
What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?
It's much harder than it seems; the writing part is almost like pouring out your heart and then having to trim it up so that it's in an acceptable shape. Now I see why people make references to babies when they're talking about stories. A story you love IS like your child in a way.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I don't use a set formula. A lot of times, I'll brainstorm with a pen and paper. Other times, I'll listen to music and visualize and scenes will sort of pop up movie-style in my mind. Sometimes I'll ask myself questions, like, "What is the worst possible thing that could happen to her in this instance?" Usually, with those methods, the puzzle pieces come together.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
I think the most important element is emotion. I pour out a lot of emotion into my writing and I think readers feel that when they read. It prompts their own emotional reactions. If I love a character and I can feel his anger, his sadness, his love...then I am part of the story. That's the greatest gift a writer can give their readers, and that's what I try to do.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Well, I'm currently working on the sequel to Amaretto Flame, which is still untitled. I'll say that Olivia, Jackson, Everett and the rest of the crew will definitely be shaken up, twisted around and run through the ringer before it's done!
In Twitter Fashion use140 characters or less, sum Eagleton Coven: Amaretto Flame for us.
Hunted by the deadly Venator, Olivia must find a way to save both her family and her new human friends before everything is destroyed.
How did you come up with a story that was such a whirl wind of events?
I started with the basic premise, and then my characters sort of grew on me. As their personalities grew, I knew that certain things had to happen in order for them to be true to who they were. For instance, Olivia's natural tendency is to shy away from humans and emotions (being shunned as a child), and so who they are and what they've gone through really had to be the basis for how they would behave. Using that as my guide, the whole story just seemed to come together.
How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?
The first time I wrote it, I wrote it in about 2 months. Then came the editing, rewriting, chopping and adding. Overall, it took me about six months to write the story.
Will we be seeing a following book to this stories?
Definitely. There will be 4-5 books in the Eagleton Coven series. Most of them are planned out already.
How did you come up with the character Olivia?
I knew that I wanted a strong female character who was a witch, but I didn't want her magic or her power to define her; I wanted her to be deeper than that. Pulling on literary influences like 'The Mists of Avalon' and the character Morgan le Fay, Olivia was born.
I always must ask, If you could pick one actress to portray Olivia on the big screen who would it be and why?
Hmmm. This is something I've definitely thought about, but I don't know of an actress that looks the way Olivia looks in my mind. I guess if I had to choose someone, I'd say Phoebe Tonkin. She's an Australian model and actress and she's gorgeous. She probably looks closer to Olivia than anyone else.
Was there anything you find particularly challenging when writing this book?
Making bad things happen to my characters. It's always hard for me because I get so attached to them, but without the conflict and the tough stuff, there's no story, right? =)
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?