Thursday, September 24, 2009

Special Interview: Anida Adler

Today we're hosting a tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Please give a warm Menagerie welcome to paranormal erotic romance author, Anida Adler!!

So, Anida, let's get this started off right! Where are you from?

I grew up in South Africa, in a town called Boksburg, which is near Johannesburg. Adventure fell into my lap when I got married. I had the chance to live in beautiful Cape Town and take long walks on the wide, white beaches there.

The Afrikaner culture capital Pretoria gave me the opportunity to see places like the Voortrekker Monument.

On a farm near Bloemfontein, I learned how to handle sick sheep and what to feed pigs. I also got a job as a radio presenter, which was fun. I always found it difficult to understand why people spoke of 'big sky', until I moved to Ireland and experienced 'small sky'.

We moved back to Johannesburg, where I did the career woman thing as newsreader for a much bigger radio station. Let me just say it was not for me, and I'm glad I'm out of it.

I love the pictures -- they are amazing. So, tell me, when and why did you begin writing?

I started writing as soon as I could string words together, and I did it because my muse trained me from infancy. She and I have a complicated love-hate relationship, which I lamented in this post

What inspired you to write your first book?

My husband suggested it. I had been writing essays and short stories my whole life, but never thought becoming an author was a realistic goal. He has, throughout our relationship, been more able to see my talents than I have. The subsequent obsession that took hold of me has required a lot of patience and understanding from his side, and I'm lucky indeed that he has given me that in spades.

4. What book are you reading now?

I recently read James Morrow's The Last Witchfinder, Terry Pratchett's Nation and Night Watch, and I read most of Stephen Hodge's The Dead Sea Scrolls, a non-fiction, over the weekend. My husband took James Follett's Wicca out from the library, and I'm eyeing it hungrily. I read A LOT.

I think most writers, do. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I'm working on a novel about Mandy, who meets a wonderful guy called Torin and embarks on a steamy relationship with him. He's just odd, the way he's in very different moods at different times: either in lawyerly mode, when he's earnest and pragmatic, or in artisty mode when he's exuberant and intense. There's more to Torin than meets the eye, and Mandy will soon get to meet one more of his 'moods', the most challenging part of him to deal with. She's not the only one discovering what Torin truly is. And a creature like him can give great power to the one who kills him.

Here's an excerpt, from the scene where Mindy and Torin first meet:

Mindy's cheeks went numb. Mister Essence-of-Lust had just ordered a cup of tea for her. Frankly, this miracle warranted something stronger. But tea would have to do, the café wasn't licensed for what she really needed.

"I hope you don't mind," he said, "but I saw you were about to leave and I couldn't let you go before talking to you." Anxiety hid in the sound of his voice as if he meant every word. "My name is Torin." He reached a hand over the table. Mindy lifted her own and let him wrap his fingers around it.

His handshake was firm, strong hands with no calluses. He wouldn't have, not a guy in a dark suit that sat comfortably on broad shoulders, striped blue shirt and darker blue tie. "Hiya, Torin." Her voice came out a hoarse whisper and she cleared her throat. He still held her hand, stared at her as if she was an angel that had appeared from thin air in front of him. She resisted the urge to look down at her arm, to see if there was really something like a feather stroking slowly up over her wrist to her inner elbow.

"What's your name?" he asked softly.

"Oh, sorry. Mindy. My name is Mindy."

"Mindy." Could he taste the sound, savour it on his tongue? He let go of her hand, fingertips briefly stroked her palm. Something warm bloomed beneath her navel, spread down into her vagina. The nerve endings around her pussy woke as if stroked by invisible fingers. Her nipples tightened under her tee shirt and she thanked heaven she wore a padded bra.

"Do you live hereabouts, Mindy? It's just, I come here often, and I haven't seen you before."

"I live just around the corner, walking distance. I come to the mall quite often for odds and ends. But I usually go to the cafe on the other side. This one doesn't serve food." She remembered the display case filled with so many mouth-watering cakes that she couldn't make a choice and ended up with just tea on her tray. "I mean, the other one serves real food." He cocked his head to one side, a half-smile on his lips. Mindy cast about in her mind for the right words. "Edible food. You know, um, good food." She nearly fell at the waitress' feet in gratitude when the girl arrived with their order.

A once in a lifetime opportunity, a few minutes with a hunk who'd ordered her tea in a moment of insanity. Shot to hell because she had to go and sound like an idiot. When she glanced at him again, he was grinning. The waitress trotted away and he nodded. "I know exactly what you mean. Not the kind of food you eat when your sweet tooth is bothersome. The kind you eat when you're hungry." Mindy nodded. Oh, how hungry she was. And not for food. As if reading her mind, Torin's smile faded and he mirrored her nod. "Really hungry."

Sounds awesome!! Okay, enough of the serious stuff. What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Cats! They're independent enough to not be a nuisance, but dependent enough to be loved. I think people should be like that, too.

LOL! Me, too, most of the time. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

Yes, I despise pictures of myself. In most of them I think I look awful, and I have very few pictures of myself on file. Recently, I've been fortunate to have befriended two ladies who are both into photography. Each of them, on different occasions, took photos of me which I thought were really nice.

You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

Nothing, thank you. I believe every incident in our lives shapes us into what we are today, and I'm really comfortable with who I am. I love the British band James' song Oh My Heart, which says:

Adore this life, there is no guarantee:

could end by tomorrow.

Adore every fight and opportunity

to give back what was borrowed.

Nothing's sacred, make it shatter.

Nothing's sacred, fall apart.

Oh my heart, oh my heart,

come on, break me in two.

It's both the good and the bad times which make us who we are, and if I change any of that I will be a different person.

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

I cry very easily during movies. I find it virtually impossible to distance myself from the tale, to remember that it's not real. Because to me, it actually is real on a certain level. Because I find this very distressing, I avoid watching sad films. The one I remember most vividly was Dances with Wolves, which I went to see with my sister. It took us probably an hour to make our way out of the theatre, as I'd think I'm composed now and get up, then start crying again and had to sit down to pull myself together. It's just not worth the trauma I feel, so I stick to happy films.

Do you like thunderstorms?

I love thunderstorms, and by chance I have a little excerpt here that I wrote about what rain was like when I grew up:

South Africa might be a dry country, but by God, when it rained, it rained. Especially on the highveld, where I grew up, afternoon thunderstorms sometimes gathered like an avenging army on the horizon to take on the day's heat. The sky turned near black under heaving clouds armed to the teeth with water. Thunder shivered across the laden sky, making it easy to believe the sound was that of giants rolling boulders to and fro in heaven.

A menacing hush settled on the world while the attacking army breathed in to launch its assault.

And then it rained.

Giant drops hurled themselves to the ground like the brief reincarnations of kamikaze pilots. Tiny rivers took shape in gutters within moments as terrified water raced for drains' jaws forced open by iron bars. And within fifteen minutes, half an hour, it would be over. The army, spent and lightened, dispersed. The world stirred back to life, shaken, stunned, yet grateful for the respite from the searing heat.

Thanks for the interview, I really enjoyed it.

Thank you for joining us and best of luck with your book, "The Ancient" -- available now from Loose ID. Here's a little excerpt to whet our readers whistles. And remember folks, if you leave a comment, you're entered to win this adorable bear:

Blurb and excerpt from "The Ancient" by Anida Adler


What would you do if you fell in love with the goddess of death?

June 1945 - Tadhg Daniels sees a woman clad in strange clothes and a feathered cloak, but she’s invisible to everyone else. He’s convinced his mind has been unhinged by the horrors of the D-day landings four days before, but when she appears to him again, the woman proves she is real. She is Morrigan, goddess of death, come to warn him his life is about to end.

Morrigan is disturbed by the man she meets. He looks in her eyes unflinching, while all others avoid her gaze. She’s never found such a strong will to survive in any of her charges before. He refuses to accept he’s going to die.

There is a way for Tadhg to cheat death, a secret Morrigan has guarded for millennia. Morrigan can save him if she takes him as her lover, but sex with the goddess of death will change him. He needs time to decide if he’s prepared to give up his humanity in order to be with her forever.

But Tadhg is not the only one who knows Morrigan’s secret. Someone else wants to take by force the gift she can bestow. And he’ll stop at nothing to get it.


Rat-tat-tat, rat-tat-tat, and two more German soldiers lay dead on the ground that had soaked up the blood of so many good men. The smell of cordite stung his nose and roiled nausea in his stomach. He glanced down at their faces, a seasoned soldier, judging from the lines etched around his mouth, beside him a boy not much older than Stephen.

Not now, not now. There had to be time enough to let the agony of taking life from others flow through his heart. He shoved past Morrigán. Someone fell beside him, and he pulled the trigger, shot and killed, wounded, maimed, and moved on. Bullets zinged an inch past him, and he tumbled into a shell hole beside Mark, breath racing in his chest.

And she was there, beside him, silent, waiting.

“I will not die,” Tadhg growled, but rising fear clutched cold fingers at his throat.
“You’re right there, my friend.” Mark clapped his shoulder. “We’re going to get through this shit together and go horseback riding when this fuckup is over.” He turned his attention back to the fighting, back to the air cloyed with hatred, anger, despair, and fear, and killed more Germans so they would not kill him. “Come on!” Mark shouted to Tadhg and launched himself over the lip of the hole.

Tadhg glanced at Morrigán and hesitated. Her gaze rested on him, and he saw eternity in her eyes. “No, Morrigán. No.” And with that he followed Mark, lifted his body from safety -- and felt the bullets slam into his chest as if time had slowed to a trickle. He fell and slid back into the shell hole, stared up at the blue sky in stunned disbelief.

Sound receded until he lay in utter silence among screams of pain and anger, in the midst of pounding boots and rattling guns. He felt no pain, but it was difficult to breathe, and something wet bubbled on his lips.

Morrigán crouched beside him. Why did she look angry? “You want to live, poet? You want to live no matter what?”

Again he felt that odd sensation of a part of him accepting, looking forward to entering the land of shades. He could blend with the power of running horses, exist in the steaming joy of early morning gallops across dewy fields. Yet inside him, another part rebelled, struggled for life, even as he sensed the last few grains of sand sink to the narrow waist of the hourglass of his measure of days. And as he lay dying, he rested his gaze on Morrigán’s beautiful, pearl-white face, and the part that wanted to live grew, filled him, became all of him.

“Tadhg, answer me. Do you want to live, no matter what the price?”

He couldn’t speak. Dear God, she offered him a chance, and now, because his lungs were filling with blood, he could not force his voice to reach out for what he craved with his entire being. Blackness tinged the edges of his vision; he fought to hold the receding image of her face. He nodded his answer, and she reacted in an instant, flicked her cloak over his body, and Tadhg felt himself falling, falling into a landscape of terrible dreams.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to be popping in late, I had some internet problems yesterday. Although, my today is often my friends' tomorrow, as the wonderful world of the internet has brought me friends from all over the world.

It's great to be here, and I'm glad you liked the photos.

Helen Hardt said...

Anida, great to meet you! I love the premise of your story -- very unique. And the cover is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Helen. I agree, that cover is so stunning. I was so happy with it. Loose Id does generally do awesome covers, I must say.

And the premise of the story - I have been fascinated with Irish mythology since moving to Ireland, and find it a rich source of inspiration. Though in truth, purists would probably be horrified with my twisting and adjusting of the standard version of Irish myths.

Anonymous said...

Yeehaa! I just assigned a number to each and every commenter on my virtual book tour, including hosts, then went to my research assistant and asked him to pick a number. He saw no names!

The winner of the Shannon O'Shamrock bear is Patricia Esposito, who commented on Sheri Lewis Wohl's blog. Congratulations, Patricia, I'll email you to get your snail mail address to send your prize.

Thanks to all who commented, I really appreciated the warm welcomes all over the blogosphere!