Monday, October 4, 2010

Author Interview ~ Sapphire Phelan


Hey everyone, it's a beautiful Monday, at least where I am, lol... and today we have an author willing to hang out with us on the couch. I'm sure the Cabana Boys may have had something to do with that, but we'll pretend it was our sparkling personalities that enticed her to talk with Megan and I today.

Our guest today is author, Sapphire Phelan. Let's all give her a warm Menagerie welcome (yes, the Boys are already busy making her comfortable...) and have a good time today. Since dear Megan is feeling a bit peckish today... you're getting mostly me today. Only fair since I made her carry the load last week. LOL.

Welcome to The Menagerie, Sapphire. We're so glad you could hang out with us today. Let's go ahead and get started with some basics. Where are you from?


I’m from Virginia, but before that, I grew up and lived in California, both Northern and Southern. And from birth until age four, I lived in Nebraska with my parents, until they moved farther west to California. Along with being to other states in my life, I hope that it made me enough of a well-rounded person to make an interesting writer.

Wow, you’re the country traveler. I don’t think I’ve been west of Vegas.


LOL, and if you had you wouldn't have made it further than me. So, tell us your latest news, Sapphire.


I am excited as my paranormal romance story, His Girl, is included in the Just Another Paranormal Halloween anthology, available from Mojocastle Press as of September 27th. Just in time for Halloween - my favorite time of the year.

And my erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With a Witch has won in the novella division of the Prism Awards 2010 — given each year by the Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal chapter of Romance Writers of America!


Wow, that is very cool. I'd be excited too!

How exciting! Congrats. Now that you’re an award-winning author, when did you first consider yourself a writer?


When I was 17-years old and got three poems of mine published in a poetry magazine, Hyacinths and Biscuits. I actually got a contract and earned money for them! Before, my writing was only seen by friends and schoolteachers, but then I felt many more would see it. I was so excited.

Very cool.


Cool indeed. I don't know that I would have had the courage to do something like that at seventeen. What is your favorite character you’ve written (published or not)? Why?


I would say Charun, the demon Familiar from Being Familiar With a Witch and Tina Epson, his Witch and love. They just sparked with me, like people I would enjoy knowing for real. Heck, they are real to me!

That's always the best, when the characters are so real to us. Love that. What books have most influenced your life most?

There are so many. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Illustrated Man and Something Wicked Comes This Way by Ray Bradbury, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt, and many more.

I know some of those, and actually the whole A Wrinkle In Time series is one of my all-time favorites. You know it's a good story when it sticks with you years after you last read it. Good choices! If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

The writer who inspired me the most would be Ray Bradbury. He knows how to tell a tale that keeps your interested to reading it to the end, whether a novel or a short story.

Yup, he does tell a great story. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Jim Butcher, Maggie Stiefvator, J. K. Rowling, J. R Ward, Helen Madden, and many more. How can one pin down just one?

What a wide list. What are your current projects?

Working on the first draft of A Familiar Tangle With Hell, sequel to Being Familiar With a Witch. So far, it has more words than the first book. Then I plan to start writing on the third novella in the Beast Magic trilogy, and this time the characters are werewolves. I am waiting on the edits for the second book in this series, Dark Leopard Magic, which is the second erotic male/male paranormal romance I have written.


Gotta love when you can keep busy. How cool that you can continue your worlds and stories! Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My friends support me quite a bit in my writing endeavors. Some are hitting the writing trail themselves, but others are readers of my works and even if not, cheer me on.

A support system is vital. Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so I am working hard enough to make it so.


And that's the way to do it. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

His Girl in the anthology, Just Another Paranormal Halloween, is about two lovers parted from each other in the ‘70s thanks to a vampire taking the girl’s life and changing her and both are reunited years later. I got the inspiration for it when the song, My Girl played on the radio in my car one day.

Here's the blurb for the anthology and each story:

At the castle it's never Just Another Paranormal Halloween.

Coming to Mojocastle Press - Halloween 2010 (http://www.mojocastle.com/)

The Man in the Long Black Coat by Susan Gabriel
“Behold, I come as a thief in the night and I tell you, ye worship ye know not what.”

Blurb:
Mariah Bishop, the preacher's daughter, lives in a town where religion and superstition are so deeply entwined there's no telling where one ends and the other begins. But her father, the good Eldon Bishop fears there is something more than religious rapture stirring in the young Mariah.

When the mysterious man in the long, black coat blows into town and holds an old-time revival on All Hallow's Eve, Mariah and the colorful characters which surround her are set on a course with consequences they couldn't possibly foresee.

A-Mazing Grace by D. McEntire
Sometimes a wrong turn can be the right choice…

Blurb:
Halloween never meant anything special to Grace. That is until taking up an offer by her best friend for a night time trip through a local corn maze leaves her changing her tune—and her life. Coming face-to-face with a man sporting glowing red eyes and fangs, then rescued by a man who seemed just as unreal as the first makes for one hell-of-a wild night only she seems to remember.

Connell has hunted alongside his brothers for centuries, following a code to protect the secret of their race—vampires—by removing rogues vampires who refuse to blend in among society. That secret is threatened when wiping the memory of a feisty human female he saves from a rogue doesn’t take completely.

But, it isn’t her recollection of him that leads her deeper into his world. Arriving moments too late on the scene of her second attack by a rogue leaves him facing the choice of converting her or leaving her to die.

The Tiger's Masquerade by Savanna Kougar
Stacy wasn't looking for a tiger-man to fill her tank, until Zyrru swept her off her feet at the Masquerade Ball, and claimed her passions.

Blurb:
Stacy wasn’t looking for a tiger-man to erotically and exotically fill her tank , then steal her heart. That is, until the Halloween ‘Call of the Wild Masquerade’ ball. But, what kind of tiger does she have by the tail? Zyrru wasn’t looking for a human woman to un-tame his fiercest passions, and alter his royal life forever. After all, he’s only vacationing on Earth, and is almost engaged to The Princess. But, her rosefire scent is irresistible.

A Pixie Holiday by Brigit Aine
Halloween brings all sorts of interesting things to Kira's life, and some of them are worth it.

Blurb:
On Halloween Kira is able to go out as herself, with no glamour on and allow others to see her true self, a pixie. As she is trying to avoid the man her father sent years ago to try and marry her, she runs into a someone else, someone who makes her feel safe and protected. Although she isn't even aware that she needs protecting, yet. Lance knows he needs to get Kira to like him, after all they are going to be married, but he has to keep her safe and get her to the conclave before any of that can happen. And it seems as if those who do not want to see an alliance between the Pixies and the Wolves would do whatever it takes to make sure his plans are foiled.

His Girl by Sapphire Phelan
Erotic paranormal romance with vampires.

Blurb:
My Girl was more than just a song for Evan McPhail and Aimee Saunders; it was the music of their love and passion for each other. For nothing could tear them apart, not even death.

Then Aimee vanished.

She returns to Evan thirty years later, no longer human. To the tempo of their passion, they prove that doesn't matter.

Samhain's Visitor by Kiki Howell
Samhain's visitors can be anything from dark and shadowy to sexy and full of surprises.

Blurb:
When an uninvited visitor shows up during Sarah’s Samhain ritual, her Mute Supper is literally disrupted by cups and plates being tossed about. Soon, the shadow weighing on her and the voices with cryptic messages incite terror. But, help comes in various forms. And, one is sexy and full of surprises.

Darkest Knight by Ashley Blade
Blurb:
What would happen if you woke up one day a vampire?
Julie asked herself the same question many times, especially after reading one of her favorite paranormal stories. Now what seemed like a fantasy world captured in descriptive words becomes her reality and she has to figure out if it was all it was cracked up to be.

Love, Lies & Zombie Cries by K.A. M'Lady
When It Comes To The Heart, Something Always Bleeds

Blurb:
Jayda Oslynn knows what death feels like. She knows the solitude in the darkness’ silence. The lonely spaces between life’s last breath and the realm of the undead. Like the women in her family before her, she’s had a life-long affinity with those that wander in the land between. Some call it black magick or necromancy, but to the Oslynn family it’s always been known as death dealing. And, whether a blessing or a curse, Jayda’s always been able to feel their feelings – their love and suffering, their happiness and sorrows. The truth, when shared through her eyes, always has a way of being felt and seen. This Halloween, Jayda finds that when dealing with the dead, some memories are better left buried, for the real truth never stays buried and hearts, once broken seldom seem to mend.


Well, isn’t that a collection. Phew.


No kidding, those all look pretty interesting. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?


When I wrote both of my male/male paranormal romances, the love/sex scenes between the two guys was something out of my comfort zone in knowledge and technique. I had to read other male/male stories to see how they did that.

It does help to be in the right frame of mind and understanding.


Snort... sorry... my brain moved into the right frame of mind for male/male romance... ahem... Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?


Somewhat. Whether it’s a book signing, or I am an author guest at a convention. But I enjoy these as get to meet readers face-to-face.

It's always fun to meet an author in person.

I’ll bet they like that. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?


I can write sex scenes. LOL You don’t want to be clinical and make them passionate for the readers, besides yourself.


LOL, clinical is never good. Isn't it nice to learn new... talents. :-D Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for taking time to read what I write and learning of the worlds I have created. You are helping me to keep realizing my dream of writing.

Aww... I'm sure they appreciate all you do. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was eight-years-old, I started writing stories about animals and aliens and even scary stuff. I wanted to do the same things I read in my favorite books.

That's how it always starts... "I wanna do that!" What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I usually write during the week, during the day. I go exercise in the morning at Curves, come home, shower, make and eat breakfast and watch the CBS Early Show. Then I start working on the current project I am doing. That’s not to say, I don’t write in the evening or on weekends. If a deadline is looming, I write then, too.

Wow, you actually have a schedule... :::turns to Megan::: Maybe that's our problem... oh, wait, our kids can obliterate a schedule... never mind. LOL I really wish I could keep a schedule like that!

Busy, busy. When did you write your first book and how old were you?


I was in the 7th grade. I wrote this gothic horror novel, Howling in the Night. It was done by long hand. Of course, I am sure by today’s standards — shoot, by the standards then — it wasn’t that many words!


Yes, but it was YOURS. Those things are very important for our development as writers. Wow, I sound like I actually know what I'm talking about! Ahem... sorry... What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to read or watch one of my favorite TV shows or a movie on Blu Ray/DVD or at the movie theater. I also like to bake, exercise, spend time with my own hero, my husband, do paranormal investigating, make and wear costumes - mainly at science fiction conventions, and do crafts.

Okay, my head is spinning. That's a lot of stuff! What does your family think of your writing?

They’re behind me all the way! It’s great to know that my husband and son are encouraging me.

That is great. It makes it so much easier when those in our lives support our endeavors. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Write everyday, even if it’s not for a book or short story or article. Starting a blog clan be good practice. Also join a local writer’s critique group in town or get a critique partner you can also barnstorm with. This can be also an online one. Go to writer’s conferences or take writing workshops to help you perfect your writing. Then submit when the critique people say your work is ready. Letting your manuscript languish in the drawer won’t get it published. And if you get rejected, don’t feel upset. Everyone, even your favorite authors have been rejected many, many times. Remember, it’s perseverance that wins the race.

Great advice. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Believe it or not, a writer! Also an actor. And I have done both, so I am very happy about that!

Oh, I believe it. And here you are! Just goes to show you.

And now it's that time in our inteview. The really fun part... not that this hasn't been fun, lol. It's time for the "absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing" questions where we get to pull you out of your shell kicking and screaming. :::rubbing hands together:::

Boxers, briefs, boxer briefs…. Or commando? Why?


Mmmm. . .commando. Makes it easy for the pants to be dropped and get to the love action. LOL

Somehow... I'm not surprised... What were you doing at midnight last night?

I was sleeping in my bed. What did you think? That I was out, searching for victims to bite and drink blood from? LOL

ROTFL, you mean you weren't? How disappointing... What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Squid — love it too. Also frog legs, and it tastes just like chicken.

Yanno, suprisingly, despite my roots I've never eaten frog legs. We won't discuss the squid incident. What is your favorite animal?

How about more than one? Cat, horse, and wolf.

Okay, since you picked some good ones we'll allow more than one... but just this once. What is your heritage?

I have Sioux Native American in me (my great-great grandmother was related to Sitting Bull), Irish, French Canadian, Pennsylvania Dutch, Czech and Slovakian. Call me a Heinz 57-mixture of many nationalities.

Sooo... All American Mutt like us... gotcha. LOL Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Gosh, the sad ones like love stories or animal ones like Black Beauty.

Fair enough. What is your favorite pizza?

Chicken with mushrooms and anchovies on thin crust. Sometimes jalapeƱos added to it, sometimes not.

Okay, I'm going to say something I never let my kids get away with... ewwwwww... LOL, sorry, couldn't resist. The jalapenos would send me to the hospital, though, so I think I'm allowed, lol. Are you a morning person or a night person?

I can be both, but lately, more day then night time.

Okay, well... we'll try not to hold that against you. Both Megan and I are a bit... cranky during daylight hours. But you can hang out with Mysti, she's sickeningly cheerful in the mornings. :::shudder:::

Ah well, thank the powers for the night time. I like it pitch black outside. Speaking of pitch black outside, do you like thunderstorms?


Yes, I do. There’s something exhilarating and primal about a good thunderstorm. There’s a touch of danger that says lightening can strike anytime, but yet, safety long as you’re indoors.


*sigh* We are big fans of thunderstorms here. You're in good company. Do you sleep with the light on? Why or why not?

No, never had. Somehow as a kid, I felt the monsters couldn’t find me if it was dark.

Okay, I'll take your nightlight... I need it. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

Yes, I can. Pepsi tastes pretty sweet, Coke not. I prefer Coke.

LOL, so you think I'm insane for my Pepsi addiction. Got it. LOL If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

I could say world peace, but those stories written show what happens wrongly when that wish is granted. Maybe all my bills paid and to be a bestselling author.

LOL, I just thought "Harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan." Bills paid and bestselling author are good ones. :-D

Now it's time to say good bye, to all our company. M-I-C-K-E-Y... well, not really, you can hang out here all day if you want, lol. It's just come to the end of our interview today. As usual, it was a blast. Thanks to everyone who's hung with us so far.

Thank you so much for lounging on our couch with us today, Sapphire. It was great fun getting to know you better, and laughing with you. Don't be a stranger, hang out the rest of the day if you'd like.

Ta ta for now.


Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance, along with a couple of erotic horror stories. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and nonfiction ghost books.
She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast.

She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it!
For more information, check out her website, blog, newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook.

Go beyond the usual, instead take the unusual that stretches the boundaries and find romance with Sapphire Phelan's aliens, werewolves, vampires, fairies, and other supernatural/otherworldly heroes and heroines.

Just Another Paranormal Halloween by Sapphire Phelan and Varied Authors (Anthology)

A Pixie Holiday by Brigit Aine

On Halloween Kira is able to go out with no glamour on and allow others to see her true self, a pixie. As she is trying to avoid the man her father sent years ago to try and marry her, she runs into someone else, someone who makes her feel safe and protected. Although she isn't even aware that she needs protecting, yet.

Lance knows he needs to get Kira to like him, after all they are going to be married, but he has to keep her safe and get her to the conclave before any of that can happen. And it seems as if those who do not want to see an alliance between the Pixies and the Wolves would do whatever it takes to make sure his plans are foiled.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Darkest Knight by Ashley Blade

Julie asked herself the same question many times, especially after reading one of her favorite paranormal stories.

Now what seemed like a fantasy world captured in descriptive words becomes her reality and she has to figure out if it was all it was cracked up to be.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Man in the Long Black Coat by Susan Gabriel

Mariah Bishop, the preacher's daughter, lives in a town where religion and superstition are so deeply entwined there's no telling where one ends and the other begins. But her father, the good Eldon Bishop fears there is something more than religious rapture stirring in the young Mariah.

When the mysterious man in the long black coat blows into town and holds an old-time revival on All Hallow's Eve, Mariah and the colorful characters who surround her are set on a course with consequences they couldn't possibly foresee.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Samhain's Visitor by Kiki Howell

When an uninvited visitor shows up during Sarah’s Samhain ritual, her Mute Supper is literally disrupted by cups and plates being tossed about. Soon, the shadow weighing on her and the voices with cryptic messages incite terror.

But help comes in various forms. And, one is sexy and full of surprises.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Tiger's Masquerade by Savanna Kougar

Stacy wasn’t looking for a tiger-man to erotically and exotically fill her tank , then steal her heart. That is, until the Halloween ‘Call of the Wild Masquerade’ ball. But, what kind of tiger does she have by the tail?

Zyrru wasn’t looking for a human woman to un-tame his fiercest passions, and alter his royal life forever. After all, he’s only vacationing on Earth, and is almost engaged to The Princess. But her rosefire scent is irresistible.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A-Mazing Grace by D. McEntire

Halloween never meant anything special to Grace. That is until taking up an offer by her best friend for a night time trip through a local corn maze leaves her changing her tune—and her life. Coming face-to-face with a man sporting glowing red eyes and fangs, then rescued by a man who seemed just as unreal as the first makes for one hell-of-a wild night only she seems to remember.

Connell has hunted alongside his brothers for centuries, following a code to protect the secret of their race—vampires—by removing rogue vampires who refuse to blend in among society. That secret is threatened when wiping the memory of a feisty human female he saves from a rogue doesn’t take completely.

But it isn’t her recollection of him that leads her deeper into his world. Arriving moments too late on the scene of her second attack by a rogue leaves him facing the choice of converting her or leaving her to die.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Love, Lies & Zombie Cries by K.A. M'Lady

Jayda Oslynn knows what death feels like. She knows the solitude in the darkness’ silence. The lonely spaces between life’s last breath and the realm of the undead.

Like the women in her family before her, she’s had a life-long affinity with those that wander in the land between. Some call it black magick or necromancy, but to the Oslynn family it’s always been known as death dealing. And, whether a blessing or a curse, Jayda’s always been able to feel their feelings – their love and suffering, their happiness and sorrows. The truth, when shared through her eyes, always has a way of being felt and seen.

This Halloween, Jayda finds that when dealing with the dead, some memories are better left buried, for the real truth never stays buried and hearts, once broken seldom seem to mend.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

His Girl by Sapphire Phelan

My Girl was more than just a song for Evan McPhail and Aimee Saunders; it was the music of their love and passion for each other. For nothing could tear them apart, not even death.

Then Aimee vanished.

She returns to Evan thirty years later, no longer human. To the tempo of their passion, they prove that doesn't matter.

8 comments:

Sapphire Phelan said...

Thanks for the interview. :-)

DR. NORM said...

Nice, very nice interview. Good questions, good answers. Both help give an insight into the writing world of Sapphire Phelan.

katsrus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katsrus said...

I love anthologies. I always find some great authors I have not read before. All the stories sound really good. Will be looking for this one.
Sue B
katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

Savanna Kougar said...

Sapphire, what a fascinating life, perfect for a writer. I share your passion for costumes. Though, these days, I don't get to indulge. And related to Sitting Bull... how ultra cool and wonderful.

Sapphire Phelan said...

Thanks, Savannah. Hard to make costumes these days--not with all the writing I do.

And Sue, keep your eyes peeled as thye anthology may be released in nwext couple of days.

HighlandHussy said...

thanks for the invite, sapphire, nice interview :)
sigh, more books to add to the mountain of tbr! lol

Kealie Shay said...

Thanks so much for hanging out with us today, Sapphire. It was a blast. I'm glad your friends came along too... hope everyone got a drink... :-D