As my first guest blogger since setting up the blogspot account, Catriana Sommers has the dubious honour of also being the guineapig in my attempt to schedule the post to go live during the night. I am not hopeful that it will work properly since apparently scheduled posts are a known problem so it may be this goes live this evening instead of early tomorrow morning.
But that just means you get to meet Catriana a little earlier, so no real harm done.
Welcome to Catriana! And now on with the interview.
LMB: What was your initial reaction when you received your first publishing contract?
CS: Oh, gosh *laughs* I think I was just in shock for a while. I remember just sitting in my chair, staring at the e-mail as if it’d disappear if I didn’t. Then I did the traditional “Oh my God.” mantra for a while before going all over the place to announce the good news. Even then I was still in a state of disbelief, and even now it’s still a solid shocker. Once the initial shock wore off and I realized that yes, I did get an acceptance letter, I was absolutely thrilled.
LMB: What genre do you write and what other genres would you like to write in the future?
CS: Most of my stories tend to be fantasy in nature, one way or another. There is always romance involved although the relationships may vary. Destined is a M/M Fantasy/Romance, but in the entire Arcanus series(Destined being the first book), there’s M/F, and even M/F/M as I enjoy all types of relationship dynamics. For the future, I have a Sci Fi/Romance series I’m plotting, which I’m hoping will also have varied relationships within.
I’d really like to explore the F/F genre, as I have yet to write in it. With that said, I’m currently plotting out a short story submission to Untreed Reads called Lost and Found. The story is about two women, Sarah and Lydia who loved each other, but one (Lydia) couldn’t deal with the social pressure so ended up marrying and having a daughter named Amber. The two split apart and years later Sarah comes across little Amber who has gotten herself lost looking for her mother. The two are reunited and Sarah finds out Lydia’s husband died in the war in Afghanistan years ago. Although sparks fly between them again, Sarah isn’t so sure she wants to get hurt again and Lydia feels she doesn’t have a right to act on her feelings considering their history. I plan on it being a short but emotional family story and I’m really looking forward to delving into the genre for the first time.
LMB: Who are your favorite authors and which have inspired you the most in your own writing?
CS: Growing up, I read Piers Anthony, Robert A. Heinlein, Philip Jose Farmer and R. L. Stein *laughs* As I grew older I got more into romance novels, being introduced to Christine Feehan and I eventually picked up Marjorie M. Liu, who I feel is an amazing romance writer. I think, for the romance I write, Marjorie M. Liu has inspired me the most. As for my diversity concerning relationships, I definitely have to hand that one to Heinlein. That man knew no bounds when it came to taboos, I had always found it fascinating.
LMB: What do you think makes an ideal hero and/or heroine?
CS: One with flaws. Being perfect is boring, I want my hero/heroine to be somewhat down to earth and someone I can relate to. What really bothers me in the romance genre is that normally, the ‘heroine’ in the story rarely is. She almost always takes a back seat to the man because he’s so overprotective, overbearing, and possessive. I think that’s why I love Majorie M. Liu’s series so much; her couples work together and conquer diversity together. A sense of humor also helps, I like it when a hero/heroine can crack on themselves as well as others. I also love anti-heroes, as they tend to be very interesting and different in their mindsets and goals.
LMB: What do you hope to achieve in your new writing career?
CS: I would love to do this for a living. Initially, it was my dream simply to become published. Now I’ve reached that mark and I can only grow from there. What I really want is to work full time on my writing, to produce entertaining stories and series for people to enjoy as much as I loved writing them. I have so many stories in my head, dozens of characters waiting to be created or put to word. To be able to share that on a full time basis would be just wonderful.
Destined by Catriana Sommers
Coming June 2011 from Silver Publishing
Raised together, Sarnaiel and Naliel are as close as brothers could be, until the dark elf Sarnaiel decides he wants them to be something more. Only after he reveals his intentions does he learn of an arranged marriage that stands between them and their happiness. Unable to stand the idea of the one he loves with another, he vanishes, leaving Naliel alone…or so he thought.
But someone has been watching the young half elf from the shadows, and without Sarnaiel’s presence he makes his move in the most brutal of ways. Naliel survives, but his mind and body are broken. Sarnaiel returns to pick up the pieces, mending and nurturing and rebuilding their bond, but once again their relationship is thwarted by the birth of Naliel’s bride.
Once the source of his greatest joy, Sarnaiel becomes Naliel’s torment. For Sarnaiel, when hurt, strikes back twice as hard and viciously. It doesn’t matter who it is. He almost goes too far and through that, finally learns what should be truly important to him. The oath they make that day is what seals their already unbreakable bond, and the two grow older, and wiser, together. For no matter what happens, no matter what they face, even if it’s their own kin, they live by their promise:
“It was us from the beginning, and it’ll be us until the end.”
Naliel frowned thoughtfully, brushing aside his long midnight hair. He reached behind for his bow as the hubrion turned, presenting the perfect angle to hit the vital spot just beneath its jaw and at the neck. The shot would have to be perfect, simple enough for someone of his caliber, despite being half human.
Something flashed just outside the corner of his eye, distracting him. Naliel turned to his childhood friend, whose fingers were flashing in silent communication.
Jumping in one minute.
Naliel nodded right as Sarnaiel began to melt into the shadows of the forest, leaving nothing but a small stream of black smoke in his wake.
Seconds were counted as Naliel readied an arrow and took aim. Enchanted clothing and natural elven abilities kept him from making a single sound and alerting their prey. The creature had yet to change its angle, continuing to chew on fresh leaves, oblivious to its upcoming demise.
At fifty nine seconds, Naliel shot the first arrow and struck the target dead on. A blood curdling roar erupted from the beast and three more arrows struck deep, seconds apart. The hubrion swayed, disoriented.
Once the fourth arrow hit, Sarnaiel seemed to emerge out of thin air, flying down through the shadows, wisps of dark smoke trailing from his clothes. He latched onto the creature’s long and slender head. Before their prey could even contemplate trying to shake this newest annoyance off, two swords appeared in the elf’s hands, slicing open the creature’s throat. The hubrion flung its head, and Sarnaiel let go, fading back into the shadows.
The creature thrashed weakly, choked attempts at a roar coming from its mangled throat as it drowned on its own blood. Only able to stand for a moment longer, bloodshot orbs rolled to the back of its head as the body fell sideways, dead the moment it hit the ground.
Silence reigned in the forest as Naliel jumped from the perch and made his way towards the creature. Sarnaiel emerged a moment later, a triumphant grin on his handsome face. Turning to the woods, the dark skinned elf shook blood from his blades before sheathing them. “All right you bastards, pay up!”
Slowly, the rest of the elves came out of hiding, annoyed expressions on most of their faces. However, even they were unable to hide the awe and grudging appreciation in their gazes. Two of the golden haired females, Niona and Ralina, glanced at them, impressed and intrigued. They were the only ones to have smiles on their lightly painted lips despite the fact they were out quite a bit of kon.
A blond haired male, taller and unusually bulky for his race approached the victors, fixing Sarnaiel with a hard glare.
Crossing his arms over his chest, Sarnaiel raised a pale eyebrow, smirking smugly. “I dare you to claim we cheat now. As you can see, the two of us are better than all of you combined and I assure you, it’s all natural skill.”
If the extract has you intrigued, and I know I am, then you can get the latest news from Catriana by visiting her Blog.
Thanks again to Catriana for being my guest (and guineapig) today.
Wishing you all the best with your new book release.