Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Number of pages: Approx 375
Word Count: Approx 160K
Cover Artist: Mia Darien
Welcome to Adelheid, CT. Freak central. Unofficial capital of legal preternatural creatures in the Northeast. Focal point for anti-preternatural sentiments in the United States.
Who would ever guess that this otherwise sleepy New England town houses many of the most powerful beings known to exist?
* * *
In "Cameron's Law," meet Sadie Stanton, vampire poster girl for preternatural rights. She's just trying to start a business to help the community, but when vampires and werewolves start attacking each other, she gets thrust in the middle.
In "When Forever Died," Dakota is a rare shifter and hunter who has lived a long, hard life. But the past never sleeps and two simultaneous cases are going to test the personal defenses she's built over the centuries.
In "Voracious," the life D wants isn't what it seems. He certainly never planned on the fangs, but he's going to need a lot more than the pointy teeth to survive the first weeks of his new existence.
- Where did you get the idea for the novel?
The ideas for Adelheid actually came to me a long time ago, when I was sixteen, and I don't mind saying that was more than a decade ago. It happened as a combination of reading the books of Laurell K. Hamilton and then just having that "what if..." thought that catches so many writers.
It originally started in Salem, MA, being a place so steeped in preternatural history, but several years ago, I wrote "Cameron's Law" (the first book in the "Welcome to Adelheid" bundle) and had decided to create an entirely new city elsewhere in New England, to give me full freedom to play.
Past that, I can't say where the idea came from! I'm the type of writer who gets random ideas all the time, writes them down, stuffs them in a folder, and uses them years later when she's forgotten where it came from.
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I come up with all of my own titles. I have to have a title before I start writing. I'm not sure why, but it helps me keep things organized and helps me think when I'm writing. As for the title of the bundle, it's fairly simple: "Welcome to Adelheid." It bundles together the first three books of the series as an introduction to the world, the characters, and the series. It's welcoming readers to join them in this strange little Connecticut town. I came up with it, and it's always been the same.
- Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title came before the completed draft, but the ideas and concepts came before the title. That's how it works with all of my stories, except for that odd occasion where the title comes before almost any idea!
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Oh, goodness... That's a good question. I've had a lot of great moments. The first time someone downloaded "Cameron's Law" or the first five star review for it were just...utter elation. Holding the paperback copies of my book were also wonderful. But I think the most exciting moments are always when I finish the draft and my beta readers tell me that it is not, in fact, as awful as I'm always sure it is!
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I now live in Alabama, but I flew up to Connecticut for a weekend over the beginning of the month. On the plane, I read "The Ridge" by Michael Kortya, which I thought was fantastic. It actually held my attention and kept me from thinking of how much I hate flying. I also just read a beta version of a novel by my fellow paranormal author BR Kingsolver, who has a fun world created in his Telepathic Clans series.
- What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
That depends on your definition of "book," lol. I wrote a little story that I "published" when I was seven! It was about a good and an evil wizard, and something about a unicorn horn. I write it on yellow legal pad paper, drew a cover on the same paper, and stapled it together. There was a forty page epic fantasy with fated lovers, girls with silly flower names, magical powers, and a quest to go save the world. Wrote that at fourteen. Otherwise there was a paranormal story at about one hundred and fifty pages, age fifteen, about a group of friends that has once gone to defeat a very powerful vampire, lost some of their friends and family, but now had to go defeat her again.
They were all pretty goofy, really. What do we know at that age, really? But this was where the seeds began.
- What is your writing process?
I keep folders for each story, and spend weeks and months collecting ideas for the story bit by bit. Then when I have enough and decide it's time, I start working on plotting. I'm not a seat-of-pants writer. I plot my stories out scene by scene. Now, these plots sometimes change while I'm writing because I find something doesn't work, but I always start with an outline. Then I write whenever I have time, which can be the tricky part!
After the first draft is done, I usually do a read-through of my own to make sure things seem to make sense, and then I send it to my beta readers. Family, friends, fellow writers. I always have at least three readers, but aim for more. If suggestions make sense, I make revisions. If it's a bigger issue, or there's conflicting opinions, I go with a combination of my gut and majority decision, which is why I prefer at least three.
Once the beta phase is done, it's editing, and assorted other tasks to get it ready for release.
- Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Well, I talk a lot on this topic about the Big Four--these were the four authors I started reading in my early adolescence, beginning with Piers Anthony and Xanth at age eleven, who created my love of the adult fantasy genre, and made me want to write. These were Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Brooks, and Robert Jordan. Now, I don't read as much of these authors as I did then. Some I can't reread, but they were much beloved in my youth and put me on the path I'm on today.
When I was older, authors like Laurell K. Hamilton, Anne Rice, and P. N. Elrod put me more firmly on the road for paranormal stories. The first and last in that list cemented my love of the writing style I call First Person Sarcastic, which Adelheid is written in.
Today, my favorite authors are Joe Abercrombie (from the traditional publishing world) and Diantha Jones (from the self-publishing world).
- At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
When I actually have a book signing, I'll let you know! I've sent out autographed books, though, and I usually put a little signature along with my name.
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
My hair is chameleon like, having been every natural color there is, and then teal for a while and purple for another while.
- How do you react to a bad review?
Like any author should, I think. I read it, I think about what was said and consider if it was anything useful I can use to improve in the future. I let it sting for a bit, because it's always going to, and then I move on. Reading is incredibly subjective, and not everyone is going to like everything. I try to learn if I can, and otherwise just move forward.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I don't even remember, but I'm sure a little happy dance of some kind was involved.
About the Author:
Mia Darien is an indie author of speculative fiction, and a New England Yankee transplanted into Alabama clay. No matter her geography, she continues to stubbornly and rebelliously live the life of her choosing along with her family and pets. She doesn't miss the snow.
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