Today I have the pleasure of sharing a recent interview with Debra Anastasia, author of Crushed Seraphim and the upcoming Poughkeepsie. She also shared an excerpt from the sequel of CS which she is in the process of writing.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. Dear Heavens, that’s a scary question because I’m seriously a TMI kind of girl. I’m a mom. Two adorable kids that I’m very proud of. I’m a chatter. I love talking with other people. So much so I was sent to detention a lot. I even got spanked with a paddle in Elementary school because I couldn’t shut my yap. I love to knit and slap clowns. And writing makes me happy.
2) Did you always want to be a writer? If not what were your other aspirations? I never wanted to be a writer. There were always stories and plots and daydreams rolling around in my big head, but I never put two and two together. Math wasn’t my strong suit. I went to college in hopes of becoming a lawyer. But the Internet changed all that and really gave me access to a wonderful group of readers that challenged me.
3) Tell us about when you found out you were going to be published? What were you doing, how did you react, etc. When I found out Crushed Seraphim would be published I was home alone. It was fun, but it kind of killed me to wait for my husband to get home. It was exhilarating because I love books, so to have one filled with my nonsense? Crazy. When I found out Poughkeepsie was going to be published I was sitting in front of Subway and I cried. I’ve been waiting for this one for three years, so it was a touch more emotional than Crushed.
4) What’s the most difficult criticism and the best compliment you’ve received as an author? Great question. I think any criticism is hard to read or hear. I’ve come to the place where I’m able to look at the words as they are intended. If the crit is based in the readers’ experience, it’s valid. I’d be silly to not try and learn from it. The best compliment is simply being read. I’m busy, so I know carving out time to devote to a story is an act of love. If I can make that time enjoyable? That’s amazing.
5) Tell us how the name came about for Crushed Seraphim? And please talk about the 3 main characters: Emma, Jason, and of course Satan Jack (RAWR!) I almost always name the story from the words that I find the most interesting in the story. When Jason called Emma a crushed seraphim, I knew it would stick. Emma is a foul-mouthed angel with a temper, I love that she can be really good but have huge flaws. Jason is just dreamy. He’s devoted and a gentleman. What he does at the end of the book took my breath away and made me just want to hug him. But Jack, evil, sexy Jack is my favorite. He’s been Satan for a thousand years and takes pride in the fact that he’s fair and keeps the evil things in Hell. But he’s cursed with a tremendous sexiness. You have to know I pictured Johnny Depp in my head whenever I wrote Jack. Yeah. (teehee me too)
6) How is the sequel coming along? Anything you can share with us? The sequel is coming along. It’s funny that I struggled with it a bit. I started and stopped a few times. Finally, I just wrote scenes as they came to me. I was a bit despondent that it wasn’t flowing for me. Then, one morning I woke up and just knew. I hopped on the computer and every single thing I had written rearranged to fit like a puzzle. The rest of the story was clear and I had my conclusion. It was a huge relief! I’m about 30,000 words in and I am madly in love with this sequel. I can’t wait to finish it up. Our girl Emma will be back and her fresh mouth is fueled with anger. Jason and Jack have to work together which is a ball to write. I have a few new characters, including Nero, a minion who is so, so hot.
Here’s an Excerpt:
“Your police?” He said the words as if they were a foreign language. “What will they do? I wish only to breathe fresh air, but your beauty has stopped me from enjoying nature.”
She cleared her throat and brought her poodle closer to her heart. “Flattery won’t stop me from calling the authorities.”
“I speak only the truth as I feel it.” His black eyes conveyed patience, and he was so very still.
“Well, you better go back to where you came from. Don’t step any closer.” She tried to stay angry, but his body was mesmerizing—so large and obviously powerful. He was wearing only torn, leather pants.
“I will not step closer. For you, I will stay here. But I would like to touch your hair and see if the different colors have distinct textures. I would love a cool drink of water, and after that, I would touch my lips to yours in appreciation of your kindness.” Only his lips moved as he spoke. The rest of his body was as fixed as a statue.
“You know what? Why can’t a guy like you—wearing all his clothes, for that matter—approach me in a bar? If you said that to me on a Friday night I’d hand you my panties in surrender. Instead you have to be a thing that emerged from the dark of my backyard. My luck sucks.”
She moved slowly and carefully to the side of the cabin, never taking her eyes off of him, and turned a small wheel. A hose puffed up with a rush of liquid, and soon enough there was a cold, clear stream pouring onto his feet.
He growled a bit at the sight of the water and knelt quickly, dipping his mouth to the stream and lapping it hungrily like an animal.
She sighed with resignation and set her poodle down. The nervous canine scampered away as she held the hose up higher to demonstrate. “Look. Here, you can pick it up and drink.” She held it to her lips and took a small sip, wiping her mouth when she was done.
He rose and she registered the full size of his brawn. He took the hose carefully, as if not to touch her. She watched him as he drank his fill.
He held his hand under the stream and seemed to revel in the silk of the water covering his fingers. He turned the hose toward his chest and his eyes rolled back in his head a bit, as if the sensation was too pleasurable to bear.
“You’re smoking.” She took a step back.
He smiled at the cloud of steam around him, and she bit her lip as he sighed and scrubbed his chest.
“Can I have your lips now?” he asked suddenly. He let go of the hose, and the stream drenched the leg of her jeans on its way to the ground. She gasped. He stomped on the green rubber to stop the watery assault.
“Maybe we should know each other’s names? And no, of course not. I don’t want to be a slut.” She couldn’t help looking at his mouth.
“I’m known as Nero. What do you go by?” He pushed his dark hair from his forehead.
“Um, Jenny. I go by Jenny.” Her poodle peeked around the house and barked.
“Your beast is tiny and angry.” He pointed to the shaking poodle.
“Spike’s afraid of everything. But in this case I think he has good sense to be afraid of you. Where do you come from?” She turned and shushed the whimpering dog with an impatient wave.
“So I cannot have your lips?” Nero touched his own.
“I can’t believe I’m going to do this. Fine. If I give you the lips, will you leave?” She stepped closer and stood on her tiptoes. She pursed her lips and pecked him on the mouth.
His smile produced dimples—and damn! The tiny taste of him was addicting.
“Thank you.” Nero looked over his shoulder like he was waiting for something to grab him.
“You know, I’ve found a few things in my backyard. A mole, a crapload of squirrels that steal from my birdfeeder, and a baby copperhead snake. But you’re the first thing I’ve kissed.” She threaded her fingers together anxiously.
“When you give me your mouth? That’s kissing? I would like to kiss you again.” Lust put a sparkle in his eyes.
More of the interview after the jump