Check it out here at A Life Through Books.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Finding the time! With two boys under the age of 5, a full-time job in Corporate America that requires frequent travel across multiple projects, it’s hard to stay on top of everything.
The second hardest part is my writing approach. I love the writing process because it’s about 50% planned, 50% unplanned for me, and it organically evolves as I write. It’s extremely enjoyable in that sense because I—as the writer—am also breathless with anticipation over what happens next—the characters and plot sometimes take a life of their own. On the other hand, when there are many threads to weave together into a coherent, well-designed tapestry, wrangling all the pieces together can take some extra creativity at times.
What songs are most played on your Ipod?
I listen to a variety of songs from different cultures, usually all pop songs, many of which inspire my writing, character and “mood” development. I like US and British pop, some Chinese, a lot of Korean pop, Latin, etc.
When I think about my stories, it’s like watching a movie unfolding. As with any movie, there’s a soundtrack. And characters in my novels might be closely associated with certain songs. Here are some of the songs that go through my head when the movie reel of my stories play out in my imagination.
- Enigma – “Sadeness”: Classic and haunting. I think of this when I envision the “ancient ones” during the Akkadian empire, before the time of the Great War.
- Linkin Park – “In the End”: Almost any song by Linkin Park and Evanescence conjures fighting scenes for me. Gothic, dark, slick and kick-ass.
- Nine Inch Nails – “Closer”: This is, for me, Ere’s theme song J I’ll leave it at that.
- Hoobastank – “The Reason”: This song reminds me of Dalair. We get hints in Book 1, Pure Healing, that he might have done something regrettable or was in a difficult situation in the past, and it might be related to a woman he loved/s. This song might get at his POV a little.
- Jason Chen – “Time Machine” (the version that’s remixed at a lower octave): It’s less about the words and more about the voice (lower octave version) and the melody that reminds me of Ryu Takamura (Book 3). See the video of the actor from whom I modeled Ryu in a fan-made music video compilation from one of his dramas. See him walk (you’ll understand why I’m obsessed with his walk in Book 3). And hear his voice (also part of the obsession).
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
For the first book in the series I did have a fellow author critique partner, who was very helpful in her feedback. For example, one suggestion was to let the world building unfold through the eyes and voices of the characters, rather than launch into pages-long descriptions about background and context. In some sense, my series, the Pure/Dark Ones, is paranormal fantasy romance. There’s a lot of world building that epic fantasy readers are familiar with and appreciate, but it’s not every paranormal reader’s cup of tea. In striking the balance between the two, I might not be able to please both. But it’s a balance I continuously try to strike.
What book are you reading now?
I pre-order just about anything from Julie Anne Long, Tessa Dare and Mary Balogh. I love Regency/Victorian romances. I’m also a huge fan of J.R. Ward.
How did you start your writing career?
Writing as a lifetime passion and love probably started when I learned how to write. My father made me write a story in my journal every day from the age of six, which he would come home to grade at the end of each week. I’ve won every writing contest my teachers entered me in all through primary, secondary education and college, but my family is extremely “practical” and forbade me to pursue any type of creative or artistic career (art is my other passion). To feed the writing demon inside, I just wrote for the pleasure of it. My first novel was written by age thirteen; I finished 5 novels within the next 5 years. I can’t say now that they were any good, but one literary agent told me there was a lot of potential.
I didn’t get much sleep as a teenager. It would take many years after that to pick it up again, as I built a safety net of “practicality.”
Tell us about your next release.
Dark Longing is the second book in the Pure/Dark Ones series, told from the POV of the “vampires.” The first one in the series, Pure Healing sets up the world of the Pure Ones and you get their POV about the vampires. Both books can be read separately, though it might be more fun to read in order. In fact, I recently read backwards from Book 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 and liked that approach just as well.
Dark Longing is ultimately about star-crossed lovers who triumph over seemingly impossible odds, including a few millennia’s worth of time and distance! If you’re dying to believe in True Love, this book will definitely provide the inspiration.
There are new and ongoing side stories, all part of the larger world building, mysteries to be solved, a baddie you can’t help but root for, and lots of really HOT sex scenes. J
On a personal note, I started writing Dark Longing immediately after Pure Healing, but my mother passed away from cancer as I was about a fourth of the way in. Some of the events around her last days fed into the book itself, and after she passed, my inspiration dried up for about 5 years, which was why it took so long to come out with Book 2 when Book 1 was published in 2012.
When I picked it back up, the story completely changed in my head—for the better.
So I hope you all like it!
Here’s the book description:
“Every story has more than one side, like a crystal that captures and reflects different colors of light. Do not take for granted what you think you know, for until you hold the entire jewel in your palm, the temptation is to fall prey to illusion and deception.”
This is a story of the Dark Ones…
Inanna: the vampire warrior
Known as the Angel of Death among her kind, she has lived millennia alone, one of the remaining True Bloods in existence, unconsciously longing for the one male she could never have.
Gabriel: the forbidden human
His soul recognizes hers from the first encounter. With the first touch, he is awakened. Though he does not know it, he has been searching for her across the ages.
But even as they are finally reunited, their love faces seemingly impossible odds. Will history repeat itself or will they break all the rules and chart a new course together?