Cursed Book Series, Book 3
Demons are free. Angels are fallen. Hope is dying...
The final chapter in the Cursed series...
Constance Ramirez and her adopted sister, Andromeda, have stopped Lucifer’s plan”" They have closed the Heaven Gate and kept the demons out. But their choice came with brutal consequences, and now every angel on earth is trapped in their mortal body.
All that remains is closing the Hell Gate and establishing a balance once and for all. That means returning to the city of Constance’s nightmares, which has become a haven for murderers and monsters. But even more dangerous than their hunt is that Andromeda’s powers and instincts are turning darker, and this time Constance doesn’t know how to protect her.
Constance is ready to fight for her life, but her enemies have plans she can’t begin to imagine, and they’re prepared to make her suffer...
Trust is lost and hearts are broken in the epic conclusion in Amy Braun’s Cursed trilogy...
It was supposed to be simple.
I actually thought we would be able to step outside our shelter, get the supplies, and be back before anyone realized we’d been there.
This is what happens when my sister’s optimism rubs off on me.
But it wasn’t Dro’s fault that we walked into a damn trap. Hell just hated us.
That was fine. I hated Hell right back.
The cheap metal door was still clanging against the plaster wall of the store I’d just busted into. Max had looked into it when I asked, and told me there would be demons, but he couldn’t tell what kind because his precog was still blurred. I was expecting a couple Reds or ghouls, maybe a Shredder.
I was not expecting Possessors.
The possessed humans weren’t surprised to see us. Even in their human forms, the Possessors should have been able to sense my sister, because she was the most powerful half-demon known to exist. Since she was still on Hell’s Most Wanted List, we had a serious problem on our hands.
The Possessors looked like regular humans, except their irises were solid black. I held back my shiver, knowing just how much pain their souls must be in. Being possessed was one of the worst things a human could experience. I had barely survived it.
These Possessors had taken over a group of tall, bulky men in black clothes. Their hair ranged from shoulder-length to bald, and their arms were covered in tattoos. Each had the tattoo of a rose thorn that appeared to be weaving in and out of their skin, blood dripping from the points. I had the same one inked behind my ear.
This just keeps getting better and better.
Finally, we snapped out of our shock. I went for the hatchet on my hip and grabbed a knife from my inside jacket. Beside me, Warrick took out a handgun. Next to him, Sephiel drew two short swords. Max wisely stepped back, knowing he couldn’t fight half as well as the rest of us. Dro’s shoulders were tense and ready, but I moved in front of her not just to protect her, but to keep her from doing anything that would get all of us killed.
I started reconsidering this when all of the Possessors drew enormous handguns.
But they didn’t shoot. Why weren’t they shooting?
Because someone else was in the room with us. Someone bigger than the Possessors, who stalked out from the shadows into the dim light. My hand tightened on the grip of my weapons, and I expected Warrick to pull the trigger.
Drake Talbot smiled when he saw our anger. He was a huge bear of a man, about six foot three and probably two hundred and fifty pounds of muscle. He had on his black duster and dark pants, his hands on his hips to display the guns and the thick, blunt hilts of his knives easily visible next to his clothes. The top of his head and his chin were covered in dark stubble. Two abysmal black eyes stared at me, filled with sadism and malice.
“Well, look who showed their faces after all,” Drake sneered, standing confidently behind his bodyguards. “We didn’t think you’d make it to Party Town.”
Party Town. I supposed Drake would see it that way. I didn’t think a city full of murderers, rapists, and generally wicked people was a place to party, but Drake was the definition of a masochist. He would see a city of death as home, sweet home.
Warrick didn’t have a kill shot, and that was the only reason I could imagine for Drake to still be standing. All it would take was one missed shot to set off a chain reaction of bullets and blood.
I wanted to see Drake bleeding under my boot just as much as he did, but I wasn’t throwing my knife, either. Something wasn’t right.
“What are you doing here, Drake?” I growled.
He laughed. It was an awful, rasping noise. His black eyes met mine, the same way they had when he stabbed me twice and left me to die. I blocked out the memory, keeping away the phantom pain of a knife sliding into my stomach and ribs.
“Had to pick something up for the boss,” he said mockingly. “You can imagine how fussy he is.”
My blood went cold, and I barely heard Dro’s sharp intake of breath. I could picture Sephiel’s face tightening with anger. Drake looked at all of us, relishing the hatred, pain, and fear we radiated. I controlled it as best as I could, knowing answers were more important than revenge right now.
“What the fuck did you do?” I asked again.
His grin widened, and this time he only looked at me. “It isn’t what I did. It’s what I’m going to do.” He dipped his chin, fixing me with his black gaze. “He’s got plans for you, chica. Serious plans. So much detail has gone into them that even your ex isn’t allowed to intervene. Matt’s pretty pissed about that too.”
Not as pissed as he would be if he heard you calling him ‘Matt.’
“See, I found something really, really special.” Drake continued. “It’s the last thing we need. But don’t worry, sweetheart. You’ll get introduced to it very, very soon.”
My stomach turned. I expected him to say something about wanting Dro. My sister was the real supernatural force in our group. I was human, born and raised. I’d never been anything but. I didn’t want to be.
Whatever was being planned for me by Drake, my former lover, and the creature I feared above anything else could only involve pain. A substantial amount of it.
I’d been on the receiving end of their tortures before. I had no intention of going through them again.
Though if they wanted me for something, they wouldn’t risk shooting me. They would take me alive.
No, they’re not. They’re going to try. And they’re going to fail.
I took a risk myself, and threw my silver knife at Drake.
I didn’t miss–I hardly ever miss–but I didn’t hit my mark.
The thin silver blade slammed into the neck of the Possessor standing beside Drake. The huge bounty hunter had stepped to the side so the blade wouldn’t get anywhere near him. He stepped so far I was a little embarrassed at how off my aim had been. Deep down, I knew better. Drake was fast for someone his size, but it looked like he’d gotten quite a bit from his deal with the Devil.
The man lurched, blood gushing from the wound in his neck. He opened his mouth as though to scream, but a spiral of thick black smoke shot out of his mouth. The Possessor’s true form screeched and twisted away in the back room. Then room exploded into action.
At first I thought the Possessors were going to shoot us. At their cores, they were still gangsters. Yet as soon as I surged forward, I saw them hesitate.
They were here to stall us, not kill us. At least not me, and probably not Dro.
Everyone else though… they were fair game.
Two shots cracked in rapid succession. None of the bullets hit me, though two of the possessed Blood Thorns dropped from the bullets that crashed into their skulls, scaring the Possessors out of their vessel’s dying mouths. Warrick had exceptional aim, and shooting demons with blessed silver bullets was good way to keep them from returning to rip us apart.
I went for Drake, who was backing away to escape through the storeroom exit. Fucking coward.
Two Possessors blocked my path. They tucked their guns away and threw out their fists. I skidded to a stop and stepped back, one of their clenched hands brushing along my temple.
Admittedly, I didn’t think this whole plan through. Seeing the man who murdered my mentor, kidnapped my sister, tortured and tried to kill me sparked my already short temper. So it wasn’t long before they got their shots in.
The man on my left jabbed his fist into my ribs. I winced, giving the man on the right the chance to loop his arm around my throat. I was pinned to his back, my neck straining painfully as he wrenched it up. I used one hand to claw at the meaty arm on my throat, leaving my front completely exposed to the second man. He grinned, thinking he was going to get some revenge on me for the sake of his employers.
Stupid bastard forgot I was still armed.
He pulled back his fist to hit me, and even as his fist was flying for my face, I was moving. I kicked him in the knee with one foot, making him stumble. His fist brushed over my shoulder and into the chest of the man choking me. I kicked his stomach with my other foot, making him double over. Then I sliced the blade of my hatchet into his exposed neck.
Blood squirted out of his severed carotid artery, painting the dirty floor before he collapsed onto it.
The man behind me growled and slammed his fist into my kidneys. I winced at the crushing pain. He was so much stronger now that he was possessed. His grip tightened on my neck, causing black spots to dance in front of my eyes. The Possessor’s free hand shot out to catch my wrist and keep the hatchet away from him. He squeezed until I thought he was going to break my hand.
Then he stiffened and released his hold. A warm liquid peppered my neck, filling the air with the coppery smell of blood. I pitched forward, touching my throat and coughing to get back the oxygen I’d missed. Assured that my neck wasn’t broken, I turned around to see what had saved me.
My little sister stood over the Possessor, the knife in her hand dripping fresh blood onto the floor. The man crab walked away, blood oozing from his fingers as he tried to put pressure on the wound in his throat. He looked terrified of my sister.
At first glance, Dro wasn’t the kind of girl anyone would be afraid of. She was sixteen, and utterly beautiful with the face of a saint. Her skin was flawless and paper pale. Long white hair rested in a braid along her back, ending at the base of her spine. But over the last few weeks, there was a darkness lurking behind her ice blue eyes. A danger that needed to be avoided at all costs.
A malevolence that reminded me of her father.
“What did Drake steal?” she demanded in a cold voice that didn’t belong to her.
“We– we never knew,” the Possessor pleaded. Usually these were the kinds of demons that toyed with their prey. The demon that possessed me had felt Dro’s power, which meant this one must have been sensing it too. I started to understand why he was so afraid.
“We were just told to wait here. They knew you’d be looking for him, and we were supposed to keep you from killing him.”
I glanced at the back door. It was open, and Max was beside it, keeping Warrick from going through. He was likely trying to explain that the revenge-crazed demon slayer wasn’t going to be able to find his nemesis tonight. Warrick was standing profile to me, though I could only imagine the anger burning in his neon green eyes.
Dro’s hollow tone made me look at her again. My eyes flicked down when I saw the light coming from her left hand. Blazing white flames were curling around her wrist, clawing their way up her arm. The Possessor’s eyes widened as he stared at the hellfire she was controlling. He’d probably seen what it could do, and I didn’t blame him for being scared.
“I’m not!” the Possessor cried, snapping me out of my thoughts. His voice was becoming hoarse from the blood loss. “I’m not, I swear!”
I’d been in this situation before. You accused someone of lying, they said they weren’t, and then you started beating the truth out of them. Eventually, you got the answer you wanted. I could tell when someone was putting on a façade, and when they were being honest.
This demon didn’t know shit.
“Dro,” I croaked. I muted my cough. She still didn’t hear me. The fires continued to rise up her arms.
“Dro, that’s enough,” I warned her.
She didn’t listen to me, clenching her fist and increasing the light from the flames until I could no longer see the outline of her hand.
“Andromeda,” I half shouted.
My adopted sister turned her head slightly at the sound of my voice. Her eyes locked on mine, and I was amazed at all the anger she was holding back. It softened when she saw me, but not nearly as much as I wanted it to.
“He doesn’t know anything,” I told her. “We’re done here.”
Dro twisted her head back to the dying Possessor, white hair swishing against her back. The hellfire dulled and evaporated from her fist. She looked at the bloody knife in her hand, then went still.
This was the first time Dro had ever killed a human on purpose with her bare hands.
I walked to my sister. I gently placed my hand on her shoulder. She jumped under my touch, glancing back at me. I saw the terrified, ashamed little girl who would never forgive herself for this. I wasn’t happy with that, but it was better than seeing the look of a cold-blooded murderer.
These days, I took what I could get with Dro.
“Go outside with the guys. Make sure Drake’s not waiting to trap us, and that Warrick doesn’t chase after him.”
Dro’s light eyes held my dark ones. “I don’t need to go outside. I can do that from in here.”
I clutched her shoulder just a little harder. “No. You don’t need your powers for this.”
One look at her narrowed eyes and harsh frown told me that we were going to fight about this later. Probably the moment I saw her again outside.
Regardless, Dro put her knife on her belt, glanced at the dying Possessor one last time, and stormed to the front door. Her guardian and ex-angel Sephiel gave me a small nod. He would protect her from anything while I wasn’t there. As he followed my aggravated sister, I watched Max hesitantly show Warrick the front door. He was smart not to touch him. Warrick looked ready to punch the lights out of the first person that crossed him.
Once they were gone, I picked up my silver throwing knife and sheathed it in my jacket. The other Possessors had vacated their human vessels, leaving behind their dead bodies. Usually Possessors put up more of fight than this. I couldn’t help but remember that they were fodder for something much more sinister. I stood by the dying Possessor, who was now flat on his back and choking on his own blood. Possessors hated to leave their vessels, but I wasn’t going to exorcise him. I didn’t have the time, and even if I did, he was a dead man. The wound in his throat was too grievous. The Possessor was the only thing keeping him “alive.”
I knelt beside his head, dangling the hatchet in front of my knee. When my eyes locked onto his, they weren’t filled with the pain I’d expected them to be. If anything, he seemed proud. Whatever his goal had been, he appeared to have accomplished it.
“Tell me something useful, and I’ll end it,” I told him.
The Possessor made a noise between a rasp and a gurgle. It took me a moment to realize he was laughing.
“Not... long... now,” he choked out. “She’ll be... his... soon...”
He grinned, blood staining his teeth. I decided against the mercy killing. I slowly pushed myself up, ignoring the aches and pains in my body. I walked around the shop, looking through the cabinets and drawers to salvage anything I could. I found some packets of dried and canned food, as well as some bottles of lukewarm water. I never once looked back at the dying Possessor, knowing it couldn’t take me over since I had an anti-possession sigil tattooed over my heart.
Yet I couldn’t shake the foreboding words the Possessor had given me. As I walked out of the store and back into the dark, bloody streets, I recalled what Drake said.
See, I found something really, really special. It’s the last thing we need. But don’t worry, sweetheart. You’ll get introduced to it very, very soon.
There was only one reason Drake, Mateo, and Lucifer himself would target me.
They wanted to capture my sister.
•What do you want from life?
To just have one. I’m sick and tired of running from my old employers and fighting the demons trying to kill me and capture my sister. I can barely remember a time where I didn’t have a blade in my hand and enemy eyes on my back.
• If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?
An exorcist or powerful archangel to send Lucifer back to Hell, an army of super-assassins to take out the Blood Thorns still hunting me, and three days in the worlds most comfortable bed.
• What three things would you take to a Desert Island?
My sister, my hatchet, and Sephiel’s movens caeli so I can teleport off the damn island.
•What must happen before you overcome this?
I have to find a way to close the Hell Gate and send Lucifer back into his hidey hole. Not easy to do, since I’m back in the hellhole this all started in. It’s worse than when I left it. Before, people were dangerous and untrustworthy. Now, they are literally all psychotic murderers. That’s not including the bloodthirsty drug cartel, hungry demons, and asshole-angels. [Constance’s thumb strokes the hilt of the hatchet on her hip] Yeah. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.
•In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?
Don’t get me wrong– I care about my friends. Max and Sephiel are the most loyal allies I could ask for, and Warrick… I trust him with my life. But I found Dro a forest when I was four. She was this little, pale, crying thing, and I knew the moment I picked her up that I had to protect her. She’s special, and needs someone in her life. Dro has been with me through everything. Thick and thin, high and low, it’s always been us. She’s the only one who truly understands what I’ve been through and why I am the way I am. She’s the only one that can save me from myself, and the person I need to protect above all else. [Constance narrows her eyes] But if anyone tries to hurt my friends, they better for supernatural speed to avoid my blade. I never miss.
•How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?
[Constance shifts uncomfortably and sets her jaw] I made a mistake the first time I fell in love. I thought he trusted me and would accept all the insanity that came with my life with my sister. But he betrayed me and tried to kill me. I didn’t have much for relationships after that. Not until Warrick. [She smiles a little] First time I really saw him, I thought he would be just another arrogant asshole trying to establish dominance. But he’s fought beside me. Cared for my wounds. Been there for me even after I pushed him away. I know how rare that kind of man in. So I took a risk and opened myself to him. [Grins] It paid off.
•What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?
Loving my sister is easy. I’ve always loved her, always will no matter what she does or goes through. Other people though… That’s not as simple. Every time I’ve cared for someone who isn’t Dro, I’ve been hurt, they’ve been hurt, or they’ve died. I don’t trust easy.
•How do you decide if you can trust someone? Experience with others? with this person? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?
[Constance snickers] Believe me, if you want me to trust you, you better be willing to work for it. I’m not an easy person to deal with, and if I don’t instantly feel like you’re being honest with me, we’re going to have a problem. I won’t let anyone I don’t trust near my sister, and if you can’t put up with my attitude, be ready to walk away. But if you turn out to be okay, if you can handle me and the things I’m willing to do, I might trust you. Maybe.
•When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?
I look for the exits. If something goes wrong, I want to know my options for escape. Second, I notice how many people are in the room, and if they’re looking at me like they’re possessed or prepared to fight. If I think they’re going to be a threat, I want to size them up, and figure how fast I can take them down.
•When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?
[Constance laughs bitterly] Probably how tightly wound I am, and how many weapons I’m carrying. I’m not shy about them.
•Describe yourself to me.
[Constance shrugs] I dunno. I’m not something special, not like my sister. She says I’m pretty and if a smoking hot guy like Warrick is attracted to me, I must have some kind of appeal. I was born in Mexico and grew up as a tomboy. I’ve got short black hair down to my chin, dark eyes, and have a toned body thanks to years of running, starving, and fighting. Whether or not I’m pretty probably depends on how good you are at coping with all the blood and dirt I’m constantly getting covered in.
•Is one sense more highly developed than another? (Are you more visual, or audial, etc, or do you rely on the famous sixth sense?)
I’m human. My sister is supernatural and has some kind of spiritual sense, her boyfriend Max is a psychic, and my friend Sephiel used to be an angel with heightened senses. All I have are fast reflexes. [Constance grins wickedly] But that’s usually all I need.
•Did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted?
[Constance is quiet for a long time. Her eyes are unreadable] If you’d asked me this six years ago, I would have said no. I never thought the person I am today is the person I would become. I didn’t want to become this person. I know for damn sure my parents wouldn’t approve of the things I’d done, if they were still alive. My Dad would be ashamed that I followed in his footsteps, going right back to the person he’d tried to protect me from. [Constance falls silent again, then smiles sadly] But I like to think they’d have been happy with how safe I kept Dro. They would have loved the friends I made and the lover I chose.
•What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?
My sister. Nobody can get to me the way she can. Everything she does despite what she’s been through and what hunts her, her ability to love and care when it seems like the world has gone to shit, how she’ll never give up on me… That always puts a beat back into my heart.
•What's the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn't/couldn't/wouldn't? What would happen if you did do it?
[Constance looks at the door, making sure that it’s closed] This stays between us, but I want to know how to bake. Dro is a master in the kitchen, and I’ve always envied that. I don’t know if Warrick can cook, and I don’t want to live off mac n’ cheese and Ramen noodles for the rest of my life. [She grimaces] Depending how long it is.
•What do you consider are your strengths?
I’m a fighter. Always have been. I’ve got fast reflexes, and I never miss a throw. I’m also stubborn as hell. Some people might argue that being a strength, but I think the ability to stick to your guns is something to be proud of. It’s how I’ve stayed sane and composed this whole time.
•What do you consider are your weaknesses?
[Constance sighs] My sister. I love her, and there’s nothing I won’t do for her. It’s gotten me into more scraps than I care to admit. Hell, it nearly killed me more than once. When something happens to her, I lose it. I’ll set the world on fire to save her, and not care when I have to walk into the flames to get her out.
•What is one physical attribute you are proud of?
My legs, and I’m not saying that because I want to feel sexy. Years of running and training have made my legs powerful. I can throw a punch as good as any man, but I kick way harder.
•What one physical attribute would you change?
Under my current circumstances? Nothing. I need to be fast and strong if I’m going to live through this. Assuming I wasn’t running for my life? I wouldn’t mind a few more curves. I’m skinny and not generously endowed, but I wouldn’t mind the a little extra weight. Especially now that Warrick and I… [Constance looks away and tries to hide her blush]
•What do you consider your special talent?
Knife throwing. My hatchet is my key weapon, but I never miss a throw when I use a knife. When I use my blades, I’m pretty much a monster.
•What do you wish your special talent was?
Invulnerability. That way I wouldn’t have my friends worry about me when I get into fights, and my enemies would think twice about crossing me. But if wishes were horses… Hell, I’d get enough of them to ride us out of this shit-storm.
•What are you most proud of about your life?
I’m proud that I’ve been able to survive this long. I’m human and have seen some things that would break most people. But I’m alive, I’m sane, and I’m willing to go further into the fire to keep my sister and my friends safe.
•What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why?
[Constance folds her arms over her chest and looks away] I used to be part of the Blood Thorns. Mexico’s worst drug cartel. I became the first female enforcer to their gang to protect my sister. That meant I beat people. Tortured them. Killed them. If there’s something you can do that’s worse than that, I don’t want to know about it.
•Describe your ideal mate.
[Constance grins] Tall, broad, dark brown hair, bright green eyes, and a scar under his left eye.
•What are you most afraid of?
Losing my sister, or someone else I love. I’ve lost people I care about before. My parents. My mentor, Manny. I miss them constantly, and I don’t think I can take another loss like that.
•What's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?
The people I have with me. Dro. Warrick. Sephiel. Max. They’ve stuck with me when they didn’t have to. They don’t talk about leaving and won’t betray me. I hold that above all else. Even if I don’t deserve it.
•How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?
[Constance laughs sharply] My life is pretty shitty. I’m trapped in the city of my old enemies in my face and demons at my back, the world collapsing on either side of me, and the freaking King of Hell over my head. I’m one wrong move away from being killed. If I could change anything, it would be to demand that some supernatural entity take care of them all so I can have a damn vacation.
•If you could be an animal, what would it be? (You can adapt this question to fit the character ie/make it what kind of car, plant, whatever.)
Pretty sure I’m a wolf. Nine times out of ten I look mangy and wild, snarl at people all the time, know how to hunt, fight, and survive, am fast as hell, and loyally defend my pack and my mate with everything I have. [Constance grins and leans back, folding her arms] There are worse things to be.
Demon's Daughter: A Cursed Novel (Volume 1)
Wanted by law enforcements. Chased by drug cartels. Hunted by demons... Constance Ramirez has more than her share of problems when it comes to protecting her adopted sister, Andromeda. Especially since Andromeda isn’t fully human, and her strange powers are dangerous and out of control. But Constance will do anything to keep her safe, which won’t be easy with bounty hunters hired by the drug cartel she betrayed looking to capture her, and savage monsters seeking to take Andromeda for their own dark purposes. Being a big sister has never been so hard... Or so deadly.
Dark Divinity: A Cursed Book
Hell has risen. Heaven is descending.
Sacrifices are made...
It’s been two months since Constance Ramirez’s adopted sister Andromeda was used as the Key to opening the Gates of Heaven and Hell. They escaped with their lives, but made countless enemies as a result.
Now that demons are beginning to weave into ordinary lives, their only hope is to find a way to close the Gates of Heaven and Hell before the angels and demons begin a war. Something that becomes only harder as one of Constance’s deadliest enemies resurfaces.
But as they struggle to stay alive and find the Gates, they learn that a huge sacrifice will be required if they succeed, and this time, Constance isn’t sure the cost will outweigh the reward...
Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery,” and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn't writing, she's reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.
Teatime and Books
Author Interview Questions
1. Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?
I’m a very routine-oriented person. When I wake up, I work out, read, have breakfast, shower, then check my emails. Once all that is done, I start writing. I tend to be more productive during the morning/afternoon, though there have been times when I’m awake until 2:00AM because my mind refused to leave the story unfinished.
2. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?
I’ve always got a few things on the go in terms of editing, but as far as writing from scratch, I do have one project I’m very excited about. I’m trying to keep it mostly under wraps, but what I can say is that it’s a post-apocalyptic/urban fantasy story called The Iron Gargoyle. It’s the first in a series that I’m hoping to either send to publishers or release independently next year. I’m working on the first novel, and I’m eager to share it. I think the world is unique and I love the characters.
3. What inspires you when you’re writing?
I can draw inspiration from anywhere. Literally anywhere. For the most part, once I’m in the groove of things, music plays a huge role. If I need to write an action scene, I need to listen to a fast song. For an emotional/romantic scene, it needs to be slower, probably something with a piano or a mournful violin. I’m an atmospheric writer, to be sure.
4. What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?
Aside from my computer, probably my candles. They’re part of my writing routine. Candles help clear my head and help with my thought process.
5. What’s your favorite genre and why?
It’s a bit of a tough choice, but I have to go with urban fantasy. I love monsters and mythology, and as a writer I love imagining different ways to bring the supernatural into every day life. While urban fantasy is a broad genre that is often borrowed from in one way or another, intentionally or not, I love seeing the different takes other authors have on it. The elements may be the same, but the construction is different. Since it’s one of my primary genres, it challenges me to change my own worlds and create something new. As inspiration… Well, let’s just say I will never lack for it, thanks to all the books I read.
6. Any advice you have for a blossoming author?
As a new author, there’s still a lot I’m leaning myself. That said, there are two pieces of advice I can offer that I know have helped me and continue to help me every day: “The more you write, the better you do,” and “Finish it.” The first was given to me by a writing colleague. Since I’m primarily on the independent path, the only way to have a successful career is to write continuously. Believe me, you’re going to work your butt off. I spend hours every day promoting, blogging, establishing working relationships with reviewers, readers, and other authors. I invest money into blog tours, blitzes, and cover reveals. It’s likely you won’t see a major return of investment on your writing at first. But the more work you have, the more you push yourself and let the world know your writing is out there, the better you will become. I can see the rise in my sales the more I work, and it can only go up from here. Second, “Finish it.” That sounds a little ominous, but many authors likely know what I’m referring to. The novel you’re working on? The one that you might feel is dragging you down or going in fifty different directions? Finish it. Get to the end. It doesn’t have to be smooth. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Nothing you write at first is going to be ready for publishers yet. You need to invest time and money into Beta readers (useful) and professional editors (necessary). You need to finish the story. Once you write that final word, you can go back. You’ll have learned more about your characters and the story than you imagined, and you’ll have a better understanding of what you want to say. Plus, when you write that final word? The relief and pride you feel will be nothing short of euphoric. Your story is your own. No one else can tell it for you. So finish it.
7. When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I’m often reading like a maniac, watching TV shows like Game of Thrones, Arrow, or something on Netflix. I also spend a lot of time playing board games with my friends, and this year I got into RPG’s with them, specifically Dungeons & Dragons. I really enjoy it because I’m still able to get into the mind of a character and explore their history and build a story from there, even if that story isn’t used in a current campaign.
8. What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and one day I just decided to give writing and publishing a shot. I wanted to complete a story and see where I could go with it. I’m so happy I let my curiosity get the better of me. I love this career and now I can’t picture myself doing anything else.
9. How long have you been writing? How long as a published writer?
Writing started out as a hobby for me when I was in junior high and high school. It was mostly fan fiction and co-writing with one of my friends. Eventually I moved onto writing my own work, and in 2014 I had my first short story– a horror story about ghosts and necromancy called Call From The Grave– published with Mocha Memoirs Press. Since then, I’ve only written more. Now I’m addicted to it. I feel weird if a day goes by and I don’t write something.
10. Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I love connecting with other authors, editors, reviewers, bloggers, and readers. I’m a huge nerd and love to talk books. Feel free to stop by my blog, Literary Braun and leave a comment on one of the posts, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’m also working on a brand new website that should *hopefully* be completed in the summer.
Just for fun:
11. Do you have any pets?
No, but I love dogs. My brother and best friends have dogs, and they’re always excited to see me. The downsides are that I’m allergic to them and wear a lot of black clothing so I’m always covered in hair, but I can’t stop cuddling with them!
12. Who’s your favorite musician/band?
I always love answering this question because it shocks people– I listen to heavy metal. Really, really heavy metal. It’s awesome for writing action scenes and pumping me up to work hard. My favorite bands are DevilDriver, Five Finger Death Punch, blessthefall, Killswitch Engage, Rob Zombie, and Avenged Sevenfold. There are a lot more, but I’d be here all day if I listed them all.
13. What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Last year I had a dream come true– I went to Greece. Greek mythology is a huge part of my writing and is something I’ve loved since I was a teenager. I’ve always wanted to travel there and see the temples, the black sand beaches of Santorini, see the photos of Oia with the white buildings lining the cliff. I finally got to do so, and was thrilled by it. I loved the atmosphere, the weather, and the history. I even had my photo taken with a “Spartan”! I would absolutely go back there if given the chance. There were tons of temples I missed and need to see again.
14. Do you like coffee or tea?
I prefer tea over coffee, but if I have to choose a hot drink, I’ll go with hot chocolate. I’m kind of a chocolate addict. Just a little, I swear!
15. Did you go to college? If so, what was your major?
I went to a technical college for a little while for graphic design. It was a good course but the field wasn’t for me.
16. Are you a full-time writer or do you also work in another field? If so, what field?
Oh, how I wish I was a full time writer. I’m hoping in a few years to be either a hybrid author, or to have enough experience/understanding in the writing world to work independently from home. But since Real Life costs money, I have a Real Job at a luxury hotel in housekeeping. It’s a pretty good job with really good benefits, prestige, and wonderful people, but sometimes it’s stressful and half the time my mind is wandering to stuff I could be writing.
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