Monday, December 20, 2010

Author Interview - Katie Salidas - Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Author

Congrats to our eBook Winners!!

Steve and Cindy!

Cindy, pls contact Katie for your ebook!


Deanna:  Our author interview today is with Katie Salidas, paranormal romance author. She is the author of the hot new Urban Fantasy series, Immortalis, Katie has always had a desire to entertain. Since, early childhood, she's dreamed up fantastical characters and scribbled them into pages of various journals and notebooks. Taking an interest in vampires at an early age, she devoured every book, featuring those mysterious, blood sucking creatures, in any genre she could find. She claims that, of all the monsters out there, vampires had always been the most interesting.
     It was only natural that a love of reading about vampires, and a love of writing, turned into a desire to write her own stories.
     A Las Vegas native, having grown up in the famed City of Sin, Katie loves to feature it as a recurring setting for many of her stories.
    She brings with her Alyssa, a character from her novel. Please welcome Katie and thank you for stopping in!

Katie:  First off, I’d like to say thank you to Deanna for having me and Alyssa here today. For those of you who don’t know Alyssa, she’s a very young vampire. She debuted earlier this year in a story of her transformation Immortalis Carpe Noctem and she is again the main character of my newest release, Hunters & Prey.
     Alyssa, can you please step forward and tell us a little something about yourself?   (A petite woman, with a long mane of straight auburn hair, stands up from a folding chair)

Alyssa:  Yeah, sure, no problem Kate.  (she smiles, flashing her brilliant white teeth. Her tiny fangs poke out just a little, reminding us of what she truly is. In one graceful blur of motion, she joins Katie at the podium)

Katie:  Um, Alyssa, its Katie, not Kate

Alyssa:  (Her twilight, blue-grey eyes meet mine. Katie quickly looks away, not wanting to be mesmerized by her stare)   Sorry, I was just trying to give you a pet name. You know, a term of endearment. ( She finishes with a little snort of a laugh)

(Katie shudders for a second. She doesn’t want to be any vampires pet)

Alyssa:  Anyway, I'm Alyssa... but then you already know that. I am, or was twenty-five when I was turned. Oh yeah, and I'm a vampire...but...you probably know that already, too. (She fumbles nervously with her fingers and looks down at her feet)  Wow..Uhh...Um... I feel so unprepared for this. I don't know what else to say. I'm not really used to being the center of attention, unless Nicholas is making me the butt of his jokes. He's a bit of a jerk.

Katie:  Why don’t you talk about your clan?

Alyssa:  (She blinks a few times, takes a deep breath, and focuses again on the crowd)  Okay. I can do that. So, I was turned by Lysander. He's my, um, Mate. That's the term most vampire's I've met, use to describe the person they are with. It seems words like: boyfriend, fiancĂ©, or Husband, aren't really part of their vocabulary. Weird, I know. I guess he could also be called my master or my maker, I don't know about you, but those words just don't sit right with me. He's a pretty good guy though, once you get past the over protectiveness.  (Alyssa chews on her nails for a moment, as if trying to figure out what to say next)
      I’m not sure what to talk about here. Maybe I'll just let you guys tell me what you want to know. Ask me anything. As long as it doesn't involve me giving away too many secrets, I'll be happy to answer. So tell me, what would you like to know about me?

Deanna:  What’s it like being a vampire?

Alyssa:  Uh, well…Not much different from regular life. Diet kind of sucks, and I won’t be getting a tan anytime soon, but it has its perks.

Deanna:  Okay. What are the perks?

Alyssa:  Well, my sire, Lysander, the guy who turned me, he is pretty hot. Imagine the statue of David coming to life: tall, dark messy hair, perfect muscles, gorgeous eyes… and all mine. (Alyssa giggles)  Besides that, there’s the usual,  (she flippantly waves her hand in the air) Strength, speed, ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound… Oh, wait, that’s Superman! (she winks at the crowd)

Deanna:  So, Alyssa – as a vampire you now have new abilities such as speed, heightened senses, strength, etc. Which do you like the best?

Alyssa:  Hmmm, well, since I still haven’t mastered mind reading I’d have to say a close second would be, hypnosis. I love to play with that ability. This one time I had a guy come after me with a knife and I stopped him dead in his tracks. Then I made him take the knife and… (Alyssa is interrupted by the sound of Katie clearing her throat)   Oh, um, Sorry.   (Alyssa looks at Katie with a sheepish grin) Next question please.

Deanna:   How do you feel about no longer being human? Was it much of an adjustment?

Alyssa:  (she ponders the question a little before responding)  Well, I like the idea of immortality. As my friend, Crystal likes to say, it’s the best anti-wrinkle remedy out there.” (She gives a little chuckle)  Seriously though, I like being a vampire, it’s fun for the most part to have such power and know I am not going to die anytime soon. The hardest thing about the whole, vampire thing is the bloodlust. I can smell a mortal from quite a distance, and let me tell you, it’s a great scent.  (She closes her eyes as a serene smile crosses her face. A pleasurable sigh escapes her lips as her tongue traces the edges of her fangs)
      Think of it like smelling fresh baked cookies, or homemade apple pie. It’s really hard to resist such a sweet, warm, inviting scent.   (She blinks her eyes and shakes her head, before focusing back on the audience)
      Controlling my natural instincts, in order to not mistakenly harm an innocent person is no easy task. That’s the hardest part in all of this. I would hate to make a mistake again and accidentally kill another innocent. The other minor inconveniences are tolerable. I was always more of a night person anyway. I mean, I can always get a spray tan if I want to appear like I’ve been in the sun.

Deanna:  How many people have you killed?

Alyssa:  I’m not answering that. That’s a loaded question, like when a chick asks her boyfriend how many girls he’s slept with. Next question please.

Deanna:   We’re learning quite a bit here. How often do you go out for blood… er a drink?

Alyssa:  That’s a little better. In the beginning, I had to, um…snack  (she giggles)  every night. Now, I can go a few days without needing blood. I’ve seen some of the older ones go more than a month without having to drink.

Deanna:   So what else can you tell me? How about…weaknesses. Let’s say I needed to kill you. What is it…garlic, stakes through the heart, holy water?

Alyssa:  Right!  (Alyssa laughs)  With that line of questioning, you think I’m going to tell you? Let’s just leave it at, none of the above, for now.

Deanna:  Fair enough. Moving on… So, Alyssa, now that you're a vampire, do you still care about ordinary entertainment? Playing games, dancing?

Alyssa:  Yeah, were just like you.  (She winks)  I love movies, video games, and gambling…just not going to clubs. I had a really bad experience last time I was dragged out to go dancing. I’m not doing that again. But, yeah, were still into all the same kinds of things we enjoyed in our mortal life. I’ve been trying to convince Lysander to get me a Wii.  (Alyssa makes an odd hand swinging motions as if she is holding a remote control)
      And I just can’t wait to see that vampire movie, what’s it called, Breaking Dawn? It’s always funny to see how Hollywood portrays your kind. Maybe Katie will let me give you a vampire’s review of it.  (Alyssa giggles)  Guess my time is up. It’s been so fun talking with all of you. I hope to see you again.

Deanna:  Katie, can you share an excerpt with our readers to pique their interest?

Katie:  I’d love to! Thank you…..

Excerpt:
CHAPTER 1

Hot blood coursed through my veins as I gulped down the gushing fountain of my victim’s neck.
He won’t be hurting women anymore. I thought to myself as I swallowed each hot mouthful of blood. How quickly the hunter becomes the prey.
     Using the power of my mind, I sent him feelings: waves of pain and grief for the murder he had committed. The human mind was easy to control, and I called upon all the skill I possessed to make him suffer.
     Murderers and those who dealt in crime and abuse were my prey. It was because of them, those vile individuals, that I was a vampire. Memories of my own near-death experience and echoes of past wounds fueled me.  
     As a vampire, I had power, the power to stop bad people from doing awful, evil things. Fate has a way of working things out, and it gave my bloodlust a purpose. If I was to be this creature, I would ensure that my feeding stopped the unnecessary deaths of innocents.
     I drained him slowly and painfully, savoring the honey-sweet elixir of his blood.  Keeping him alert enough to feel every draw against his neck, I gnawed at the wound with my sharp teeth and dug my nails into his flesh. I wanted him to feel everything. I wouldn’t let him go unconscious. He needed to know and understand the torment he had inflicted on others. I only wished I had found him, sooner before he ended the life of the poor woman lying at our feet. The fearful look in her dead eyes was a painful reminder of the men who had attacked me.
     This man would pay with his dying breath.
     My victim moaned pitifully. He beat against my back, struggling to free himself.  I tightened my grip, locking his body in my deadly embrace.
     He was going nowhere.
     The heat from his blood coursed through my veins, strengthening me, warming me, giving me his life-energy. I savored this feeling: the tingling rush, the ecstasy, that filled my being.
     Just as the wave of pleasure crested, his heart slowed to an erratic thump, and the gushing fountain became a trickle. I knew he wouldn’t last much longer. His blood pressure was dropping.
     I lifted my head and gazed into his fear-filled eyes. “It’s no fun when you’re on the receiving end, is it?” I smiled at him, licking the last few drops of his blood from my fangs. 
     My head swam with energy—his energy. I felt powerful, strong, and just.
     The wretched man was like putty—just a lump of mush—in my hands. Weakly, he exhaled a final dying breath. The light of life in his eyes extinguished. His head lolled and then flopped backward.
     I listened carefully.  His heart thumped once, twice, and then … nothing.
     I bit my tongue and swirled a mix of my saliva and blood across the wound on his neck, ensuring it would close. The evidence of my feeding would be gone by the time anyone found him.
     A strange prickling sensation tickled the back of my neck. The hair on my arms stood straight on end. I had come to know this unmistakable feeling quite well since I’d been turned. Another vampire was close.
     I dropped my victim unceremoniously on top of the woman he’d just killed and turned around to scan the area. Though the street was dark, my vampire eyes had no problem spotting another pair of pale eyes staring back at me from the shadows.
     A footstep broke the silence. Still young, I’d had limited dealings with other vampires. Not all were friendly. I hoped the one watching me would be.
     “I know you’re out there,” I called to the darkness. “Show yourself.”
     Raspy laughter crawled out of the shadow. “Are you sure you want me to do that, Alyssa?”
     In the space of a second, realization hit me. My eyes went wide and my heart slammed into my chest.
     Oh shit. Santino!
     Another footstep echoed around me as he moved into the light.
     A trademark of the vampire kind, his blue-gray eyes seemed to glow as he looked at me. A wild mane of salt-and-pepper hair jutted out in all directions on top of his head.  Deep-creased wrinkles and scars covered an aged face that had seen many battles. His lips pulled back into a predatory smile, revealing a perfect set of sharp white fangs.
     I was running before I could even comprehend the thought of it. I needed to get away. Fast.

***

     As the sun began its ascent into the sky, I settled down, safely at home, preparing for sleep. But it wouldn’t come peacefully. Somewhere, trapped between the dreaming and waking world, I felt his presence. The cold, prickling sensation. It crawled up my spine and raised the hairs on the back of my neck. 
     Not again. I tried desperately to rouse myself. I knew what would come next.
     As if on cue, those cold, emotionless, blue-gray eyes appeared above me. They locked on me with contempt.
     Santino.
     I’d dreamt of him for weeks after our last battle. I thought I had finally escaped the daymares that had haunted me, but now they were back.
     I knew every scar on that fearsome face, though I wished I didn’t. I’d met him only once before, and against the odds, I’d lived to talk about it. That was something only a handful could claim. Santino was not one to leave anyone alive once he’d set his sights on them.
     I willed myself to wake. But, just as before, the dream continued.
     His piecing gaze bore into my skull. I was motionless; my body barely held the strength to gasp for air. Laid out like an offering, I was an easy target, ready to be slaughtered.
     If I could have screamed I would have, but I was mute, destined to see the events unfold as they had when I had lived through them.
     Santino’s mouth formed a sinister smile. The tips of his fangs poked out from behind his lips, but I knew it was not his teeth I should fear.
     Stuck again in this nightmare, I tried in vain to will myself awake. Paralysis had me frozen in place, helpless. Slowly, he reached out, grabbing my head, balling up a fistful of my hair. Strands snapped under his grip, pinching and pulling away from my scalp.
     I needed to break free from his grasp. I needed to somehow get out of this dream.
     Fear gripped me. He rocked my head from one side to the other, inspecting me. Would this finally be the time? Would he finally kill me? His eyes focused on my neck.
     Wake up, damn it!
     “Not going to be much of a fight, are you?” he said, pulling out his knife—a large thick blade with jagged edges. Blood from his last kill still coated it.
     He made the sign of the cross and mumbled a prayer under his breath.
     I willed my muscles to listen. Move, I yelled in my head. Move, damn it. Wake up!
     My heart beat wildly, thundering in my ears as Santino’s eyes opened and focused on me once more. Disgust flashed across his face, as if I were a mangy animal and it was beneath him to have to put me down. His lips again formed that sinister sneer. I shuddered. His gaze was like ice, sending a shiver slithering down my spine to the churning pit of my stomach.
     He exhaled a growling breath that echoed in the room as he placed the cold, heavy blade to my neck. 

***
     No!
     I awoke with a start, shooting upright in bed. My heart pounded, and my chest heaved with each sharp breath.
     Disorientation fogged my vision. I struggled to compose myself and come back into reality.
     It’s over, he’s gone.
     If this had been merely a bad dream, the sight of my room and Lysander sleeping next to me would have been immediate comforts, but this wasn’t just a dream. Those events were real. Re-living my first run in with Santino seemed to be my curse. The memories haunted me, playing out every detail of that bloody night, ending just before Santino attempted to finish me off. 
     He’d nearly destroyed my entire clan that night. I shuddered at the thought of him. Santino was well known as the Acta Sanctorum’s best hunter—a vampire who made a career of killing his own kind. He and his team of hunters had tracked down and destroyed the largest coven of vampires known to exist.
     He killed their leader, Kallisto, right before my eyes. I was supposed to have been next on his hit list. If it hadn’t been for Lysander and the aid of our friends in the Peregrinus clan, I would have died.
     I was lucky to have gotten away, and Lysander had almost paid for my escape with his life. Everyone assumed Santino either dead or too weak after that battle to continue his hunt.
     Deep down, I felt differently.
 ***

Deanna:  Katie, thank you so much for the excerpt and for joining us today and bringing Alyssa. She’s….quite interesting! Where can our readers find you and your books?

Katie:  I'm also on a Virtual Book Tour and readers can follow me there. 





Here are my websites:

Blog   
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GoodReads       

Deanna:  Tell us about your contest?

Katie:  I will be pulling a winner from those who leave a comment or question and they will receive one of my ebooks from Smashwords, winners choice. They will receive a coupon for the book that is good until Jan 31st.

Deanna:  Readers, leave a comment or question to be entered in the drawing. Good luck!

 

6 comments:

  1. Katie,
    You mention in the interview about the anti-wrinkle ability of being a vampire, yet in the excerpt you say Santino has scars from his battles. We, I mean, vampires have the capacity of rejuvenating their bodies. How are you compensating this contradiction in your writings?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Steve, thank you for stopping by. Great question. Katie is around here somewhere, I know she is.

    For those readers not leaving comments, thank you for stopping in to learn about Katie and her books. We appreciate your interest.

    Leave a question or comment for Katie and she'll get back with you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the fact that Alyssa is a Vampire that's cleaning up the streets! The excerpt was great and leaves me wanting to know more about her.

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  4. Wonderful question Steve!

    The vampires of Immortalis are essentially frozen in time physically. They stop aging and deteriorating at the moment of their transformation.

    In Alyssa's case, she's never have wrinkles being turned at 25.

    Santino was already very battle worn before he turned. Being physically frozen in time, his scars remained as well.

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  5. Cindy, I'm happy to hear you approve of Alyssa's hunting. =)

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  6. Going to be adding these to my reading. Sorry I missed this author.
    Sue B

    ReplyDelete