I’m so excited to have Regan Summers on the blog today! Regan is the author of the brand new urban fantasy/paranormal Don’t Bite the Messenger (if you want to read my review, we’ll be here when you get back:), and was kind enough to answer a few of my questions! She’s also offering an e-copy of Don’t Bite the Messenger to 2 winners (one US/Canada and one International), so check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!
Please welcome Regan to the blog!
Regan, your brand new paranormal romance, Don’t Bite the Messenger, just came out! Did you always want to be a writer? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
I’ve always been an avid reader and I think my desire to write came from wanting to see more of the characters I loved, whose stories had ended. About four years ago, I realized my dream of publication wasn’t just going to happen. It would require serious time and effort, as well as massive amounts of patience, humility and persistence. I barely knew how to spell “patience” before I started writing with the intent of publication; I know it well now.
Can you tell us a bit about Don’t Bite the Messenger?
To me, Alaska is the perfect setting for vampires. Why would they live somewhere where they’d be stuck indoors for half the day when, in December, there are only about five hours of murky daylight in Alaska’s largest city?
I created a world where vampires aren’t just known, they’re involved in human politics and economics and they migrate toward the poles when the balance of darkness shifts. They also emit energy that fries electricity and cell phone signals. Their correspondence is hand-written and delivered by human couriers who can work round-the-clock and are, essentially, expendable.
Sydney, our heroine, never had much luck until a courier saw her being chased by police. She shook the police, but he tracked her down and invited her to give the courier gig a try. She’s good at it, but the job is tough. Most couriers die young: in car wrecks; at the hands of hijackers; manipulated by vampires; or killed while thrill-seeking during their off hours.
As the story begins, Syd has a plan to get out of Anchorage and out of the profession. But bad fortune strikes once more and she finds herself caught up in a war between feuding vampire gangs. To survive she’ll need her wits and the help of Malcolm Kelly, a charming and occasionally infuriating man she can’t seem to shake no matter what turns she takes.
I enjoy exploring the psychological changes a person undergoes when they’ve been turned into something antithetical to the most fundamental human value: life. I also like examining how a once-human mind copes with a sudden influx of power, hunger, and longevity. Does the vampire allow himself to be overcome by this new hunger? Does he long to be human, or revel in his new design? These questions run in the background of Messenger, but I think they make the vampire characters unpredictable and quite compelling.
What do you like best about writing paranormal romance?
I like sweet romance as much as the next girl, but there’s something hilarious and breath-stealing about lobbing powerful enemies, age-old rivalries, and magical compulsions at a couple, then waiting to see if they’ll make it to the end of the story together.
Do you have any unusual writing quirks?
I can’t write with noise. In fact I have to wear headphones, but I can’t even play music on them. This is especially embarrassing when I’m in public and someone realizes they aren’t plugged in, so I look like a dork emulating an air traffic controller.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
I’m addicted to Shakespeare, enamored of Robin McKinley, and regularly blown away by Ilona Andrews and Lilith Saintcrow. I’m certain they’ve influenced me along the way.
If you could read one book again for the first time, which one would it be?
What an excellent question! Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. I tipped off the edge of the world and fell into this story. It’s constructed of lyrical prose, a seamless inclusion of period details, and is the tragic story of the loose ends of war. It would be a privilege to be able to read it again for the first time.
When you’re not writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
Watching my three-year old son interact with the world and helping him learn about it. Traveling, especially to warm places, preferably with clear, blue water. And cooking, because I really like to eat.
What is your favorite thing about living in Alaska? Where would you take a first time visitor?
The mountains. This isn’t an especially pleasant place to live, but it is beautiful and I’ve always felt exposed when I’m not surrounded by tall, pointed peaks.
The two experiences I consider essential for first-timers: sightseeing and salmon fishing in Resurrection Bay, and hiking at Hatcher Pass. There are a million other things to do, but that’s an excellent start.
Is there any news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share with us?
I’m finishing the sequel to Messenger and am really excited about this story. Like, giggling maniacally. That excited. Malcolm’s past bubbles up into the present, putting Sydney in a seriously uncomfortable position. She handles it in her usual, pragmatic way, by which I mean she leaves a trail of destruction behind her. This story is considerably longer than Don’t Bite the Messenger, and it is a lot of fun.
Keep up with Regan: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
1. You MUST leave a comment with a valid email. Please indicate if you are in the US/Ca area or are International. One winner each will be chosen.
2. Giveaway is for 1 e-copy of Don’t Bite the Messenger by Regan Summers to 2 winners(1 US/Ca, and 1 International).
3. Giveaway is open Internationally
4. Must include a valid email address
5. You must enter on or before 1/24/12
6. Please see my Giveaway Policy.
7. E-Books kindly provided by Regan Summers and Carina Press.