I’m so happy to have Yolanda Sfetsos on the blog today! Yolanda is the author of over 15 books, and is here to talk about her brand new paranormal romance, A Patch of Darkness, coming up on May 15th! Please welcome her to the blog, and be sure to check out all of the stops on the tour!
Yolanda, you already have quite a few published titles out, in horror, urban fantasy, and romance, and your brand new book, A Patch of Darkness, featuring Sierra Fox, is out on May 15th with Samhain! Did you always want to be a writer? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
Hi Kristin, it’s great to be here today.
Yes, I’ve been making up stories inside my head since I was a kid but didn’t put them down on paper until I was in school and won a short story contest in year 3. When I was in my teens, I started spending a lot of time in my room writing stories that I would share with my friends. It was a lot of fun and helped me get stated on this writing journey. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer, and continued typing away at my typewriter. Wow, that makes me sound kinda old, right? But it was an electric typewriter.
I never stopped writing, but knew that in order to get on with real life I’d have to find some kind of profession to support myself, so I worked in various roles of office administration for years. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born that I really got stuck into it every single day and became serious about submitting my work. I started out with webzines, sending out horror short stories and having several published. Then I took the big leap into the ePublishing world and haven’t stopped since.
Would you give us a teaser about A Patch of Darkness?
How about a snippet teaser?
I flashed him a quick smile and nodded. “Thanks for bringing me here tonight. I really need a break from everything.”
“Well, maybe it’s time you and I got away from it all by taking off for the weekend.”
“I’d love to, Jonathan, really I would, but you know I can’t just up and leave. I’ve got a ton of unresolved cases.” And even more I haven’t even looked at.
“There’s a haunted lighthouse in it for you, if you agree,” he said, waggling his dark eyebrows. Jonathan sure knew how to tempt me.
I bit down on my bottom lip. “As tempting as that sounds, I can’t leave right now. Maybe in a few months…” I sighed. “I mean, it’s not just me. What about the bookstore? You can’t close up for the weekend, can you?”
Jonathan’s disappointment was obvious. He averted his dark eyes to wind a clump of spaghetti around his fork. “The bookstore could have a month off and no one would notice. Oh, hold on—it did! And as I said, no one noticed.” He shoveled the Bolognese-smothered forkful into his mouth.
I smiled sympathetically. His bookstore, Prologue, was a cramped two-story corner store in the heart of the city. It was hard to compete with the large book chains only blocks away. Still, Jonathan gave his bookstore all he had and specialized in genre-specific novels and occult reference books other places didn’t stock.
That’s actually where we met, while I was on a job in Prologue. Of course, I waited until the job was done before giving in to a date with him. It’s not wise to cross professional and personal wires. I find it’s better to separate the two when possible.
Jonathan had called me because a poltergeist was tearing his books and store apart. I was contracted to find him, her, or even them—sometimes they like to team up, it’s very adolescent but not out of the question.
Chaotic ghostly behavior is unacceptable in society. It’s my job to locate and deliver them to stand trial. Break the rules and they’re forcibly isolated from society, and that’s if they have a lenient judge. Most times, something this severe could land the spook a one-way ticket to the ghostly patch forever, never able to return again after banishment.
I’ve been responsible for a few of those cases.
A shiver raced down my spine.
I’m sure there are a bunch of pissed-off ghosts on that patch complaining, or even plotting against me. Or maybe I’m just a little paranoid and self-involved.
Either way, I track down spooks—ghosts, spirits, poltergeist, orbs—whatever ghostly disturbance is affecting someone’s life in a negative way.
What do you love most about writing fantasy/urban fantasy?
Urban fantasy is one of my faves because it blends so many different things together into one genre. I also love the freedom it offers to create contemporary worlds that are similar to ours, yet packed with creatures of the night and mythology. Love it!
It’s great to write, but also to read.
What are some of your favorite authors or novels?
My most favourite authors are Clive Barker and Stephen King, and I’ve been reading their books since I was a teenager. They’re both excellent authors that weave amazing and often frightening stories. They always amaze and inspire me.
I also love books by Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine, Carrie Vaughn, Jeanne C. Stein, Holly Black, Kelley Armstrong, and a bunch of other urban fantasy authors…
Plus, I love zombie books.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater. I love a good zombie story, and this one’s excellent so far!
When you’re not busy at work writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
Whenever I’ve got some free time I take the opportunity to get stuck into a book. I absolutely LOVE reading and often use it as a reward for getting my own writing, revising or editing done.
I also love to go for walks and hang out with my husband and daughter. We watch TV shows, movies, play video games… we just love to spend time together. And our cat is always nearby.
If someone were to visit you in Australia, and it was their first time there, where would you take them?
Oh, good question. Well, there are many lovely places to visit in Australia! But since I live in Sydney, I would take them to the city so they can check out Sydney Harbour.
If we stop by Circular Quay, we can go and check out the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks and even head on over to the Royal Botanic Gardens—which is where hubby and I got married. It’s all beautiful, and there are many sights to see so they’d have to be wearing comfy shoes because we’d be doing a lot of walking.
Oh, and we have some beautiful beaches around here too.
What do you love most living there?
I love Australia. I think it’s a beautiful, wonderful nation with many opportunities and some lovely places. I was actually born in Spain and migrated here when I was seven. I’m glad that I ended up here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
It’s also cool to live one day ahead of everyone else. Lol.
If you could pack your bags and travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
I would definitely choose the U.S.A. I’d love to walk down the streets of New York, visit Hollywood and Las Vegas, see the Grand Canyon, and check out Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the Savannah Historic District, Miami… OMGosh, there are so many exciting places I would love to see in the U.S.
Quick! Name something that makes you laugh out loud?
My husband and daughter make me laugh. They both crack me up with their sharp, quick, and funny comebacks!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects or events?
The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour is actually going on for another ten days, so if you’d like to read some more interviews with me and guest blog posts about Sierra’s world, you can find out where I’ll be and when HERE.
Also, the second Sierra Fox book will be released from Samhain Publishing later this year. I’m so excited, and will soon get stuck into writing the third one. I can’t wait!
As for other projects, I’ve got a lot of other stories in the works…
About A Patch of Darkness:
In a perfect world, Sierra Fox would have stayed away from the Council she left years ago. But in this world—where spirits have the right to walk among the living—it’s her job to round up troublesome spooks and bring them before that very same Council.
Though her desk is piled high with open cases, she can’t resist an anonymous summons to a mysterious late-night meeting with a bunch of other hunters, each of whom seems to have a unique specialty. The news is dire: something is tearing at the fabric of the universe. If the hunters can’t find who or why in time, something’s going to give in a very messy way.
As current cases, family secrets, new clues and her tangled love life slowly wind themselves into an impossible knot, Sierra finds herself the target of a power-sucking duo intent on stealing her mojo. And realizing she holds the key to the last hope of sealing the widening rift.
Warning: Spook catching: may contain traces of ectoplasm and otherworldly nasties. Not recommended for those with allergies to ghosts, demons, and with boyfriends who think your power is theirs. While reading, avoid dark patches and stay to the light.
Pre-Order A Patch of Darkness: Barnes and Noble | Amazon
About the author (from her website):
Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer.
Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast.
Movie & music fan. Slave to her muse.
Hi there! I’m an Aussie who loves to write tales of the otherworldly.
My muse doesn’t like restrictions, so I write in a variety of genres. And I’m always happy to toe the dark edge of storytelling.
When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my family. I also enjoy going for walks, reading, cruising the Internet, doing research, watching movies, anime, and TV shows (mainly Supernatural, Dexter, Burn Notice, Castle, The Big Bang Theory, True Blood).
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