The first book of the Imnada Brotherhood series by Alexa Egan, Demon’s Curse, just came out, and Alexa was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about it, her writing, and more! She’s also offering a copy of Demon’s Curse and a $10 Amazon GC to one lucky winner, so be sure to check the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!
Please welcome Alexa to the blog!
Alexa, your first book, Demon’s Curse, just came out in December! How did you celebrate when you found out it would be published?
After Snoopy dancing around my office, I splurged and took my family out for dinner. Actually, this was more for my benefit than theirs. Any meal I don’t have to cook or clean up after is a celebration in itself.
Will you tell us a bit about Demon’s Curse and the world of the Imnada Brotherhood?
In a nutshell, the series is about the Imnada, a race of shapechangers and telepaths who have lived secretly as human for thousands of years and would do anything to guard their secret from a dangerous outside world.
Captain Mac Flannery is one of them. He and four other Imnada serve as scouts during the Napoleonic Wars, but as a result of a savage massacre on the eve of Waterloo, they are cursed to live the hours of darkness trapped as their animal aspect.
Demon’s Curse opens with the violent death of one of the shapechangers and Mac certain the secret of the Imnada has been discovered. His only link to unearthing the truth is Bianca Parrino, a star on the Covent Garden stage and a suspect in the vicious killing. Soon, the unlikely pair are forced to place their trust in each other as they flee a murderer and seek an end to the dark curse.
I’m really excited to hear what readers think of my regency-era shapechangers.
Have you always wanted to write? Will you tell us a bit about your background?
Yeah, writing and telling stories has always been something I’ve done from an early age when I was writing and illustrating my own children’s books on notebook paper in the fourth grade. As I got older, the stories grew longer and more complex, but they remained a hobby I kept secret, the growing pile of manuscripts gathering dust in a drawer. Then I discovered RWA, an entire organization devoted to the careers of romance writers, and it was like someone turned on a light. I finally saw a path to publication for those dusty manuscripts as well as all the new ideas floating around my head. Plus, I was able to find friends in the same situation who spoke the same language and understood the frustrations and thrills of the business. You can’t know how energizing and reassuring that is, especially when the rest of the world doesn’t “get” what you do. The rest…as they say…is history.
What kind of research did you do for Demon’s Curse?
I spend most of my time making sure the Regency details are accurate. My office is floor to ceiling bookshelves and probably one-third of that space is devoted to information on the time period when my books are set; everything from military maps and travel guides to sources on food, architecture, fashion, and social mores of the era. For Mac and Bianca’s story, I spent a lot of time researching the theatre in general and Covent Garden in particular, including floor plans and biographies of actresses of the day.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
My first taste of romances was Victoria Holt’s moody gothics and Mary Stewart’s early romantic suspenses. Then I discovered Georgette Heyer and I was hooked on the Regency era. But I’ve always been drawn to SF/F as well and such authors as McCaffrey, Lackey, Zimmer Bradley, and Kay to name a few. I love the worldbuilding involved in that kind of story. And the idea that I can draw on legends and myths to create something completely my own is very appealing. I suppose all those influences jumbled together turned into my mash-up of paranormal-historical romance that became the Imnada Brotherhood and DEMON’S CURSE.
If you could read one book (again) for the very first time, which one would it be?
If you’re talking about a book on my TBR pile that I’m excited to read it would be Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery Of Witches. I’ve heard such great things about this book. If you mean what book would I love to read again for the first time, it would be Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword. This is one of my all-time favorite books and to feel that same sense of excitement as I did the first time I read it would be magical.
What are you reading now?
I am re-reading Hester Browne’s The Little Lady Agency which I bought myself for Christmas. She has become one of my favorite authors and all her books have made it to my keeper shelf.
When you manage to find some free time, how do you like to spend it?
If I’m not working, I enjoy reading or curling up on the couch for family movie night.
What’s next for you this year?
The second book, SHADOW’S CURSE is complete and due out in the fall of 2013. Captain David St. Leger is trapped into helping a beautiful necromancer flee north to her family, but his good deed sets an Imnada assassin, a Fey-blood gang lord, and a carnival knife thrower on his tail. If he survives, he might discover a way to break the curse. If he dies, he might find true love.
I’m also working on a novella which will come out about a month prior to Shadows where we find out how Sebastian Commin, the Earl of Deane wooed and won the heart of London actress Sarah Hayes.
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