Welcome to today’s blog tour and giveaway with Monique Singleton who has written an exciting paranormal, detective horror called Drained. Here is her guest post, a question and answer interview.
Guest Post ~
Sassy Brit : What inspired you to write this book?
Monique Singleton : One of the things on my bucket list was to become a “USA Today Bestselling Author” As an Independent author, one of the best—and sometimes only—ways to achieve this is to join other authors in publishing a box set of books in a specific genre. I joined the “Soul’s Day” boxset. The genre was horror/dark fantasy with a link to Halloween. My regular genre was Dark Urban Fantasy and there is a thin line between that and horror, so I thought I could definitely write something. I actually already had an idea that I had been playing with earlier. I immersed myself back into that story but couldn’t fit in the Halloween concept. It was quite frustrating. I knew I had quite a good story line, only that one detail made it a bad fit for the box set. The whole marketing was surrounded around a release date just before Halloween. Finally, I decided to write a whole new book.
It turned out for the best. I had a creepy horror fantasy book called Drained and could still use the concept for the other book in the way I wanted to.
I decided to write a detective horror fantasy. Quite new for me. I’d never done any mystery like that, and now here I was combining it with a paranormal horror element.
The book wrote itself really and I enjoyed the process. As usual, I never really know exactly how the story will end once I start on it, but it flowed easily. So well in fact that I have decided to write a series of novellas of short paranormal horror stories. Drained is the first and the second one: The Hive, is already at the editor. I intend to publish Drained on March the 16th and The Hive six weeks later.
SB : Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
MS : I don’t have any side stories on the characters of Drained or The Hive yet. The books have been written in a manner that allows for additional stories using some of the characters in the books. Not all of them, but hey, it’s horror and some characters don’t make it.
SB: Where did you come up with the names in the story?
MS : One of the ways I find the names for my characters is by looking at the credits of films and series. I take a first name that I like and combine it with someone else’s surname.
Another way to find names is to use sites for baby names. Then I can target either male or female. Surnames I often research just using a google search on frequently used surnames in a specific country or culture.
SB : What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
MS : I liked the new element of a detective’s case. A lot of research was needed to make sure that any procedures named were correct. I didn’t want any flaws in the regulations. Also, it was fun to keep things under wraps and try to have the end as one big surprise.
SB : Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
MS : In Drained, our main protagonist is a detective struggling with his own daemons as the result of losing someone close. He is withdrawn and prone to excessive use of alcohol. The events that happen in the story cause him to re-think his life and open up again. He is forced to move from the normal police investigative tactics to the paranormal, and to open his mind to what before was impossible, to find the killer and protect his loved ones.
SB: How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
MS : My first novel was Primal Nature. It is about a woman who, unbidden, develops talents that call deep into a primal side of herself and the creature she becomes. It fit the pretense of the book very nicely. Not just the primal part, but also the direct link to nature that becomes a very important part of the whole story throughout the series.
SB : Who designed your book covers?
MS : My covers are all designed by “Deranged Doctor’s Designs” or DDD. They are a design studio located in Serbia who turn out fantastic covers for many, often well known, authors. They are a delight to work with and deliver every single time. I once read an interview with one of the founders where he was asked why the strange name. His answer was perfect: “because people remember it.”
SB : If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
MS : My latest book before this one is “The Prophecy” the second book in the Prophecy series. Would I change anything? Not really. I quite like the way it is going. I would definitely change the way I marketed it. Or actually didn’t market it enough. I have a lot to learn there.
SB : Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
MS : I learn with every book I write. Not just because I do extensive research, but also because I grow and evolve along with the books.
My books are Urban fantasy. That means that there are paranormal elements in a background that is familiar to us all; our world. In turn that means that everything I write about that should be recognizable, needs to be correct. In the Primal Series a lot of the scenes take place in faraway countries, like New Zealand. What I write needs to be as you would find it should you travel there. I also reference other cultures very often in my books, and I really want to get the facts right there. It would be a disrespect to them if I didn’t.
SB : If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
MS : Good question. I have an idea of some of the co-stars. Especially with the Primal Series as one character is very “Jason Momoa” like. The actual protagonist is more of a conundrum. My thoughts go to Scarlett Johansson, or someone like her.
SB : How did you come up with name of this book?
MS : The name for Drained is a one-word recap of the whole book. I personally think that part of a good horror/dark fantasy book is a very short, preferably one-word title that portrays the suspense. Like “IT” for Stephen Kings very scary creepy-clown books. “Creepy Clown” wouldn’t have been so chilling. Saying that, finding the title is one of the most difficult things to do.
SB : What is your favorite part of this book and why?
MS : The end. Because it is such a surprise. (I hope)
SB : Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
MS : My characters are not based on specific people. I think it is unavoidable that some will resemble certain characters and in the Primal series a Jason Momoa type character was definitely influenced by him. He wasn’t however just put in the book because I like the type of person. More the other way around. I needed that kind of character for the book. That character, as he is, has a very definite role in the story.
SB : Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
MS : My books will entertain and at the same time make you think. I do not follow conventional rules and even are downright controversial in some subjects. If you like to read a story that might leave you with some questions about how you yourself view certain topics, then my books are for you.
SB : Have you written any other books that are not published?
MS : Last year I wrote a twisted fairy tale. It was published in a box set, but not yet as a standalone book. As it is very different from my regular genre—it’s actually funny—I’m still debating whether to publish it myself as an independent book.
There are a lot of as yet unfinished stories, and I will get around to completing them some day.
SB : Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
MS : Terry Pratchett, because his books are so fantastic. I love his cynicism and his British humor. Every time I read his books I find new things. That kind of writing is a gift.
SB : Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
MS : I don’t write sequentially. I write a scene that pops up in my head and place it somewhere on a timeline. This enables me to avoid writer’s block as I never know what will happen next. The funny thing about all this is that I hardly ever have to change anything or do a re-write. So somewhere in my sub consciousness, the story is complete, it’s just released to my consciousness, and so to paper/the computer, in a totally random manner.
SB : What can we expect from you in the future?
MS : Drained is the first book in a to-be series of paranormal-fantasy-horror novellas. As things are now, I expect that some will have a detective angle, though, with me, that can all change.
I have written two novellas for this series. Drained and The Hive. Drained is scheduled to be published on March 16th, with The Hive following six weeks later.
In addition to this series, I’m also working on two other projects. The Prophecy series has two published books and another two or three on the way. I’ve planned to publish at least one sequel this year. My other project is a new series that centers around a conspiracy to enslave people after death. The first book in that series: “The Devil You Know” is under construction now and planned for completion somewhere this summer. I’m very excited about this series as the idea is completely new and somewhat controversial.
SB : Anything specific you want to tell our readers?
MS : I am entertaining a new idea for a series. It will be quite controversial as it revolves around a conspiracy in a vested power. I’m looking forward to seeing what the reactions are. So, watch this space.
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