Wednesday, March 14, 2012

5 Questions of a Paranormal Romance Author

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, and the Wicked. Today I have the honor of hosting paranormal romance author Tory Michaels with a recent release through Evernight Publishing. She calls herself a “book slut”, an epitaph I can completely relate to, and has a love of vampires that I find commendable.

Welcome, Tory. Thank you for being with me today.

Thanks for having me. I love visiting people.

What started you on the path to becoming an erotic romance author?

*blushes* Er, that was sort of an accident, truth be told. I never thought about being an erotic romance writer. I wanted to write about vampires, romance always crept in, and well, Evernight’s an erotic romance publisher. I struggle with the erotic parts of my story, but thus far I manage. It’s taken some help, and a lot of blushing. I dread the day hubby actually, finally, reads some of those scenes. They’re mild compared to many of the EP authors, but they’re certainly spicier than he’s used to hearing me talk.

*Laughs* I can relate. I really surprised my mother-in-law when she read my first book. Congratulations on your recent release on Blood Rage with Evernight Publishing. Introduce us to the main characters and premise of your story.

The main characters are Dara MacKechnie (a 200 y/o vampire who works for the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs, a branch of Health and Human/Non-Human Services in the United States) and Anthony Caldwell (a 1200 y/o vampire who recently retired from his position as CEO of his multi-national corporation, Savage Enterprises, and head of the Great Council of Vampires).

Blurb for Rage:
For eighty years since the Great Awakening, humans and non-humans have lived in relative peace together. The peace is threatened when three bodies turn up less than a mile from the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs in Tampa, all bearing the signature of vampires who once terrorized Europe.

The Bureau's chief liaison to the vampires, Dara MacKechnie, learns that the Tampa victims are not alone when her ex-lover, and head of the vampires' Great Council, Anthony Caldwell comes calling. The pair discovers the lie that separated them two centuries ago only banked their passion, not extinguished it.

Dara must decide whether she can trust Anthony with her heart a second time as they try to head off the war that threatens all they hold dear.

The main characters from Book 2 in the Dream-Walker War Series, Jordan and Christine also play minor roles.  Rage does much to set up the world that the series takes place in, and introduces the series villain “Ares”, the dream-walker.

Did anything in particular inspire this story?

I used to do a lot of online role-playing games, primarily White Wolf’s Vampire: the Masquerade and Dungeons & Dragons. All four of the protagonists from the first two books were born of my VtM era. As you might be able to tell, if you read the book, Dara, Anthony and Chris were all of Clan Ventrue, while Jordan was the oddball, as a Toreador. I won’t go into more detail than that.

One of the things that helps set my books apart from many of the others in the busy paranormal romance genre is the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs. I got the idea first from Keri Arthur and Kim Harrison, who both have their supernaturals out in the open, with government agencies involved. I further developed my idea of an agency devoted to the non-humans because I was involved in a public administration graduate degree when I started writing again. That gave me a lot of the know how to properly put the Bureau together.

What made you choose paranormal as your first romance genre and do you have plans to write in any other genre?

I love vampires and I love romance. I’d rather classify myself as an urban fantasy writer with heavy romantic subplots, but Rage (to my mind) is definitely a para-rom. Rising is an urban fantasy. I’d like to do historical romance (with paranormals – yeah, I’m obsessed one might say), but to date I haven’t gotten the will together to actually do the research involved in putting together a historical (probably the Regency period).

Regency? Wow, true dichotomy. But then, there were vampires back then, too, weren't there? ;) What other projects are on the horizon for you that we’re likely to see?

Blood-Mage Rising is due out late this month or early next month (no official release date as of this writing, but I expect one shortly). I’m starting to plot Book 3 (where Chris & Jordan finish their tale – they couldn’t work through all their issues in one book, or the time frame allotted), and have ideas for Book 4 (which will feature Ronnie, Dara’s assistant at the Bureau and an unnamed as of yet person from a plot twist that has yet to be revealed and I shall not spoiler it quite yet).

Thank you for joining me today, Tory, and we look forward to all your upcoming releases!

If you’d like a copy of Blood Rage, you can find it at the following places:

You can find Tory at:

Tory is graciously offering a $5 gift card to either Barnes&Noble or Amazon to one lucky commenter. Please leave a valid email address or Twitter handle so we can contact you if you win. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to read the excerpt of Blood Rage below. Happy reading! :) 

            “Would you care for another drink, Mr. Caldwell?”
            Anthony looked up from the blackjack table as the leggy blond waitress leaned over to ask her question. He gave her a lazy smile and finished the last of his blood and gin, noting the faint flush that spread across her cheeks. Another lifetime, perhaps he might have asked for her phone number, but not now. Not when his objective of so many years was almost at hand.
            “No. Thank you just the same, madam.”
              She flashed him a smile that revealed just a hint of fangs and sauntered off. He eyed the long legs for a moment more and repressed a scowl that he felt nothing at turning down what could have been a very pleasurable evening if he’d accepted the implied invitation. What was the world coming to?
            “Ante up, gentlemen,” the dealer said.
            After a glance at the rose-gold, Atlas watch around his right wrist, Anthony shook his head. “I’m out. Duty calls.”
            Duty didn’t call, not yet anyway, but the time was close enough at hand that his conscience didn’t prick him for the slight inaccuracy. If he intended to track down his quarry before they met in the ballroom, he needed to go. His senses, on constant alert in the crowded casino, had yet to detect her, but she couldn’t be much longer. Even she wouldn’t be late to a ceremony intended to honor her.
             Then again, when has Athdara Genevieve ever been on time for anything? he thought with faint amusement.
            He closed his eyes for a moment to filter through the hundreds of minds pressing in around him from around the casino. For a younger vampire, it would have taken much longer. After more than twelve hundred years of practice, it didn’t present that great a challenge, regardless of the population density.
            About to give up the current search, he paused when he recognized her presence. Anthony turned. With little effort, thanks to his height, he looked across the main room to see her just exiting the elevator.
            The breath he didn’t need to draw in caught in his throat. It had been sixty years since their paths had crossed, a deliberate move on his part out of respect for the hatred, however well-deserved, she held for him. Sixty long, boring years.
            Athdara looked the same of course, eternally twenty-six as a vampire. Unfashionably curvy, lush, and perfect. She’d pulled her long red hair back in an ugly braid. The coiffure failed to detract from the fragile face. So many hours spent brushing that hair. She wore a long, black satin ball gown, LeTourneau if he were any judge, that swished when she moved past a bank of bleeping and flashing slot machines.
            Anthony allowed a trace of a smile to curve his mouth upward, and he turned toward the staircase leading to a landing that would give him an unimpeded view of the main room. Now to have some fun.


  1. Wonderful interview, ladies! Tory, your book sounds great! Congrats on the release! I haven't heard anyone mention Dungeons and Dragons in ages, lol!
    Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Yeah, that's the one I played longest. VtM was a very short-lived amusement. Just enough to create some very memorable characters.

  2. Awesome interview. I am glad I'm not the only one to pull their characters from their RP sessions. (Clan Gangrel here xD)


    1. Nope, definitely not. :) Gangrel, huh? Nice. Not my preferred Clan (obviously, given my 3 ventrue), but still cool, esp. b/c it meant you knew what I was talking about!

  3. Excellent interview. Tory, your book sounds soooooo good. I can hardly wait to read it--I have four books in my TBR list I need to finish reading before I can get to yours.

    And I LOVE this site! The colours are beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Brenda! I wanted to show the colors and lights of Vegas. :)

    2. She does have a very lovely site. I can't wait for you to read it, Brenda. I hope you like it as much as you think you will.

  4. I don't read that many paranormal romances, but "Bureau of Non-Human' Affairs made me chuckle. The story sounds interesting, though, so you never know what might pop up on my TBR list :-)

    1. :) Glad you like it. The Bureau's my baby. There are 4 major divisions in it, for the vampire non-human species: vampires, mage-born, dhampires, and shifters (were-creatures). Hope you'll at least give it a try (Pssst, the whole first chapter + is available on Amazon as a sample! Check it it, you might like it).

  5. Grats on the new release, Tory! I played VtM back in the day (up in Jax). Love that this book is set in my current stomping grounds. :)

    1. Always glad to meet other RPGers. I was living in Fort Myers when I wrote the first draft. Just a lil' bonus for you: The Bureau is located about 5 miles south of the Bearss exit. There's a big law firm building, Bush Ross (1801 N. Highland Ave), and if it actually existed, the Bureau would be right across the street from BR.

      Too much info, I'm sure, but just to further cement the locale!


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