Okay, so it’s a little late in the day but it IS still Friday, so I’ve made my promise of getting this post done today!
(It’s been a crazy day)
DANIELLE BANNISTER: Tell me a bit about how FORBIDDEN came to be and how it’s different than all the other vampire books out there?
AMY MILES: When I began writing FORBIDDEN, I was sick of reading vampire novels. Every teen shelf, at my local library, was filled with TWILIGHT knockoffs. I had no intention of writing one, despite the rampant popularity. Did the world really need another vampire novel?
So, I began thinking about what the world would be like without vampires. (Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the Twilight Saga too, but I wanted something different.) I began to ponder how the vampire myth began. Could we have passed down the legends incorrectly? What if the characters, whom we have based all of our stories on, aren’t who we thought they were?
FORBIDDEN came about through a series of coincidences. I knew I wanted to write about Immortals. I knew I wanted them based in Romania. And I had to have a really cool castle to use. As fate would have it, I unknowingly chose Bran castle (Dracula’s castle) out of the bunch of images and the idea for FORBIDDEN was birthed.
My novel is based on a girl, Roseline Enescue, who was forced to marry the man who would one day fuel the vampire legend. Immortals, both good and evil, exist, walking among us every day. The power of blood is still a key element in FORBIDDEN but it is not used in the sense of food for vampires. It gives life during transformation, healing to the wounded, but used incorrectly it becomes a drug, fueling a bloodlust that humans have easily misconstrued as thirst.
Although the idea of vampires is discussed in FORBIDDEN, the goal of the book is to “correct” the misconceptions our world has on this race of night dwellers, not to embrace it.
D.B.: What’s your ‘book jacket’ description for FORBIDDEN for those who haven’t read it?
A.M. Roseline Enescue didn’t ask to become an Immortal, to have all of the guests at her wedding slaughtered, or be forced into marriage with a man whose lust for blood would one day ignite the vampire legend.
Willing to risk everything for a chance at a normal life, Roseline escapes to America. Terrified her husband Vladimir will find her, Roseline enrolls as a senior in Chicago’s elite Rosewood Prep school. Mingling with humans is the last place he would look for her.
But her transition into the human world isn’t easy. Mortal men flock after her while cutthroat girls plot her demise. Yet Roseline remains relatively unfazed by the petty hysteria until she falters into the arms of Gabriel Marston, reluctant MVP quarterback, unwilling ladies man, sensitive artist in hiding, and blah, blah, blah.
Troubled by the bond that pulls her towards the mortal boy, Roseline tries to ignore him, but Gabriel is persistent. As their lives entwine, Roseline begins to realize that Gabriel is much more than he appears. His ability to toss a football the entire length of the field and grind concrete into dust pales in comparison to the glowing blue cross tattoo that mysteriously appears on his forearms.
Despite the forbidden bond between them, Roseline can’t help wondering what Gabriel is: He’s not human. He’s not Immortal. So just what is he?
D.B.: You end FORBIDDEN in a pretty intense way with some unanswered questions, which makes me assume there is a sequel on the way…?
A.M.:FORBIDDEN is book one of the Arotas Trilogy. I am currently working on the sequel, RECKONING, and hope to have it ready for publication around the end of June. This book will reveal two points of view: Gabriel’s and Roseline’s. Both will give my readers a deeper insight into the Immortal world and the prophecy that binds them all together.
D.B.: You have a few secondary characters that I’ve gotten a kick out of. Will we get to know Fane and Nicolae in more depth in the sequel?
A.M.: I have received many requests to expand on the relationship between Fane and Roseline. The intrigue comes from the three hundred years of life before FORBIDDEN begins. I must admit, I am considering writing a prequel, giving my readers insight into Roseline’s Immortal life through the eyes of her personal diary. Detailing not only her time spent as prisoner within “Dracula’s” home, the struggles she endures to remain pure of heart, but also the budding friendship and love she has for Fane. Fane is just as dear to my heart as Gabriel is, so I have promised myself that I will someday tell his story.
Nicolae is one of my favorite characters to write. If you are feeling woefully bereft of details about him…good. That is exactly what I wanted. You will get to spend quite a bit of time with Nicolae in RECKONING, as a truce is forged between Hunter and Immortal. This interaction has given me many hours of laughter over the past few months. Ranging from threats of dismemberment to seduction in a dark hallway, Roseline and Nicolae keep things interesting. (Did you Gabriel and Sadie fans just protest?) RECKONING further breaks down the mold humans have placed on the vampire myth, delving into realms that most have not even begun to consider.
D.B.: Are you working on any other books right now?
A.M.: Ask anyone who knows me, and you will find out that I never work on just one thing at a time. To be honest, my to-do pile has about seven novels waiting for my attention (more if you include sequels). So fear not, there are more books on the horizon.
My first novel, DEFIANCE RISING, is a part of a trilogy that will forever be my baby. It is a dystopian novel about a group of “gifted” teenagers who fight to survive after an alien invasion. My main character, Illyria, has a destiny that will force her to make a choice between freedom and love. I had previously published DEFIANCE RISING as a Kindle e-book but have since pulled it off to do some editing and rewrites. My hope is to publish the official copy Fall/Winter 2012.
I am also working on a teen dystopian trilogy, IGNITE, that delves into the realm of a war between the remnants of Atlantis and humanity. Follow the life of Alara, a sixteen-year-old girl who has no memory of the life she lived before the war, but a past that will shape the future of our world.
D.B.: What advise can you give to self-published authors? Can you really make a living doing it? Do you think it’s worth the heartache and rejections?
A.M. People tend to assume that if you have published a book, that you are “famous” or have a steady income check coming in. For the majority of writers, this is still a dream. You CAN make money as a author, but I wouldn’t quit your day job any time soon.
My first few months were hard. Extremely low income- which didn’t help to compensate my expenses I’d invested into book covers and such- is a hard thing to accept when you’re sure you’ll be the next big thing. Your novel is fantastic so everyone else should agree, right? The cold, honest, truth…you are a nobody in the beginning. No one, apart from friends and family, know you are a writer. Every person who hears about you from then on is up to you. Your time invested in marketing, your hours spent blogging, your time away from family to get your name out there. The costs are high but to some they are worth it.
I am blessed to be in a family where my husband allows me to remain home. I don’t write for the money (although I will never snub my nose at it). I write because it’s who I am. What I am. Writing is infused with the marrow of my bones, entwined with the sinew of my being.
I am the last person that would ever stomp on a someone’s dream of becoming an author. Trust me, I love what I do and have fought hard to get to where I am. But the writing industry is no different than everything else. It takes hard work, long hours, tears, and dedication. You have to “pay your dues” to reach the levels of your favorite authors.
Rejection is a given as a writer. There is always someone out there that is ready to tear you down, shred your novel or post a 1 star review without any explanation. It hurts. But that is the nature of the industry.
But despite all of this…it’s the best job in the world. If you want to become an author…GO FOR IT! And don’t forget to let me know so I can follow your journey!
D.B.: What is the best advice you have ever received?
A.M. “Practice doesn’t mean perfect. It means published.” – Unknown
I read this quote at a time when I was struggling to believe in myself. Doubts, fear of the unknown and an engrained belief that I wasn’t educated enough, kept me from pursuing my dream of “authordom” for years. This quote reminded me that I didn’t have to be perfect. I just needed the will to succeed.
And I have.
D.B.: And finally, how can people connect with you?
You can find me on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Miles/155737767842585
Author Blog: http://www.amymilesbooks.wordpress.com