Friday, March 21, 2014

FRIDAY STIR FRY - AUTHOR INTERVIEW


Today I am excited to bring you a debut author who is also a friend of mine. Not only is she smart and funny but her writing voice is captivating.
First a little about her, then a fun interview and a excerpt from her book. And don't miss the links at the end for more info and where to purchase a copy.


Lisa Medley writes reapers. The grim kind. Her urban fantasy romance, Reap & Repent is available now in a Harlequin E Box Set with three other Harlequin debut authors. A lover of beasties of all sorts, she has a farm full of them in her SW MO home including:  one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees and a guinea pig. Not so in love with the guinea pig. She can do ten pushups IN A ROW and may or may not have a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times. Just. In. Case.

Reap & Repent Blurb:
Deacon Walker is a burned out loner, whose two hundred years as a reaper have left him empty inside. But when he meets Ruth Scott, a gorgeous shut-in with unusual gifts, he’s forced to set his career complacency aside to train her for a destiny she never knew existed. Soon the two will face the ultimate test: a battle against demons determined to destroy humanity, one soul at a time.
 
What draws you to paranormal stories?
 
I have always loved monsters. I think it all started with Scooby Doo back in the day and eventually graduated to the King of monsters, Stephen King. I drew the line at Clive Barker. I like monsters with at least the chance at redemption. When I discovered there was an entire genre devoted to monsters in love called paranormal romance…I was hooked!

Keyboard or paper and pen?

Reap & Repent was mostly written in a notebook until I got a little netbook. Now it’s all keyboard. Occasionally I’ll take notes in my phone or in notebooks still if the muse inspires me while I’m away from my computer. I have to write things down when they come to me, ha!

Do you ever experience writer's block and if so what do you do about it?

I’ve been a little stuck a few times but not really blocked. The only thing that really blocks me is making time to write. I read some great advice from fantasy author Terry Prachett who said when he’s stuck he’ll ask himself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen for this person?” Then he’ll do that to his character. Works for me! I’ve been unintentionally doing this since book one. It’s a terrific way to get yourself unstuck.

Which is easier for you: beginning, middle or end?

I’m a starter for sure, but I’ve found if you start strong often the momentum will carry you. The more I transition from pantser to plotter, the easier the transition from beginning to middle to end becomes. Wandering the back roads is fun, but things move along much more smoothly when you have a map.

Do you have a muse and if so what is his/her name?

My muse’s name is CHOCOLATE. I summon him/her often.

One marketing tip?

I’m still learning, but what I’m trying to do is to reach out and make connections via social media. I don’t friend or follow everyone, but if they look even mildly interesting, I add them to me realm of influence. You never know who might give you that little push that will take you viral. I focus on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. You just can’t do it all.

Do you go out of your way to kill bugs or do you run and hide?

Oh I’ll stomp a spider or bug no problem. It’s the snakes that send me running. I can face about anything except a snake. I’m not so fond of mice either.

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning or do you not see the point?

I LIKE having my bed made. I do not make it very often. Mostly I make it when I know someone is coming over.

What one thing would surprise people about you? 

I keep bees. Or more, I have a beehive and they hang around and make me honey when they feel like it. I used to really try to ‘work’ them. That only led to disaster. Like a squashed Queen. Finally I learned to leave them alone and let nature find a way. I’ve lost the colony a couple of times and had to start over, but mostly they do better without me.






Prologue from Reap & Repent:

           What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him. 

For all that’s holy, move the hell along already.

It had been a long week, and it wasn’t over yet. He needed to make at least one more pass through the hospital circuit before he could call it a day. He could already feel the tug of a freshly departed soul. Again. People were dropping like flies lately.
 
He massaged his brow, trying to soothe his exhausted patience as the line inched forward at a snail’s pace. 

He was worn thin. Over the past few weeks, three demon soul poachers had popped up in his fair city of Meridian like poisonous mushrooms after a hard rain. While it wasn’t unheard of for one to slip out from Hell every now and then, three was a nightmare.

When it got topside, a demon’s M.O. was to steal a human body, poach a few souls from the dead and dying, and then make its merry way back to Hell, taking its host’s soul along for the ride. The only way to save the souls a poacher was carrying was to behead the host with a scythe. Not a pretty thing to do, but the poor suckers were too far gone by then to survive anyway. No human could withstand the pressures of being ridden by a demon. And it was worth it to save a handful of souls, not to mention inconveniencing the demon.

           Deacon refused to lose any souls from his territory. At all.
 
           So far the score was Deacon, 3. Demons, 0.
 
As a reaper, carrying souls to Purgatory for judgment was his job and he wasn’t about to cede his territory to poachers who used up their hosts like they were disposable Tupperware. So now, in addition to his normal day job, he also had to keep an eye out for more demon invaders.

While demons burned through most human hosts in a matter of days, some in a matter of hours, they had discovered long ago that under the right circumstances they could ride a reaper. Of course, they couldn’t just worm their way in like they did with humans—they had to be invited. But once a deal was struck? They were in.
 
And reapers? Yeah, they could hang on for decades inside a reaper. Deacon knew that fact firsthand.

           His stomach twisted at the thought, but he shook it off, looking ahead with a heavy sigh.

Seriously, this line? Still. Not. Moving?
 
God, he needed a freakin’ vacation. Extended. He dragged a hand through his hair in frustration as his mind flipped through postcard-esque locations of reapings past. He snarled at the thought of New Orleans in summer. He would definitely want to go someplace cool—cool as in frigid, not hip. He was sick of the heat, and it was only the beginning of summer in the semitropical Midwest.
           
            Come to think of it, he was sick of a lot of things.

This place was high on the list. It was as hot as…well, Hell actually. Or at least what he imagined Hell to be, although he’d never actually been there. Thank God.
 
Steam rose from random cracks in the stone floor of the underground station, veiling the place in a humid sulfur stench.  

He pushed forward, finally making his way to the front to deposit his cargo of souls. He didn’t bother chatting. In. Out. Move on. It was a motto that served him well. 

Mission completed, he hustled through the crowd, forgoing the bar-side frivolity of some of the more socially inclined reapers and their small talk about their glory days in the field or—even better—the missteps of the newest reapers. Newbies often tested their limits to humorous if not disastrous effect at least once in their early careers. That was exactly why new reapers had mentors or at least worked in teams. From all the laughter, he could tell that the stories were good ones. It didn’t tempt him.

He slapped his palm against the black granite monolith and flashed out of Purgatory to what he prayed was his last stop of the day.


  BUY LINKS: Reap & Repent is available March 3, 2014 in a Harlequin E Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Box Set with the works of three other amazing new Harlequin authors! Reap & Repent will be available for single-title release June 2, 2014.
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17 comments:

  1. Love the quotation from Sir Terry Pratchett ... one of my favourite authors. Great blog and interview. Keep up the great work both of you!

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  2. Lisa, I love 'redemption' stories and who more difficult to redeem than a Reaper? You do such a great job with it, too. I must admit, I didn't know what a Reaper was until you explained it :) Best of luck with your first installment of this series! Barb Bettis

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    1. I agree. Lisa does a great job with this story.

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  3. Lisa; fun interview !! Not your usual literary questions. I love it. Good luck with your book.
    Terri

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    1. Thanks for coming by Terri. Glad you enjoyed the questions.

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  4. I love that advice from Terry Pratchett. I'm going to have to try that!

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    1. It's sometimes hard for me to torture my characters. Something I need to work on.

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  5. Finished your book. Love it! Great advice from Terry Pratchett. And yes to CHOCOLATE as a Muse. She has visited here often. :)

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  6. What a fun interview, Wanda. I loved your questions. Congrats on your new release, Lisa. I'm very happy for you. Like Barbara, I wasn't too aware of reapers before you enlightened us. It sounds like a fun read. Enjoy the ride!!!

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  7. I enjoyed this interview. I'm reading Reap & Repent now. I love finding our things about new and favorite authors. Lisa Medley is fantastic.

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    1. Glad you came by and enjoyed the interview.

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  8. Great interview! I love that your muse is chocolate!

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  9. Hello Lisa and Wanda. I think I can relate to finding time to write as a protection against writer's block. It's hard to get blocked on something you don't have time to do in the first place. :)

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  10. Chocolate is a wonder worker, isn't it? I also like having popcorn around, though. This was a really fun interview. No I know Lisa is also afraid of snakes and mice. EWWWWWWW Didn't know about the bees, though. You're a brave woman, Lisa.

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