Monday, June 4, 2012

Q&A with Pixie Lynn Whitfield & Contest for DARKNESS COMES THIS WAY


"I couldn’t put it down, so I ended up finishing it in one sitting....a cast of memorable characters, a solid entertaining plot and wonderful world-building..."

 "The story really heats up when she is teamed with Draven and they hunt together. The chemistry between Zarah and Draven is hot."
April, Goodreads



I've been having a fun correspondence with author and reviewer Pixie Lynn Whitfield and so I snuck in on the book tour for debut novel, Darkness Comes This Way, the first in her Guardians of the Night series. Isn't her name fantastic? I'm totally stealing this for a character.

Pixie has very generously offered a copy of her new novel for a contest here, so please read to the bottom of the interview to learn how to enter.

SUMMARY:
Zarah Duncan is a Guardian. It’s an elite job that protects humans and the untainted vampires from the real monsters: those lost to the bloodlust. Rogues infest the city. Missing humans, unsolved cases…Zarah knows what the real cause is and she’s been trained since childhood to destroy them. But Zarah was Rogue once, and until her, no one else was ever cured from the poisoned state of mind.
When she gets paired with a partner, Draven Kinsley, it only adds more difficulty. He hates her. To make matters worse, her Rogue brother has to show up, and he brings with him a shocking announcement and she begins to question who and what she is and was.
I'm going to let Pixie Lynn tell you more about the book and her new Guardians of the Night series herself.

************************************

MARTA: Welcome, Pixie! You know, the publishing world has been heralding the demise of the vampire trend since, oh, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. What drew you to paranormal themes in fiction?

PIXIE: Thanks for having me! Well, I wasn’t a normal kid with a normal lifestyle. I grew up with a lot of books and reading, and my love of the paranormal came at a young age through stories from my father and brother. My favorite movie when I was growing up was Beetlejuice so I liked the quirky and strange even then. I’ve always been fascinated with the different legends from various species, most particularly vampires, and the worlds that can be crafted around the characters. It’s never been about following a trend for me, but about writing what I know and love. When I started writing, I escaped from my often-harsh reality at the time into my strange worlds and paranormal beings.

MARTA: Now, one of the things I love about paranormal/urban fantasy is the ooky factor. Could you tell us a little about your worldbuilding in the Guardians of the Night series and the quality of ookiness?

PIXIE: I didn’t provide a specific time-period for my readers but there’ll be a sense of a modern or slightly futuristic world. It’s not a Dystopia, but there are hints at slow-decaying buildings, over-populated cities, and building tension around the characters. Vampires are under humans’ noses and they don’t realize that they live amongst these creatures—some of which have been protecting them for decades from the rabid monsters that have been lost to bloodlust.

MARTA: Was your character Zarah inspired by other fictional characters in books or entertainment? Can you share something about her backstory that didn’t make it into your book?

PIXIE: She has mostly a personality of her own. There were times I couldn’t get her to be quiet, and still, while I’m finishing book two, she’s sassing me. I would say I was a little inspired by a mix of Selene from Underworld and Rose from Vampire Academy.

MARTA: You know that I’m crazy about interesting secondary characters. Who’s your favorite in your series?

PIXIE: Thomas, Zarah’s brother. He is an unusual rabid. There’s definitely some witty commentary and sibling rivalry between the two of them.

MARTA: You decided to go the self-pubbed route, which has now become much easier to do thanks to digital media. But before that you tried to go the traditional publishing route. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

PIXIE: There’s positively nothing wrong with self-publishing and the indie market. Sure, there’s a lot of hard work put into it, but I feel like a self-pub or indie title can be just as good with the right market. I tried for over a year to break into the traditional publishing industry before I decided to go into self-publishing.

As a new author, it’s tough. It was a long, thought out decision for me that I took the time to weigh my options. I knew the road ahead for it would be busy, marketing myself, editing, formatting my own, distribution. When I made the decision though, I was alright. I realized at that point, all I wanted to do was get my name out, get the experience, and continue to enjoy writing—the one passion I’ve always loved.

I’ve fully supported the indies as a blogger. Even if I ever do break into traditional publishing, I’ll support them. I used to think that being a self-published author meant you just weren’t good enough, and now I know it really doesn’t mean that. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out in the traditional market and that’s okay. Keep on trying with other routes and get your name out there. Writing should never be about work.

MARTA: What’s next for your series?

PIXIE: Book two is in for a lot of twists and major events. The world is about to turn upside down for the characters. I can’t say much more other than it’s going to be action-packed, and readers will see a bit of romance come into play perhaps. Zarah and the cast will be facing some pretty big obstacles. Also, this is the third book. It’s exciting, because it’s going to set up everything for the conclusion in the final installment.

MARTA: You’re also an avid reviewer. Can you tell us your favorite undiscovered gem and why we should read it?

PIXIE: Oh yes. One of my favorite indie books is The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski. I just read it recently and it’s so good! Normally, I’m not a big werewolf fan to be honest, but this author may have just changed my mind. These aren’t fluffy doggies either.

Also, if you’re a Bronte fan and love Wuthering Heights, I highly recommend Wuthering Bites by Sarah Gray. Who couldn’t love seeing a monster mash-up of vampires on the moors? Heathcliff is a vampire. Oh my! I don’t think this book gets enough recognition.

MARTA: Like all intelligent and sensitive people, you’re a fan of Supernatural. Answer these questions without thinking: Sam or Dean or Evil Sammie? Crowley or Lucifer? Early Castiel or fuzzy bunnies and unicorns Castiel?

PIXIE: Okay, answering without thinking: LOVE Sam. Have since the beginning. But Dean makes me laugh a lot and he has a great car. I also think I’d get along a lot better with Dean. So whenever I get asked that question, it’s just a tough choice. Sigh. I always give that same answer. Haha. Crowley! It’s the accent. Lucifer had his moments though. Early Castiel. Especially when he was learning everything still (example: liquor store, cell phone, porn, etc.).

MARTA: Obligatory inane question, which will be, of course, Supernaturally inspired. If you were part of the Winchesters’ hunting club, what would be your hard-rocking theme song as you drove what kind of sweet ride to defend the world against what kind of evil and what name would be on your fake CIA ID badge?

PIXIE: First the name. Of course my CIA fake name can’t be Pixie. It would be too suspicious. Plus, I would want something awesome. Something that would be fitting to one of my obsessions, like a Shakespeare character name, but not so common that it would be found right away. A mixture of two Shakespeare names? Yeah! Ophelia Capulet. Then I would continue to mix and match each time I had to use it. Okay, theme song: "Sound of Madness" by Shinedown, and sweet ride would be a restored black and white classic mustang while I’m hunting demons. By the way, if I’m a part of the Winchester hunting club, I better get some serious hunting time with them too. ;)

MARTA: Thanks so much for visiting Vampire Wire, Pixie! Anything else you’d like to share with readers?

PIXIE: Thanks again for having me, Marta! I appreciate it. You’re awesome! And I want to give a big shout-out to everyone who has read Darkness Comes This Way already and left wonderful reviews. It warms my heart. I’m glad to see it’s receiving such a great response so far, and I only hope that others continue to enjoy! Thanks!

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To learn more about Pixie Lynn, you can visit her author website, her terrific The Bookaholic review blog, follow her on Twitter, and friend her at Goodreads.

CONTEST: To enter the contest for Darkness Comes This Way, just leave a comment for Pixie Lynn or tell us your favorite undiscovered or under-appreciated gem of a book or show. The contest runs through June 18, and a winner will be selected at random. If the winner is in the US, a paperback of the book will be sent. If the winner lives outside the US, she'll receive an e-book.


GRATUITOUS VIDEOS OF THE DAY

In honor of Pixie Lynn -- and because it is no particular hardship on me -- the theme is Supernatural! Now this is the way to wake up on Monday morning.







24 comments:

Pixie Lynn Whitfield said...

Thanks so much again for having me on the blog today. :) I think I may be around a lot just to watch the videos over and over. Haha!
Oh, and of course, you're welcome to use my name anytime as a character. :P

Happy Monday! :)

<3
Pixie

Marta said...

Hi, Pixie! You know I had to invite you when I saw you were a Supernatural fan. I did forget to ask you about your cover design. It's very nice and I wanted to know if you did it yourself. Good cover art for self-pubbed books is one of the biggest challenges.

Pixie Lynn Whitfield said...

Oh yes, it is. A friend of mine, Taylor Jenkins (@ADreamer4Life on Twitter) did my cover design. :) We worked with royalty-free images and photoshop. Book 2 we'll be working with an actual model and photographer (in which they'll get credits and such), but she'll still be designing the final cover. :) I guess you could say I'm really picky about covers. I want them to look good, even if only self-pubbed. :) But yes, it is a big challenge. Haha.

Jenese Leon said...

I just finished a book that hasn't really taken off yet, but I loved. It's called Trying to Score by Toni Aleo. I loved it.

Show...I would say Being Human, US version.

Thanks for the giveaway. I followed both blogs! :-)
--Jenese

http://readersconfession.blogspot.com

Marta said...

-Hi, Pixie, thanks for sharing the cover info - lucky you to shoot your own cover image for the next one!

-Hi, Jenese, oh, I'll look for Trying to Score! I tried to watch the US Being Human, but my brain is stuck on the Brit version. Maybe I'll check out the US version again.

Vanessa Primer said...

I just love it when I discover a new author or book! I cannot wait to find a copy of your book to read. I also sent you a friend request on GoodReads Pixie! Oh, and I sent one to you too, Marta!

Marta said...

Hi, Vanessa, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the friend requests! I love discovering new books, too, which is why Goodreads is dangerous for my pocketbook. Have you checked out their great contests? I try to list contests here frequently.

Alicia0605 said...

I think that Jessica Andersens Nightkeeper series doesnt get enough attention. Its one of may fav series!!

aliciahall0605(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Kimberly B. said...

Hi Marta! Hi Pixie Lynn! Thanks for the great interview! I just followed Pixie Lynn on Goodreads, and I believe I am already following Marta!

A book I feel doesn't get the attention it deserves is Child of a Rainless Year by Jane Lindskold. A gorgeous work of magic realism that always makes me want to make art.

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Marta said...

-Hi, Alicia, you know, I've heard of the series, but haven't looked into it. thanks for the tip and I'll try to feature Jessica's books here this week!

-Hey, Kimberley! You get extra points for the follow and I'll include Jane Lindskold's book here as a highlight this week. I've never heard of it so thanks for the recommendation!

molly.frenzel said...

I think a great book that just came out is Taste by Kate Evangelista. It gives a whole new meaning to the word "zombie."

molly(dot)frenzel(at)gmail(dot)com

Marta said...

Okay, Molly, you just made me laugh out loud. I'd do a post mentioning all the hidden gems including Taste!

Tore said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. The only show I can think of is Alcatrez that doesn't get noticed enough. It is a really good show. Tore923@aol.com

Rachel at thejeepdiva said...

Great interview!!! I love Supernatural and Underworld both. I have not read Darkness Comes This Way but I love vampire stories and would love to get a hold of this one. I am already your friend Marta but I requested Pixie to be my friend. I really like Amber Scott and Carolyn McCray also. Can't wait to read your book.

pefrw at yahoo dot com

SandyG265 said...

Pixie is a new author or me.

sgiden at verizon.net

Bookyurt said...

Tho S2 is not as good as S1, I still think Lost Girl (Canadian UF TV show) is underappreciated.

bookyurt(at)gmail(dot)com

Marta said...

Hi, everyone!

-Tore, I intended to watch Alcatraz but somehow missed it. The haunting story sounded interesting and I'll see if it's on Netflix or Hulu.

-Rachel, thanks for the tip about Amber and Carolyn. I'll include them in my "suggested authors" post later.

-Sandy, nice to see you here! I know you have the good book prize karma, so I don't need to wish you luck!

-BookYurt, I saw last night's Lost Girl and was cracking up at the cheezy sirens' dance, but I thought the dead man's hand candle was really creepy.

Anjelica said...

I would have to say that I have never actually read a book that wasn't popular, lol. And that cover is gorgeous!

Pixie Lynn Whitfield said...

Hey everyone! Thanks for the comments. Also seeing some awesome recommendations that I'll have to put on my never-ending to-read list. :P

Hope you're having a fantastic week and thanks again for dropping by!

Thanks Marta! :)

<3
Pixie

Lori T. said...

I just finished reading THE HUNT by Andrew Fukuda and it was one of the most intense vampire novels I've ever read. It's THE HUNGER GAMES meets 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. I'm now reading MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin and loving it!
As for tv shows, I'm a die hard SUPERNATURAL fan. I love Cas! I also love LOST GIRL and BEING HUMAN (US version) on SyFy. I'm hoping HAVEN comes back soon. It's loosely based on THE COLORADO KID by Stephen King.
Thanks for this great interview. I'm always on the lookout for great reads for my summer break from school, and DARKNESS COMES THIS WAY along with Marta's DARK COMPANION are 2 I don't wanna miss! :-)

Bethie said...

I love the Syfy show Lost Girl. I haven't heard much buzz about it.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Marta said...

Hi, All!

-Angelica, some of my favorite books are things I just stumbled across. Take a chance!

-Hey, Pixie, I'm sure you've could tell us many more under appreciated books since you're such an active reviewer. I don't know how you do it!

-Lori, thanks for the tip about The Hunt! I've been wanting to read The Masque of the Red Death, too. Hmm, hadn't heard of the Haven and will check it out on Netflix.

-Hi, Bethie! When I first watched Lost Girl, it was better than I thought, but I wasn't hooked until episode three. Love the worldbuilding and the characters, esp. Kenzi.

lavendersbluegreen said...

Marta, I sure do love the contests at Goodreads! I will be sure to keep my eyes out for ones with your books!

chris said...

Great interview with some nice thoughtful answers