BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW: Dark Mercy
Today I am interviewing Ms. Zoe Winters, the author of Dark Mercy.
1955, Las Vegas, Nevada
Angeline has been on the run from her sire, Linus, for centuries. She’s tired, and she’s lonely. High from mescaline-induced blood, she sees a sign—a church that seems to glow in the distance—and she knows. Her future mate is in that building.
Excerpt from Dark Mercy
“A-Angeline. I haven’t seen you here in awhile.” Could he not get that schoolboy stutter out of his voice?
“I was fighting temptation,” she replied coyly.
Hadrian cleared his throat. “And did you succeed?”
She glided closer—or floated. The length of her dress made it impossible to tell which. She stopped mere inches in front of him. He should have taken a step back, should have excused himself, but her strange eyes locked with his. They drew him in, hypnotizing him.
If he were another type of man, he would have proclaimed she was a witch putting him under a spell, but it was just as much his responsibility as hers for not moving away. It was his fault for not finding a replacement for midnight Mass. His mind became fuzzy.
What was I just thinking about?
Her eyes pulled him in, making the rest of the room swirl around him in a slow blur. If he’d looked down to find them both floating and spinning in the air, he wouldn’t have been surprised. He was dizzy from the delicious scent emanating from her.
Her voice was a siren’s song when she spoke again. “Forgive me, Father, for I’m about to sin.”
Angeline’s mouth tasted like hot cinnamon candy as her lips descended on his. Her lip gloss left his mouth tingling. She might burn him alive with a single kiss. She chuckled as she continued her exploration of his mouth, as if he’d stated his thought aloud and she found it amusing.
Somewhere deep inside him was the place that was screaming that this must not happen, but it sounded like it was shouting from far away down a long, dark hallway, disappearing into a tinny echo. Quickly overtaking that voice was one penetrating thought that refused to release him.
I want her. I want her. I want her. I want her. The thought happened in rhythm to the beat of his heart.
Her lips left his mouth and made a burning trail over his cheek and up to the lobe of his ear. “Father Hadrian.” It was a breathy pant that held all the promise of a new universe unfolding.
He couldn’t remember what she said after that or even if she said something after that. The pounding of his own blood rushing through his ears—and other blood racing south in response to her nearness—had drowned out his ability to think or hear anything else but the lilting magic of her voice calling his name.
“Father Hadrian… ”
Her tone had gone from that of an angel to a writhing serpent as she rubbed her sinewy body against him. This was wrong. The thinking part of him clawed to get out. Something was all wrong about this, beyond the breaking of a vow. But he couldn’t form a coherent thought.
I want her. I want her. I want her.
“And you shall have me. Forever,” she said.
Had he spoken out loud? He wasn’t sure.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me right now,” he said, as her fingers slid under the Roman collar.
It startled him. His collar. Where were his vestments? There were more layers of clothing, or there had been a few moments ago. He glanced down to find the vestments somehow on the floor of the sanctuary. He started to pull away.
“No, Father. Eyes right here on mine. Stay with me.”
His gaze shifted back to her eyes and his will merged with her again. He didn’t realize his shirt was off until the air from the chilly room hit his bare chest.
“Oh, what a surprise. You must work out. Don’t be shy, Father Hadrian. It’s a crime you never get to be inside a woman with this body.”
My Interview with Zoe Winters
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m never sure how to answer this question. I mean I know you don’t want to know that I’m a writer… that’s why we’re here. Usually in ice-breaker conversations “I’m a writer” is where it goes LOL. A lot of writers have pretty boring lives from an outside perspective. We have incredibly rich inner worlds and imaginations but… on the outside we’re sitting in a chair and typing words. It’s about as exciting as being an accountant to an outside observer.
I mean I’m not jumping out of planes or getting involved in chases or looking for magical amulets or dating vampires in my spare time or anything. Not that anybody thought that.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
I decided being an astronaut or FBI agent was too dangerous, being an actress would be boring in practice, and being an attorney is only cool on TV. It’s more fun to make stuff up and get paid for it.
3. Who or what gives you inspiration?
Pretty much everything. Everybody I talk to. Every place I go. Everything I read about on the Internet. Every experience I have of every stripe. It’s all grist for the mill.
4. Tell us about Dark Mercy.
Dark Mercy is about the beginning of this couple’s journey. Seeing the way the novella ends you may be like “What? How is that the beginning?” but if you’re familiar with my world, it won’t be surprising.
Angeline is a vampire who was literally tortured and turned into a monster by her sire, Linus. She’s on the run but she wants somebody to love her. She finds Father Hadrian and believes she’s found just the right man to turn.
Father Hadrian is frustrated by his inability to know who really wants to change and improve their life and who will just keep coming to confession and then go back to the same mistakes the next day. Becoming a vampire gives him the opportunity… for the first time… to see who is worth saving. Which is kind of a chilling thought and is meant to be.
5. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
The pressure, though I would say most of that is self-inflicted. I put way too much pressure on myself, to perform and to sell. I need to learn to be more zen about it. Hopefully that will come in time. There are a lot of things about writing and publishing I’ve become a lot more zen about.
6. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
My laptop. I try to avoid the “I need this and that to write”. It’s too “Dumbo’s magic feather” for me, and it can be a hindrance more than a help.
7. What are some of your favorite books?
“A Hunger Like No Other” by Kresley Cole. I really loved the earlier books of the Maryjanice Davidson Undead series. I like Charlaine Harris, Cynthia Eden, Larissa Ione… I know these are people, not books but if I name books we’ll be here all day.
I also like some indies like Kait Nolan, Susan Bischoff, Edie Ramer, and I’m sure I’m leaving a bunch of people out (so don’t anybody get mad at me!)
8. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Oh, that’ s a loaded question hahaha! Man, I don’t know if I should say. Tom says a lot of my heroes and some of my villains sound suspiciously like him. He sees a LOT of himself in Cain… which hey, that’s good stuff because Cain is my favorite character. (Not a Dark Mercy character but in the overall series as a recurring character.)
9. What, if anything, are you working on right now?
Well, right now I’m working on edits for The Catalyst to get it to the the copyeditor for a June release. I just got finished working with my cover artist for it. And I’m currently working with my “book trailerist” (yes, I made up that title) for the book trailer. And then, of course, we have to do the audiobook. I have the BEST narrator. Any readers who read audiobooks, check me out on Audible. Chet Williamson is PHENOMENAL. He makes me sound so much more awesome than I really am in his narration.
I’ve also got other projects in the works both for this name and another pen name. I don’t have a lot of down time. Too many ideas nagging me.
10. Why do you love writing?
Because I’d be crazy without it. LOL. Writing is as much a “need” as a love. If I go too long without writing I get “emotionally itchy”. It’s the only phrase I know to describe it.