Saturday, October 5, 2013

Featuring Kristy Berridge - Part 2

      Hi, folks. For the second week in a row I’m delighted to be featuring paranormal fantasy/horror author, Kristy Berridge. Last week I reviewed the first two books in her Hunted series, and this week I have an interview with the fabulous Ms. Berridge, herself.

Let’s get down to it!
 

Me:
First of all, Kristy, I want to thank you for taking time for this interview. It really is great to have this opportunity.

Kristy:
My pleasure, John.

Me:
I warn you, I’ve got some personal questions, if you don’t mind, but I’d like to save them for later. Right now, since I reviewed the first two books in The Hunted series on last week’s blog, and since I just finished The Damned, the first thing I need to know is… when is the third book coming out and what’s planned for the series in the long run?

Kristy:
The Aligned, the third book in The Hunted Series will probably be released early to mid next year. There are five books in the series in total and I will keep going to satisfy my eager readers, possibly even look at a spin off series sometime in the future.

Me:
Ah. I’m intrigued with the title, The Aligned. The Hunted and The Damned allude to the evolving situation Elena finds herself in. I’m assuming the third title continues that pattern? Can you tell us the fourth and fifth titles?

Kristy:
The fourth book is currently labeled as The Condemned, and the final installment will be The Delivered.

Me:
The Hunted series revolves around vampires and Vânătors (a version of werewolf). You also have a different sort of book in the works, something about zombies, I believe? Tell us more about that.

Kristy:
Diary of a Teenage Zombie follows the story of Katie Palmer, zombified teenager in a post-apocalyptic world where flesh is a feast and the ignorant are devoured. It’s humorous, gory and actually touches on some light spots of romance, but basically, you’ve never met anyone like Katie, all-round socially accepted high school teen with a sometimes conscious and hunger for the living.
I really can’t wait for you to read this one, I’m very proud.

NOTE:
    In the few weeks since this interview, Diary has been published. If you're in Australia, you can probably find it in book stores now. When I spoke with Kristy a few days ago, she was working through CreateSpace, and it should be available to purchase online in a few days.

Me:
I want to segue into the next topic by asking your opinion about an author I know we both admire. Did you happen to catch the recent first chapter teaser on Richelle Mead’s website for her upcoming The Fiery Heart? http://richellemead.com/excerpt/excerpt26.htm
I found it very interesting that she’s writing some of the book from Adrian’s point of view. I can’t recall her shifting points of view in any of her books before, can you?

Kristy:
No, I can’t recall either, but in saying that, I can understand why. As supporting characters, they often have their own voice and are intriguing to readers, so it makes perfect sense to explore a fresh personality and or point-of-view to keep things interesting.

Me:
The Hunted series is written primarily from Elena’s POV, which is in first person. Yet, you shift occasionally to look through other characters’ eyes and take a third person perspective. (I’m raising my eyebrows here.)

Kristy:
You’re going to see more and more of this, John. I love keeping my readers guessing, and to switch point-of-view can provide different perspective but also create more intrigue. You get snippets of what’s going on without revealing too much, you can expand your plot lines and make the obstacles for your protagonist that much more challenging to overcome. Be prepared, you’re going to see a lot of Lucas from this point forward!

Me:
Oh, that’s good news about Lucas. I have a question about him later. Elena, the main character in the series, is a classic sort of sassy, sarcastic, headstrong teen heroine who insists on doing everything her way. She’s really stubborn sometimes, and she seems to jump into danger without thinking a lot. Any parallels between her and yourself a few years back?

Kristy:
Oh, I hate to admit it, but Elena is me, even now. Granted she has giant brass balls (excuse the language), but she’s also young, has a lot of lessons to learn and truths to reveal. She does learn to soften and accept advice along the way, much like we all do on the challenging route to adulthood.

Me:
I really like the relationship between Elena and her step-brother, Lucas. I feel like some of their interaction is too familiar and real to be coincidence. Do you have an older brother?

Kristy:
No, I have twin, younger brothers whom I am extremely close to. We do a lot of things together even now, even though I’m nine years their senior. They make me so proud and always put a smile on my face, and they look up to me and actually care about my opinions – it’s a nice trade-off.

Me:
I’m determined not to give any spoilers here, but I enjoyed the expanding storyline in The Damned and a few of the older characters, particularly Lucius. Can you tell us what inspired his character?

Kristy:
Well, I don’t want to spoil anything either, particularly given the sub-plot involves Lucius’s origins and Elena’s fate, but I did need an anchor, and who better than someone so instrumental in Elena’s creation and potential death?

Me:
Who are your favorite characters in the series, so far? Let’s say… the top three.

Kristy:
I gotta say Elena, because I know where she’s come from and where she’s going and there’s a lot of growth and very adult and heartfelt/unselfish decisions within her future.
I love, love, love Lucas. He’s a total pussy, but watching him become a man is a journey I want to be onboard for.
And Sebastian. I don’t want to diss William, but I promise you there is something very, very special about this strange vampire.

Me:
I have to agree about Sebastian over William. And you dropped enough hints in The Damned about how “special” he is that I think I’ve figured it out. But I won’t say any more, unless you want to…?

Kristy:
Let’s keep it under our hats for now J

Me:
Okay, I’m going to start getting more personal here. You live in Cairns, right? Along Australia’s Gold Coast? Famous for its beaches, surfing, and teenaged mermaids? Did you grow up there?

Kristy:
Okay, Cairns is actually about 1800km North from the Gold Coast, Australia is vast like that, but yes, there are sandy coastlines, warm weather and plenty of crocodiles.

Me:
Oh, man. I should have checked the map more closely before I said that. Kind of like getting Los Angeles and San Francisco mixed up because they’re both in California. I missed it by a mile, er… 1800 km! Live there all your life?

Kristy:
I was born in Perth, on the opposite side of the country, but since coming to Queensland in my kindergarten years, I consider myself a Cairns local and can’t see myself moving. I really do love it here.

Me:
I don’t blame you. It sounds great. So, tell me about your writing journey, what made you start and when, what keeps you going, that sort of thing.

Kristy:
You know, I always liked to write when I was back in school, but never actually considered it to be a career. I don’t know why, perhaps because I was motivated to explore my creative arts nature and study graphics, design and later Interior Design.
I only started writing one day (which was about 6-7 years ago now) because I was bored. I had a small interior business, customers were light on and I started to dabble with some words. Before I knew it, I’d written The Hunted, or at least, an extremely bad version of it! I think I must have redressed the manuscript one hundred times before I worked up the courage to send it to a publisher, but I must have done something right because they picked me up straight away.
I am my harshest critic though, and there is a still a lot I wish I’d done differently, but I never once regret the first day I sat in front of my laptop and started pounding away at the keys.

Me:
Well, I’m glad you did, Kristy, as I’m sure many other fans are. Now… I’ve put off broaching the next subject about as long as I can stand, so here goes. One of the things you’ve done a great job of in your books is to maintain the sexual tension between Elena and (insert whichever gorgeous male vampire you want here). Although it’s been relatively chaste so far, some of the snogging, as you refer to it, (I think we’d call it making out in The States) gets pretty hot and heavy. Is that as much fun to write as it is to read?

Kristy:
Oh definitely. I try to think about what I’d like to feel when I’m reading the words and if it’s going to get my pulse racing. It may be relatively chaste so far, as you say, but I promise you it does start getting steamier as the novels progress J

Me:
Okaaay… *wipes drool from corner of mouth*. Ahem… But there’s another side to Elena’s sexuality that’s not as comfortable to read about. I’m referring to the attraction she has to the Vânător alphas, beings she’s repulsed by mentally and emotionally but can’t seem to physically resist. I know that I’ve written some sex scenes in my books that I felt were necessary to the story but were a little uncomfortable to write, and I wondered how that is for you.

Kristy:
There’ a little bit of excitement that arises from writing about something somewhat forbidden or uniquely dangerous. Desire is a tricky concept to interpret, and I love watching Elena—in all her naiveté—trying to figure it out.

Me:
Can you give us a favorite excerpt from The Hunted or The Damned?

Kristy:
How about The Damned, since it’s the latest release? Hmm okay;

The smell of blood hit me like a club to the head. Its potency drew me in, and my mouth began watering. My fingers twitched; the aroma made my fangs ache. I knew the signs—I hungered. I cut a glance over to the dead vânător on the other side of the road. Its bloodied fur glistened like oil, the colour so dark it was almost black. I could feel myself moving forward, crawling on my hands and knees, as I scuttled across the road like a crab in the sand.
I reached for the dead thing. I should have been repulsed. I should have had second thoughts. I should have had a knife and fork. I licked tentatively at first, gently probing at the ragged flesh and furred edges. Gentle probing soon turned into a frenzied lapping, my tongue shovelling up the still warm blood oozing down its neck.
I shuddered with gratification, and even though I could feel Sebastian’s eyes on me, I could not look up. As the thirst took me, I became impervious to all judgement.
‘Elena, we must go now,’ he said. From the corner of my eye I could see the toe of his boot. Sebastian was standing over me, watching.
I shook my head, lips now locked tightly around the Vânător’s throat.
‘If your wolf has jumped, then he will return with company,’ Sebastian pressed, voice tight.
I finally pulled back, taking a deep breath and wiping blood from my mouth with the back of my hand. It was funny to think that a few months ago I would have dry-retched at the thought of such an act.
Oh, how the mighty had fallen.

Me:
Oh, yeah. I remember reading that scene and reminding myself not to read your books while I’m eating!
Well, there’s a ton of other stuff I’d like to ask, but I know you’re in the middle of editing The Aligned and I don’t want any responsibility for delaying its release. Thanks for dropping by, and I hope we can do it again real soon.

Kristy:
Thanks, John for this opportunity. You really are always very sweet to me and a massive support.

Me:
You’re welcome, Kristy. The support is well deserved. And as for being sweet, well, I don’t know any other way to be. J

       Wow, that was fun for me. Hope y'all enjoyed that as much as I did. You can find out even more about Kristy and her work by following the links below…
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See y’all next week. Until then, Happy Reading!

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My Books
The Draculata Nest -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Click on the link to order:
ebook for Kindle                                            in Paperback     
ebook for Nook                                              in Charlotte                    
ebook for Kobo                                              Smashwords

The Dragon of Doughton Park ----------------------------------------------------------


Click on the link to order:
ebook for Kindle                                                                   in Paperback
ebook for Nook                                                                     in Charlotte
ebook for Kobo                                                                     Smashwords

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