Monday, 7 November 2011

Interview with Felicity Heaton

I’m delighted to welcome Felicity Heaton here today to tell us more about her recent release, Heart of Darkness.

Book Synopsis:
Heart of Darkness
A vampire prince on a four hundred year old mission to avenge his murdered sister...

Aleksandr Nemov won’t stop until the last of the vampire hunter’s progeny is wiped from the Earth. Each kill has stolen a piece of his humanity, pushing him towards the black abyss all vampires hold within their hearts. Now he is teetering on the edge, close to devolving into a beast, and time is running out as he tracks the last hunter to Prague. There he finds a beautiful woman who could be his one chance for salvation, but is it already too late for him?

A vampire guard who will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves...

Elise is dedicated to her duty. It’s the only thing she has left. All that changes when she meets Aleksandr in Prague and her master grants him permission to stay at her bloodline’s mansion. She knows all about Aleksandr but none of it prepares her for how she feels when the legendary prince’s hunt becomes one for her heart. Elise battles him with all of her strength but can she stop herself from falling for the handsome hunter? When he reveals the depth of the corruption in his soul, will she have the strength to face the pain in her past and do whatever it takes to save him?

Aleksandr sounds like an unforgiving vampire with no room for love.  Can you give an insight into why he has been hell bent on the revenge of his sister for four hundred years?  
Aleksandr may sound unforgiving and I suppose in a way he is, but it’s his love for his sister that caused his deep desire to avenge her by killing not only her murderer but that vampire hunter’s entire family line. Aleksandr is the eldest son of the Nemov bloodline, who are the rulers of the vampire nation in Europe. He was the heir prince until he renounced that title and broke ties with his family in order to protect them from being stained by the blood he was determined to spill. The Nemov bloodline lead vampires towards humanity by preaching pacifism and teaching their people to limit their kills. What Aleksandr intended to do went against that ideal completely.

Because his family teach pacifism, his younger sister had never learned to fight because there was no need for her to know such things, much like most of us don’t have a need to know how to kill or defend ourselves. Aleksandr tried to save her from the vampire hunter when the palace came under attack but failed, and he feels responsible for her death and for giving her peace by eradicating the hunter and his bloodline. It’s taken him four centuries to hunt them all and now he’s down to the final hunter, but time is quickly running out for him.

What was it about the murder which caused such a reaction?
Aleksandr has a deep love for his sister and his brother, and was raised to be a protector of his people, a true prince. Seeing his sister’s guards all murdered and holding his sister as she died, unable to revive her and bring her back from death, had a great impact on him. It broke whatever restraint he had and he vowed vengeance on the hunter, not just to avenge his sister, but to protect his people from such a dangerous man.

Does Aleksandr acknowledge just how much of a beast he has become and does he forgive himself?
Yes, Aleksandr is aware from the start of the story that he’s losing himself to the darkness. It isn’t a case of forgiving himself. He’s not repentant about what he’s done and he knew the price he would pay when he set out on his mission. I don’t think he would do anything differently if offered the chance to do it all over again. He would still choose to avenge his sister and protect his vampire people. I don’t think he’s aware just how bad the corruption is until further into the story though and that’s when he discovers that his only hope for salvation is Elise.

Elise has nothing but her duty left - can you shed any light on her past which has led to where she is when the story starts?
Elise is a very loyal guard. She was raised by her parents and her father taught her everything that she knows. He was the former commander of the guard in her bloodline, the Cerny, in Prague. She followed in his footsteps and entered the guard at a very young age for a vampire and has spent the past two centuries serving her bloodline. She lost her father almost a decade ago and with her mother living away from the mansion, all she has to keep her going is her duty. She has a few friends within the guard, especially her captain, Andrej, but isn’t in a relationship with any of them. Since the loss of her father, she’s been even more committed to her duty, wanting to achieve the rank of commander as so many expect of her. It’s a lot to live up to.

Does Elise's master have anything to do with Aleksandr's quest?
Elise’s master, Ladislav, is quite intent on using Aleksandr’s presence in his mansion as an excuse to throw endless balls and shun his duties. He would do anything for Aleksandr, and Aleksandr uses that, gaining private quarters in the mansion and even Elise as one of his personal guards!

Where did you get your inspiration from for the setting of Heart of Darkness?
I’ve been to Prague in the past and it’s a place that has such a wonderful air about it. The architecture is steeped in history and the city feels old and perfect for vampires to me. I have several stories that are set in Prague. Two of the bloodlines in my Vampires Realm series that I write as F E Heaton live there. It’s a place I keep coming back to because it really does suit vampires in my mind. It’s an amazing city, very beautiful, old and charming, and it has really stayed with me.

How did you come to write paranormal romance?
I’ve always loved the paranormal genre since I was very young. I used to read books with vampires, werewolves, witches and Frankenstein’s monster in them when I was little in school or at home, and they were always my favourite. As I grew up, I progressed into reading the books they were all based on, like Dracula and Frankenstein, and lots of stories by H P Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe. I really liked gothic horror. I also loved fantasy novels, and classic romances by the likes of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell. I hadn’t read a paranormal romance before I first wrote one, and I hadn’t read any vampire romances before I started writing my Vampires Realm series. I think that’s why my series is so different to other ones and why it’s much darker than most. It’s more gothic and dark. The same goes for Heart of Darkness. I do write them blacker than midnight, full of emotion, and with plenty of passion.

Is it compulsory when you're writing to have a desk fan on....I know from reading your books that things can get verrrry steamy!!
I do actually have a USB mini fan on top of my computer tower! Things can get very hot in my books but more often than not it’s the depth of emotions and feelings I write into the books and their love scenes that makes them very hot indeed. I think a good love scene needs plenty of emotional spark and connection between the two characters. It has to be about more than a physical thing.

How many more books do you have planned ahead (or this/next year?) to look forward to?
Well, I’m trying to release less next year but I know that isn’t going to happen. I have Masquerade, the tenth book in my Vampires Realm series, coming out in January. In March I’ll start releasing my Vampire Erotic Theatre series, which comprises of four novellas. I’ll be releasing around one a month. Then I’m also planning to release Her Demonic Angel, the fifth book in my best selling Her Angel series, in summer. I have around another three novels I’ll be releasing next year too. I think I’m actually releasing more stories next year than I did this year! 2013 looks to be just as busy too. I think I’ll be releasing at least five novels a year for the foreseeable future.

If you had to choose would it be chocolate, crisps, or fruit?
Chocolate. I should say fruit, right? I can’t lie. I do love fruit, especially mango and kiwi and pineapple, but given the choice it has to be chocolate.

Heart of Darkness is currently available in e-book from my website, Amazon Kindle Stores, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords. It will soon be available from Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, Kobo Books and Sony. It will also soon be available in paperback from Amazon websites, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers.

Read an excerpt for Heart if Darkness at my website:

Felicity Heaton is a romance author writing as both Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. She is passionate about penning paranormal tales full of vampires, witches, werewolves, angels and shape-shifters, and has been interested in all things preternatural and fantastical since she was just a child. Her other passion is science-fiction and she likes nothing more than to immerse herself in a whole new universe and the amazing species therein. She used to while away days at school and college dreaming of vampires, werewolves and witches, or being lost in space, and used to while away evenings watching movies about them or reading gothic horror stories, science-fiction and romances.

Having tried her hand at various romance genres, it was only natural for her to turn her focus back to the paranormal, fantasy and science-fiction worlds she enjoys so much. She loves to write seductive, sexy and strong vampires, werewolves, witches, angels and alien species. The worlds she often dreams up for them are vicious, dark and dangerous, reflecting aspects of the heroines and heroes, but her characters also love deeply, laugh, cry and feel every emotion as keenly as anyone does. She makes no excuses for the darkness surrounding them, especially the paranormal creatures, and says that this is their world. She’s just honoured to write down their adventures.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:


Felicity Heaton said...

Thanks for having me here at your fantastic blog and for all the great questions! If any readers have any other questions for me, just shout them out in the comments and I'll answer them as best I can!

Felicity Heaton
Paranormal Romance Books by Felicity Heaton

Megan@Riverina Romantics said...

great interview!