"GOLDEN VAMPIRE" by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom | Harlequin Nocturne (#110) | **paranormal vampire ** | isbn: 978-037361-8576 | release date - March 22
It's called the Dark Surrender.
The ultimate embrace of everlasting love, where entwining souls and purpose come together.
For former cop Jesse Stewart, giving herself-mind and body-to sexy vampire Lance Van Baaren meant losing her soul. Hired by a foreign government to find a senator's missing daughter, she instead found a haunting link to her past. And now something is drawing her to the one man she should despise..
Once a knight, Lance had sworn to protect the innocent. And one of those young innocents had been a young Jesse. Now face-to-face with the alluring woman she has become, he's determined to help Jessie solve her case and make her his own. But would finding the truth of her past, beneath a Blood Moon, push Jesse further away?
Please describe your writing environment.
I have an office on the second floor of a house way out in the country, near sacred Indian reservation land. I swear, the magic of this beautiful place just keeps singing to me. So I have my desk facing away from the 180 degree view of the valley below, so that I'll concentrate on work...
I have a framed first edition "Come to Middle Earth" poster above my desk - to remind me of just how much I love fantasy. And now (!!) I have eleven framed covers of my books on the wall opposite the windows.. to remind me of this much of my dream of being a published author coming true.
Please tell us your latest news!
So excited ! The first full book in my new 4 book Vampire Moons series for Nocturne has just been released. "GOLDEN VAMPIRE."
For history buffs like myself, the premise behind this book and its successor out next year is a tweaking of the Arthurian legends about the knights of the Round Table. And who they might really have been. Bring them up to the current century, and add a feisty female to the mix, and you get some really interesting inspirations for a storyline that just won't quit!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Well, I always want my books to be LONGER in word count. Once I start writing, I want to tell the WHOLE story. But I must keep to the imprint's details, and have to admit that by doing so, it makes for a really tight, fast-paced read.
Otherwise, I like this story, the premise, and l-o-v-e my main character here. Lance VanBaaren is truly a golden vampire. Yowza!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Ah, I have three favorite authors, and have to pay homage to them here.
1) JRR TOLKIEN - I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy at least twenty times, and ended up teaching a course on it at a college in Los Angeles a while back.
2) Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead ties with Atlas Shrugged for favorite. Can't beat her for plot, background, depth of writing, and the pure joy of unusual characters. I remain in awe.
3) Currently, I'm engrossed in Simon R Green's world of the Nightside series. He's Britain's Jim Butcher, only his writing suits my wicked sense of foul play better.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. I tend to be a little "British" in tone. I like rhythmical sentences, and how they look on a page matter to me. I like a dash of complicated words tossed in. I hear words and phrases in my mind, and feel like I just copy them down, rather than working to create them. If given the opportunity, I'd market my historical paranormal romances, as well as my contemporary stuff, where I can let myself emote even more on my rhythms. I'm saving those. (grin).
Do you see writing as a career?
I'm a teacher, by trade. I love that as well. But I'd like to continue to write, and hope to someday make a living out of it, so that I can provide some relief to the folks on the freeways here.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My family had story-telling night by the fire, or in the car if we were traveling. We had to make up ghost stories... SEE why "paranormal" is my middle name?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Things everyone has heard a zillion time, but is true.
KEEP AT IT ! | WORK AT IT! | HONE YOUR CRAFT! | Do your homework! | Be different !!! | And don't you dare give up!
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing?
Wear something comy. Have tea next to me when I sit down and write.
What main genre do you write in?
Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I'm a pantser, which means I start with a title, always, and that title opens up a whole first scene for me, always, and I just copy it down. Then I free-flow write, and see who turns up for the party.
That said... I now write for Harlequin Nocturne, and we are required to turn in a detailed synopsis of the story and character arc for story approval. So I do that. But there are still always surprises when the writing starts, and I get caught up in those moments. That's the fun. That's what keeps me writing. SURPRISES!
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
Not getting to all the ideas I have waiting to be heard. Ideas call to me at all hours of the day and night. I have sticky notes all over my walls, and I also have been known to jot down ideas while I DRIVE. LOOK OUT ON THOSE ROADS!
Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?
My agent is super terrific. A God-send. Her name is Jennifer Schober. I sent her a beautiful tiara when she made my first sale, and I will continue to applaud her talents and friendship as long as I possibly can. She also gets me, and is a true supporter (as well as an Ayn Rand fan!)
Did you pick the title for your book? If it has been changed please tell us about the process.
I have been able to keep all of my titles, so far. RED WOLF, WOLF TRAP, BLACKOUT, BARBIE AND THE BEAST. Having said that though... I know what's expected from my current publisher on titles, and I try to make then acceptable for the readership - in terms of readers knowing fill well what kind of read to expect.
And as I mentioned, I start with a title - and go from there.
Do you have an interesting quirk?
Plenty! I'm a neat freak, is the first one that comes to mind. The other quirks are secret. Shhh....
Do you have any other author names? If so, what are they and what's different about what you write under each name.
So far, I am who I am... and would like to keep it that way. I've written both dark and light paranormals, keeping my name. If, however, in the future, I'm asked to adopt a non de plume - for a deviation in genre. I'd happily do so, but try to keep it somewhat close to my own. I mean- I'm working hard!
My name is long, I admit it. Linda Thomas-Sundstrom.
Not as easy as say, SMITH.
Do you like to mix genres?
YES! That's the fresh part of writing! Walking that fine line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy is my current texture. I also like dark and light, and write in both of those worlds.
I speak at conferences all over the place (Comic-con, etc) on the differences and similarities between paranormal romance and urban fantasy, and give my sessions titles like: "Kiss them or Kill them?" and "Date them or Destroy them? = exploring relationships in pr and uf." ha.
What book are you reading now? What are your thoughts on it?
I always read one and listen on audio in my car to another.
Reading: Hard Day's Knight - Simon R Green's new hardback. That Nightside world just keeps dragging me back, willingly. I've now read every one of Green's Nightside series.
Listening: The Little Stranger" - Sarah Waters. British story of a family affected by WW2, and the house that might not let them alone. Really getting into the slow, neat rhythm of this book. On audio, it's terrific.
I'm digging both!
Tell us all about "The Call" or "The Email"!
First call was from the infamous Kensington editor, Kate Duffy. I had emailed her myself, and told her that Brava needed a dark vampire book. Good thing I didn't know of her reputation for frankness.... or I would have been very afraid. But she agreed, and bought my book three days later.
More calls after that.... and here I am. Thankfully!
What inspires your writing?
Everything. Dreams. Reality. Anything and everything PARANORMAL. I can't write a story that isn't paranormal in some way. Paranormal is my middle name, and always has been. My first book, at age eight, was about leprechauns and fairies. I still have that book.(Thank you Mom!)
How many books do you plan on writing each year?
Right now, I've been writing two full books and two novellas per year for Nocturne, with three month deadlines for each. On the side, I work on other things for myself.
What are your hobbies?
Do you have any cool promo tricks you can share with other writers?
I wish I did....
What has surprised you about being a published writer?
The uniqueness of being part of a group who have made it, having beat the odds... I'm also grateful for how helpful other published authors can be, who feel the same and are just as thrilled as I am to have books on the shelf!
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
Don't do much research, other than for exotic locations. But now and then I do get inspirations from random articles on excavations, etc. Great stuff.
If a bookstore was putting up "Is Like" plaques, who would be listed as being like you?
Lara Adrian. Maybe even Kresley Cole.
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?
My editor. She gets me, and my writing. And I love her for that. I'd like to buy her a meal and tell her thank you to her face.
What's your favorite drink?
I have two!
Iced black tea.
How did you choose your publisher? What was the process?
Well, I wrote for Kensington and Dorchester before targeting Nocturne - wanting to write dark werewolf stories for Nocturne, and wanting to be a part of the HQ family. I sensed that my paranormal work would be a good fit - and fresh for them. I wrote a Nocturne Bite (novella) and had my agent send it in. And our relationship grew rapidly from there... and I now have completed nine projects for Nocturne. And am very happy.
Linda - So grateful to be a published author!