Thanks so much for joining me, Tory!
So, when did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. If you mean the very first I ever finished (as in a first novel, as opposed to a kid’s book), 15. I remember I called it Obsession because I just couldn’t let that puppy go. I cringe to think at how bad the thing was (I thought it was great then of course) and I even remember sending a query letter on it. Thankfully I realized it was the junk it was and pitched it around my 19th birthday or so.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
It wasn’t a conscious decision that I know of. I just was always drawn to the vampire/paranormal genre in the movies and books I read. I played a lot of role-playing games, including Vampire: the Masquerade which is where I originated all of the main characters for the Dream-Walker War. (Chris, Anthony and Dara were all Ventrue, Jordan was a Toreador). When I started writing again a few years ago, Dara finally insisted I write her story down once and for all. That led to Chris and ultimately Prophecy of Blood.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
Assuming you mean published, not much different, other than perhaps I’m spending a bit more time and money on promotion than I did before. Heh. I still squeeze in my writing time in the early morning and at lunch time. I stress more over being productive (which I’m not, based on how slow I manage to put together usable WIPs) because I know I need to pump books out, but I can’t seem to go very fast.
Which comes first: The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Usually the character themself, and then I figure out what’s going to happen to that character. It’s a bit different now with the Dream-Walker War. I have a definite overall story arc and I know how this series is supposed to end…I’m just not really clear on its destination and who best to show the movement toward that destination.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I really hate the word outline. I try to write them, but it rarely does more than give me a starting point and then I branch off from there quite quickly (sometimes within two chapters). Usually though, when I’m trying to get a new project off the ground, I’ll just write and follow wherever the story takes me. I always like to have an idea of my final destination within a particular story, but sometimes I don’t get that until I’ve been plucking away at the book, and then I have to go back and fix a lot.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on Book 4 of the Dream-Walker War. At the moment, I’m tentatively setting it a year after the events in Blood Rage, Blood-Mage Rising and Prophecy of Blood. That’s quite a switch because the first three books take place concurrently (well, Rising & Prophecy take place over the same period as Rage), and this one (I think) will be significantly after, to give the world a chance to adjust to what happens at the end of Prophecy. I’m also starting to gather notes/plot ideas for a couple of alternate things in different settings (one contemporary romance and one a sci-fi romance).
How did you come up with the title?
All my books thus far have had “blood” in the title, and given the central part of the book is about trying to avert a prophecy, Prophecy of Blood seemed appropriate.
Alright, now it's time for some random questions. Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?
I can go you one better – I’ve gone out, knowing I had baby spit-up on me and didn’t find it worth the effort of changing (I have twin 22 m/o girls, so there was a lot of very little sleep nights).
Be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
2-3 times a week. I don’t need to wash it more than that, and it’d get too dry.
If your book were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters part?
That I can answer because I have definite people I picture in the parts when I write them.Dara: Amy Adams (if she shrank a couple of inches and added about 20-25 pounds)Anthony: Johann Urb (pilot named Sasha in the movie 2012, warrior in the most recent Resident Evil movie)Jordan: A cross between Eric Johnson (Rookie Blue and a bunch of other stuff) and Michael Fassbender (X-Men, Inglurious Basterds, etc)Chris: Katie McGrath (Merlin).
Blurb for Prophecy of Blood:
One hundred ninety-eight seasons after the mushroom-shaped clouds first blossom to poison the humans of the Rising Sun, near the beginning of the Season of Inundation, Atlantis will return.
With those words ringing in their ears, vampires Christine Javert and Jordan MacNaught find themselves in a race against time to stop the return of Atlantis. As they hunt for the deadly Ares, they discover the true depths of his plot to incite a world-wide species war, turning the humans against all the non-humans, not just the vampires as they’d originally thought.
“Dude, next time just tap me on the shoulder.”
She needed to lodge the protest, though her body sang at the familiar touch. She and her body needed to have a good, long talk about this situation. He shouldn’t be able to make her go mushy just by putting an arm around her. Not when they’d sated their lust so recently.
As expected, Jordan wore a suit that evening, and it suited him perfectly. No tie for a change though, and his crisp shirt was unbuttoned at the collar. So for him, he was going for a casual look.
The arm around her back drifted south until his hand rested on her ass and gave it a gentle squeeze. “My way’s more fun. Admit it, wasn’t it fun, seeing him slink off?”
He grinned. How a grown man frozen in his early twenties could continually look like a mischievous little boy when he grinned was beyond her. But it worked for him. Chris shook her head and groaned. Protest. Remember? You’re doing the whole friend thing, and friends don’t grab friends’ asses. Not even friends you bounce at every opportunity. With an effort, she leveled out her breathing. “I didn’t expect to see you here so early. I was heading out soon.”
Even with the attempt to moderate her voice, her words came out breathy. She cringed internally. If Jordan noticed, he didn’t comment. “You need a keeper. I’ve appointed myself to the task.”
Arrogant jackanapes. Rather than draw a scene by having a conversation in the middle of the dance floor without dancing, she sighed and looped his arms around his neck. At least she didn’t have to bother with the intricacies of a waltz. The last time she’d danced with him had been in London, the night before he buried her.
The hand on her butt squeezed again. “What was that thought? You just scowled.”
She shook her head. “Nothing.”
He frowned, but let the matter drop. “You look smashing, Chrissy. Why were you wasting it on the dog?”
“It was a dance, nothing more. Not that it’s any of your business.”
Dozens of people surrounded them, but she saw only Jordan. Felt him as his other hand trailed lazily down her back. His lips brushed her ear as he leaned close. “After earlier, I might just make it my business.”
Her mouth went dry, and she blinked at him. “Huh, wha’?”
“I make a lousy friend, as you well know.” He cupped the back of her head and kissed her. Her knees threatened to buckle. “And since I intend to be inside you again at the earliest possible moment, the ‘friend’ label doesn’t fit.”
Oh. Wowser. She licked her lips, saw an answering flare of arousal flash in the green eyes staring into hers. “You’re not serious. Like, you want to date?” He blew my mind, but it was that good for him, too?
“Such a dull word, but sufficient.” He drew her closer. Fire followed the path of his lips around the bottom of the dark-blue choker she wore to cover up the nasty scar from the attack that left her almost dead. He took a long sniff, no doubt smelling the Princess perfume she daubed on. “You smell good enough to eat, Chrissy. I could spend hours doing just that.”
The already warm nightclub turned scorching. Maybe it was just her temperature.
“In that obnoxious pink bed of yours.”
She squeezed her eyes shut, tried not to picture them in her room. It definitely was her temperature soaring, not the club’s.
Jordan’s voice dropped to a husky whisper. “Arms and legs restrained, holding you open for me. No escape, no retreat.”
Her non-existent imagination conjured the image up in startling detail, bolstered by the memory of the handcuffs around her wrists earlier. She whimpered, couldn’t help the moisture that trickled from her to soak her panties. Oh damn, no. That should not turn me on. Not him. Not like this, not again.
She moved with the music, turning to press her back into him. His strong, sure hands pulled her hips against his in a dance they’d done so many times together, one that had nothing to do with music.
“And the thought, being with me like that, excites you. Letting control go earlier like you did, gave you a rush you’ve never gotten before in sex.” Jordan pushed the hair at her neck to the side. Sharp fangs sank against her throat, not quite breaking the skin, his other hand drifting up to cup her breast. The fabric of her dress did nothing to shield her against the heat of his palm. “Did you sneak out afterward because of how it made you feel?”
Teasing touches trades down her sides until he reached the hem of her skirt. His hand slid beneath to caress the skin of her thigh just above her garter.
Take back control, Chris. You steam-roller. Men don’t do this shit to you. Nor did she want them to. Right? Except him, damn it all to hell. And he was talking about feelings? What the fuck? Struggling to keep her head against the sensuality he dragged out of her, she clamped her hands over his wrists to still his movements. With only a hint of her normal forcefulness, she said, “Knock it off, MacNaught.”
“Or what, hmm? Let go, Chrissy. You’d enjoy yourself more if you relaxed. Remember?”
He twisted his wrist, broke her admittedly weak grip on him, and the exploration of her leg continued. She colored, prayed no one was staring at them. The display, while making her hornier than a bitch in heat, was mild for the ‘Cor. It didn’t matter, because she flat out didn’t do public affection. None of her boyfriends crossed the line with her, knowing she’d flatten them if they pushed too far.
She couldn’t flatten Jordan though. To make it worse, she didn’t want to.
Goosebumps rose in the wake of his caresses over her thighs. His fingers inched upward, just brushing her mound, only blocked by the flimsy barrier of her soaked panties.
He laughed softly in her ear. “You say no, but your body, your oh-so-pretty pussy says yes, doesn’t it?”
Chris twitched. If she didn’t move away, didn’t break this off, the bastard would think he could maul her whenever he wanted. And what’s wrong with that? So what if he does the caveman thing? You read the trashy romance novels, and are surprised when someone acting like those alpha assholes turns you on?
A harsh blast of noise from behind her head where it plastered against Jordan’s suit coat worked as effectively as a bucket of water.
Originally from the Sacramento Valley, Tory packed up and moved all the way to Southwest Florida in 2004 with her husband (a Florida native) under the premise that ‘hurricanes almost never hit that part of the state.’ That year, 4 blasted the area. 4 more came the following year, and her husband blames her for bringing the hurricanes. She now resides in Jacksonville and is relieved that, thus far, no more hurricanes have followed her around. She began writing in kindergarten when a turnip wished to be human and, other than a hiatus shortly after getting married, has never stopped. Her love of vampires began somewhere in junior high, and combining the two loves didn’t take long. She loves music, considers herself a ‘book slut’ whose reading habits would break her family financially if given free reign, and is (usually) delighted to be a mommy of twin Shrimpettes and a Shrimp.