My special guest today is is Gothic Romance novelist Amber Sherwood. After meeting and becoming friends with her on Facebook, I’ve found her to be a down-to-earth individual who puts everything she has into her everyday life and her books. She’s just released the second book of the Angels of Death Series — Succumb. After my interview with her, please check out her two novels and links.
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Hi, Amber! Thanks for stopping by my man cave. Grab a seat and lets start this off with a question about your series. How many books do you anticipate in the Angels of Death Saga?
Hi, John. Thanks for having me. Well, when I initially realized it would end up being a Series, I always imagined a total of three books. However, during the publishing process, my Publisher suggested I write a prequel to Succumb as a teaser to draw people in. That teaser became the novella Genesis, which goes into more detail on how Ash became the bad-ass vamp he is today! So, now, I suppose there will be at least four novels to the series. And who knows? If, after number four, there is still more story to tell, then there might be a number five!
What’s been the hardest thing for you in both the writing and marketing part of being an author?
The hardest thing about the writing is knowing where you want to go in a story, but struggling with the in between parts to get you to those major scenes. I always develop certain scenes in my head and then I play connect the dots with the smaller scenes that actually develop the story and the characters. Another hard part is when I block up and decide to put one story down and work on another, the characters from the old story, who had refused to talk to me suddenly want to be in my ear whispering their thoughts, but the minute I go back to them — POOF! They run and hide again. THIS is why I refer to my characters as my children, because I have my well behaved ones who always do what I want, and then I have the hard headed ones that always want to do what THEY want, but they ALL like to drive me to drink!
As for marketing, I WANT TO KILL IT! I can’t STAND marketing, or PIMPING as we authors call it! It’s so hard! Especially for someone who is as shy and insecure and NOT a braggart like myself! I always worry that I’m bothering people or being too forward by presenting my book, but as my mom is always telling me “If you’re not willing to tout your book, why should someone else?”. So, with this in mind, I started looking at what the author’s did who seemed to shoot out of nowhere and have books making lists almost immediately. What were THEY doing? Simple. They were shamelessly promoting themselves! I always felt weird commenting to the blog posts that ask you to pimp your favorite author. To me, someone ELSE should nominate the author, not the author themselves! But there were authors doing that! And before I knew it, everyone else was adding these author’s names to lists and then they were nominated for blog awards. Well, damn it! If they can do it, so can I! So, I’ve started to shamelessly add myself to the comments of those posts. Not that it’s made much of a difference. I still pretty much feel invisible to all but a select few who care about me.
Another thing that bothers me is when I befriend an author and, as their friend, I promote their books, liking and sharing, but don’t get the reciprocation. I’m very much a ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” kind of person. If you help me, I will bend over backward to help you. I will shout your name from the rooftops, nominate you for things, share and like all the time. There are a few wonderful souls who seem to share this creed with me and I hold them dear to my heart. But there are also a lot out there who want to take, take, take, but never give and that’s not right. We’re all in this together. We’re all struggling and if we can help each other out once in a while, why not? Karma might be a Bitch, but she can also be a Sweetheart to those who deserve it. That’s how I look at it!
You’re a Led Zeppelin fan. Do you know they’ve never had a Top-40 Hit?
I had no idea! Honestly, I wasn’t a classic rock fan until I met my husband. That’s pretty much all he listens to so I learned to first tolerate it and then developed a taste for it. Now, it’s mostly all I listen to as well. I used to think Led Zeppelin and AC/DC were all nothing but screaming, but now I rock out to them and have even been known to do a remarkable AC/DC impression! But, back to the question. I guess it’s not really THAT unbelievable that they’ve never had a Top-40 hit, since it’s mostly dominated by lighter music. I’m sure Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and the rest of the guys are probably PROUD of that fact! (Editor’s note — AC/DC only had one hit in the top 40 — at #39 — You Shook Me All Night Long.)
Who’s the best character you’ve created and why?
Oh, this is a hard one. I try my best to make all of my characters as life like and most importantly, FLAWED, as possible. I would say my BEST character would have to be a tie between Brita and Ash. I first started Succumb in the summer of 1998, so they’ve been a part of my life for a very long time, which also means I’ve had a very long time to develop them. My idea for Brita was to start out with this poor, beaten and broken young woman who was scared of everything and have her morph into a strong, resilient force to be reckoned with! She still has elements of insecurity, and she still struggles to control the evil that lies just below the surface, but she forces herself to rise above to do what needs to be done and what is for the greater good. I think, by the end of Succumb, I have brought her to this point and going forward into AOD3, I hope to continue her growth as she’s forced to deal with new facets to her existence such as a temperamental progeny, a budding love interest, and a complicated evolving friendship.
I didn’t begin to really fall in love with Ash until the end of Succumb was approaching. He was starting to change, to grow a heart back, and that’s why I decided to explore his early years in Genesis. I thought it was important to know WHERE he had been in his heart and mind as a human so that what he became would be all the more heart wrenching. He was a devoted man of God who was thrust into the hands of the Devil. For him to have such faith only to feel that he’s been abandoned by the one he gave his life to, it not hard to understand why he finds it impossible to fight against the demon within.
I would have to say that after finishing Genesis, Ash most certainly became my FAVORITE character of the series.
What’s on your to-do-list for 2015?
I would LOVE to have AOD3 published, which is tentatively titled Retribution, but I’m thinking it’s not going to be ready in time. Therefore, I’m currently working on two romance novels, one historical and one contemporary. I hope to publish one of those by June and hopefully, if all of the Gods in Heaven come together for a miracle, possibly the other by year’s end. I’m a bear on myself though when it comes to editing, so that’s quite ambitious for me, but I’m working on it! If only the RIGHT characters would speak to me when I need them to, then I’ll be on track for success!
Okay, last question and a fun one. You open a book and a Genie appears. He can grant your wish for a bestseller but a celebrity has to die before it happens. Which movie star bites the dust?
Oh, where to begin! Well, I’d offer him the ENTIRE Kardashian clan (Bruce Jenner excluded because I actually LIKE him) just for the opportunity to make my wish! So they’re my number 1!
2. Kathy Griffin- Can’t stand her and definitely don’t think she’s funny!
3. Nicki Minaj- I think she’s very pretty WHEN she’s not flashing a disgusting pose, but I simply cannot stand her voice! I’m sure dogs everywhere go into excruciating pain every time one of her songs come on! Which leads to…
4. Meghan Trainor- WHO IN THE HELL gave this girl a record contract? She is THE MOST annoying singer I’ve heard in a while! I think I could listen to Nicki longer than I could listen to this girl! While I applaud the MESSAGE behind All About That Bass, does it have to be so…nails on a chalk board? Can’t a song about a girl with curves actually be ENJOYABLE???? And how about that commercial she had out around Christmas? Even THAT was annoying and she only sang for about two seconds! No! Just make her stop! NOW! Maybe SHE should be number 1…….
5. Carrie Underwood- Mostly because my husband worships her and that bugs the hell out of me!
I could go on, but that would make Entertainment Tonight’s Memorial show just way too long!
Thanks for a provocative and entertaining interview, Amber. I wish you all the successes you can handle and stay sweet.
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SYNOPSIS — In the first chapter of the Angels of Death series, we are introduced to Ashford, a virtuous man of God, a Knight of the Templar. After losing his soul to a beautiful stranger in the night, he realizes he has been damned forever when his body becomes engulfed in flames with the rising of the morning sun. Suddenly, Ashford must face the evil that grows within him and learn to survive this dangerous new existence…alone.
Ashford, rich and powerful, one of London’s elite, uses his cunning and dark, handsome looks to manipulate those around him, easily gaining anything he desires… and what he desires, at times, is more deadly then they realize. Harmon, who at one time joined in on Ashford’s evil endeavors, now fights the conflict within. After a horrible accident, he turned against what he is, what Ashford made him. Now, he’s on a quest to protect Brita from meeting the same fate, even if it brings an end to his own existence.
Brita, a servant girl living with a pair of mysterious men named Harm and Ash, finds out her job is more dangerous that she first thought when she discovers the two men are angels of the night. She falls in love with Harm and shortly after being turned, witnesses his death. Afraid of Ash, she lives with him for a hundred or so years before she runs away to contemporary Florida. There, once Ash finds her, begins the battle for what remains of her soul.
Angels of Death:Succumb is a must have for anyone who likes a new take on the vampire genre. Ms. Sherwood weaves a tale that puts you in the middle of Brita’s life and drains every drop of emotion from her story. Five stars !!!